HAPPY HOMER

RBI’s Kristin Wilkinson rounds third ahead of Ryan Day, whose three-run blast opened up a big lead. Right, Hambones pitcher Darren Belisle watches a teammate climb the fence after watching the ball sail over it. Lisa Cabak

A dynasty fallen: Hambones’ winning streak cut short by RBI

By GREY HUDDLESTON
The Hambones, five-year kings of the Skagway Coed Softball League, were unceremoniously booted from the throne Aug. 7 by solid batting from the big hitters of RBI.
During the league’s season-ending tournament that Saturday, RBI eked out a tight 8-7 victory in the teams’ first meeting, then faltered for 7-3 loss during the second game.
But during the final game, big hits from RBI and a lack of defense on the part of the Hambones resulted in a crushing 10-5 victory for RBI, the league’s new champions.
RBI came out strong in the first few innings, amassing a 3-0 lead that was quickly answered by the Hambones with three runs of their own. This deadlock set the stage for a game-changing home run by RBI’s Ryan Day that knocked in three runs.
Later in the game, a triple from Aaron Neitzer brought in two more runs for RBI, bringing the team ever closer to sealing the deal.
With the score at 10-3 in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Hambones couldn’t muster a comeback of more than two runs, and RBI left with the trophy.
“Everybody just played good. We didn’t make a whole lot of mistakes, and they probably didn’t play as well as they could have,” said longtime RBIer Wade Brown, who’s been playing in the league since 1998.
The Hambones, league champions for the past five years, attributed the defeat to an off day. “We were in a teamwide batting slump. They had more timely batting and great defense, while none of our big guns were batting well,” said the Hambones’ John L. “O.D.” O’Daniel.
The team’s winning streak was ended as Lance Armstrong won his sixth straight Tour de France. “We were trying to keep up with Lance, but we let him down,” said O’Daniel.
RBI and the Hambones have always been competitive, and in tournaments past RBI has won first-round games only to be trounced in the finals by their rivals – the opposite of what transpired this year.
RBI celebrated sweet revenge with pizza at a teammate’s house, but Brown was unsure about hopes for the team next year. He said the Hambones have more repeat players that return year after year.
The Alaska Liquor Store team finished third, with the Chilkat Guides close behind in fourth place.
“It was a great year, and the weather was fabulous. Congratulations to RBI, they deserve it,” said O’Daniel.

CHAMPS AT LAST – RBI team members (back row from left) Wade Brown, Aaron Neitzer, Jeremy Butzlaff, Heather Stevens, Ben Seale, Marissa Green, Ryan Day, Carly Myron, Kristin Wilkinson; and (front row) Lisa Cabak, Shanna Vetter, Valerie Jensen, and Toby Broenmeling pose with the Skagway Coed League championship trophy. Beth Cline

Skagwayans place in Trail Marathon

Several Skagway runners were among the 250 who participated in the Yukon River Trail Marathon on Aug. 1 in Whitehorse.
Mary Holozubiec was fourth in the open women with a time of 4:09:51, and Eric Coufal took seventh place in the open men’s category with a time of 4:26:34.
In relay competition, the “Trail Turtles” (Rod Fairbanks, Kyle Fairbanks, Tim Fairbanks, and John L. O’Daniel) took second in the men’s division with a time of 3:12:30, despite a course mixup by the anchor runer. And “Running for the Mayor III” (Peter Lucchetti, Roseann Perotto, Philip Clark and Michael Catsi) placed second among mixed teams with a time of 3:31:37.
One of the youngest racers in the field was 14-year-old Teslyn Korsmo, who ran a leg on the “Fat Chance” team with her dad Mike, Lara Labesky and Dennis Bousson.
“It was the first time I’ve run five miles,” she said. “But I beat Tim Fairbanks. That was my goal.”

Salmon: Pullen Creek opened, new Taiya Inlet regulations

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has opened Pullen Pond and the creek above the pond to sport fishing for king salmon from Aug. 4 to Sept. 14. The bag and possession limit in this area is 10 king salmon of any size, and the non-resident annual limit does not apply.
Pullen Creek below the pond remains closed to king fishing. All fish entering the creek are captured at the weir, and those not needed for broodstock are released above the weir and are available for harvest.
In 2002, vandalism to the weir and holding pens resulted in the release of adult king salmon before enough eggs were collected. Any new such vandalism will result in closing the entire drainage to sport fishing and jeopardize the success of the king salmon enhancement program and the local king salmon fishery.
Additionally, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game reminds anglers fishing in Taiya Inlet north of Taiya Point latitude, between Haines and Skagway, that the emergency order allowing them to keep small king salmon expired July 31.
Effective Aug. 1, the daily bag and possession limits for resident anglers fishing in this area are two king salmon 28 inches or more in length; and for non-residents, one king 28 inches or more in length. Non-resident anglers are allowed to keep three kings 28 inches or more in length per year. All kings less than 28 inches in length must be immediately released.