The Bears scored five times in the third and held on to beat Foothills Christian (Calif.) 10-7 in a pool play game Monday in San Diego, Calif.
Kodiak went 0-3 in its tournament debut in 2011. The tournament features 128 teams that are spread throughout eight divisions. Kodiak is one of 16 teams in Division I.
“It is exciting for this group of players,” Kodiak coach James Arnold said. “I saw a maturity in this team that I have yet to see in Kodiak baseball.”
Kodiak continues with pool play at 11 a.m. today against Rock Academy (Calif.).
Austin Frick, Josiah Chya, Joey Mauer and Tyler Jester collected two hits apiece as Kodiak (3-1) upped its winning streak to three games.
Both of Jester’s singles came in Kodiak’s five-run third inning that blew the game open.
Jester and Frick led off with singles and both scored on a Jakob Arnold triple that put Kodiak in front 3-2.
Jon LeVan singled home Arnold and eventually stole home on a straight steal. A Myles Wilson sacrifice fly ended the scoring with Kodiak up 6-2.
Arnold pitched 5 1/3 innings to earn the victory. The right-hander allowed two earned runs on five hits. He struck out three and walked one on 95 pitches.
“Jake pitched a really great game,” said Arnold, Jakob’s father. “He pounded the strike zone and went to work. It was fun to see that.”
Jakob Arnold left with the bases loaded and one out in the sixth. Reliever Hunter Pace got the first batter he faced to line out to third baseman Aaron Polasky, who stepped on the bag for the inning-ending double play — the Bears’ second double play of the game.
Kodiak tacked on three runs in the seventh on run-scoring singles by Sam Kirkenslager and Chya and a bases-loaded walk by LeVan, who is today’s starting pitcher.
Frick ended the game with a bases-loaded strikeout in the bottom of the seventh to nail down the save.
“That was a good team (Foothills),” Arnold said. “They were very well coached and we ran with them.”
Kodiak’s defense did commit four errors, three in the second inning that led to two unearned runs.
Kodiak got on the board first when Frick tripled in the first and scored on an error.
The temperature hovered above 80 degrees during the entire game. Arnold said Jakob drank nine bottles of water during the game.
Kodiak arrived in San Diego on Saturday and spent time at a beach and the Midway Museum on Sunday.
After today’s game, Kodiak will attend the San Diego Padres game against the Colorado Rockies.
Contact Mirror writer Derek Clarkston at email@example.com.