Wasilla suffers first loss, still advances to NWCART final

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Aug 12, 2019

Everyone is entitled to an off day. The great thing about baseball is tomorrow always provides a second chance and no doubt the Wasilla Post 35 Road Warriors are itching to get back on the field after losing their first game at the Northwest Class A Regional Tournament.

 

Layton (UT) beat Wasilla 14-3 in five innings to hand the Alaska state runner-up its first loss in four days of the double-elimination tournament in Cody, Wyoming. Burley (ID) beat Cheyenne (WY) 4-3 in the other game, leaving three teams alive for the championship.

 

On Tuesday, Burley and Layton will play at 10 a.m. ADT, with the winner immediately afterwards facing Wasilla in the NWCART final at approximately 1 p.m. ADT.

 

Wasilla (32-9) is looking to give Alaska its first regional champion in American Legion Baseball. Alaska has been sending teams to the NWCART since 2000.

 

Layton starter Caleb Brown pitched all five innings, throwing 97 pitches and allowing three hits. He struck out seven and walked six.

 

The seventh inning was a microcosm of his day – three strikeouts, two walks.

 

Layton (18-11) jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the top of the first inning and make the game an uphill battle for Wasilla from the very start.

 

The Road Warriors got one back in the bottom half after Kyle Graham’s RBI single scored Jacob Gilbert, who was hit by a pitch and went to second base after Clayton Boyett was hit by a pitch. Brown got out of the jam with a double play.

 

Wasilla got back another run in the second inning after drawing four walks in five at-bats. Waylon Payne, Max Wanser and Taylon Ottinger each drew traditional walks, but Gilbert’s RBI walk came on an 11-pitch battle with Brown.

 

Wasilla’s sloppy defense fueled Layton’s large lead as the team’s fifth error of the game pushed the lead to 10-2 in the third inning.

 

Balau Buckmaster drove in Wasilla’s final run in the bottom half of the frame.

 

The Utah team outhit Wasilla 11-3, with Gilbert, Graham and Clancey O’Donnell delivering base hits for the Road Warriors.

 

O’Donnell continued to tear the cover off the ball, going 1-for-3 to raise his tournament-leading batting average to .692 on 9-for-13 hitting.

 

Graham leads the tournament with 12 RBIs.

 

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