Matson Invitational: Juneau pitchers throw second consecutive no-hitter; Wasilla extends tournament streak

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Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 22, 2023

Throwing back-to-back no-hitters is something out of a dream; not even in a video game would you consider it.

But it happened at the Matson Invitational.

The Juneau Midnight Suns of Auke Bay on Saturday threw their second consecutive no-hitter after Garrison Luben and Landon Simonson combined for a no-no against Southeast rival Ketchikan in a 4-0 win at Bartlett High School.

Two days earlier, four Juneau pitchers - Marcus Mendoza, Liam Hart, Porter Nelson and Bodhi Nelson – had combined for an unconventional no-hitter in a 9-2 victory over East. It was an ugly no-no, with the Midnight Suns walking 13 batters and giving up two runs.

No-hitters are supposed to be clean – but they all count the same. And no-hitters are supposed to go seven innings, which both games did.

There were no shortcuts to the record book as Juneau became the first team in Matson Invitational tournament history dating back a decade to throw back-to-back no-hitters.

Luben started and pitched the first 3.2 innings, allowing three walks while striking out six. Simonson closed it out with 3.3 innings, hitting two batters, striking out four and getting a 6-4-3 double play behind him.

Meanwhile, Juneau played error-free defense and scored three runs in the first inning, thanks in part to RBI singles by Bodhi Nelson and Simonson. Nelson added a sac fly in the fifth to push the lead to 4-0.

Ketchikan got runners to third base twice, once in the first inning and again in the sixth but could never score.

Simonson struck out the side to seal the deal and help Juneau beat Ketchikan 2-1 in the season series.

Matson Invitational

Juneau 4, Ketchikan 0

JUN 10-13, 2-0 Pool

Garrison Luben 3.2IP 0H 0R 3BB 6K

Landon Simonson 3.1IP 0H 0R 0BB 4K

Bodhi Nelson 1-2 2RBI

Kasen Ludeman 1-3 3B

KET 5-18, 0-2 Pool

Thomas Kroscavage  6IP 4H 2ER 6BB 2K

Matson Invitational

Wasilla 6, AK Wild 4

Long live the streak. Wasilla improved to 14-0 all-time in the tournament after rallying from an early three-run deficit.

Last year’s Matson MVP Jaren Venie went 2-for-4 with a double and three RBIs while Chase Sivulich went 2-for-3 with two doubles and a run.

Colton Savala went 2-for-4 with an RBI and pitched 3.1 innings of scoreless relief.

Trailing 3-0, Wasilla tied the game with three runs in the fourth inning and went ahead 6-3 with a three-pack in the sixth.

The AK Wild had two players go 3-for-3 in Jorge Pagan and Jackson Taylor. Pagan singled to lead off the seventh and came around to score on a wild pitch as the Fairbanks team pulled within two runs.

Wasilla’s Pedro Camacho earned the save after ending the game on a groundout with the bases loaded.

WAS 11-14, 2-0 Pool

Jaren Venie 2-4 2B 3RBI 2SB

Colton Savala 2-4 RBI 3.1IP 4H 0R

Chase Sivulich 2-3 2(2B) SB

WILD 10-21, 0-2 Pool

Jackson Taylor 3-3 RBI

Jorge Pagan 3-3 2R

Bryson Roon 3.1IP 5H 3R 4K