Kodiak’s American Legion A team was outscored 49-15 in a four-game sweep by Wasilla at Baranof Field.
The score isn’t the worst statistic. Kodiak made a mind-boggling 31 errors to Wasilla’s three. Look harder and it gets worse. Kodiak’s 13 pitchers combined to walk or hit 50 batters, while Wasilla’s seven hurlers issued only 19 free passes.
“I think it was nerves,” manager Leonard Pickett said. “This is a pretty big program for us to be back into. This was a very good team that we faced. Good quality players that I feel could compete with some of the weaker AA teams in the state.”
Wasilla very well may be the best team at the A level. The Road Warriors sport a 5-0 league record, 7-0 overall and trail only South Anchorage in the standings with 20 points — a team gets four points for a win, two for a tie and one for playing. South has 28 points (7-0, 8-0).
Last weekend brought Kodiak’s first Legion games since 2009.
“It was a rough way to start, getting swept,” Pickett said. “But overall, it was a good weekend. Lots of kids played lots of baseball. We hopefully learned some things from our mistakes and errors that we had.”
Post 17 will not have to wait long to erase last weekend as the Bears leave today for a six-game, four-day swing through the Anchorage area. Kodiak begins with Bartlett on Friday (6:30 p.m.), than plays a doubleheader with Service on Saturday (12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.), a twinbill against Chugiak on Sunday (12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.) and finishes with a single-game against Bartlett on Monday (6:30 p.m.).
“Keeping kids focused with that many games so close together, and the pitching is always a challenge when you have that many games,” Pickett said. “You hope your starters come out and do well and go as long into the game as possible so hopefully you don’t have to go to your relievers so soon.”
Only two of Kodiak’s four starters against Wasilla made it past the third inning, which forced the team to go to the bullpen early.
“I would hope as the season goes on we have more kids who could go longer,” Pickett said.
Kodiak’s two points put the team in the cellar of the 10-team league, but the Emerald Isle squad will get a good opportunity for its first win against ninth-place Bartlett. Service and Chugiak are in the middle of the pack.
“A win is going to do so much for these kids’ confidence, and the coaches’,” Pickett said. “It is just going to bring an overall better feeling to the team and the program as a whole. We need to get these guys on a winning note so they know that they can compete with these big schools who have been doing this forever and ever.”
Editor’s note: Sportswriter Derek Clarkston is volunteering as a coach for the American Legion baseball team in Kodiak.
Contact Mirror writer Derek Clarkston at email@example.com.