Matson Invitational Title Game: Ketchikan 6, Eagle River 1
Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 30, 2019
Title Game Ketchikan 6, Eagle River 1
Wyatt Barajas struck out seven batters in five innings and added an RBI triple to win tournament MVP honors and give the Post 3 Kings their second Matson championship in three years.
Ketchikan broke the game open at Mulcahy Stadium with a three-run fourth inning followed by a two-run fifth inning, and Barajas and reliever Liam Kiffer finished it off to cap an 18-14 season and terrific tournament performance.
Coach John Milner's team outscored opponents 40-9 in a 4-0 showing.
Credit the Kings for twice picking themselves off the ground during the 2019 season – first losing the high school state title game and then missing out on qualifying for the Legion State Tournament by one game.
Rather than whine, they won the Matson.
Look, nobody wants to be in a consolation tournament; winning a state championship is always the goal. But ending the season with a victory is something only one other Alaska Legion team will experience this season.
Barajas was the centerpiece. He was effective on the mound (7IP, 1ER, 10Ks), with the bat (7RBIs) and with the glove (0Es).
Bajaras and Kiffer – the Bash Brothers – played a significant role in Ketchikan’s success as the Kings increased their win total in each of the last three seasons and won the Matson title twice. Together, they made up one of the most powerful 1-2 punches in Alaska. They are both headed to Clackamas Community College.
Tug Olson is a gem who gets overshadowed, hitting No. 6 in the order. But he had a great tournament, batting 7-for-11 (.636) on the week with four RBIs and five runs. In the final he singled, hit a sac fly and swiped a base.
Azariah Schultz and Carstens Jasper also had RBIs in the final and Terik Brown scored twice.
For Eagle River, this was the program’s third consecutive appearance in the Matson championship game. The Wolves rank No. 2 in tournament history with 14 all-time victories, trailing only Ketchikan’s 15 wins. North Pole is third with 11.
Eagle River’s Noah Lower had a super showing at the plate on a 6-for-12 clip to lead his team with a .500 batting average. He had three doubles and four RBIs and was named the tournament’s Big Stick Award winner.
The tournament’s Top Pitcher Award went to Ketchikan’s Hayden McGarrigan, who posted a 0.78 ERA in 9 innings over two appearances.
Eagle River’s Sterling Retzlaff was named the Gold Glove Award winner. He played multiple defensive positions all over the diamond and did not make an error on 10 total chances, including a double play.