After a weekend of games in Juneau where they lost one and won the next two, the Vikings host the Region V Baseball Championship. Tournament games began on Wednesday and will continue through Saturday.
Last week the Vikings faced Thunder Mountain’s varsity team in Juneau. Taylor Pullar pitched the game for Petersburg. The Vikings jumped out 1-0 in the first inning, but after what Petersburg head coach Jim Engell described as a series of “missed cues on defense and not being able to get key hits when we had runners in scoring position” the Vikings lost that game 1-6.
The following day the Vikings played a double header with the first game against Ketchikan’s JV.
In this game the Vikings were getting those key hits, and had a spectacular game from the pitching mound.
“The story of the game was Colby Bell. He pitched lights out for us. He had one hitter in five innings. We beat them 12-0,” said Engell.
The Petersburg lads turned right around and played Juneau’s JV, who they’ve have several competitive match ups with throughout the season.
“Vince Kowalski took the mound for us. He ended up pitching a 6 hit shut out, 4-0. Just a really good game for us,” said Engell.
Engell noted that the second and third games of the weekend series were some of the very best defense the team has played all year.
On to this week, Wednesday was the first day of games in the Region V Baseball Championship tournament.
The Vikings matched up with Thunder Mountain again.
“We started Colby Bell on the mound to give Thunder Mountain a different look than what they’ve seen the last two times we’ve played them,” said Engell. “Colby pitched a good game. He struggled in the first inning or so, but really settled down and pitched well for four more innings.”
All season the Vikings struggled against the pitcher from Thunder Mountain.
“The guy doesn’t throw with a lot of speed. He’s just got a very strange delivery to the plate and it throws us off,” said the Petersburg coach.
The Vikings were unable to get the hits when they needed them and it cost them the game.
Thunder Mountain scored a few runs in the first inning after getting on base due to walks, and that left the Vikings playing catch up for the rest of the game.
“We mounted a little run, late, in the seventh inning we scored a few runs, but it was too little too late,” said Engell.
Jared Volk hit two doubles in the game, some of his first hits of the year.
“It was nice to see him hit the ball hard,” said Engell.
The game ended up 8-3 Thunder Mountain over Petersburg.
The loss takes the Vikings out of the running for the Region V title, but the beauty of a double elimination tournament is that a team can fight their way back in after a loss.
Thursday at 11 am the Vikings play the Wrangell Wolves, who lost 10-0 to Juneau on Wednesday.
“That’s an important game for us, because if you lose you’re done. If we win, we play again on Friday. We’ll take it one game at a time and one pitch at a time tomorrow,” said Engell.
The seven visiting teams can look forward to the forecasted good weather. If rain does fall during the tournament, as briefly happened during the Viking game on Wednesday, fans can take shelter in the newly constructed covered bleachers.