Kodiak Post 17 washed away all of its early-season misery with a dominating performance against East Anchorage Post 34 in American Legion baseball action on Friday.
Playing in a constant rain shower at Baranof Field, the Bears coasted to a pair of league victories, winning 12-2 and 21-1.
Kodiak evened its league record to 2-2 (2-5 overall) and currently sits in fourth place in the eight-team American Division with 10 points — four points are awarded for wins and a point for a loss. The Bears snapped a seven-game losing skid, picking up their first win since upsetting No. 1 seed Juneau in last year’s state tournament.
“What can I say, this was our type of weather,” Kodiak Post 17 manager Derek Clarkston said. “For some reason, we play better in the rain and cold then we do under the sun.”
The rain was not a problem for Post 17 pitchers Dylan Wynn and Chase Good. The duo combined to strike out 13 hitters and hold the T-Birds to seven hits in 11 innings — both games ended via the mercy rule; the first game in six innings and the nightcap in five.
Wynn, a rising senior at Kodiak High School, allowed solo runs in the first and sixth innings in the first game of the twinbill. He fanned four, scattered four hits and walked three on 98 pitches.
“With Wynn coming from California, I was concerned he wasn’t going to be able to control a slick ball, but he did extremely well,” Clarkston said.
Kodiak scored in five of the six innings to end the game via the mercy rule. The Bears only generated six hits but took advantage of five errors to push across six unearned runs.
Leadoff hitter Anders Hocum continued his torrid start to the season, driving in four with a single and a triple and scoring a pair of runs.
Hunter Williams added two RBIs and scored a pair of runs while going 1-for-2.
Khyler Kane hit a run-scoring double, while Wynn plated a run on a single.
Leading 6-1, Kodiak broke the game open with a four-run fifth inning, which was highlighted by Hocum’s two-run triple and Kane’s double that scored courtesy runner Micah Bartel.
An inning later, Hocum ended the game with a single that scored Malai Olson and Arndt, who walked four times.
The Bears kept rolling in the nightcap and spotted Good plenty of runs to work with.
Good fanned nine, walked one and allowed only three hits in five innings to earn his first win of the season.
Up 6-0, Post 17 exploded sent 16 hitters to the dish in the 12-run third inning.
The Bears only picked up three hits — an Ardnt triple, a Kane double and a James’ single — during the frame. East walked five hitters, hit another and committed three of its seven errors in the third.
Both teams bunted for outs in the fifth inning to end the game via the mercy rule.
“In my time on the diamond, I have never been involved in a game — Little League or Legion — that finished as this one did,” Clarkston said. “We were both bunting to head for cover and warmth.”
Hocum went 2-for-4 with a double and three RBIs, while Ardnt drove in four runs and Williams three.
James collected three of Kodiak’s nine hits while bringing in two runs.
Kodiak also got RBI’s from Good (2), Jason Foxworthy (2), Bartel (1) and Gareth Jones (1).
Saturday’s nonleague game between Kodiak and East was canceled because of rain and fog.
“This was a big bounce-back weekend for us,” Clarkston said. “It sets us up nicely heading into the next set of games against Wasilla.”
Kodiak hosts Wasilla in a four-game series starting Friday.
Friday’s nonleague game begins at 6:30 p.m., and is followed by a league doubleheader on Saturday that starts at noon. The series concludes at 1 p.m. Sunday.
Wasilla is 6-0 in league, 8-1 overall.