The sophomore left-hander proved that Friday in a 10-5 Southcentral Conference baseball victory over Colony at Baranof Field.
In the first inning, LeVan dug himself out of an 0-2 count by blasting a solo home run to right field — Kodiak’s first run of the game — after fouling off three consecutive pitches.
He was at it again in the sixth. With a full count, LeVan laced the seventh pitch he saw from Colony pitcher Ben Ross to right field for an RBI single.
“That is when I only get base hits. I don’t know why, but I am a way better two-strike hitter — I just get pumped. I just fell more confident with two strikes, because I just have to swing at everything; I don’t have to think,” said LeVan, who also scored three runs and picked up the win by pitching six innings.
LeVan got plenty of run support in a game where he allowed four runs on 11 hits. Afterwards he said he was pitching to contact — he gave up 10 hits from the fourth through the sixth innings — but never relinquished the lead he gave himself in the first.
“I trust my defense,” LeVan said. “I wasn’t throwing all my stuff. I was kind of holding back because I know we got them in conference,” he said.
Kodiak (12-9) wrapped up Southcentral Conference play with a 9-1 record — the only team the Bears lost to was Houston — and enters Thursday’s conference tournament in Soldotna as the South Division No. 1 seed.
Kodiak plays the North Division’s fourth-place team, which will most likely be Palmer.
“We are looking strong,” senior second baseman Myles Wilson said. “We have little tweaks we can fix, but definitely very strong.”
Wilson led a Kodiak 11-hit attack with four singles and a pair of RBIs. The speedy leadoff hitter legged out a pair of infield grounders, swiped two bases and scored twice.
“I play small, quick ball — fast,” Wilson said. “I don’t know where it (speed) came from, but I definitely use it to my ability.”
Wilson’s speed got the better of him in the first when he led off with a single and was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double.
LeVan followed with his epic at bat that resulted in his second home run of the season.
“When there is 0-2 like that, look curveball and foul off fastball,” LeVan said. “That is what I was doing. I knew he was too scared to throw a curveball so I was looking fastball and he threw it and I was ready for it.”
Kodiak scored three runs in the second that upped the score to 4-0.
Josiah Chya ripped a double that scored Aaron Polasky, Wilson beat out an infield single that plated Jakob Arnold and Chya finished the inning scoring on a passed ball.
Colony cut the lead to 4-3 in the fifth on a Ryan Judd thee-run homer to left field.
Kodiak countered with three runs in the bottom of the fifth that pushed the lead 7-3.
“This is real important from a team aspect that their confidence is way up and they are playing good team ball,” Kodiak coach James Arnold said. “It is fun to watch.”
Kodiak dropped a pair of nonconference games over the weekend, losing 8-4 to Wasilla on Friday and 5-2 to Colony on Saturday.
In Friday’s defeat, senior Joey Mauer belted his first high school home run to left field in the seventh inning.
“To watch the long ball is fun and is especially for Joey Mauer,” Arnold said.
Frick added two hits, while Aaron Hocum hit a double and drove in one.
On Saturday, the Knights rode the arm of Judd, who allowed six hits in a complete-game victory.
BEARS 10, KNIGHTS 5
Colony 000 031 1 — 5 12 4
Kodiak 130 033 x — 10 11 2
Ross and Hale; Levan, Mauer (7) and Chya.
RBI: Colony — Judd 3, Ross 1, Finch 1. Kodiak — Wilson 2, LeVan 2, Chya 1, Frick 1. Home run: Colony — Judd, Ross. Kodiak — LeVan. Double: Kodiak — Frick, Chya. Four hits: Kodiak — Wilson. Three hits: Colony — Boyer, Ross. Two hits: Colony — Judd, Cottingham. Kodiak — LeVan, Chya.
Winning pitcher — LeVan (Struck out one, walked none). Losing pitcher — Ross (Struck out six, walked one).
Warriors 8, Bears 4
Wasilla 001 007 0 — 8 6 1
Kodiak 001 001 2 — 4 7 4
Chauvin, Marks (5), Boyer (7) and Marks; Polasky, Schactler (6), Kirchenschlager (7) and Pickett.
RBI: Wasilla — Chauvin 1, T. Hansen, C. Hanson, McEnnis 1, Loyer 1, Forster 1. Kodiak — Hocum 1, Kirchenschlager 1, Mauer 1. Home run: Kodiak — Mauer. Double: Kodiak — Hocum. Two hits: Wasilla — McEnnis. Kodiak — Frick.
Winning pitcher — Marks (Struck out one, walked three). Losing pitcher — Schactler (Struck out none, walked five).
KNIGHTS 5, BEARS 2
Colony 131 000 0 — 5 4 2
Kodiak 010 001 0 — 2 7 7
Judd and Hale; Bennett, Frick (7) and Pickett.
RBI: Colony — Sanders 1, Ross 1, Palmer 1. Kodiak — Pickett 1, LeVan 1. Triple: Kodiak — Arnold. Double: Kodiak — Arnold. Two hits: Kodiak — Arnold, Pickett.
Winning pitcher — Judd (Struck out five, walked two). Losing pitcher — Bennett (Struck out two, walked two).