The Soldotna baseball team split a pair of Northern Lights Conference games on Friday and Saturday in the Matanuska-Susitna valleys. The Stars defeated Wasilla 8-6 on Friday before losing to Colony 14-4 on Saturday in a game called after six innings due to the mercy rule.
The Stars are now 1-2 in the league. Soldotna head coach Robb Quelland said the team still has a chance to qualify for state. Colony is undefeated and should get the top seed, but Quelland said his team should be in the running for the second seed with victories in the final two conference games.
Soldotna concludes league play this week with a game at Homer on Thursday and by hosting Palmer on Friday.
Against Wasilla, Justice Elson set the tone for the game when he hit the first pitch for a home run.
After that, Quelland said the game was a back-and-forth affair during which the Stars' pitching and fielding held up nicely. The Stars collected 16 hits in the contest, while committing just two errors.
Beau Sisson pitched the first three innings and gave up four runs while striking out six and walking two. Elson pitched the final four innings, giving up two runs while striking out three and walking none.
On offense, Elson and Jake Darrow each finished 3-for-4, while Sisson was 2-for-3 with a walk.
Quelland also said Braden Price made a difference with his base-running in the fourth inning. Price was caught in a rundown and stayed alive long enough for a run to score.
When Wasilla tried to get the runner at the plate, Price, who had dove back into first, got up and made it to second.
On Saturday, the Stars went into the bottom of the sixth trailing 6-4 before Colony erupted to end the game.
"I think they just got tired," Quelland said of his team.
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