Post 17 disposed of No. 8 West Anchorage, 15-4, in an American Legion baseball game that was shortened to seven innings Saturday at Bartlett High School in Anchorage.
The victory slid Kodiak (14-15) into a late Sunday winners' bracket game against No. 4 Ketchikan — a 4-3 winner over East Anchorage Saturday. The Kodiak/Ketchikan victor advances to play either Fairbanks 30 or Bartlett in today's winners' bracket championship game, while the losers drop to the consolation bracket and would have to win five straight games to take the title. The championship game is Wednesday.
"Overall, we got the win, so I was pleased," Kodiak manager Leonard Pickett said.
Kodiak was supposed to start the tournament Friday, but rain postponed the game against West to Saturday.
Post 17 pitcher Jakob Arnold persevered through six innings of two-hit ball to improve to 4-0 on the season. The right-hander struck out nine and walked five, while every out recorded was in the infield.
West Anchorage's three pitchers labored throughout the game, combining for 17 walks and four hit batters. Starter L.J. Felix tossed 147 pitches and was lifted in Kodiak's eight-run sixth inning that blew the game open.
"They weren't throwing strikes and I was proud of our kids that they had good patients at the plate and took advantage of the West pitchers not being able to throw strikes," Pickett said.
All of Kodiak's starting lineup reached base, while eight of the nine scored. The Islanders' top two hitters, Jon Levan and Brandan Pickett, combined for seven runs.
Austin Frick slapped a pair of singles and drove in five. His hit in the seventh plated LeVan and Pickett and ended the game via the 10-run mercy rule.
"Frick had a great game," Leonard Pickett said. "He sealed it with a walk-off and that is always neat to see for the kids."
Frank Carlson was 2 for 5 with a double and an RBI and was awarded the player of the game by Legion officials.
Kodiak also got a leadoff triple from LeVan and a single from Joey Mauer in the fourth.
Behind spotty defense, West grabbed a 3-1 lead after three innings — Post 17 committed three of its four errors in the first three frames.
Kodiak eventually jumped in front for good at 5-4 when Alex Pace scored on a passed ball in the fifth.
Post 17 then sent 14 batters to the plate in a marathon sixth-inning that featured seven walks, three pitching changes, two hits and two hit batters.
West Anchorage was later eliminated from tournament play with a 9-4 loss to East Anchorage, while Fairbanks 11 ended Palmer's season, 16-2.
Six teams are still alive at the American Legion state tournament in Anchorage.
In winners' bracket games Sunday, Kenai played South Anchorage and Juneau played Dimond.
Chugiak and top-seeded Wasilla play in consolation games today, while second-seeded Service and No. 4 Eagle River were eliminated Saturday.
Contact Derek Clarkston at email@example.com.
ISLANDERS 15, EAGLES 4
West 021 010 0 — 4 2 1
Kodiak 100 318 2 — 15 6 4
Felix, Curran (6), Oberly (6) and Dammeyer. Arnold, Pace (7) and Pickett.
RBI: West — Wanamaker, Felix. Kodiak — Frick 5, LeVan, Pickett, Carlson, Bennett 2, Mauer, Willis. Triple: Kodiak — LeVan. Double: Kodiak — Carlson. Two hits: Kodiak — Frick, Carlson.
Winning pitcher — Arnold (struck out nine, walked five). Losing pitcher — Felix (struck out three, walked 12).
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