The Kayhi baseball team will be battling for a Region V championship in Sitka this weekend.
Coach Andy Berntson is ready for the competition they will face, and knows how bad the team wants to play.
“These guys are ready to play, so it depends on if they show up to play,” Berntson said. “We’ll never know what it would be with 3 more weeks of practice.”
The baseball team is going into the region tournament as fourth seed, with a 0-0 record for their season. That doesn’t change the mentality the boys have for the tournament, though. All of the teams in Region V have been going back and forth with each other.
“The competition is going to be very strong and balanced,” Berntson said.
Senior Hayden McGarrigan said though the team has not been able to play thanks to Ketchikan’s Covid spike in May, he is confident.
“We play Juneau Douglas in the first round,” senior Hayden McGarrigan said. “Even though we have been out of practice, I feel pretty confident we are going to do just fine as a team.”
The Kayhi Kings will be playing the 3:00 game on Thursday. The two other teams, Thunder Mountain and Sitka High, will be competing on the bottom side of the bracket at 6:00 on Thursday as well.
The Kayhi Kings Baseball swept the Petersburg Vikings for their first games in two years. They went 12-1 in the first game one Thursday then, 6-2 and 16-4 on Friday. Kayhis pitchers played a big role in the weekends victories.
The Kings run ruled the Vikings in the 5th inning with senior Hayden McGarrigan pitching the whole game. McGarrigan struck out twelve and allowing only one strike out. He also went 3-4 at the plate with a double.
Junior catcher Dylan Nedzwecky caught for McGarrigian. He said worked fast and just wanted to get things done.
“Up in petersburg his command was good,” said Nedzwecky. “He hit his spots real well and kept calm. I think that affected his batting in a really good way. ”
Senior McKinley Hamilton had 3 hits and 2 RBI’s to lead the Kings in the 6-2 win on Friday.
The Kayhi Kings baseball team will kick off their season this weekend in Sitka in their annual southeast pre-season tournament. This will be the first games for the Kings since 2019.
The Kings are down four pitchers going into a five game weekend.
Coach Andy Bernston said they are using this tournament to see where we are at as a team and figure out the best lineup for our conference games.
“We haven’t seen live pitching in almost two years,” said Coach Bernston. “We just need game reps.”
Senior Tyler Slick can’t wait to get out there and play after missing last season.
“I’m excited that I get to play with this group of guys again in a kayhi uniform after having to take almost two years off,” said Slick.
Five of Kayhi’s players played on Gamers baseball based in Anchorage over their high school career. While baseball is only a spring sport in Ketchikan, they got to travel to Florida and play a couple times a year.
Junior Dylan Nedzwecky said he’s grateful to have had the opportunity to get better and play competitive ball in the off season with some of his high school teammates.
“I expect us to be really good,” said Nedzwecky. “We have a good team full of upperclassmen that have been here and played together for a long time and a lot of talent.”
The Kings will play Glennallen this upcoming Friday and Saturday at 7:15 p.m.
Varsity head coach Erik Stockhausen invited Glennallen for many reasons, such as he used to coach for Glennallen for six years before coming to Ketchikan and is good friends with the current Glennallen head coach.
“We get home games and they get a good experience,” said Stockhausen. “Most 2A teams in the state of Alaska don’t really get that.”
Senior Chris Lee (2019-2020) is at 1,715 points only 73 away from all time Kayhi leading scorer Steve Ortiz (1703-1704) who scored 1,788 points by the end of his senior year. Lee is projected to pass Ortiz by the end of his high school basketball season.
Stockhausen isn’t too worried about Lee passing Ortiz and possibly hitting the 2000 mark as much as he is about getting the entire team ready for regions and possibly state.
“Getting ready for March is much more important than any individual thing,” said Stockhausen.
Senior Kristian Pihl is excited to have a couple more home games.
“It’s two more home games to play, “ said Pihl. “Home games are always nice.”
I’ll never play another home game for Ketchikan High School. Us seniors went out on a good note with a 6-3 win over Sitka. I’m glad that we won our final home game, because there are many people who will never see us play baseball again. It’s crazy to think that it was my last game at Walker Field. In the first game of Friday’s double header, we piled on five runs in the first inning and I felt like that really set the tone for the game. We scored again in 2nd inning, and then in the 4th, Brock scored on a wild pitch to extend to lead to 7-0. Sitka scored in the sixth, but by then it was too late for them and we won 9-2 Game two was a little different. We made some mistakes in the first inning and Sitka had a 2-0 lead. Sitka then added another run in the third to extend their lead to 3-0. Our next time up, Gavin stoked a 2 RBI double in the gap to make it 3-2. Sitka then scored three runs in the fifth to make their lead to 6-2. After a play at home where Gavin was called out trying to score, coach Dan was thrown out of the game arguing the call. Though we lost one our coaches, I felt like ejection sparked a rally for us. We scored two more runs in 6th, but we eventually lost 6-5. Senior night started with senior recognition at 11:30, and the game at noon. We scored two runs in the second inning, and two more in the third. Liam threw a complete game, and had 0 earned runs. We won 6-3.
Softball The first regular season games start off against Thunder Mountain High School. Tonight JV plays at 3 p.m and varsity plays at 6 p.m. (conference). Lady Kings varsity also plays Saturday at 3 p.m. (conference) and 6 p.m. (non-conference). Sophomore Dyllan Borer believes they have enough confidence to take the win, but they just need to mentally prepare. “Im looking forward to see how we play at home and as a team. The hardest thing for us is going to be our mental game,” said Borer. “We have to have confidence in ourselves that we can hit off strong pitchers. We can do it, we just have to wrap our head around it sometimes.”
Track and Field will host their first home meet this weekend. Coming off a strong performance in two Washington meets, the Kings are eager to get after it again. Senior Cristopher Carlson expects the boys to win again after winning the Stevenson meet in Washington. “I think we are going to win,” said Carlson. “The boys are just really strong again this year.” Carlson also gives high praise to rookie Ivan Credito who competed well in his first two meets. “He is destroying his events in his first year,” said Carlson. “You can ask him to run any race and he will get top 3 easily.”
Last year stats Boys: Thunder Mountain (145.5) Ketchikan (101) Sitka (100)
Soccer Boys soccer tied 1-1 against Homer last night and will play Juneau Douglas and Thunder Mountain over the weekend. After the Kings rough start (0-3), they are hopeful to turn their season around. Junior Sullivan Schulz said they are making adjustments to become more competitive. “We have changed our lineup a little bit, and will continue to move things to make the team better,” said Schulz. ““We have started to realize that we need to take more opportunities when we have them, so our offense has started to take more shots.”
Baseball Kayhi varsity baseball will face Petersburg varsity and JV will face Sitka JV Friday and Saturday. Games will be held at Norman Walker Field. Game Times Friday- JV @4:00 p.m., Varsity @7:00 p.m. Saturday- JV @9:00 p.m. and 12:00 p.m., Varsity @4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
The Kayhi Baseball team will travel to Sitka Wednesday to play in a pre season tournament. The Kings are coming off a 2-2 annual pre season trip to Arizona. Senior Wyatt Barajas treats the pre season tournament as a chance to gauge teams bound for the state tournament. “I like that we get an Anchorage team to come down and play,” said Barajas. “It gives us a solid opportunity to see how we match up against a team who took 2nd place in the state tournament last year.” Barajas is committed to play baseball at Clackamas Community College next year alongside seniors Cody Kemble and Liam Kiffer. Liam Kiffer is prepared to take on his senior year with college baseball in the near future. “This season will be bittersweet for me and the other college bound guys,” said Kiffer. “It’s our last chance to take care of business at the highschool level, but we aren’t done with baseball just yet. The journey to state starts Thursday.” Kayhi will face Juneau-Douglas Thursday at 4:30 @ Moller Park.
Participating Teams: Juneau-Douglas Thunder Mountain Ketchikan Sitka South Anchorage
Kayhi baseball team kicked off their season this week at the Pride Classic in Phoenix, Arizona. The boys are 2-2 after their first four games of the season. Senior Liam Kiffer said these games will help prepare them for their next games in Sitka on April 11. “This was a good opportunity to shake off some rust for the actual season,” said Kiffer. “These games don’t count towards our record so it’s nice to be able to get some games under our belt where we can experiment and see what works before our actual conference games.”
Kayhi fell 15-0 to the Wolves Thursday. Sitka got on top early shutting the Kings down. Kayhi committed 8 errors. The Kings rebounded and won two elimination games against Thunder Mountain (2-1) and Sitka (2-0) to reach the championship series. Juneau shut the door on the Region V title hopes with an 11-1 win. All conference Wyatt Barajas Michael Starr Kody Malouf