The 2013 Division 2 Little League Tournament kicked off Sunday in Wrangell. This is an update on the first two days of games.
Teams from Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka, Petersburg, Prince of Wales, and Wrangell are playing each other in a round-robin-style tournament.
That means each team will have a chance to face off against every other throughout the week.
There are restrictions on how many times a pitcher can pitch in a single game. If a player pitches more than 20 times, there is a required rest period of one day.
Wrangell team manager Deveril Bloom says this can be tough on the kids.
“So, we have to be really careful who we put in and when we pull them. When you change pitchers, it changes the whole feeling and structure of the game every time. It’s fun, but I think it’s tougher doing the round-robin thing,” said Bloom.
On the first day of games, Sitka beat Ketchikan 17 to three.
Juneau beat Wrangell 13 to three.
Bloom said Wrangell knew it was up against tough competition with Juneau, but her players did their best. Wrangell came in strong with Kellan Eagle pitching out the entire first inning. But it couldn’t keep up once Juneau pumped up its batters.
Juneau coach Bob Cox said that he was impressed by Wrangell’s start, but his players really stepped up to the plate from the second inning on.
“Bobby Cox, who is my son, he ended up hitting an in-the-park home run. He hit one down the third base line, made it all the way around to third, they threw the ball to third and missed it, and he made it all the way home. Technically that’s a triple and an error and then he made it home. And then his next at bat, he hit a home run that went out through the tops of the trees,” said Cox.
In the three o’clock game, Petersburg took Prince of Wales 13 to three.
POW coach Joe Rubio said Petersburg was a strong team who played well. But, he said, his kids were pretty beat by the time they got on the field.
“We were lagging pretty hard. I think the long day for the kids really showed on the field. A lot of the kids had to get up at four in the morning to get the boat ride over here. It showed in the field, with the heat, which we’re not used to,” said Rubio.
He said his kids aren’t used to playing in sunny, warm conditions. Like most of the Southeast teams his players have trained in sleet and heavy rain and the low 60s temperatures made it tough to keep up the pace.
Monday saw more blue skies and sun. Juneau kept its winning streak, beating POW 20 to one. Sitka took Petersburg 13 to nothing, and in the last game of the evening, Ketchikan knocked Wrangell out of the park 28 to one.
The teams are all playing toward the semi-finals on Saturday and the championship game Sunday afternoon.
You can tune in to KSTK for live coverage of Thursday evening’s six o’clock game or stream it online at kstk.org.