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Idaho, Utah stay undefeated after Day 2 of NWCART

The Pocatello Razorbacks of Idaho and the Northern Utah Eagles each won games Saturday to remain undefeated at Day 2 of the NWCART, setting up a Sunday showdown at Mulcahy Stadium.

Pocatello will face Northern Utah at 5:30 p.m. ADT, with the winner putting itself in prime position to win the five-day regional tournament.

Meanwhile, the Juneau Midnight Suns – the lone Alaska team still alive – and North Medford Mavericks each survived to play another day while the Whitefish Glacier Twins and Cody Cubs dropped into the loser’s bracket.

Sunday’s schedule features three games at Mulcahy Stadium, the premier field in Alaska. If it’s a big game, it’s played at Mulcahy.

Catch every pitch with live scoring: http://iscorecast.com/954B47E74E

Or watch the games: www.nfhsnetwork.com/channels/alaska

Here is a breakdown of Day 2:

Game 5: Juneau Midnight Suns 14, Fairbanks Wild 0

Nathan Klein was nearly unhittable for seven innings, giving up just two base knocks and two walks while striking out nine. Klein and Augustus Swanton each finished with two RBIs as Juneau avoid elimination by winning the loser’s bracket game. Robert Markovich had two hits, including a double, as Juneau improved to 21-12 on the year. The game was shortened to seven innings because of the mercy rule. The Wild’s Benjamin Hall and Camron Walker had their team’s only hits. Fairbanks was an expansion team that won the Horizon Lines Invitational last month and finished the season 17-14.

Game 6: North Medford Mavericks 8, Dimond Lynx 5

The Mavericks erupted for four runs in the top of the ninth inning to win the loser's bracket game and stay alive in the double-elimination tournament. That rally made a winner out of starting pitcher Larsen Kindreich, who went all nine innings for North Medford [28-21]. Dimond's Mahlon Cleveland drove in two runs and pitched 8.2 innings. Kyle Henrickson, Payton Lauwers and Kyle Bremont all had RBIs for the Lynx. Only three of the seven runs surrendered by the Alaska team were earned. Dimon won the Midnight Sun Tournament champions in June and finished the season 21-14.

Game 7: Pocatello Razorbacks 15, Whitefish Glacier Twins 4

One day after playing 13 innings, the Razorbacks scored early and often to put this game out of reach. They scored once in the first inning, five in the second and four more in the third. Kam Farnsworth tripled and drove in five RBIs, and Trevor Bowers had three RBIs. Connor Lamont smacked a home run and Mason Foltz pitched another five innings. The Idaho state champs improved to 55-1 on the year, 2-0 in the tournament. Whitefish mounted a comeback and pulled within 10-4 after the sixth inning. Colton Gove went 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Vincent Smith banged out two hits, including a double, and didn’t give up an earned run in 5.2 innings on the mound. The Montana state champs [38-21] are now in the loser’s bracket. 

Game 8: Northern Utah Eagles 5, Cody Cubs 0

Precise pitching and slugger Zach Hansen's bat powered Northern Utah once again, keeping the Eagles undefeated in Alaska, 17-5 on the season. Tonight’s pitching hero was Hunter Porritt, who threw a five-hitter with one walk and eight strikeouts across nine innings. Hansen rapped out two hits which brought home two runs; other RBIs were collected by Porritt and Hayden Smoot. The game featured just two walks between the two teams. Cameron Wright and Jordan Wasia pitched for the Wyoming state champs. Cody’s Cap McClure sure came to play, going 3-for-5 while the rest of his team managed only two hits. The Cubs don’t lose often, slipping to 45-15 on the season and falling into the loser’s bracket.

Sunday’s Schedule

11 AM North Medford Mavericks vs. Whitefish Glacier Twins

2 PM Juneau Midnight Suns vs. Cody Cubs  

5:30 PM Pocatello Razorbacks vs. Northern Utah Eagles

This story was written by Van Williams, a freelance writer in Anchorage and the ALB Media Director.

Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Utah win on Day 1 of NWCART

Pitching was the theme for the four winning teams Friday on the first day of the Northwest Class A Regional Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium.

The Pocatello Razorbacks of Idaho, the Cody Cubs of Wyoming, the Whitefish Glacier Twins of Montana and the Northern Utah Eagles all picked up victories to advance to the winner’s bracket final four.

Saturday's showdowns will see Idaho face Montana at 3:15 p.m. ADT and Wyoming play Utah at 6:30 p.m. ADT.

Here is a breakdown of Day 1:

Game 1: Pocatello Razorbacks 3, Juneau Midnight Suns 2, 13 innings

CC Burrup doubled home Mason Foltz with the winning run in the bottom of the 13th inning to provide a walkoff win. A batter earlier, Juneau right fielder Matthew Cunningham threw out the would-be winning run at the plate. Foltz scored the winning run and earned the win on the mound after pitching five innings of scoreless relief of starter Trevor Bowers [8 IP]. The game looked long [13 innings] but played fast [3 hours]. Burrup, Foltz, Connor LaMont and Kaden Sweat all had two hits for the Idaho state champions, which improved to 53-1 on the season. Grant Ainsworth had two hits for Juneau [20-12] and Nathan Klein and Jacob Thibodeau each had RBIs. Juneau starter Tanner Petrie pitched nine innings.

Game 2: Cody Cubs 12, North Medford Mavericks 1

Big game John Beaudrie came through again for the Cody Cubs, striking out 11 batters over eight innings, hitting a triple and driving in three runs. It was just another day at the office for the two-time Wyoming state tournament MVP. Cameron Wright went 3-for-4 with a double, two walks and three runs for the Cubs [45-14]. Brent Bray drove in two runs and was hit by pitch twice. Cody cemented the game with a seven-run ninth inning. North Medford’s Justin Geyer scored his team’s lone run in the second inning when he singled, stole second and later stole home. The Oregon state champions managed only three hits and fell to 27-21. Medford pitchers allowed just eight hits but were hurt by eight walks and five errors.

Game 3: Whitefish Glacier Twins 8, Fairbanks Wild 4

The Montana state champions scored four runs in the top of the first inning and never looked back, doubling up the expansion team from the Golden Heart City. Jesse Walburn had two hits and three RBIs, and Vincent Smith doubled, tripled and drove in two runs for the Glacier Twins [38-20]. Tristin Steinwand had two RBIs and two runs. Colton Gove was hit by pitch three times. Starter AJ Wetsch picked up the win with five innings and Jonny Sapa earned the save with four innings of shutout relief. Down 4-0 and 6-2, Fairbanks battled back to get within 6-4. Jose Sanchez rapped out three hits and an RBI. Terrell Ford and Carmon Teel each had two hits for the Wild [17-13].

Game 4: Northern Utah Eagles 9, Dimond Lynx 1

Zach Hansen twirled a thing of beauty, striking out 17 batters and allowing just three hits and one walk en route to a nine-inning complete-game effort. He allowed a run in the first and then it was nothing but goose eggs, retiring 17 straight Lynx from the second inning to the seventh inning. Oh yeah, and he drove in three runs with his bat. Hansen finished 2-for-5 at the plate. Spenser Triplett and Spencer Gleave had two hits for the Eagles [16-5]. The game started well for Dimond after Preston Micheletto led off with a single, took second on an error, moved to third on a sac bunt by Kyle Hendrickson and scored on a wild pitch. Micheletto [2-for-4] and Hendrickson [1-for-3] got the only hits off Hansen. The Lynx fell to 21-13.

Saturday’s Schedule

9 AM Juneau Midnight Suns vs. Fairbanks Wild

12 PM North Medford Mavericks vs. Dimond Lynx

3:15 PM Pocatello Razorbacks vs. Whitefish Glacier Twins

6:30 PM Cody Cubs vs. Northern Utah Eagles

Catch every pitch with live scoring: http://iscorecast.com/954B47E74E

Or watch the games: www.nfhsnetwork.com/channels/alaska

This story was written by Van Williams, a freelance writer in Anchorage and the ALB Media Director.

South rallies late but can’t avoid elimination in Oregon regional

Just when the South Post 4 Wolverines got their footing on the diamond, their number was called and they were eliminated from the Northwest Regional in Eugene, Ore.

South fell 18-8 to the Boise Gems of Idaho in a Friday morning consolation game, ending the Alaska Legion state champion’s season at 19-14-1.

The Wolverines joined a long list of Alaska teams to go 0-2 at the regional, but they should hold their heads high in the way they finished strong.

South pitchers tossed a goose egg in the top of the seventh inning, ending a streak of 12 innings of giving up at least one run, and then the bats came alive with a five-run sixth inning and three-run seventh inning.

Losing is never easy, but manager Cliff Butcher’s boys battled all the way to the end.

State tournament MVP Alec Valdez went 2-for-3 and collected two RBIs and Parker Johnson and Tyler Kile each had two hits as well. Johnson scored twice and Kile had an RBI.

Valdez, Kile, Sage Dudick, Brendon Hayhurst were the only South players to get hits in both games. Bryce Schwartz and Valdez were the only ones to score in both games. Kile was the only Wolverine to have an RBI in each game.

This story was written by Van Williams, a freelance writer in Anchorage and the ALB Media Director.

Northwest Regional Tournament begins Friday at Mulcahy

The NWCART will be held in Anchorage for the first time in years and the three Alaska teams are hoping to cash in on that home-field advantage.

Dimond, Juneau and Fairbanks are vying to become the first Alaska team to win the regional tournament.

The NWCART opens Friday at Mulcahy Stadium and features state champions from Pocatello, Idaho; Cody, Wyoming; North Medford, Oregon; Whitefish, Montana; and Hyrum, Utah.

Follow every pitch at live scoring: http://iscorecast.com/954B47E74E

Or watch the games live: www.nfhsnetwork.com/channels/alaska

2014 NWCART FIELD OF TEAMS

Team: Pocatello Razorbacks [Idaho]

Manager: Dan McCaskill

Record: 52-1

Notes: Pitching ace Trevor Bowers started two of the team’s final three games at the state tournament, including a seven-inning shutout over Nampa. Mason Foltz got the win in relief in the championship game, a 6-5 win over Moscow. Conner LaMont drove in the would-be winning with an RBI base hit in the fifth inning. The team has won 52 games. Fifty-two!

First game: Friday vs. Juneau [AK] 9 a.m. ADT

Team: Juneau Midnight Suns [Alaska]

Manager: Andy Macaulay

Record: 20-11

Notes: Power pitcher Tanner Petrie is 13-1 with 140 strikeouts over the last two Legion seasons and will probably have the ball in his hands for Juneau’s first game. The two-time all-state pick is also a pretty good hitter, batting .457 during the regular season. American Legion Baseball in the capital city goes back 55 years, with Juneau hosting the first state games in 1958.

First game: Friday vs. Pocatello [ID] 9 a.m. ADT

Team: Cody Cubs [Wyoming]

Manager: Bart Grenz

Record: 44-14

Notes: You know you’re team is a big deal at home when the radio announcer travels 2,800 miles to cover the team. But it’s not every year Cody wins a state title. In fact, it hadn’t happened since 1989 before the Cubs pulled it off this year. Cody beat Powell 15-1 in the title game and pitcher/shortstop John Beaudrie was named tournament MVP for the second straight year.

First game: Friday vs. North Medford [OR] 12 p.m. ADT

Team: North Medford Mavericks [Oregon]

Manager: Brett Wolfe

Record: 27-20

Notes: Medford is one of the true baseball hotbeds in the Pacific Northwest. The Mavericks beat La Grande 5-4 in the state championship game, thanks to a two-run rally in the sixth inning that produced the go-ahead run and a game-ending diving catch by center fielder Preston Johnson.

First game: Friday vs. Cody [WY] 12 p.m. ADT

Team: Whitefish Glacier Twins [Montana]

Manager: Bob Rupp

Record: 37-20

Notes: It was 1986. Top Gun was the top movie, The Cosby Show was No. 1 on TV and it was the last time the Glacier Twins won the state championship. They beat the Lauren Dodgers 8-4 in the title game with pitcher A.J. Wetsch earning tournament MVP honors.

First game: Friday vs. Fairbanks [AK] 3:15 p.m. ADT

Team: Fairbanks Wild [Alaska]

Manager: Tyler Hollister

Record: 17-12

Notes: Fairbanks won the inaugural Horizon Lines Invitational to qualify for the NWCART, beating the Fairbanks 49ers 11-4 in the championship game to cap a 4-0 showing. Tyler Christmann came up huge by pitching seven strong innings and driving in three RBIs. Benjamin Hall also had three RBIs.

First game: Friday vs. Whitefish [MT] 3:15 p.m. ADT

Team: Northern Utah Eagles [Utah]

Manager: Stephen Hansen

Record: 15-5

Notes: After losing four straight games a month ago, the Eagles turned to its pitching staff and held five of the next six opponents to one run. The team ERA is 2.01. Slugger Hunter Porritt is hitting .514 and has nine extra-base hits in 37 at-bats.

First game: Friday vs. Dimond [Alaska] 6:30 p.m. ADT

Team: Dimond Lynx [Alaska]

Manager: Telon Bremont

Record: 21-12

Notes: Armed with arguably the deepest pitching staff in the state, Dimond’s Big Three of Grant Remmer, Jordan Clevenger and Mahlon Cleveland can make the Lynx a threat to win any tournament. The offense’s best player is Payton Lauwers, an all-state outfielder who hit .410 with 32 RBIs in 18 league games. Dimond has already won a tournament this year, claiming the Midnight Sun Invitational.

First game: Friday vs. Hyrum [UT] 6:30 p.m. ADT

This story was written by Van Williams, a freelance writer in Anchorage and the ALB Media Director.

Marvelous Medford rolls in regional win over South Post 4

The Medford Mustangs of Oregon beat the South Post 4 Wolverines 24-3 Thursday on the first day of the Legion Northwest Regional in Eugene, Ore.

Medford rapped out 22 hits and scored in each of the six innings, including an eight-run second inning and seven-run fifth inning.

The loss snapped South’s seven-game winning streak.

The state champion Wolverines scored their first run in the fourth inning on Nick Lopetrone’s RBI groundout before adding two more in the fifth inning. 

The rally started when South loaded the bases after Sage Dudick singled, Bryce Schwartz walked and Jonah Costello singled. The following batter, Tyler Kile, drove in a run with an infield single and Schwartz scored on a wild pitch.

But then Medford [33-13] escaped the jam by striking out the side. The Mustangs staff finished with 13 Ks.

South [19-13-1] is still alive in the double-elimination tournament and will face the Boise Gems of Idaho at 9 a.m. ADT Friday in a must-win situation.

To follow the Northwest Regional, use this link: http://www.legion.org/baseball/tournaments/regional 

This story was written by Van Williams, a freelance writer in Anchorage and the ALB Media Director.

South to face Medford in Northwest Regional

Cinderella in Alaska, South Post 4 hopes the clock doesn’t strike midnight at the Northwest Regional in Eugene, Ore.

After a storybook run to win the title at the Alaska State Tournament, South earned the right to represent The Last Frontier at the Legion World Series qualifier.

The 19-win Wolverines will face the Medford Mustangs [32-13] in the first round of the Northwest Regional on Thursday at 3 p.m. ADT.

South has won seven straight entering tomorrow’s game.

“I think our pitching gives us a chance,” Wolverines manager Cliff Butcher said. “We rely on pitching and defense. We have a good team. I think we have a very good chance to win a game.”

The offense is led by Alec Valdez, who hit .588 at the state tournament. Other key hitters are Jake Crapps, Sage Dudick and Tommy Koloski.

“We’re patient at the plate,” Butcher said.

They will have to be against a marvelous Medford staff that is anchored by Colton Westfall, who went 6-2 with a 2.20 ERA and struck out 47 batters in 47 innings this year.

The Mustangs sport a sparkling 2.25 team ERA.

Medford beat Northwest Regional host 6-1 in the Oregon state championship game.

“I think they’re comfortable with playoff settings,” Mustangs manager Nate Mayben said. “They understand what your approach needs to be and making sure you’re not too big in the moment or let it overcome yourself. They’ve been in big situations.”

Only the host Eugene Challengers and defending Northwest Regional champion Waipahu of Hawaii are back this year.

To follow the Northwest Regional, use this link: http://www.legion.org/baseball/tournaments/regional 

This story was written by Van Williams, a freelance writer in Anchorage and the ALB Media Director.

Déjà vu: South beats Dimond, this time for Legion A title

Max Costello spun a beauty on the mound and the offense enjoyed a 10-4 advantage in hits Sunday as South beat Dimond 7-1 in the Legion A Tournament championship game at Mulcahy Stadium.

Anthony Maldonado had two hits and two RBIs, Korey Perry tripled and scored, and Costello had a nice day at the plate with two hits, two walks, two runs and an RBI.

Costello also picked up the win as the starting pitcher. He went all seven innings and scattered four hits and three walks. He had just one strikeout, playing to contact and trusting his defense.

If it felt like déjà vu you weren’t alone –South beat Dimond by a six-run margin in the Legion AA state championship game three days ago.

In this game, South seized control early with two runs in the first inning and three more in the second.

Dimond plated its lone run in the third inning after Jake Anderson led off with a walk and later scored on Noah Alexander’s RBI single.

Here are Sunday's other Legion A Tournament scores:

Chugiak 5, Service 5

Eagle River 2, Reds/Royals 1

Fairbanks Wild 3, Fairbanks 49ers 2

This story was written by Van Williams, a freelance writer in Anchorage and the ALB Media Director.

South, Dimond to play in title game of Legion A Tournament

Legion A Tournament

Final Pool Play Standings

Group A

1. Dimond 3-0

2. Service 2-1

3. Eagle River 1-2

4. Fairbanks 11 0-4

Group B

1. South 3-0

2. Chugiak 2-1

3. Reds/Royals 1-2

4. Fairbanks 30 0-4

Sunday's Schedule

AT BARTLETT HIGH SCHOOL

11 AM Fourth-place game Fairbanks 11 vs. Fairbanks 30

2 PM Third-place game Eagle River vs. Reds/Royals

AT MULCAHY STADIUM

11 AM Second-place game Chugiak vs. Service

2 PM Championship game Dimond vs. South

South wins State Tournament title game, bound for Oregon

Jake Crapps and Nick Jensen combined on a four-hit shutout Thursday as South Post 4 blanked Dimond Post 21 by a 6-0 score in the championship game of the Alaska Legion State Baseball Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium.

Crapps started and pitched seven innings before Jensen closed it out with two innings of one-hit relief, giving South its third state title in school history. The other two came in 2007 and 2009.

Crapps and Jensen also made history by helping to produce the first shutout in the state title game since 1982.

Pitching may have been a two-headed monster, but the South lineup had multiple tentacles. Six of nine batters banged out hits, five different players scored and four knocked in runs.

Alec Valdez and Jensen each had two hits and two stolen bases. Nick Lopetrone had two RBIs and Spencer Floyd scored two runs.

Valdez was named tournament MVP after hitting .588 for the week and Jensen was named the top pitcher.

Don’t forget, the Wolverines were the eighth seed and needed to win the final game of the regular season just to qualify for the state tournament. Then they had to knock off the No. 1 seed in the first round.

Now they’ve won seven straight to stay hot at the right time.

South [19-12] will represent Alaska at the Northwest Regional next week in Eugene, Oregon. The team did well against Lower 48 talent at the BP Invitational, beating Colchester of Vermont and playing to a tie with Columbia Post 19 of Tennessee.

The Wolverines started strong in Thursday’s state championship game right off the bat, taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. After that Crapps and Dimond starter Grant Remmer exchanged goose eggs on the scoreboard to keep it 1-0 after five innings.

Then in the sixth, South took advantage of some walks to clog the base paths and plate three runs to make it 4-0. Jordan Clevenger relieved Remmer and held South in check until the ninth inning.

Dimond’s Mahlon Cleveland had two of his team’s four hits.

It was South’s third win over Dimond on the season, including a 14-1 victory in a semifinal game two days ago.

Dimond’s season isn’t over. The Lynx [21-12] qualified for the NWCART Championships next week at Mulcahy Stadium. This is also a regional tournament that includes teams from Oregon, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana plus three Alaska teams [Fairbanks Post 30 and Juneau Post 25].

The NWCART is held in Alaska every seven years.

This story was written by Van Williams, a freelance writer in Anchorage and the ALB Media Director.

Fairbanks Post 30 Wild claim Horizon Lines Invitational

Tyler Christmann was the man Wednesday for his Alaska Legion baseball team.

The two-way wonder pitched seven strong innings and drove in three runs with the bat to lead the Fairbanks Post 30 Wild to an 11-4 victory over the Fairbanks Post 11 49ers in the championship game of the inaugural Horizon Lines Invitational.

Christmann scattered seven hits and five walks while striking out six and leading the Wild to their biggest win under manager Tyler Hollister. 

Benjamin Hall also had a big day at the plate, going 3-for-4 with three RBIs and three runs.

Michael Fitzpatrick stole four bases and scored twice, and Terrell Ford pitched the final two innings of shutout relief for the Wild.

With the win, the Fairbanks Wild qualified for the NWCART Championships, a regional tournament held this year at Mulcahy Stadium featuring teams from Oregon, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana plus three Alaska teams – two from the state tournament and the winner of the Horizon Lines Invitational. The NWCART runs Aug. 8-12.

This is a Fairbanks team that was created this year when Alaska Legion expanded to 16 teams.

Hollister’s crew finished 9-9 in the regular season and then went 4-0 in the Horizon Lines Invitational, which was created by the Alliance this year so the eight teams that didn’t qualify for the state tournament would still have something to play for. The team is 17-10 overall.

This year’s champion got a bonus with the NWCART being held in Alaska. It won’t be here for another seven years.

Down 4-1 heading in the bottom of the fifth inning, the Wild scored twice and then added four in the sixth, three in the seventh and another run in the eighth.

The Fairbanks 49ers had three players with two hits [Casey Lewandowski, Jacob Kriebel, Derrick Overby]. Overby doubled twice and drove in one of the runs.

This story was written by Van Williams, a freelance writer in Anchorage and the ALB Media Director.

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