On Saturday, the Bears won the first conference game, 8-3, and dropped the second conference game, 7-4, at Baranof Field.
Chugiak won the nonconference series opener, 7-2, on Friday, while Kodiak took Sunday’s nonconference game, 14-3.
“Anytime you can come out and knock off the defending champs in a game it is good,” Kodiak manager Leonard Pickett said. “It is good for the kids and the confidence down the road.”
After the opening weekend, Post 17 (1-1 league, 2-2 overall) is tied for fifth-place with Bartlett in the eight-team National Division with five points — four points are given for a win, two points for a tie and one point for a loss.
Eagle River (4-2 league) and Chugiak (4-1) lead the National Division with 18 and 17 points respectively.
Behind the pitching performance of Jakob Arnold and the offensive production of Austin Frick, Post 17 handed Chugiak its first conference loss of the season in Saturday’s nine-inning affair that lasted less than two hours.
Arnold tossed seven shutout innings, allowed only one hit and struck out six. He left with a six-run lead after throwing 92 pitches.
This was Arnold’s pitching debut for Kodiak after spending the last two summers with the Kenai Twins.
“It was a big boost to our pitching staff to land him this year,” Pickett said. “He is a quality pitcher with lots of varsity experience not only at high-school level but with Kenai. He is going to play an important role in our success this summer.”
Kodiak’s offense gave Arnold a quick 3-0 lead after the first inning.
Bennett led-off the first with a walk and scored the game’s opening run on a Joe Mauer single. One out later, Frick deposited a pitch from Chugiak’s Sam Hanson over the left-field fence for a two-run home run.
Frick, a recent graduate of Kodiak High School, and Jon LeVan both went 2 for 4.
Kodiak plated another run in the second when a Brandan Pickett single scored courtesy runner Frank Carlson.
Post 17 added a pair of runs in the seventh and eighth that gave breathing room for Alex Pace, who pitched the final two innings in relief of Arnold. Pace struck out four, but gave up three runs on four hits.
Chugiak responded to take the second game of the doubleheader, 7-4, in seven innings.
The Mustangs struck for three runs off of starter LeVan in the first inning.
Kodiak got two back in the third on a Bennett single and a LeVan sacrifice fly.
Chugiak then broke the game open with three runs in the fourth and a solo run in the fifth for a 7-2 lead.
Arnold closed the gap in the seventh with a two-run home run to left field that chased Chugiak starter Blake Kutch, but Kodiak could not muster any more runs off of reliever Jimmy Lanier, who retired three of the four batters he faced.
LeVan suffered the loss. The left-hander allowed six runs — five earned — on six hits in 3 2/3 innings. Bennett allowed one run and one hit in the final 2 1/3 innings.
Chugiak pitchers Brandon Neal and Jake Kendrid held Kodiak scoreless for the first six innings to take the first game of the series, 7-2.
Neal allowed only one hit in five shutout innings, while Kendrid pitched the final two.
Kodiak scored both of its runs in the sixth. Aaron Hocum singled home a run with the bases loaded, while the other run scored on a Chugiak error.
Post 17 jumped all over Chugiak in Sunday’s series finale.
The Bears scored six runs in the first and went on to win 14-3 in five innings.
Bennett tallied three of Kodiak’s 13 hits, while Kalen Willis and Frank Carlson each had two hits and a pair of RBIs. Arnold also had two hits.
Ryan Bezona hit a double and drove in four runs.
Carlson allowed only one hit in four innings to earn the win.
Pickett was pleased that 10 of Kodiak’s 16 players saw time on the mound during the four games.
“That is going to be big on the development of our arms,” he said. “I was real happy.”
Post 17 has a four-day, five-game road trip that begins Friday with a league game against East Anchorage.
KODIAK 8, CHUGIAK 3
Chugiak 000 000 021 — 3 5 1
Kodiak 310 002 20x — 8 7 1
Hanson, Lanier (7) and Strarb; Arnold, Pace (8) and Chya.
RBI: Chugiak — Ferriss, Strarb. Kodiak — Mauer, LeVan, Frick 2, Chya, Pickett. Home run: Kodiak — Frick. Two hits: Kodiak — LeVan, Frick.
Winning pitcher — Arnold (Struck out six, walked two). Losing pitcher — Hanson (Struck out five, walked three).
CHUGIAK 7, KODIAK 4
Kodiak 002 000 2 — 4 5 2
Chugiak 300 310 x — 7 7 3
LeVan, Bennett (4) and Pickett; Kutch, Lanier (7) and Cufman.
RBI: Kodiak — Arnold 2, Bennett, LeVan. Chugiak — Neal, Bohrer 2, Kendrid 2. Home run: Kodiak — Arnold. Double: Chugiak — Kendrid, Ferriss.
Winning pitcher — Kutch (Struck out two, walked one). Losing pitcher — LeVan (Struck out two, walked four).
CHUGIAK 7, KODIAK 2
Chugiak 023 020 0 — 7 4 2
Kodiak 000 002 0 — 2 5 3
Norton, Bezona (3), Pickett (5), Martinez (6) and Hocum; Neal, Kendrid (6) and Strarb.
RBI: Chugiak — Ferriss 3, Ives 2. Kodiak — Hocum. Double: Chugiak — Ferriss. Two hits: Chugiak — Ferriss. Kodiak — Frick.
Winning pitcher — Neal (Struck out eight, walked four). Losing pitcher — Norton (Struck out four, walked four).
KODIAK 14, CHUGIAK 3
Kodiak 611 06 — 14 13 3
Chugiak 001 02 — 3 2 7
Carlson, Frick (5) and Chya; Phearson, Curfman (2), Ferriss (3), Hess (5) and Starb.
RBI: Kodiak — Willis 2, Arnold, Carlson 2, Hocum, Norton 2, Bezona 4, Sullins. Chugiak — Brueggeman, Kutch. Double: Kodiak — Bezona. Chugiak — Brueggeman. Three hits: Kodiak — Sam Bennett. Two hits: Kodiak — Willis, Arnold, Carlson.
Winning pitcher — Carlson (Struck out two, walked three). Losing pitcher — Phearson (Struck out one, walked three).