For the second straight season Kodiak Post 17 fell just short of the American Legion state baseball tournament.
And for the second straight season it was South Anchorage that denied Kodiak a chance at the big dance.
South bombarded Kodiak with 10 runs in the first inning en route to a 15-3 victory on Sunday at Taylar Young Field in Anchorage.
Kodiak finished 9-9 in the league, a year after going 10-8 and losing a 3-1 decision to South Anchorage in a winner-to-state contest.
Not all is lost for Kodiak; the Bears will either be a first or second seed in the Matson Lines Tournament — the field consists of the seven teams that did not qualify for state — on Tuesday at Bartlett High School. The Matson winner will play the third-place team at the state tournament for a chance to go to the Northwest Cart Tournament in Utah.
Post 17 started its final road trip of the season needing to go at least 2-2 to be considered for a state berth. The Bears went 1-3, beating Ketchikan (8-6) on Thursday and losing to the Valley (1-0 and 10-0) on Friday.
Kodiak 8, Ketchikan 6
Giovanni Martinez collected two of Kodiak’s six hits and earned the win, pitching 2 2/3 innings of relief. He worked around a pair of bases loaded situations by inducing a 1-2-3 double play in the third and getting an inning-ending line out to second in the fourth.
Kodiak jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead after two innings. Starter Luke James, who needed only 22 pitches to get through the first two innings, couldn’t get out of the third. The righty gave up five runs before getting pulled with one out.
Post 17 grabbed the lead for good the next inning, scoring three runs. The inning was highlighted by Frank Carlson’s RBI double, his second hit of the game. John Norton also brought in a run on his second safety squeeze.
Jake Arnold struck out three in the final two innings to earn the save.
Valley 1, Kodiak 0
The Valley’s Dalton McHugill and Kodiak’s Sam Bennett staged a war on the Mulcahy Stadium mound in the first game of Friday’s doubleheader, and it was McHugill who came out on top.
The lengthy righty struck out 14 and allowed only one hit — a first inning single to Joe Schactler — in a nine-inning masterpiece.
Bennett was equally impressive, allowing four hits and striking out three in eight innings. His only blemish came when he balked in the only run of the game in the fourth inning.
Kodiak’s biggest threat came in the sixth. Brandan Pickett and Joe Schactler walked, and with two outs a McHugill balk moved them to third and second, where they were stranded.
Valley 10, Kodiak 0
Kodiak’s offense was stymied again by a Valley pitcher, this time Logan Sanders.
Sanders struck out six and gave up four hits in the seven-inning game.
Shaun Walton kept Kodiak in the game by only giving up two runs through the first six innings, but couldn’t get out of the seventh. The Valley scored eight times that turned a close game into a blowout.
Kodiak had a chance to tie the game in the sixth. With two outs, Pickett and Carlson singled and Schactler walked. Arnold followed with a groundout to second and was then ejected for slamming his helmet on the turf and slapping his hand on the dugout. He sat out the game against South and will serve the final game of his suspension in the Matson Tournament.
South 15, Kodiak 3
Post 17 committed four errors in the first inning that lead to 10 runs for South.
South tacked on five more in the fourth to end the game in the fifth via the 10-run mercy rule.
Schactler drove in a run with a double in the first, while Bennett and Martinez each had a hit.
Pickett got knocked out of the first inning, while James and Martinez finished the game.