The Soldotna Stars set themselves up with a chance to win the Southcentral baseball conference Thursday evening with a 4-2 division win over Kodiak.
Sitting at 6-3 in the conference, the Stars need to win Friday night’s regular season finale against Kodiak to force a tie at the top of the standings with Kenai Central. Soldotna would likely resort to the fifth tiebreaker in the order to clinch the division, which would be decided on fewest runs allowed in conference games.
However, Soldotna had to first win Thursday’s game, which was decided by strong pitching by SoHi starter Austin Asp.
Asp earned the win on the mound with five innings of scoreless baseball, striking out six Kodiak batters while walking none and giving up two hits.
“It was a good game, and we got a strong outing from Austin,” said Soldotna head coach Robb Quelland. “We got good relief from David, who had to face no outs with two (runners) on.”
SoHi’s Hunter Thompson faced a tough struggle in the sixth inning after relieving Asp, and was charged with giving up both Kodiak runs on two walks, but David Michael came on to get the final six outs of the game, giving up just one run-scoring hit and zero walks.
Jeremy Kupferschmid, Logan Smith and Terrance Slats all had RBI hits for SoHi, which also got a steal of home plate by Cody Quelland in the top of the sixth.
SoHi scored first in the top of the first inning, then tacked on two more runs in the second to stake out a 3-0 lead.
Quelland said the cold, wet weather in Kodiak made life rough for the Stars, which left nine runners stranded on base.
“It’s always tough to play in Kodiak,” he said. “It was miserable.”