Kodiak’s Robert Anderson slides under the tag of Soldotna’s Wyatt Gagnon on Friday, May 5, 2023, at the Soldotna Little League fields in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Kodiak’s Robert Anderson slides under the tag of Soldotna’s Wyatt Gagnon on Friday, May 5, 2023, at the Soldotna Little League fields in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Friday baseball: Kenai, Homer get conference wins; SoHi falls to Kodiak

The Kodiak baseball team defeated Soldotna 3-1 on Friday in Northern Lights Conference play at the Soldotna Little League fields in Soldotna.

The Bears are now 5-0 in the league while the Stars are 1-2 in the league and 3-4 overall.

The Stars are very familiar with Kodiak junior Malakai Olson and Kodiak senior Hunter Williams because both played for the American Legion Twins last summer.

Both had big games in the victory.

Olson went all seven innings to record the victory, giving up a run on two hits while walking three and striking out seven.

“He was very excited to get back down here this weekend and give it his all,” Kodiak coach Jason Fox said. “He pitched a heck of a ballgame.

“That was probably the best game I’ve seen him pitch in high school baseball.”

Into the fourth inning, Olson was leaving the ball up in the zone. In the fourth, Olson walked two to put runners on first and second with one out, but got a double play ball to end the inning and cruised after that.

Fox said Olson’s ability to make in-game adjustments shows his increasing maturity as a pitcher. The coach said Olson has been on varsity since his freshman year and has slowly been growing and getting stronger. Spending last summer with the Twins helped the maturation process even more.

Ohnemus, who played for the Twins junior varsity team last summer, and Pieh, who played for the Twins varsity, nearly matched Olson on the mound.

Ohnemus pitched five innings and gave up six hits and three runs — two earned — while striking out 11. Pieh closed with two scoreless innings.

Soldotna coach Ken Gibson said Ohnemus let a lot of runners reach base, but then made a lot of really good pitches to keep most of those runners from scoring.

“He made good pitches and kept us in there,” Gibson said. “He battled throughout the game.”

The biggest problem came from Williams, who was 3 for 4 with two runs. Tyler Christiansen was 2 for 4 for the Bears.

“When Hunter’s helping lead our offense, the top four guys in our offense are pretty tough,” Fox said. “They can put some runs up on the board.”

Ohnemus and Sturman had the hits for SoHi. Gibson said facing a pitcher like Olson was a good experience for his team.

“He’s one of those you think you should hit and you don’t,” Gibson said. “I’ve seen him do it to other teams.

“He stays in the zone. He’s just a really smart pitcher.”

Kenai 15, Grace 3

The Kardinals moved to 4-2 in the Northern Lights Conference and 4-2 overall with the Friday victory at the Kenai Little League fields.

Kenai led 3-0 after an inning and 13-0 after two innings on the way to ending the game in five innings.

Gabe Joanis pitched four innings, giving up two runs on five hits while walking two and striking out five. Zane Pellegrom pitched an inning and gave up an unearned run on a hit.

Owen Whicker had two runs and two RBIs for Kenai, while Daniel Steffensen had three runs, Braden Smith had three runs, Gabe Joanis had two runs, Jacob Joanis had three RBIs and Avery Martin had two RBIs.

Homer 3, Houston 2

The host Mariners moved to 1-2 in the Northern Lights Conference and 1-2 overall with the Friday victory over the Hawks.

All the scoring happened in the first two innings. After Homer took a 2-1 lead after the first inning, Houston tied it in the top of the second. Homer then went up 3-2 after two innings when a double by Mylan Johnson scored Weston Marley.

Henry Wedvick gave up an unearned run in 1-3 of an inning for Homer, while Camden Wise pitched 6 2-3 innings, giving up a run on four hits while striking out nine.

Johnson, CJ Burns and Willem Hakala had two hits for Homer.

A hit and run pays off for Kodiak as the ball gets past Soldotna second baseman Trenton Ohnemus on Friday, May 5, 2023, at the Soldotna Little League fields in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

A hit and run pays off for Kodiak as the ball gets past Soldotna second baseman Trenton Ohnemus on Friday, May 5, 2023, at the Soldotna Little League fields in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

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