Owen Hayes

Palmer's Owen Hayes jumps over Kenai pitcher Simon Grenier. Hayes was able to take third base safely for a triple Thursday, May 27, 2021, at the Southcentral Conference tournament at the Soldotna Little League fields in Soldotna, Alaska.

For the second time in four years, the Palmer Moose can call themselves region baseball champions.

Palmer held on to score an 8-7 win over Kodiak to win the Southcentral Conference title May 29 in Soldotna.

Owen Hayes closed the game for the Moose, recording the final two outs on the mound. Hayes also helped the Moose at the plate, finishing 2 for 4 with two RBI and a run scored. Dylan Garrettson also had two hits, two RBI and a run. Landon Guggenmos and Adam Smithers scored two runs each.

Palmer finished with 13 hits. The top five batters in the order had two hits each. Six different Palmer players drove in a run.

Kodiak held a 5-4 lead in the second, but Palmer was able to jump to an 8-5 advantage. Kodiak made it close with a run in each of the last two innings.

Palmer advanced to the conference title games with wins over Houston and Kenai. The Moose opened their tourney with a 10-0 victory over the Hawks.

Conner VanAusdal pitched a five-inning no hitter for Palmer. Guggenmnos was 4 for 4 with three RBI and two runs. Stuart McQuillin scored twice.

Palmer followed with a 14-6 win over Kenai. Jason Gunderson led Palmer with four RBI. Chad Landon added two hits, two runs and three RBI. Six different Moose scored at least two runs.

Palmer earned the first of the conference’s two automatic berths to the Division II state tournament. The Moose open tourney play against Grace Christian Thursday at 7 p.m. at Wasilla High School in the quarterfinals.

Contact the Frontiersman at sports@frontiersman.com.

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