The Colony baseball team defeated Kenai Central 10-6 in 11 innings Thursday in the semifinals of the Northern Lights Conference baseball tournament at Wasilla.
That caused the other semifinal between Homer and Kodiak to start late. That game was not over as the Clarion went to press. The winners play in today’s championship at Wasilla at 7 p.m.
With so many games in three days, as the Kenai-Colony game went more and more innings, the outcome became more important.
“I told my assistant coach, if we don’t win this game, we’re hurting,” Kenai coach John Kennedy said. “Having to play three more games now, we have a big mountain to climb.”
Kennedy said his team led 6-5 entering the sixth, but Colony was able to tie it up.
“We had our chances to score runs, but we let them off the hook,” Kennedy said.
He said in the 10th, Kenai had a runner on third with nobody out, but could not get that runner home.
Dallas Pierren pitched the first six innings, while Miles Jones threw the last five.
“We used two starting pitchers in one game,” Kennedy said.
On offense, Ethan Oliver was 3 for 5 with an RBI, while Justin Wisnewski was 2 for 5 with an RBI, Hector Rivera had two RBIs, Tay Harling had an RBI and Pierren had an RBI.
The Kards get the winner of the Houston-Wasilla game today at 3 p.m. at Wasilla.
“The bottom line is the next two days we’re going to have to score lots of runs,” Kennedy said.
Colony 12, Soldotna 8
The Knights, the No. 1 seed from the north, had to come back late to take down the Stars, No. 4 from the south in the first round at Wasilla.
“We played one of the better games we had played this year,” SoHi coach George Stein said. “We had them worried.”
The Stars had an 8-5 lead heading into the fifth inning.
“We had them on the ropes,” Stein said. “Their bats finally got going in the fifth and sixth inning.”
Max Conradi pitched the first two innings, while Tyler Fritz pitched the next 4 2-3. Kenny Griffin got the final out.
Stein said Griffin was solid on offense, while Tyler Covey had three hits and Josh Darrow had two hits.
The Stars face Palmer today at 10 a.m. at Houston in a loser-out game. Soldotna lost to Palmer earlier in the year.
“I think if we come out and play the way we did today, we have a decent chance tomorrow morning,” Stein said.
Kenai 10, Wasilla 4
The Kards, No. 2 from the south, defeated Palmer, No. 3 from the north, at Houston in the first round behind a strong effort from Tay Harling.
Harling went all seven innings and gave up four hits and four earned runs. Kennedy said Harling’s only problem was walking nine batters. He struck out six.
“We hit up and down the lineup,” Kennedy said.
Rivera was 2 for 4, Harling had two runs and three RBIs, Oliver was 2 for 3, Jake Conver was 2 for 4, Luke Short was 2 for 4 with two runs, Tyler Frates had two runs and Wisnewski had two runs and two RBIs.
Kodiak 4, Houston 2
The Bears, No. 1 from the south, squeezed past the Hawks, No. 4 from the north, in the first round at Houston.
Homer 7, Wasilla 2
The Mariners, No. 3 from the south, earned a victory over the Warriors, No. 2 from the north, in the first round at Wasilla.