The pitching of Ketchikan's Colton Paulson knocked Kodiak to the losers' bracket of the Horizon Lines Invitational Sunday in Anchorage.
Paulson struck out 15 in eight innings as the Kings topped the Islanders, 7-4, in an American Legion winners' bracket baseball game at Bartlett High School.
All is not lost for Kodiak, the tournament's top seed, but the road to the title got a lot tougher. Post 17 must win five straight games to claim the inaugural Horizon Lines title and a berth to the American Legion Northwest A Tournament that begins Aug. 8 in Anchorage.
Kodiak played Fairbanks 11 Monday in an elimination game. The winner advances to another elimination game today against either East Anchorage or Bartlett.
Paulson, a two-time high school all-state pitcher, was dealing from the beginning with a lively fastball and devastating breaking ball. The left-hander struck out the side in the second, third and fifth. He scattered seven hits in eight innings and left after throwing 145 pitches.
Kodiak got to Paulson in the eighth. The Islanders scored three runs to cut the margin to 6-4.
Frank Carlson drilled a two-run double that scored Jon Levan and Austin Frick. With one out, Carlson came around to score on a Jakob Arnold single to left.
After a strikeout, Paulson hit Aaron Hocum that put the tying run on first. Paulson got out of the jam by striking out the last hitter he faced.
Arnold and Carlson both ended with two hits and two RBIs.
Sam Bennett started for Kodiak and gave up four runs — one earned — in three innings.
Alex Pace kept Kodiak in the game by throwing four no-hit innings. The lefty struck out three and walked one.
Joey Mauer pitched the final two innings and gave up two runs on three hits.
Fairbanks 30 beat Bartlett, 8-3, to advance to late Monday's winners' bracket championship game against Ketchikan.
Dimond and South Anchorage both advanced in the American Legion state tournament.
Dimond disposed of Juneau, 10-0, while South topped Kenai, 4-0.
On Monday, Kenai played Chugiak and Juneau played Wasilla in elimination games.
Today, South and Dimond play in a semifinal game.
Contact Derek Clarkston at email@example.com.
KINGS 7, ISLANDERS 4
Ketchikan 111 200 011 — 7 7 1
Kodiak 000 100 030 — 4 7 4
Paulson, A. Erickson (9) and Sande. Bennett, Pace (4), Mauer (8) and Pickett.
RBI: Ketchikan — Paulson, Pool 2. Kodiak — Carlson 2, Arnold 2. Double: Ketchikan — Paulson, S. Erickson. Kodiak — Carlson. Two hits: Ketchikan — Paulson, S. Erickson. Kodiak — Carlson, Arnold.
Winning pitcher — Paulson (struck out 15, walked two). Losing pitcher — Bennett (struck out two, walked five).