Kodiak’s American Legion team wrapped up the home campaign with a league doubleheader split with West Anchorage Saturday at Baranof Field. 

Behind the pitching of Shaun Walton and the bat of Anders Hocum, the local nine grabbed the first game 5-0. 

The nightcap was won by West, 5-3, when Leland Wilson blasted a walk-off home run in the bottom of the eighth inning.

The two teams also split the nonleague affairs, Kodiak winning Friday’s opener 12-1 and West taking Sunday’s series finale 11-5. 

With five league games remaining, Post 17 has already surpassed its overall win total from last year and will hit the road with a 7-14 record, 4-9 in league. 

Mathematically, Kodiak is not eliminated from the state tournament, but the path to Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage is difficult. The Bears must win their final five games, while West Anchorage (13-9 overall, 9-4 league) has to lose its remaining five.

The top three teams in the American and National divisions qualify for state, while the final two spots are awarded to the teams with the most points. The bottom eight teams play in the Matson Invitational at Bartlett High School.  

With 25 points, the Bears sit 11th out of 16 teams and sixth in the competitive eight-team American Division. Kodiak finishes the regular season against East Anchorage (July 22), and doubleheaders against North Pole (July 23) and Ketchikan (July 24).   

Walton, a recent graduate of Kodiak High School, was masterful on the mound in Saturday’s opener.

The right-hander painted a complete-game shutout, needing only 88 pitches to do so. He struck out three, walked one — the leadoff hitter — and scattered four hits. 

Only one West Anchorage runner reached second base. 

Hocum went 2-for-3 and drove in four of Kodiak’s five runs. His towering two-run home run to left field in the third inning gave the Bears a 4-0 cushion.

The rising senior doubled home Luke James, who reached on a double, to end the scoring in the fifth.

James, playing in his final home weekend of his career, nearly helped Kodiak pull out a stunning comeback win over West in the second game. 

After battling through 5.1 innings against Wilson, a 6-foot-3 left hander with a devastating curve,  James deposited reliever Nick Opinsky’s first pitch over the left-field fence — his second long ball of the weekend — for a two-run shot that gave Kodiak a 3-2 lead. 

West — the home team on the scoreboard — tied the game in the bottom of the sixth on a Luis Nunez double that plated Wilson, who led the inning off with a walk. 

After a scoreless seventh, Kodiak loaded the bases on walks — two intentionally to James and Hocum — with two outs. 

Opinsky got out of the jam by inducing Walton to groundout to third. 

In the bottom of the eighth, Revelin Mack reached on an infield single and moved to second on an error on the same play. 

Wilson then pulled a 1-0 Walton offering over the right- field fence for the game winner, his only hit of the day.

Neither Wilson or Kodiak starter James factored in the decision. 

Wilson fanned 14, walked three and gave up one hit, an infield single by Chase Good, which was his final hitter of the game after reaching the 105-pitch limit. 

James lasted six innings, giving up three runs — two earned — on four hits, while striking out seven and walking two.

Nonleague          

An 11-run outburst in the fourth inning pushed Post 17 to a 12-1 nonleague victory on Friday. 

James highlighted the merry-go-round inning with a monster home run to left field that landed on Baranof Street.

The blast triggered eight straight runs before West recorded an out. The Bears added two more in the frame to take a commanding 12-1 lead.

Kodiak starter Hunter Williams pitched a clean fifth to end the game via the mercy rule.

Williams struck out four, walked four and gave up three hits to earn the win. 

Williams also helped himself with an RBI single.

Zac Crane paced Kodiak’s eight-hit attack with two singles and an RBI.

Good drove in two on a double, while Jack Malloy plated two on a bloop single to right.

TJ Foxworthy and Nathan James also contributed RBI singles.

In Sunday’s game, West scored seven runs in the fifth and sixth innings to seal the 11-5 win. 

Down 4-1 in the third, Kodiak scored four times to take a 5-4 lead. 

Walton laced a two-run single down the third-base line, while Good and Foxworthy each hit run-scoring singles during the frame. 

West scored seven runs off of reliever Jack Malloy. Kodiak starter Jace Crall left after three innings when a relay throw home plunked him in the head. 

Luke James went 2-for-3 with an RBI-triple in the first. 

Malloy and Gareth Jones each added singles. 

League games

Saturday

Kodiak 5, West 0

West 000 000 0 - 0 4 4

Kodiak 103 010 x - 5 5 0

Zettler and Nunez. Walton and N. James.

RBI: Kodiak - Hocum 4, L. James. Home run: Kodiak - Hocum. Two hits: Kodiak - Hocum.

Winning pitcher - Walton (struck out three, one walk). Losing pitcher - Zettler (struck out three, walked two).

West 5, Kodiak 3, 8 innings

Kodiak 010 002 00 - 3 2 3

West 110 001 02 - 5 6 2

L. James, Walton (7) and N. James. Wilson, Opinsky (6) and Nunez.

RBI: Kodiak - L. James 2. West - Wilson 2, Nunez. Home run: Kodiak - L. James. West - Wilson. Double: West - Nunez.

Winning pitcher - Opinsky (struck out one, walked four). Losing pitcher - Walton (struck out one, walked none).

Nonleague

Friday

Kodiak 12, West 1

West 000 10 - 1 3 3

Kodiak 001 (11)x - 12 8 1

N. Opinsky, Stolp (3), Benitez (4), J. Opinsky (4), Lebo (4) and Nunez. Williams and Malloy.

RBI: Kodiak - Foxworthy, Malloy 2, Jones, Good 2, L. James, N. James, Crane, Williams. Home run: Kodiak - L. James. Double: Kodiak - Good. Two hits: Kodiak - Crane. 

Winning pitcher - Williams (struck out four, walked four. Losing pitcher - Benitez (struck out none, walked two).

Sunday

West 11, Kodiak 5

West   004 034 0 — 11 12 0

Kodiak   104 000 0 — 5 7 0

Goudreau, Mack (4), Stolp (5), Opinsky (7) and Benitez. Crall, Malloy (4), Foxworthy (7) and N. James. 

RBI: West — Zettler 6, J. Opinsky 2, Wilson 2, Lebo. Kodiak — L. James, Walton 2, Foxworthy, Good. Triple: Kodiak — James. Double: West — Goudreau, Stolp, Benitez. Three hits: West — Zettler. Two hits: West — Lebo. Kodiak — L. James. 

Winning pitcher — Stolp (struck out two, walked two). Losing pitcher — Malloy (struck out one, walked three). 

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