After playing nine straight games away from Baranof Field, Kodiak’s American Legion baseball team had a triumphant return home.
Post 17 notched an important league sweep of Palmer Post 15, 13-6 and 5-4 on Saturday.
The Bears split the two nonleague affairs, winning Friday’s opener 4-2 and dropping Sunday’s finale 13-12.
Kodiak pushed its league record to 3-8, 5-12 overall and sits in sixth in the eight-team American Division with 20 points — four points are awarded for a win, two for a tie and one for playing. Palmer dropped to 0-7 in league.
The Bears displayed a bit of everything — hitting, pitching and defense — to secure their first league doubleheader sweep of the season.
In the opener, Luke James led a 14-hit attack by going 5-for-5 with a double and four RBIs. He increased his team-leading league batting average to .405.
Jace Crall, an incoming freshman at Kodiak High School, drove in three on a pair of singles and is now hitting .375 in league contests.
Chase Good and Khyler Kane each collected two hits with a double and an RBI, while TJ Foxworthy scored three times and pushed in a run on a single.
Kodiak broke a 2-all game with a five-run second inning and never relinquished the lead, netting runs in three of the final four innings.
Shaun Walton benefited from Kodiak’s highest-scoring game of the season, picking up the win after allowing six runs on nine hits in 5.1 innings. The right-hander struck out a season-high five while walking one.
Jack Malloy pitched a scoreless 1.2 innings to finish the game.
Kodiak needed late-inning magic to pull out the second game of the twinbill.
Knotted at 4 in the top of the sixth, Kodiak — the visiting team on the scoreboard — led off the inning with a triple from Anders Hocum, his second hit of the contest.
After a shallow flyout to center and an infield single by Kane, Hocum scored the winning run on a Foxworthy groundout to second.
Malloy, who replaced starter starter Luke James in the sixth, authored a scoreless sixth and wiggled out of trouble in the seventh to earn the save.
After getting the first out, Palmer’s Brady Shults hit a single and Anthony Jones was walked.
Trave Severson followed with a line drive to left field that Foxworthy snagged just before it hit turf for the second out.
Malloy ended the game by striking out James Nelson on an 0-2 curveball.
Kodiak opened with two runs in the first on a groundout from Good that scored Walton and a Nathan James single that plated Crall.
The Bears pushed the lead to 4-1 in the fifth.
Walton led off with single and moved to second on a Good walk.
With one out, Crall drove in Walton on line drive up the middle. A batter later, James brought home Good on a sacrifice fly.
Palmer answered with the three unearned runs in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game at 4.
Nelson dealt the big blow, a two-run single that tied the game.
The fifth inning was the only blemish for Luke James as the hard-throwing right-hander picked up the win, striking out seven and scattering seven hits over five innings. Only one of the four runs he gave up was earned.
Crall paced Kodiak’s offense with two singles and an RBI, while Nathan James also drove in a pair.
Kodiak continues the homestand with a four-game series against West Anchorage that begins Friday.
Crall dazzled on the mound in Friday’s 4-2 victory, earning the complete-game win.
He struck out five, allowed seven hits and needed only 92 pitches to navigate seven innings.
After giving up two runs in the second, he finished with five scoreless frames.
Kodiak got on the board in the second. With one out, Malloy lined a triple to right that glanced off the fielder’s glove. He scored on Kane’s groundout.
The Bears took the lead for good in the third.
Walton earned walk and motored to third on a Good double — his second hit of the game.
Luke James followed with a single up the middle that brought home Walton and Good.
James eventually scored on a wild pitch to give Kodiak a 4-2 cushion.
Hocum collected Kodiak’s only other hit, an infield single in the fourth.
In the Sunday’s series finale, Palmer scored nine runs in the final two innings to stun the hometown nine.
Kodiak loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh but only scored one as the game ended on a Hunter Williams flyout to center.
Williams, an incoming eighth grader at Kodiak Middle School, was in line to get the victory after giving up four runs — two in the first in five innings. He struck out three, walked two and allowed seven hits.
Palmer took advantage of five Kodiak errors in mounting its comeback off reliever Good, who gave up nine runs — six earned — in two innings.
Hocum belted a double and drove in three runs, while Luke James went 2-for-5 with an RBI.
Walton plated two on a single, while Kane also had an RBI and scored twice.
Kodiak 13, Palmer 6
Palmer 023 001 0 - 6 10 6
Kodiak 252 013 x - 13 14 1
Engst, Alley (2), Allen (6) and Ko. Ketchum. Walton, Malloy (6) and N. James.
RBI: Palmer - Nelson, Alley, Shults 2, Allen. Kodiak - Walton, Good, James 4, Crall 3, Foxworthy. Home run: Palmer - Nelson. Double: Palmer - Alley, Shults, Allen. Kodiak - Good, James, Kane. Five hits: Kodiak - L. James. Two hits: Palmer - Ko. Ketchum, Nelson, Shults. Kodiak - Good, Crall, Kane.
Winning pitcher - Walton (struck out five, walked one). Losing pitcher - Engst (struck out one, walked none).
Kodiak 5, Palmer 4
Kodiak 200 021 0 - 5 6 2
Palmer 100 030 0 - 4 9 3
L. James, Malloy (6) and N. James. Ko. Ketchum, Ka. Ketchum (7) and Shults.
RBI: Kodiak - Crall 2, Good, N. James, Foxworthy. Palmer - Nelson. Triple: Kodiak - Hocum.Three hits: Palmer - Ko. Ketchum. Two hits: Crall, Hocum.
Winning pitcher - L. James (struck out seven, walked two). Losing pitcher - Ko. Ketchum (struck out four, walked five).
Kodiak 4, Palmer 2
Palmer 020 000 0 - 2 7 2
Kodiak 013 000 x - 4 5 0
Jones, Allen (5) and Shutts. Crall and Malloy.
RBI: Palmer - Holgate, Engst. Kodiak - L. James 2, Kane. Triple: Kodiak - Malloy. Two hits: Palmer - Alley. Kodiak - Good.
Winning pitcher - Crall (struck out five, walked one). Losing pitcher - Jones (struck out two, walked four).
Palmer 13, Kodiak 12
Palmer 201 103 6 — 13 11 4
Kodiak 044 120 1 — 12 6 5
Shults, Ka. Ketchum (2), Nelson (5), Engst (6) and Alley. Williams, Good (6) and Malloy.
RBI: Palmer — Severson, Shults 3, Alley 2, Allen, Ko. Ketchum, Ka. Ketchum, Engst, Jones, Nelson. Kodiak — Williams, Walton 2, L. James, Malloy, Kane, Hocum 3. Double: Palmer — Severson, Shults. Kodiak — Hocum. Two hits: Palmer — Severson, Nelson. Kodiak — L. James.
Winning pitcher — Engst (struck out one, walked two). Losing pitcher — Good (struckout none, walked six).