State Tournament Day 4: Juneau 6, Wasilla 0
Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 29, 2019
Game 13 Juneau 6, Wasilla 0
Gabe Storie pitched a 5-hit shutout and joined Donavin McCurley, Christian Ludeman, Brock McCormick and Riley Griffin with RBIs as No. 2 Juneau handed No. 1 Wasilla its first tournament loss.
Storie moved the ball around the zone and prevented the Road Warriors from squaring up many pitches. He allowed five hits and two walks but was never really under pressure.
The right-hander struck out three batters and his infield turned a pair of quality double plays behind him. He also caught a baserunner stealing after calmly stepping off the rubber and throwing to second base. All poise, no panic.
That calm, cool and collected demeanor is typical with this veteran-laden Juneau team brimming with experience, depth and confidence. Many players are holdovers from the last two state title teams in 2018 and 2017.
The Midnight Suns push opponents mentally, looking to catch them off guard and squash their initiative by taking extra bases when the defense is caught napping. It happened a few times against Wasilla.
Juneau (26-5) jumped out to a 2-0 in the top of the first inning, cashing in on Christian Ludeman’s beautiful bunt that scored McCurley from third base and McCormick’s bases-loaded RBI walk that scored Kasey Watts.
From there, the Midnight Suns sealed the deal with pitching and defense. They turned a 1-6-3 double play in the fourth inning and a 4-6-3 twin killing in the sixth inning.
Juneau pushed its lead to 3-0 in the fifth inning. With runners at first and third, McCormick stole second base and when the ball scooted away from the infielder covering the bag, that slight mistake gave Bobby Cox his break to book it home.
In the sixth inning, Juneau’s Luis Mojica singled, stole second base and scored on Storie’s RBI single to make it 4-0. Storie later scored to make it 5-0. Riley Griffin’s RBI double completed the scoring in the seventh inning.
Wasilla's Jacob Gilbert went 2-for-3 and other base hits came from Kyle Graham, Waylon Payne and Taylon Ottinger.
Relief pitcher Carter Huston came out of the bullpen in the first inning and went the distance, scattering nine hits and two walks over 6.1 innings.
Wasilla (29-7) advanced to Tuesday’s state championship game at 6:15 p.m., and will play the winner of Juneau and South at 3:15 p.m. It all goes down at Mulcahy Stadium.