KODIAK — After a long day of travel, the American Legion Bears waited until the final inning to pull out a 3-1 league baseball victory over East Anchorage on Sunday at Bartlett High School in Anchorage.
Trailing 1-0 entering the seventh inning, Kodiak plated three runs with two outs to pull off the come-from-behind win and improve to 5-9 league, 8-14 overall.
With four regular-season games remaining, Post 17 has already equalled its league win total from the past two seasons combined.
Kodiak finishes the regular season with doubleheaders against North Pole (late Monday) and Ketchikan (today).
Post 17 has already been eliminated from obtaining a berth to the state tournament and will now focus on corralling a top seed in the Matson Invitational, a tournament for the bottom eight teams in the 16-team league.
Sunday’s win was big in Kodiak’s push for a high seed.
Nathan James drew a walk to lead off the seventh and advanced to second on a passed ball.
He remained at second until pinch hitter Jace Crall laced a two-out grounder over the second baseman’s glove, scoring James to tie the game at 1.
A walk to Khyler Kane and a single by TJ Foxworthy loaded the bases. Jack Malloy and Chase Good followed with walks to give Kodiak a 3-1 lead.
Malloy closed the game in the bottom of the seventh for his second save of the season.ź
Shaun Walton needed only 46 pitches to get through the first 5.2 innings for Kodiak.
He allowed only two hits, struck out one and walked two.
Luke James, who doubled the wall in left field in the second inning, earned the win, pitching 1.1 innings. He allowed an unearned run in the sixth on two hits while fanning one.
Kane and Hocum each hit singles for Post 17.
After leaving on the ferry Saturday night, Kodiak arrived in Homer at 9 a.m. and made the four-hour drive to Anchorage.
The win made it easier for Kodiak to jump back in the car for another hour drive to Wasilla, which is where the team is staying for the 10-day trip.
Kodiak 3, East 1
Kodiak 000 000 3 - 3 6 2
East 000 001 0 - 1 4 0
Walton, L. James (5), Malloy (7) and N. James. Leshan, Jarvis (5), Solberg (7) and Earhart.
RBI: Kodiak - Malloy, Good, Crall. Double: Kodiak - L. James.
Winnig pitcher - L. James ( struck out one, walked none). Losing pitcher - Solberg (struck out one, walked three).