Baseball Season Begins with Sitka Trip

With the Alaskan spring in full effect the Dimond High baseball teams season is off to a running start.

Tryouts started after spring break and teams were selected shortly after.

This year the team is veteran group of guys that have played together since they were in minors at Dimond West Little League. These nine seniors are hoping to cap off their final season with a state championship.

Senior and star player for Dimond, Jake Andresen, said, “ This group has been together for as long as I can remember. I mean ever since we started playing baseball we have been playing together, every All-Star team from 11 years old to 15 years old we have been playing together. So because of that I think this team has a really good chemistry and talent that will lead us to a lot of wins this season.”

In addition to these weathered seniors, there are some young rising stars that are having a substantial effect on the team by filling positions that needed a skilled player.

To start of the season, the team traveled southeast to the panhandle to Sitka where they played their first four games.

They landed on April 8, Thursday morning and had their first game that evening against Juneau-Douglas High School.

Senior Kyler Maisey started off pitching for Dimond in their first game and had a solid opening only letting a few hits and two runs.

However, the real surprise was how hot the bats were for Dimond. Scoring four runs in the first inning and scoring in every succeeding inning after leading to an 8-5 win over Juneau-Douglas.

Kaden Roettger and Andresen both hit very well in the first gaming both with one single and one double and multiple RBIs.

Maisey, said, “ It was really fun to start off the year on the mound. It has been so long since I have pitched, but I thought I did pretty good considering, but I have to thank my defense for backing me up. The team did great and our offense really produced and helped us come up with a big win to start our year.”

The next day Dimond played Thunder Mountain, another Juneau team, and Freshman Luke Smith started pitching.

For a freshman, Smith had a stellar outing letting up zero runs and one hit.

Dimond won 5-1 with another strong offensive outing with several extra base hits.

On Saturday Dimond had their first double header and the sun came out for the first time on their trip after two days of wind and rain.

Saturday, Sitka boasted 60 degrees and sunny weather, but that was the only thing they boasted after the reigning state champs lost to Dimond 6-2.

The next game Dimond played Ketchikan. This was definitely the closest game of the weekend finishing 2-1 after a walk off sacrifice fly by senior Conor Bates-Janigo in the bottom of the 7th inning.

Dimond swept the Southeast cleanly, with a 4-0 record to start off the season.

Andresen, Quinn Bates-Janigo and Jack Dolan had the best batting averages of the four games.

Andresen said, “I have to say I was surprised by how well the younger players played. They really stepped up and got some big hits for us that put us over the edge in a couple games.

Not only was this a successful trip game wise, the team succeeded in some much needed team bonding with the older guys and younger guys.”

Junior Parker Coplin said, “Moving from Arizona to Alaska was kinda tough and I did not know a lot of the guys on the team, but after this trip I felt like I really bonded with them and created some new friends that I will have even after the season is over”

The regular season for Dimond starts on April 30th at 6:30 P.M. at Mulcahy Stadium versus West High School.