Brandan Pickett entered Saturday’s contest against West Valley with only four innings pitched in his entire Kodiak baseball career.
The senior surpassed that with a brilliant performance at a drizzly Baranof Field.
Pickett twirled a one-hit shutout to power Kodiak to a 12-0 nonconference victory over West Valley.
Kodiak swept the two-game series — Friday’s game was washed out because of wind and rain — and improved to 2-4.
Pickett was masterful, retiring the side in order in the first three innings before giving up a leadoff liner to center from Caleb Moretz in the fourth. The lengthy right struck out four, walked three and tossed 72 pitches in five innings — the game ended in the fifth due to the 10-run mercy rule.
“I don’t even know where it came from today,” said Pickett, who helped his cause by driving in two and lofting a triple to right in the fifth. “My arm was just feeling good and I just kept going. I focused more on throwing strikes, not throwing hard.”
Pickett split time at catcher last season, and this year has added first base to his resume. He would like to continue seeing time on the mound.
“If I had to choose one, pitching would be me favorite,” he said. “Having your whole team behind you while you are throwing, it is pretty awesome.”
Kodiak coach James Arnold is pleased that Pickett has emerged as a player he can hand the ball to.
“He had great mound presence and threw strikes,” Arnold said. “Conditions were better, but they still were tough and he delivered.”
Pickett got solid defense behind him as Kodiak played error-free for the first time this season. He induced six groun balls and four fly balls. Catcher Josiah Chya also threw out a runner attempting to steal second.
“We played Kodiak baseball today. Everybody was focused from the time warmups started until the last pitch was thrown. Everybody was on their game,” Pickett said.
The offense was also humming as Kodiak pounded out 10 hits and scored more than 10 runs for the second consecutive game.
Jon LeVan and Frank Carlson each had two hits, while Aaron Hocum, Jakob Arnold, Joe Schactler, Chya and Giovanni Martinez all contributed one hit.
Kodiak jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first on a Pickett sacrifice fly and an Arnold single.
John Norton added another run in the third on a sacrifice fly and then Kodiak broke the game open with four in the third, which featured a two-run single from Carlson and a run-scoring single from Chya.
Hocum lined a two-run triple in the fifth and scored on Pickett’s triple, which highlighted a five-run inning for Kodiak.
After dropping its first four games, Kodiak now heads into its first Southcentral Conference game on April 24 against Soldotna riding a two-game winning streak.
“We are shaping up to where I wanted to be,” Arnold said. “They are finally waking up and realizing what their potential is and how good they can be when they play fundamentally sound baseball.”
BEARS 12, WOLFPACK 0
Kodiak 214 05 — 12 10 0
West Valley 000 00 — 0 1 3
Pickett and Chya. Bass, Christman (3) and Harmon.
RBI: Kodiak — Hocum 2, Pickett 2, Carlson 2, Arnold, Chya, Norton. Triple: Pickett. Double: Kodiak — Carlson, Hocum. Two hits: Kodiak — LeVan, Carlson.
Winning pitcher — Pickett (struck out four, walked three). Losing pitcher — Bass (struck out none, walked one).