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Layton (UT) beats Wasilla 6-0 in NWCART title game

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Aug 13, 2019

Layton Post 87 right-hander Cam Day racked up 15 strikeouts and pitched a 1-hit masterpiece in a 6-0 win in the tournament championship game in Cody, Wyoming. This was the first time an Alaska team ha…

Alaska will have to wait another year for one of its team to win the Northwest Class A Regional Tournament.

 

Utah’s Cameron Day made sure of that.

 

The Layton Post 87 right-hander racked up 15 strikeouts and pitched a 1-hit masterpiece in a 6-0 win over Wasilla Post 35 in the tournament championship game in Cody, Wyoming.

 

This was the first time an Alaska team had reached the NWCART title game.

 

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Layton (21-11) won three elimination games in two days, beating Burley (ID) 3-2 earlier in the day and sweeping Wasilla after winning today and 14-3 last night.

 

There’s no shame in a second-place showing for Wasilla, which earned the best-ever NWCART finish for an Alaska team. South Post 4 finished third in 2013.

 

Wasilla (32-10) put together one of the greatest seasons in Alaska Legion Baseball history as the Road Warriors became the first team to win three games at a regional tournament and reach a regional championship game.

 

A tip of the cap to manager Ken Ottinger and his staff and players.  

 

Utah made the title game tough for Wasilla with Day on the mound. The 6-foot-2 all-state pitcher retired nine of the first 10 batters, had a hiccup in the fourth inning and then sat down the final 11 batters in order.

 

Wasilla’s Clayton Boyett had his team’s lone base hit in that fourth inning when Jacob Gilbert was also hit by a pitch. The Road Warriors had two baserunners reach with no outs, but Day danced out of trouble with a fielder’s choice and back-to-back strikeouts.

 

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Day carried that momentum through the end of the game with three consecutive 1-2-3 innings. He threw a total of 100 pitches.

 

Wasilla pitched Kyle Graham one inning and Austin Robertson six innings. Only four of the runs they surrendered were earned as the defense made four errors behind them. But errors didn’t cost the Road Warriors.

 

Utah showed out in the title game, hitting two runs and getting a 1-hit pitching gem. Layton won its final five tournament games and came into the title game riding a ton of momentum after winning earlier in the day.

 

Wasilla played brilliantly all week, mixing pinpoint pitching from Boyett and Gilbert with an outstanding offense that featured home runs from Clancey O’Donnell, Graham and Balau Buckmaster and Graham’s 12 RBIs.

 

In 2020, the NWCART will be held at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage.

 

The NWCART was last held in Alaska in 2014 when Juneau Post 25 finished fourth.

 

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Wasilla suffers first loss, still advances to NWCART final

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

Layton (UT) hands Wasilla its first loss in the double-elimination tournament, leaving three teams alive for the NWCART championship on Tuesday's final day of games.

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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Wasilla is first Alaska team to reach NWCART final

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Aug 11, 2019

At 3-0, the Road Warriors are the lone undefeated team in the double-elimination tournament and earned an automatic berth to Tuesday’s final – the first Alaska Legion team to reach the NWCART title ga…

Slugger Kyle Graham hit a grand slam and pitcher Jacob Gilbert went the distance as Wasilla Post 35 beat Burley (ID) 9-6 on Day 3 to guarantee a spot in the championship game of the Northwest Class A Regional Tournament in Cody, Wyoming.

 

At 3-0, the Road Warriors are the lone undefeated team in the double-elimination tournament and earned an automatic berth to Tuesday’s final – the first Alaska Legion team to reach the NWCART title game since we started sending teams in 2000.

 

Wasilla (32-8) will also play Monday against one-loss Layton (UT) at 5 p.m. ADT. Only four teams remain alive for the title hunt.  

 

Graham went 2-for-4 with a double, home run and six RBIs. The center fielder actually drove in his team’s first six runs of the game with a two-run double in the first inning and a grand slam in the second inning.

 

Graham is batting 6-for-10 on the weekend and owns a tournament cycle with two singles, a double, two triples and a homer. He leads all players with 11 RBIs.

 

Nobody in the tournament is hotter than Clancey O’Donnell. The Wasilla first baseman went 2-for-3 in this game to make him 8-for-10 at the NWCART.

 

O’Donnell has also drawn a walk to give him an .818 on-base percentage. That’s tough to do on a video game, yet this dude is doing it in real life.

 

That early offense was music to the ears of Gilbert, who found his rhythm on the mound to pitch a complete. He scattered eight hits and two walks mixed with seven strikeouts. Two of the runs he surrendered were unearned.

 

Gilbert was his usually steady self in the batter’s box as he went 2-for-3 with three runs, a walk and RBI. He is batting 6-for-11 in the tournament with a pair of RBIs and six runs.

 

Wasilla’s Clayton Boyett – the pitching hero in each of the first two teams – went 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs. He smacked a two-run double in the fifth inning to push his team’s lead to 9-4.

 

Burley fell to 37-7 on the season and 2-1 in the NWCART and will face Cheyenne (WY) in an elimination game before the Wasilla/Layton game.

 

Alaska and Wyoming are the only two states in NWCART history never to have had a tournament champion. Washington owns the most NWCART titles with 11, followed by Oregon (8), Montana (5), Idaho (3) and Utah (1). Alberta (CAN) plays in the same region as Montana and three Canadian teams have won the NWCART.

 

Alaska teams are now 8-18 at this tournament since 2013. That’s twice the number of wins Alaska teams posted at the tournament between 2000 and 2012.

 

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Wasilla beats Wyoming 6-2 to stay perfect at NWCART

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Aug 10, 2019

Clayton Boyett pitched a complete-game, 11-strikeout gem and Balau Buckmaster crushed a three-run homer as the Post 35 Road Warriors improved to 2-0 at the Northwest Class A Regional Tournament in Cod…

One day after shutting the door, Clayton Boyett unlocked an awesome opportunity for Wasilla Post 35 as the remarkable right-hander pitched a complete-game, 11-strikeout gem to lead the Road Warriors to a 6-2 win over Cheyenne (WY).

 

Balau Buckmaster crushed a three-run homer and Clancey O’Donnell stayed hot as Wasilla improved to 2-0 at the Northwest Class A Regional Tournament in Cody, Wyoming.

 

Wasilla (31-8) is the first Alaska team to win two postseason games since South went 2-2 at the 2013 NWCART.

 

Wasilla will play Cody (WY) or Burley (ID) at 5 p.m. ADT in a game between the final two unbeatens.

 

Boyett was the bomb, striking out the side in the seventh inning to cap a 105-pitch complete game. In 14.2 innings over the state tournament and regional tournament, Boyett has a 0.00 ERA with two wins, a save and 17 strikeouts.

 

He got the final two outs in a 13-12 win over North Coos (OR) on Day 1.

 

This time, Boyett started what he finished.

 

He ended the fifth inning with a strikeout looking. He needed just five pitches to get out of the sixth inning, thanks to a double play. And then he went good morning, good afternoon and good night in the seventh inning.

 

Wasilla grabbed a 1-0 lead in the second inning on Waylon Payne’s RBI single.

 

In the third inning, the Road Warriors exploded for five runs after Taylon Ottinger, Jacob Gilbert and Boyett set the table and O'Donnell and Buckmaster cleared it. O’Donnell hit a two-run single and Buckmaster clubbed a three-run dinger.

 

Cheyenne scored two unearned runs in the fourth inning to make it 6-2.

 

O’Donnell is batting 6-for-7 in the tournament and shares the team lead in RBIs (5) with Kyle Graham.

 

Buckmaster started a 6-4-3 double play to end the sixth inning. Buckmaster has scored four runs in the tournament, which is tied with Jacob Gilbert for the team lead.

 

Alaska teams improved to 7-18 at the NWCART since 2013.

Wasilla holds off North Coos (OR) 13-12 at NWCART

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Aug 9, 2019

The Post 35 Road Warriors (30-8) earned Alaska’s first win at the NWCART since 2016 and advanced to Saturday’s winner’s bracket at 2 p.m. ADT.

Wasilla Post 35 broke out the sticks with four extra-base hits and closer Clayton Boyett shut the door in a nail-biting seventh inning as the Road Warriors held off North Coos (OR) 13-12 at the Northwest Region A Tournament in Cody, Wyoming.

 

Clancey O’Donnell went 4-for-4 with a home run and Kyle Graham was 3-for-3 with two triples as the two sluggers combined for eight RBIs to highlight the team’s 14-hit attack. Jacob Gilbert finished 2-for-5 with a double, three runs and stolen base.

 

Wasilla earned Alaska’s first win at the NWCART since 2016 when Service beat Grantsville (UT) 11-10 in 11 innings.

 

Alaska teams are 6-18 at the NWCART since 2013.

 

Wasilla (30-8) advanced to Saturday’s winner’s bracket at 2 p.m. ADT and will play Cheyenne (WY), a 3-1 winner over Layton (UT).

 

Boyett ended the game after he struck out a North Coos batter with a runner in scoring position in the top of the seventh inning.

 

He came into the game with one out and Wasilla clinging to a 13-11 lead. He struck out the first batter he faced before back-to-back errors scored a run and extended the North Coos rally. But Boyett eventually sealed the deal with his second strikeout to earn the save.

 

Wasilla rallied from deficits of 3-0, 4-3 and 9-8 to pick up its first postseason victory in many years.

 

Graham and O’Donnell bat Nos. 4-5 in the lineup and routinely delivered big hits. Graham’s two-run triple and O’Donnell’s RBI single erased a 3-0 deficit in the first inning. Graham’s three-run triple made it 7-4 and O’Donnell’s RBI single made it 8-4 in the fourth inning.

 

O'Donnell’s solo home run to center field gave Wasilla an 11-9 lead. Max Wanser had a two-run single to make it 13-9, which proved to be big after North Coos scored three times in the seventh inning to nearly come back.

 

Wasilla used four pitchers with Austin Robertson throwing the first 2.2 innings, followed by Carter Hudson (2.0), Balau Buckmaster (1.2) and Boyett.

 

North Coos is the Oregon Legion A state champion.

Juneau eliminated from Regional after 9-8 loss to Casper

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Aug 8, 2019

The Wyoming state champs scored six runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to win the loser’s-bracket game and avoid elimination in the Northwest Regional Tournament in Lewiston, Idaho.

Just when it looked as if the Juneau Post 25 Midnight Suns would be victorious at the Northwest Regional Tournament for a second straight year, the rug was pulled out from underneath them.

 

Despite holding a five-run cushion going into the bottom of the seventh inning, the lead did not hold as Casper (WY) scored six times and walk off with a 9-8 win in the loser’s bracket to avoid elimination in Lewiston, Idaho.

 

Casper – a team that was no-hit yesterday – used three doubles, four walks and a hit batsman to tie the game before winning it after a wild pitch allowed the go-ahead run to score from third base. The Oilers (45-17) are playing at the Northwest Regional for the first time in 23 years.

 

Juneau (29-7) was eliminated from the tournament and fell to 1-6 in regional play over the last three years. This defeat had to sting the most, in large part because the Midnight Suns did so many things right in building an 8-3 lead.

 

They collected 13 hits with Christian Ludeman and Kasey Watts each going 3-for-4. Watts added three RBIs and scored two runs, and Ludeman scored twice and drove in a run.

 

Gabe Storie was 2-for-3 with a run. Oliver Mendoza was 2-for-4. Brock McCormick was 1-for-4 with two RBIs. Bobby Cox was 1-for-3 with two runs and an RBI. Chase Foster added an RBI.

 

Juneau took a 6-3 lead in the third and added single runs in the fourth and seventh innings to push the advantage to 8-3. All the while starting pitcher Donavin McCurley was cruising on the mound, leaving after 5.2 innings, with the lead.

 

He racked up several consecutive scoreless frames after a tough first inning when he gave up three runs on a bases-clearing double by Corbin Kirk. Those three runs pushed Kirk’s RBI total to 90 this year. Ninety! This guy is hitting .475 with 13 home runs, 25 doubles and nine triples.

 

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound slugger is a beast in the box, yet McCurley got him to fly out to left field in the third inning and ground out to first base in the fifth inning.

 

This was the second time McCurley has thrown a gem at the Northwest Regional. In 2017, he threw a 9-inning complete game in 89 pitches in a 3-1 loss to eventual regional champion Lewiston (ID).

 

In Juneau’s six losses over the last three years at the Northwest Regional, four games were close and two defeats were on walk-offs. That might not seem like much, but Alaska teams were outscored 258-63 at the regional from 2008 to 2016.

 

Juneau no doubt helped Alaska close the competitive gap in our region, but we are reminded of the work still ahead. Next season will be here before you know it.

Medford (OR) 1-hits Juneau, wins NW Region opener 4-0

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Aug 7, 2019

Juneau dropped a 4-0 decision to the Medford (OR) Mustangs on Day 1 of the Northwest Regional Tournament in Lewiston, Idaho.

Medford (OR) Mustangs pitchers Bennett Thompson and Skyler Gaudern combined for a 1-hitter and faced the minimum 21 batters in a 4-0 win over Juneau Post 25 on the first day of the Legion Northwest Regional Tournament in Lewiston, Idaho.

 

Juneau starter Gabe Storie kept the Alaska state champs in the game as the score stood at 1-0 through the first five innings. He routinely escaped trouble and saw eight baserunners stranded, including the bases loaded in the third inning.

 

Even though the score was only 1-0 it felt much worse because of the stranglehold Thompson had on Juneau hitters. The right-hander relentlessly pounded the strike zone and carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning.

 

Brock McCormick singled and Donavin McCurley walked to produce Juneau’s only two baserunners, but both were erased after McCormick was caught stealing in the sixth inning and McCurley was picked off in the first inning.

 

Juneau (29-6) dropped into the loser’s bracket and tomorrow will play the Casper (WY)/Idaho Falls (ID) loser at 8:30am ADT. Medford – a 5-time Northwest Regional champion and 2-time Legion World Series finalist – improved to 33-23.

 

Medford took a 1-0 lead in the third inning after No. 9 hitter Chase Costanti doubled, went to third on Darin Marsh’s bunt single and scored on Storie’s error trying to throw out Marsh at first base. Medford threatened to put up a crooked number before Storie shut the door with a strikeout and pop up to end the frame.

 

Storie earned his sixth and final strikeout in the fifth inning, Meanwhile, the offense couldn’t buy a hit against Thompson, who retired 13 straight batters at one point. He was pulled after 5.2 innings and 60 pitches.

 

Medford scored two runs in the sixth inning on a bunt single RBI and sacrifice fly. The Mustangs added another run in the seventh inning on Dylan Marsh’s solo home run, his eighth bomb of the summer.

 

Juneau, the 3-time reigning Alaska state champs, fell to 1-5 in its last six games at the Northwest Regional. Most of the games, however, have been close.

 

In 2018, the Midnight Suns lost 8-7 to Meridian (ID) and won 13-9 over Missoula (MT). In 2017, they lost 3-1 to eventual regional champ Lewiston (ID).

 

Juneau looks to continue historic run at NW Regional

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Aug 5, 2019

State champion Juneau has an 85-14 record the last three years going into this year's Legion World Series qualifier in Lewiston, Idaho.

There is no chill in the Juneau Post 25 Midnight Suns.

 

They don’t let up; they don’t give up. They get up for all opponents and usually put them down.

 

Juneau has emerged as the state’s premier Legion Baseball program over the last three seasons, carving up the competition to the tune of an 85-14 record, including a staggering 83-9 mark against Alaska teams.

 

The Midnight Suns last week won their third straight state championship to become just the third program to three-peat in the 67-year history of the state tournament, joining Anchorage dynasties East (2003-2006) and West (1964-1968).

 

The state championship clinched Juneau’s third consecutive trip to the Northwest Regional Tournament, a Legion World Series qualifier that begins Wednesday morning in Lewiston, Idaho.

 

Juneau (29-5) will face Oregon’s Medford Mustangs (33-23) in the first round.

 

Last year the Midnight Suns finished 1-2 at the Northwest Regional, with their 13-9 victory over the Missoula (MT) Mavs serving as the first for the state of Alaska since 2009, ending a long and painful 19-game losing streak.

 

Alaska has never won a Northwest Regional title and remains one of only four states nationwide (New Mexico, Vermont, Wyoming) to have never sent a team to the Legion World Series.

 

FIVE-TOOL PROGRAM

If there was an Alaska team capable of shattering the glass ceiling at the Northwest Regional, it’s the Midnight Suns.

 

They are the most complete team in the state, checking all the boxes for hitting, pitching, fielding, baserunning and coaching.

 

Juneau is a five-tool program.

 

The team has averaged 8.8 runs per game, thanks to a .317 team batting average and .443 team on-base percentage. The team ERA is 3.01 and the team fielding percentage is .938. The team has 91 stolen bases on 106 attempts for an 86% success rate.

 

Coach Joe Tompkins is a three-time Alaska Legion Coach of the Year and manager Jeremy Ludeman shared the top coaching honors with Tompkins in 2018.

 

Individually, Juneau is loaded with talent, depth and experience. But big Bobby Cox is the engine that powers the offensive.

 

The 6-foot-1, 240-pounder wears the triple crown with a .459 batting average, two home runs and 37 RBIs. He also leads the team with 14 doubles, four triples and 38 runs.

 

Cox won the Big Stick Award at last week’s state tournament.

 

Other hitting leaders are Christian Ludeman (.402), Brock McCormick (.357), Gabe Storie (.344) and Kona Ogoy (.333).

 

Storie hit .350 with three RBIs and eight runs at the state in addition to throwing a 5-hit shutout against No. 1 Wasilla en route to being named Most Valuable Player at the state tournament – the same honor his brother Zeb won in 2017.

 

The Juneau pitching earned-run leaders are Storie (1.29), McCormick (1.69) and Donavin McCurley (1.96), who have combined to win 14 of 15 decisions. Cox, Ludeman and Olin Rawson have also pitched well and provide extra arms during a five-day tournament.

 

MORE ABOUT MEDFORD

The Medford Mustangs extended their record of consecutive Oregon Legion state championships to six with a 5-4 victory over the Eugene Challengers in the championship game in Klamath Falls, Oregon.

 

The Mustangs, who were six games below .500 on June 29 with a 9-15 record, caught fire in the month of July with 24 wins in 31 games.

 

Medford has captured 14 of the past 29 Oregon state titles and 17 in all.

 

The Mustangs return to the Northwest Regional for the sixth straight year.

Eagle River completes Legion A tournament triple crown

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Aug 4, 2019

Luke Barch pitched a complete game and Joshua Thompson had four RBIs as the Wolves beat Dimond 17-4 in the title game of the Alaska Airlines Jr. Legion State Championships at the Kosinski Fields.

Legion A

Alaska Airlines Jr. Legion State Championships

Title Game Eagle River 17, Dimond 4

Luke Barch pitched a complete game and Joshua Thompson had four RBIs as the Wolves rolled in the title game to capture the Alaska Airlines Jr. Legion State Championships crown at Kosinski Fields.

 

Garrin Henning, Mitchell Legenza, Gavin Henning, Alex Mullen, Barch, Reece Younge and Caleb Roles also batted in runs for the winners.

 

No. 1-seeded Eagle River captured this season’s Legion A triple crown with tournament championships in Fairbanks, Chugiak and Anchorage.

 

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Barch scored two runs, stole a base and pitched all five innings in the title game.

 

Thompson went 3-for-3 with a double, run, walk to highlight the 17-run attack.

 

Gavin Henning hit a double and scored twice, Young scored three times and Legenza scored two runs and stole a base.

 

Dimond's Carl Colavecchio went 1-for-3 with two RBIs and Peyton Montagna doubled and scored a run. Michael Bretke scored a run and was one of five pitchers to see action.

 

This was Dimond's first finals appearance in this season's Legion A trio of tournaments.

 

In the semifinals earlier in the day, No. 3 Dimond posted an 11-9 upset victory over No. 2 Palmer, a two-time tournament series finalist.

 

Dimond's Alex Wright went 3-for-4 with a triple, two runs and three RBIs. Brayden Rundle was 3-for-4 with a run and RBI. Garrett Lick doubled twice and scored three times.

 

Bretke got it done on both ends, batting 2-for-3 with two runs and an RBI, and then closing out game to earn the save. He came in relief of Lynx starter Joseph Moriaty, who picked up the win with six innings of work.

 

The Alaska Airlines Jr. Legion State Championships featured 14 games between Legion A teams from Eagle River, Dimond, Palmer, Fairbanks, South, North Pole, West and Chugiak.

Marion Davis Memorial set for Aug. 17 at Taylar Young

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Aug 4, 2019

Please join us in celebrating Marion's amazing impact for a celebration of life Saturday, Aug. 17 at 2 p.m. at the Taylar Young Memorial Ballpark at South Anchorage High School.

Friends and family, we have been heartened with the outpouring of love and support you have all shown us these past two weeks. We held a quiet family graveside service last Saturday and laid Marion on the other side of Taylar next to his Apple tree, at which time an Apple fell serendipity next to Marion during the service.

 

Please join us in celebrating Marion's amazing impact on all of us Saturday, Aug. 17 at 2 p.m. at the Taylar Young Memorial Ballpark at South Anchorage High School. 

 

Matson Lines and Firetap are helping our family with hosting the services for which we are forever grateful. After the services we encourage anyone interested to stop by Firetap for one final “TOAST” in Marion's honor.

 

Please feel free to pass along the flyer to anyone that may be interested in attending.

 

Marion Gibson Davis

 

Our beloved husband, father and grandfather passed away at St. Vincent Providence Hospital in Portland on July 18, 2019.  Marion was Born September 18, 1948, in Greenville, Mississippi to Emett George Davis and Royce Christine Davis, the 4th of four siblings. His father was a carpenter and Marion often followed him around when he was a young boy, watching and learning.  He was able to do almost anything with his hands and did beautiful tile work and carpentry as well as fixing plumbing and electrical issues.  Marion's father died when he was young and it was then that he began making trips to Anchorage to stay with his sister during the summers, Christine Moesch.

 

After graduating from Delta State College, Marion moved to Anchorage for good and began working in the shipping industry.  During this, time he met Charlotte Young and they were married in December, 1972.

 

As vice president and general manager of Horizon Lines of Alaska, Marion had led what is now Matson’s Alaska operations from 2008 through the acquisition in 2015.

 

Over his 30-year career, having joined Sea-Land in 1985 as Anchorage Port Director in 1985, Marion became known among customers and employees as a straight-talking, results oriented, humble individual with deep convictions and integrity.  Among his many accomplishments with Horizon, a major part of Marion’s legacy was his contribution to setting up the Dutch Harbor port location that opened in 1991.  Throughout his career, Marion received many accolades for outstanding performances with Sea=Land, CSX, Horizon Lines, and Matson.

 

Marion was always active in his community and ready to lend a hand wherever needed.  He served on the board of directors of Alaskan’s for litter prevention & Recycling (ALPAR), Special Olympics Alaska, Municipality of Anchorage Parks & Recreation Committee, Angelus Memorial Park, All Alaska Longshore Trust, Alaska Teamsters 959 Pension and Health & Welfare Trusts, and Taylar Young Memorial Foundation.  He was very involved in the construction of Taylar Young Memorial Ballpark at South Anchorage High, which was built in his grandson's (Taylar Young) honor.  He was a strong supporter of youth activities in the Anchorage area.

 

Marion is survived by his wife, Charlotte, son Dennis L. Young, daughter Kristen Davis-Lankford (Alan), grandson Jack Taylar Lankford, grandson Schuyler Young and several nieces and nephews.  Preceded in death by his sisters, Frances Odom, Elaine Davis and Christine Moesh, and his grandson Taylar Young.

 

A Celebration of Life will be held at South High School on August 17th at 2pm. In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to Taylar Young Memorial Foundation, 1907 Post Rd. Anchorage, AK 99501.

 

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State Tournament Title Game: Juneau 13, Wasilla 8

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 30, 2019

The championship game featured four lead changes and a late-game tie that forced extra innings. The 21 combined runs made this the highest scoring state final since 2000 and just the fifth-ever state …

State Tournament

Title Game Juneau 13, Wasilla 8

History was made as the Midnight Suns became the third Alaska Legion team in 67 years to win three straight state championships after scoring five runs in the eighth inning to the beat the No. 1 Road Warriors.

 

Bobby Cox finished 2-for-5 with four RBIs, including a three-run triple in extra innings to power No. 2 Juneau's 11-hit attack. Gabe Storie was 3-for-4 with three runs and two RBIs, and Christian Ludeman scored two runs, drove in two runs and pitched the final 5.2 innings to earn the winning decision.

 

Juneau joined East (2003-2006) and West (1964-1968) as the only teams to three-peat. This will also be the third straight year Juneau will represent Alaska at the Northwest Regional. Last year, the Midnight Suns became the first team from the 907 to win a regional game since 2009. This year’s Northwest Regional will be held next week in Lewiston, Idaho.

 

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The championship game featured four lead changes and a late-game tie that forced extra innings. The 21 combined runs made this the highest scoring state final since 2000 and just the fifth-ever state title game to go into extras.

 

How’d we get there? This game’s storyline had more twists and turns than a made-for-TV movie, with both sides delivering outstanding performances in a game that could have gone either way. It’s fitting these teams split their 4-game season series.

 

Wasilla (29-8) built a 5-1 lead in the third inning after Waylon Payne scorched a two-run double that scored Kyle Graham and Clancey O'Donnell.

 

Juneau  (28-5) pulled within 5-3 in the top of the fourth inning on a Cox RBI double and Brock McCormick RBI single, but Wasilla responded in the bottom half on Clayton Boyett's RBI single to make it 6-3.

 

In the fifth inning, Juneau kept the pressure by plating two more runs after Storie singled and later scored on a wild pitch and Donavin McCurley doubled and scored on a Ludeman's groundout to get within 6-5. And just like the previous inning, Wasilla responded with a run after Kyle Graham scored on a fielder's choice.

 

With runners at second and third, Byson Malave chopped a grounder deep in the hole at shortstop, but rather than throw to first base, Storie made the easier play at third base. The tag was made for the third out, however, it wasn’t before Graham touched home plate. So, the run counted to give Wasilla a 7-5 cushion.

 

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Juneau answered back again in the sixth inning with a third consecutive crooked number, this time a three spot. Storie’s sac fly tied the game at 7-7 and McCormick scored on an error to give the Midnight Suns their first lead since the first inning at 8-7.

 

Still, you just knew Wasilla had one more rally, and the Road Warriors didn’t disappoint.

 

Graham, who had a big game with two hits, three runs and an RBI, led off with a double to get the party started. O'Donnell was hit by a pitch and Payne reached on a bunt to load the bases. That's when Juneau coach Joe Tompkins called his team together for a visit on the mound. Wasilla's Balau Buckmaster hit a sac fly to tie the game at 8-8 for the first out.

 

But that was all Ludeman surrendered and the game went into extra innings.

 

In their next at-bats, the Midnight Suns do what they do best: win. Storie’s RBI double and Cox’s three-run triple put Juneau over the top and secured the team’s third straight state title and state-best 25th postseason win since coming back to Legion in 2013. Cox was named the tournament's Big Stick Award winner and Storie earned state tournament MVP honors - the same award his big bro won in 2016.

 

Wasilla’s second-place showing punched the team’s ticket to the Northwest Class A Regional Tournament (NWCART), which will be held next week in Cody, Wyoming. This was Wasilla’s first appearance in the Legion title game since 2010.

 

IMG_6919.JPG

 

State Tournament Awards

Top Pitcher - Clayton Boyett, Wasilla

Gold Glove - Oliver Mendoza, Juneau

Big Stick - Bobby Cox, Juneau

MVP - Gabe Storie, Juneau

State Tournament Day 5: Juneau 5, South 4

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 30, 2019

No. 2 Juneau rallied from deficits of 2-0, 3-2 and 4-3 before ending the game in extra innings against a No. 5 South squad to advance to the state championship game for the third straight season.

State Tournament

Game 14 Juneau 5, South 4

Donavin McCurley and Bobby Cox delivered RBI singles in the bottom of the eighth inning to help the Midnight Suns walkoff on South and advance to the state championship game for the third straight season.

 

No. 2 Juneau rallied from deficits of 2-0, 3-2 and 4-3 before ending the game in extra innings against a No. 5 South squad that was involved with three walkoffs in five tournament games, taking one and dropping two.

 

Juneau’s Luis Mojica started the winning rally with a bunt single. He stole second base and with one out scored on McCurley’s sharp base hit. Christian Ludeman then singled to move McCurley into scoring position. Cox singled on an 0-2 pitch to score McCurley with the winning run.

 

Juneau (27-5) advanced tonight’s 6:15 title game against No. 1 Wasilla.

 

Many times, it didn’t look like the two-time defending state champions from the capital city would make it back to the finals.

 

South (20-12) took a 3-2 in the fifth inning after Gunnar Nix walked, stole second base and advanced to third base on Ryan Bailey’s sac bunt. Juneau starter Brock McCormick then won a 10-pitch battle with Ricky Gatter after Gatter had fouled away four straight balls to stay alive and push the count.

 

The next batter, Brock Reid, then hit a routine grounder to the shortstop, who didn’t field cleanly the ball, which allowed Reid to reach and Nix to score. South maintained that momentum in the bottom half as the Wolverines defense recorded a caught stealing and turned a double play.

 

In the sixth inning, however, Juneau tied the game at 3-3 on the weirdest of plays. As usual, McCurley was right in the middle of the action. He led off with walk and went to second base after Ludeman was hit by a pitch. Exit South starter Josh McGovern. Enter South reliever Gage Webster.

 

Webster got the first out on a pop up and then appeared to have escaped the two-on jam when Kasey Watts hit a tailor-made double play ball, but the first baseman couldn’t handle the low throw. That error extended the play – literally – as Watts never really stopped running and created a rundown.

 

The decision to keep running was so brazen, so unexpected, it worked. The South defense initially focused on Watts, just for a second, and the speedy McCurley capitalized on that momentary lapse of concentration and raced home from third base to tie the game without a throw.

 

In the eighth inning, South took a 4-3 lead after Brock singled and eventually scored after back-to-back bunts. Twice, Juneau tried to get the lead runner and failed. With the bases loaded and no outs, Josh Costello’s swinging bunt scored Reid from third base. Costello wasn’t bunting, but topped the ball so well it rolled 25 feet from the plate and died in the FieldTurf.

 

Juneau reliever Olin Rawson got out of the jam with a strikeout to end the inning. He wound up getting the winning decision in relief of starter Brock McCormick, who pitched 7.1 innings.

 

Juneau improved to 2-0 against South on the season and 4-1 all-time at the state tournament dating back to 2013.

Matson Invitational Title Game: Ketchikan 6, Eagle River 1

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 30, 2019

Coach John Milner's team outscored opponents 40-9 in the tournament en route to giving the Post 3 Kings their second championship in three years.

Matson Invitational

Title Game Ketchikan 6, Eagle River 1

Wyatt Barajas struck out seven batters in five innings and added an RBI triple to win tournament MVP honors and give the Post 3 Kings their second Matson championship in three years.

 

Ketchikan broke the game open at Mulcahy Stadium with a three-run fourth inning followed by a two-run fifth inning, and Barajas and reliever Liam Kiffer finished it off to cap an 18-14 season and terrific tournament performance.

 

Coach John Milner's team outscored opponents 40-9 in a 4-0 showing.

 

Credit the Kings for twice picking themselves off the ground during the 2019 season – first losing the high school state title game and then missing out on qualifying for the Legion State Tournament by one game.

 

Rather than whine, they won the Matson.

 

Look, nobody wants to be in a consolation tournament; winning a state championship is always the goal. But ending the season with a victory is something only one other Alaska Legion team will experience this season.

 

Barajas was the centerpiece. He was effective on the mound (7IP, 1ER, 10Ks), with the bat (7RBIs) and with the glove (0Es).

 

Bajaras and Kiffer – the Bash Brothers – played a significant role in Ketchikan’s success as the Kings increased their win total in each of the last three seasons and won the Matson title twice. Together, they made up one of the most powerful 1-2 punches in Alaska. They are both headed to Clackamas Community College.

 

Tug Olson is a gem who gets overshadowed, hitting No. 6 in the order. But he had a great tournament, batting 7-for-11 (.636) on the week with four RBIs and five runs. In the final he singled, hit a sac fly and swiped a base.

 

Azariah Schultz and Carstens Jasper also had RBIs in the final and Terik Brown scored twice.

 

For Eagle River, this was the program’s third consecutive appearance in the Matson championship game. The Wolves rank No. 2 in tournament history with 14 all-time victories, trailing only Ketchikan’s 15 wins. North Pole is third with 11.

 

Eagle River’s Noah Lower had a super showing at the plate on a 6-for-12 clip to lead his team with a .500 batting average. He had three doubles and four RBIs and was named the tournament’s Big Stick Award winner.

 

The tournament’s Top Pitcher Award went to Ketchikan’s Hayden McGarrigan, who posted a 0.78 ERA in 9 innings over two appearances.

 

Eagle River’s Sterling Retzlaff was named the Gold Glove Award winner. He played multiple defensive positions all over the diamond and did not make an error on 10 total chances, including a double play.

State Tournament Day 4: Juneau 6, Wasilla 0

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 29, 2019

Pitcher Gabe Storie threw a 5-hit shutout as the No. 2 Midnight Suns handed No. 1 Wasilla its first tournament loss.

State Tournament

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.

State Tournament Day 4: South 2, Chugiak 0

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 29, 2019

South pitchers Austin Delesline and Gage Webster combined on a 2-hitter but worked out of trouble all day as Chugiak stranded 11 runners, including 8 in scoring position.

State Tournament

Game 12 South 2, Chugiak 0

Given a second chance, Post 4 pitchers Austin Delesline and Gage Webster didn’t flinch and delivered a fabulous 2-hit combined shutout as South inched closer to making its first Legion finals appearance since 2014.

 

Delesline danced around danger all day but came away unscathed in 5.2 innings to collect the win for No. 5 South. He only allowed two hits but issued five walks and hit four batters, forcing him to wiggle out of some tough jams.

 

Webster picked up the save after striking out three of the four batters he faced.

 

Together, they were lights out. It was a much different story two days ago when their fingerprints were on a bullpen blowup that led to a South loss. The great thing about baseball, however, is how often the game presents opportunities to atone for past mistakes. There’s always tomorrow.

 

There will be no tomorrow for No. 3 Chugiak, which was eliminated from the state tournament with a 25-7 record. The Post 33 Mustangs had plenty of chances on the base paths, but stranded 11 runners – 8 in scoring position – en route to being shut out for the second straight day.

 

This game didn’t have a lot of scoring, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t action. From the first batter to the final pitch, this game was tight and terrific, with both teams showcasing championship-level pitching and defense.

 

South scored both runs in the first inning after the first five batters reached base: Ricky Gatter reached on the only error of the game; Reid Brock hit an RBI double; Webster singled, Terren Sugita walked and Damian Mohl poked an RBI infield single.

 

After that it was nothing but web gems and goose eggs. No errors, no passed balls, no wild pitches. Clean as they come.

 

Chugiak turned three double plays, with second baseman Micah Cassezza starting two of them. Shortstop Justin Nevells saved a run in the first inning after getting rid of the ball quickly to just beat the runner and third baseman Billy Smith saved a run in the second inning after making a strong across-the-diamond throw from behind third base to end the inning.

 

Chugiak pitchers Sam Hall and Camden Costanios combined on an outstanding outing. Hall gave up seven hits, but only four after the first inning. Costanios worked two scoreless innings with three strikeouts.

 

South will play Tuesday, time and opponent TBD.

 

Juneau and unbeaten Wasilla play tonight at 6:15. If Juneau wins, Juneau will face South on Tuesday at 3:15 p.m. with the winner playing Wasilla for the state title. If Wasilla wins, Wasilla would face South on Tuesday at 3:15 p.m., with an if-necessary game scheduled for 6:15 p.m. South would have to win both games.

 

It all goes down at Mulcahy Stadium.

Matson Invitational Day 4 coverage: Eagle River sweeps

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 29, 2019

Eagle River won both loser-out games on the day, edging Service 4-2 and beating North Pole 11-6, to advance to Tuesday's title game vs. Ketchikan.

Matson Invitational

Game 15 Eagle River 4, Service 2

The battery of pitcher Ryan Gray and catcher Cameron Witte took command of the game as Gray carried a shutout into the seventh inning and Witte drove in a run and threw out two baserunners to send the Wolves back to the championship game.

 

Gray finished with a 2-hitter in 6.2 innings, getting within one strike of a complete game. He left after reaching the 105-pitch limit and issuing a walk to his final batter.

 

In frustration of just missing a postseason shutout, Gray squeezed the brim of his cap and slapped it against his knee. He’s a gamer and you could feel his disappointment, but if anything, he deserved a tip of the cap for a job well done.

 

Gray’s pitching pushed the Wolves into Tuesday morning’s title game against tournament unbeaten Ketchikan. The game begins at 9 a.m. at Mulcahy Stadium, with an if-necessary game scheduled for 11:30 a.m.

 

Witte was a difference maker at the plate and behind the plate. His sacrifice fly in the fourth inning gave Eagle River a 2-0 lead. In addition to throwing out a pair of would-be base stealers, he also made two nice catches on high pop ups up the elevator shaft.

 

Service made things interesting at the end, but for the most part it was all Eagle River (11-22). This win also avenged a 7-3 loss to Service two days ago.

 

In the third inning, Deven Wesolowski stole second base and third base and scored after the throw from the catcher skipped past the third baseman.

 

In the fourth inning, Eagle River plated three runs on Witte’s sac fly, Braden Olmstead’s RBI fielder’s choice and Gray’s RBI groundout. At the time, it seemed like a four-run cushion would be more than enough. But things got closer.

 

In the seventh, Service took advantage of five walks to Nathaniel Cole, Simon Kouloo, Josh Smith, Sean Giffen and Hutton Stiles to crawl within 4-2. The Cougars had the bases loaded and the tying run at second base when the final out was recorded by Wesolowski, who earned the save.

 

Service (11-21) closed the season strong after a 1-17 start and finished third in the Matson Invitational.

 

Game 14 Eagle River 11, North Pole 6

Sterling Retzlaff went 3-for-4 with a triple as the Wolves used a 13-hit attack to remain alive in the tournament and knock out the Wild.

 

Retzlaff added two runs and RBI. Ryan Gray, Noah Lower and Damien Fredrick each had two RBIs.

 

Eagle River (10-22) improved to 3-1 in the tournament and inched closer to making a third straight finals appearance in the Matson Invitational.

 

Stefan Retzlaff and Fredrick combined on a 6-hitter.

 

Eagle River went ahead 5-1 after a four-run second inning. And when North Pole closed within 5-4, the Wolves responded by scoring three in the fourth, one in the fifth and two more in the sixth to break open the game.

 

North Pole's Ethan Wolfe went 2-for-3 with a double, two walks and run.

 

Wyatt Kammer drove in three runs and Alex Garcia doubled, scored twice and drove in one run.

 

North Pole finished the season 11-18.

State Tournament Day 3 coverage: All 3 games

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 28, 2019

Wasilla withstood Chugiak 1-0 in the winner's bracket. In the loser's bracket, Juneau escapes Kenai 4-3 and South walked off on West 6-5.

State Tournament

Game 11 Wasilla 1, Chugiak 0

Clayton Boyett was the bomb, pitching 6.1 shutout innings, and setting up and scoring the only run in the first inning as Wasilla clinched a spot in Tuesday’s title game no matter what happens Monday.

 

No. 1 Wasilla (29-6) is the only unbeaten crew among the four teams still alive in the double-elimination tournament.

 

Boyett led off the game with a single, stole second and scored on Kyle Graham’s sac bunt. The speedster can change the course of a game several ways, whether it be his wheels or his stick. Or his right arm.

 

His pitching took center stage as he scattered five hits and two walks mixed with four strikeouts. He also picked off two base runners and assisted on a play at the plate to deny the tying run from scoring.

 

The defense was contagious as catcher Max Wanser threw out a baserunner in the fourth inning.

 

Chugiak pitcher Ian Frizelle pitched very effectively and needed just 84 pitches in six innings of work. He gave up four hits and two walks. One strikeout is all he had, but all he did was throw strikes (65%).

 

In the fifth inning, Chugiak loaded the bases after Garrett Nevells singled, Sam Hall walked and Camden Costanios reached on an error. But Boyett got out of the jam after fielding a bunt and throwing out the runner at home and then ending the inning on a flyout.

 

In the sixth inning, Wasilla threatened with runners on the corners after a walk, fielder’s choice and Clancey O’Donnell single. Waylon Payne then hit a soft liner to right field, where Chugiak’s Garrett Nevells made a super sliding catch to save a run.

 

In the seventh, Chugiak’s got started with a leadoff single by Trystan Costanios and then a two-strike sac bunt by Garrett Nevells to put a runner in scoring position. Boyett was pulled after reaching the 105-pitch limit.

 

Enter Balau Buckmaster, who ended the game with a strikeout and groundout to collect the save.

 

No. 3 Chugiak (25-6) dropped into the loser’s bracket and will face South in an elimination game at 3:15 p.m. Wasilla will face a one-loss Juneau team at 6:15 p.m. Both games are at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

If it’s a big game in Alaska, it happens at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Game 10 Juneau 4, Kenai 3

At 240 pounds, Bobby Cox isn’t designed for speed. But his baserunning was the difference for the Post 25 Midnight Suns as his stolen base and run in the sixth inning broke a tie and propelled Juneau to victory in the loser-out game.

 

Oliver Mendoza had two RBIs, including the hard-hit single in the hole to score Cox from second base with the winning run.

 

Donavin McCurley pitched a complete game for No. 2 Juneau (25-5), working around a double in the seventh inning. He needed 95 pitches to go the distance, scattering eight hits and five walks while striking out four.

 

This game featured two proud programs that have combined to win four Legion state championships in the last seven years. You just knew this game would come down to the wire.

 

With the game tied at 3-3 in the sixth inning, Christian Ludeman led off with a walk but was erased on Cox’s ground ball fielder’s choice. On the play, Kenai shortstop David Michael showed off remarkable range to get the out at second base.

 

With Cox at first, and his team in need of a spark, he stole his fifth bag of the year. Then Mendoza ripped a single to left field and Cox motored around to score.

 

Kenai pitcher Mose Hayes threw a complete game and deserves credit for closing out the sixth inning with back-to-back strikeouts moments after giving up the lead.

 

Juneau - the two-time defending Legion state champion - scored in each of the third, fourth, fifth and sixth innings.

 

Kenai, meanwhile, struck gold for all three runs in the top of the sixth to erase a 3-0 deficit. Hayes led off with a walk, followed by a Seth Adkins single. After an error allowed Hayes to score, Harrison Metz bunted home Adkins to make it 3-2.

 

Logan Smith and Tanner Ussing singled in the inning that set up a game-tying sac fly by Jacob Boze. His uncle owns the Legion state tournament record with 21 strikeouts in one game (back when game went 9 innings). Clutch must be a family gene.

 

No. 4 Kenai was eliminated and finished the season 21-13.

 

Juneau will play Monday. Opponent and time TBD.

 

Game 9 South 6, West 5

One day after getting his heart ripped out, Terren Sugita pumped life back into the Post 4 Wolverines to keep his team alive in the postseason.

 

Terren Sugita’s two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the seventh inning scored Gage Webster and Damian Mohl as the Post 4 Wolverines walked off West to avoid elimination in the loser-out game at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Last night, Sugita pitched six sensational shutout innings only to see his team lose in extra innings. Rather than sulk, he raked.

 

Sugita scorched a drive to center that was almost caught by a diving Bubba Mendoza, who would have ended the game had he made the catch. Feast or famine type play.

 

The final play symbolized the no-fear mindset from two teams trying to save their Legion season.

 

Gage Webster's RBI double put South up 4-2 in the fifth inning and he kickstarted the game-winning rally with a two-out single to get the party started.

 

Mohl was then hit by a pitch, which brought Sugita to the plate.

 

Josh Costello went 1-for-3 with two RBIs and threw out a base runner at catcher. Webster finished 2-for-4.

 

No. 5 South (19-11) will play Monday. Opponent and time TBD.

 

The Post 1 West Eagles took a 5-4 lead in the sixth inning back-to-back two-out base hits.

 

The rally started after Max Fink and Sam Lebo led off the frame with consecutive walks. The next two batters got out, but the runners advanced.

 

Quinn Bates-Janigo laced a two-run double to tie the game and Leland Wilson slapped a single to left to put West ahead.

 

Fink drove in two runs and made a beautiful diving catch in the fifth inning.

 

No. 7 West finished the season 17-13.

Matson Invitational Day 3 coverage: All 3 games

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 28, 2019

Ketchikan downs Service 7-1 in the winner's bracket. In loser-out games, Eagle River beat Fairbanks 4-1 and North Pole came back to knock off East 5-3.

Matson Invitational

Game 13 Ketchikan 7, Service 1

Hayden McGarrigan pitched a 2-hitter over 6.2 innings to help the Kings clinch a spot in the tournament championship game on Tuesday, earning a day off in the process. Read more at alaskalegion.com

 

McGarrigan walked five and struck out three before coming out after reaching the 105-pitch limit.

 

Ketchikan (17-14) got RBIs from Liam Kiffer, Wyatt Barajas, Tug Olson, Korbin Stack and Carstens Jasper.

 

Terik Brown and Kiffer had two hits. Gabe Bowlen scored twice.

 

Ketchikan is in the Matson title game for the third time since the tournament was created in 2014.

 

Service (11-20) was led by Andrew Jaidinger, who went 2-for-2 with an RBI.

 

Not only did Jaidinger have his team's only hit but he drove in his team's only run. Hutton Stiles scored the one run.

 

Kyle Andrew didn't pitch that poorly. He scattered eight hits and allowed seven runs, but five were unearned.

 

Ketchikan has a potent lineup that can wear down defenses. The Kings crushed three extra-base hits with Bowlen and Olson hitting doubles and Kiffer hitting a triple.

 

Game 12 North Pole 5, East 3

Gavin Fischer, Alexander Kazense, Hunter Merideth and Wyatt Kammer each had base hits in the sixth inning that contributed to a three-run rally that catapulted the Wild to a come-from-behind win in a loser-out game.

 

Merideth and Kammer had RBI singles and Kazense scored on a passed ball as North Pole erased a 3-2 deficit.

 

Alex Garcia pitched 6.1 innings and earned the win, striking out nine batters in the process. Dustin Peterson closed it out for the Wild (11-17).

 

North Pole had six hits in the game, with four coming in the pivotal sixth inning.

 

The Wild will play Monday. Opponent and time TBD.

 

East got a good start from Ian Carle and two RBIs from Patrick Leshan.

 

The Post 34 T-birds led 3-0 through three innings. Carle allowed only one hit but walked four during his four innings of work, during which he didn't allow an earned run.

 

Gavin Oakley went 1-for-3 with a walk and two runs. Chase Solberg also scored a run.

 

East finished the season 7-23.

 

Game 11 Eagle River 4, Fairbanks 1

Braden Olmstead, Orazio Ramos, Stefan Retzlaff and Noah Lower pitched a combined 3-hitter and together tallied six hits, three RBIs and two runs in a loser-out game in the tournament.

 

Lower went 3-for-3 with a double, run and stolen base. He also pitched two scoreless innings with four strikeouts.

 

Olmstead, Ramos and Retzlaff each had RBIs. Ryan Gray had a base hit and scored a run for Eagle River (9-22).

 

The Eagle River pitchers combined for 10 strikeouts.

 

Fairbanks (10-19) was eliminated from the tournament.

 

Andrew Troppmann went 2-for-4 with two stolen bases.

 

Isaac Roehl went 1-for-3 and Shaun Conwell scored his team's lone run in the seventh inning.

Legion Team of Excellence all-state squad announced

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 28, 2019

Coaches from all 16 Alaska Legion AA teams picked the 2019 Team of Excellence.

ALB Team of Excellence

 

First Team

 

STARTING PITCHER

Austin Robertson Wasilla

Donavin McCurley Juneau

Logan Smith Kenai

Leland Wilson West

Hayden McGarrigan Ketchikan

Camden Costanios Chugiak

Sam Hall Chugiak

Mose Hayes Kenai

 

RELIEF PITCHER

Jacob Gilbert Wasilla

Gage Webster South

Noah Lower Eagle River

 

CATCHER

Trystan Costanios Chugiak

Luke Langnes West

Nathan James Kodiak

 

INFIELD

Justin Nevells Chugiak

Liam Kiffer Ketchikan

Ricky Gatter South

Christian Ludeman Juneau

Wyatt Barajas Ketchikan

David Michael Kenai

Clayton Boyett Wasilla

Matt Thompson Dimond

 

OUTFIELD

Jacob Gilbert Wasilla

Robert Cox Juneau

Christian Cambridge Chugiak

Anders Hocum Kodiak

Luke Guggenmos Palmer

Gage Webster South

 

UTILITY

Damian Mohl South

Taylon Ottinger Wasilla

Donavin McCurley Juneau

 

COACHES OF THE YEAR

Ken Ottinger Wasilla

Matt McLaughlin Palmer

Joe Tompkins Juneau

 

Honorable Mention

 

STARTING PITCHER

Reid Brock South

Terren Sugita South

Braden Olmstead Eagle River

Sam Maudsley Service

Luke Langnes West

Zach Satterly Palmer

Alex Garcia North Pole

Jeremiah Eneix Dimond

Robert Cox Juneau

Gabe Storie Juneau

 

RELIEF PITCHER

Harrison Metz Kenai

Patrick Leshan East

Zack Barnhart East

 

CATCHER

Josh Smith Service

Dustin Peterson North Pole

Jacob Dunham East

Brock McCormick Juneau

 

INFIELD

John Grantier Bartlett

Clancy O'Donnell Wasilla

Reid Brock South

Terren Sugita South

Noah Lower Eagle River

Braden Olmstead Eagle River

Isaac Roehl Fairbanks

Sean Giffen Service

Leland Wilson West

Jack Opinsky West

Zach Satterly Palmer

Owen Hayes Palmer

Bryant Marks Palmer

Alex Garcia North Pole

Jacob Angaiak Fairbanks

Billy Smith Chugiak

Chase Solberg East

Mose Hayes Kenai

 

OUTFIELD

Sam Lebo West

Jack Dolan Dimond

Kasey Watts Juneau

Jeremy Kupferschmid Kenai

 

UTILITY

Nelson Korshin Bartlett

Andrew Troppmann Fairbanks

Harrison Metz Kenai

Carson McLaughlin Palmer

Dustin Peterson North Pole

Orazio Ramos Eagle River

Logan Smith Kenai

State Tournament Day 2 coverage: All 4 games

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 27, 2019

Wasilla outlasted South 6-5 in extra innings and Chugiak rocked Juneau 13-5 in the winner's bracket. In the loser's bracket, West eliminated Palmer 9-4 and Kenai knocked out Dimond 11-0.

State Tournament

Game 8 Wasilla 6, South 5

Jacob Gilbert's walkoff single capped a wild Wasilla comeback that saw the No. 1 seed rally from deficits of 3-0 in the seventh inning and 5-3 in the ninth inning to seize victory in the winner’s bracket game at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

South's Terren Sugita struck out 10 batters in six shutout innings in a brilliant performance that was overshadowed by a wild, wacky, and sometimes weird, ending in extra innings that propelled the Post 35 Road Warriors to 2-0 in the tournament and 28-6 on the Legion season.

 

This was Wasilla’s first-ever win over South at the state tournament after losing in 2014, 2012, 2011 and 2007. The victory was as memorable as it was historic.

 

At one point, the Road Warriors were one strike away from defeat. But destiny seems to be on their side this season.

 

Down 3-0 in the seventh, Wasilla tied the game against the South bullpen without having to hit the ball as six batters reached base on four walks and two hit by pitch.

 

Wasilla threatened with one out in the eighth when Gilbert walked and then on a wild pitch raced from first base to third base. He was stranded, thanks to South’s catcher-turned-reliever Josh Costello, who recorded the next two outs.

 

The ninth inning featured five runs – two from South and then three by Wasilla.

 

For South, Ryan Bailey singled, stole second and scored on RIcky Gatter's RBI single. Gatter then stole second base and later scored on an error to give the Post 4 Wolverines (18-11) a 5-3 lead. Gatter was one of the stars for South as he finished 2-for-4 with a walk, three runs, two stolen bases and two RBIs.

 

In the bottom of the ninth, Wasilla’s Balau Buckmaster walked and advanced to third base on two wild pitches. He scored on Kyle Graham's RBI single to make it 5-4.

 

After Clancey O'Donnell walked, Calvin Stoll put down a sac bunt that put runners at second and third. Graham scored on a wild pitch, Taylon Ottinger walked and Gilbert ripped a single to right field to score pinch runner Ty Dudley with the winning run.

 

Game 7 Chugiak 13, Juneau 5

Justin Nevells, Christian Cambridge, Ian Frizelle and Billy Smith each had 2 hits and combined to score eight runs as the Post 33 Mustangs snapped Juneau's 7-game postseason winning streak.

 

Chugiak exploded for 13 hits and 13 runs to erase an early 4-0 deficit and hand Juneau its worst defeat at state since 2015. That year, Chugiak beat Juneau 12-5.

 

Frizelle homered and had two RBIs. Bryce Collins and Sam Hall also had two RBIs.

 

Just nine days ago, Juneau swept Chugiak in a doubleheader.

 

Early on, it looked like it might happen again after the Post 25 Midnight Suns jumped out to a 4-0 lead after the first two innings.

 

No. 3 Chugiak (25-5) improved to 2-0 in the tournament.

 

Four pitchers combined on the 5-hitter, with relievers Camden Costanios, Cambridge and Nevells combining to shut out Juneau over the final four innings.

 

No. 2 Juneau (24-5) dropped into the loser's bracket.

 

The two-time defending Legion state champion team had won seven straight games at state since last year's first-round upset to Kodiak.

 

Juneau's Kasey Watts - last year's state tournament Big Stick Award winner - had three RBIs for the Midnight Suns.

 

Donavin McCurley and Oliver Mendoza also had RBIs.

 

Game 6 Kenai 11, Dimond 0

Leadoff hitter Jeremy Kupferschmid and No. 3 hitter Mose Hayes set the tone as the Post 20 Twins led 9-0 early and never looked back to win the elimination game in five innings.

 

Kupferschmid and Hayes each went 3-for-4 to highlight Kenai’s 11-hit attack. They also combined for three stolen bases, three runs, a double and an RBI.

 

Hayes also started the game on the mound and pitched the first two innings and combined with reliever Chris Jamie on the 2-hit shutout.

 

Davey Belger went 2-for-2 with two RBIs and a run. Logan Smith went 1-for-3 with a pair of RBIs for No. 4 Kenai (21-12).

 

The Twins led 2-0 after the first inning and 9-0 after the second inning.

 

This was the fifth time since 2013 that these two teams squared off in the state tournament – with Dimond winning in 2018 and 2017, Kenai in 2016 and Dimond in 2013.

 

No. 8 Dimond (15-16) was eliminated from the tournament.

 

Matt Thompson and Luke Smith delievered the only two base hits for the Post 21 Lynx.

 

Thompson also pitched 2.1 innings of relief and gave up zero earned runs.

 

Game 5 West 9, Palmer 4

Jack Opinsky, Quinn Bates-Janigo, Leland Wilson and Luke Langnes each had two hits and an RBI to back Ivan Tillman's solid start as the Post 1 Eagles avoided an early exit by winning the elimination game.

 

West rapped out 11 hits and twice scored four runs in an inning - in the first and again in the fourth.

 

Bubba Mendoza had two RBIs and Opinsky, Bates-Janigo and Wilson scored twice.

 

Tillman pitched four innings, allowing just two hits and one unearned run. He worked around a half dozen walks and struck out four.

 

No. 7 West (17-12) survived to play another day.

 

No. 6 Palmer was eliminated from the tournament and finished the season 17-13, having qualified for the Legion state tournament for the first time since 1993.

 

Luke Guggenmos went 3-for-5 with an RBI. Trace Severson and Brady Shults had had two hits, a run and an RBI.

 

Palmer left 15 runners on base. The Pioneers also turned a 6-4-3 double play and Shults threw out a runner trying to steal second base.

Matson Invitational Day 2 coverage: All 5 games

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 27, 2019

Ketchikan bashed North Pole 17-7 and Service beat Eagle River 7-3 in the winner's bracket. In the loser's bracket, East defeated Bartlett 7-3 and Kodiak 11-3, Fairbanks rallied to edge South Open.

Matson Invitational

Game 10 East 11, Kodiak 3

Chase Solberg struck out seven batters in 6.1 innings at pitcher and went 1-for-3 with two runs at the plate to help Post 34 avoid elimination.

 

Solberg settled down after allowing two runs in the first inning, allowing Kodiak to score only one time the rest of the way.

 

Zack Barnhart pitched the final two outs. He also reached base three times after beiung hit by pitch. Patrick Leshan earned three walks and scored and added an RBI.

 

Gavin Oakley went 2-for-5 with two runs and an RBI for East (7-22), which posted two wins on the day to stay alive in the tournament.

 

Kodiak's Chase Good was 1-for-2 with a walk and two RBIs. He drove in six of his team's 13 runs at the Matson Invitational.

 

Pitchers Jack Malloy and Jace Crail were doomed by poor defense, resulting in nine of 11 runs being unearned.

 

Game 8 Service 7, Eagle River 3

 

Andrew Jaidinger threw 5.2 innings and Sean Giffen and Hutton Stiles each collected 2 RBIs as the Post 28 Cougars moved to 2-0 in the tournament by being victorious in the winner’s bracket game.

 

Jaidinger scattered five hits and five walks to go with six strikeouts.

 

Jaidinger also went 1-for-3 with a run and hit by pitch at the plate.

 

Service managed only three hits but drew 13 walks to keep the base paths busy.

 

Samuel Maudsley reached base four times and scored twice for Service (11-19), which has won 10 of its last 12 games.

 

Eagle River's Damien Fredrick, Noah Lower, Orazio Ramos and Sterling Retzlaff each had base hits for the Wolves (8-22).

 

Retzlaff had his team's lone RBI and Lower scored two times.

 

Game 9 Ketchikan 17, North Pole 7

 

Bash Brothers Liam Kiffer and Wyatt Barajas powered the Post 3 Kings by combining to go 4-for-9 with three doubles, five runs and six RBIs as Ketchikan moved to 2-0 in tournament.

 

Barajas went 2-for-5 with two doubles, three runs and four RBIs.

 

Kiffer was 2-for-4 with a double, a walk, two runs and two RBIs.

 

Ketchikan (16-14) scored runs in all six innings and plated multiple runs four times, including a seven-spot in the second inning.

 

Tug Olson went 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs and Azariah Schultz was 2-for-4 with two runs and three RBIs.

 

North Pole (10-17) was bounced into the loser’s bracket.

 

The Wild made the most of their three base hits by Gavin Fisher, Brayden Ground and Wyatt Kammer. Drawing 11 walks definitely helped.

 

Ground led the way with two RBIs while Ethan Wolfe, Alex Garcia, Dustin Peterson, Hatcher Wendt and Fisher each had one RBI. Kammer scored twice.

 

Game 7 Fairbanks 7 (8), South Open 7

 

Travis Moore walked with the bases loaded to score Graydon Lesneski with the tying run in the bottom of the seventh inning before the 2-hour, 15-minute time limit was reached, forcing a tiebreaker.

 

Legion’s longstanding tiebreaker is last team to score wins. Fairbanks scored the last run to tie the game and had the bases loaded with no outs, so chances are the Post 30 49ers would have won anyway.

 

Lesnesky finished 2-for-2 with two walks, two runs and two RBIs. Joshua Bronson and Dylan Swarthout also had RBIs.

 

The 49ers (10-18), which has improved its season win total in each of the last three seasons under manager Rodney Perdue.

 

South Open's Reece Ivanoff went 3-for-3 with with a double and two runs. Lucas Wilkins doubled twice and scored two runs.

 

The bottom of the order produced big time with No. 8 hitter Thomas Pease and No. 9 hitter Curtis Hebert combined for two hits, a run and three RBIs.

 

South Open (11-11) was eliminated from the tournament.

 

Game 6 East 7, Bartlett 3

Jonny Earhart pitched a 4-hit complete game and the Post 34 Thunderbirds took control with a four-run frame in the fifth inning to highlight the win in the elimination game.

 

Gavin Oakley went 2-for-4 with a double, two runs. Chase Solberg went 1-for-1 with three runs and an RBI.

 

Zack Barnhart had two RBIs and AJ Apineru had one RBI. Bryce Erichson reached base four times with a single and three walks.

 

Earhart allowed four hits and one walk while striking out four batters for the T-birds (6-22).

 

Bartlett's Sawyer Bryner went 1-for-2 with a triple, run and two RBIs.

 

Drake Hughes had an RBI and Nelson Korshin and John Grantier scored runs.

Homza is 7th Alaskan to register 100 hits at pro level

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 27, 2019

The third-year catcher is currently playing for the Tri-City Dust Devils of the Class-A Northwest League.

Anchorage's Jonny Homza earlier this week banged out his 100th career base hit, making the former South Legion Post 4 all-star just the seventh Alaskan to reach the century mark in professional baseball.

 

The third-year catcher, 20, accomplished the feat in 122 career games.

 

The 2017 San Diego Padres fifth-round draft pick is currently playing for the Tri-City Dust Devils of the Class-A Northwest League.

 

Homza is hitting a career-high .245 with eight doubles, 10 RBIs and 11 walks in 28 games.

 

At catcher, his fielding percentage is .995 with a career-high 11.37 range factor.

 

The former infielder has allowed only one passed ball in 166 innings - compared to 25 in the previous 278 innings.

 

The Alaska record for pro hits is held by Anchorage's Jamar Hill, who rapped out 816 hits from 2002 to 2011.

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Matson Invitational Day 1 coverage: All 5 games

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 26, 2019

South Open beat Bartlett 7-1; Eagle River 5-4 walked off East 5-4; Service survived Kodiak 11-10; North Pole knocked off Fairbanks 6-3; Ketchikan blanked South Open 10-0

Matson Invitational

Game 5 Ketchikan 10, South Open 0

Korbin Stack drove in two runs and Azariah Schultz and Tug Olson each had two hits for the Post 3 Kings.

 

Ketchikan scored five runs in the first inning, one in the second and four more in the third inning to squeeze all of the air out of the game.

 

Carstens Jasper, Liam Kiffer and Hayden McGarrigan also drove in runs for the Kings (15-15).

 

Kiffer and McGarrigan combined on the 2-hitter over five innings.

 

James Nordlund scored a pair of runs for Ketchikan, the 2017 Matson champs.

 

South Open's Reece Ivanoff and Curtis Hebert collected the team's only two base knocks.

 

Game 4 North Pole 6, Fairbanks 3

After losing three out of four games against their archrival in the regular season, the Post 30 Wild earned ultimate bragging rights by winning their postseason meeting.

 

Gavin Fischer threw a 4-hit complete game with eight strikeouts. He overcame four hits and six walks.

 

Fischer also delivered the game's only extra-base hit with a double and drove in a run as well.

 

The Wild strung together 12 hits, with Alex Staker, Alex Garcia, Dustin Peterson and Kolten Hall each collecting at least two apiece.

 

Garcia and Peterseon scored two runs. Ethan Wolfe had a pair of RBIs.

 

North Pole (10-16) won the Matson championship in 2014 and 2016.

 

Fairbanks (9-18) got RBIs from Isaac Roehl, Dylan Swarthout and Joshua Bronson.

 

Andrew Troppman, Travis Moore and Jacob Angaiak scored runs for the Post 11 49ers, who scored all three runs in the fifth inning.

 

Game 3 Service 11, Kodiak 10

In a game that came down to the wire, Henry Helgeson drove in three runs and recorded a save and Nathaniel Cole turned a game-ending double play as the Post 28 Cougars survived Game 3 of the tournament.

 

Helgeson went 2-for-4, Hutton Stiles went 2-for-3 with three runs, two RBIs and the winning decision as a relief pitcher.

 

The game saw both teams score five runs in the fourth inning.

 

Josh Smith scored three times and Sean Giffen had a base hit, walk, sac bunt, two runs and two RBIs.

 

Service (10-19) is 9-2 in its last 11 games to rebound from a 1-17 start.

 

Kodiak brought out the big sticks, with Jack Malloy and Chase Good doubling and Dylan Wynn smacking a triple.

 

Good drove in 4 RBIs, Malloy finished 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs. Wynn had 2 RBIs.

 

Anders Hocum scored three times for the Post 17 Bears (5-26).

 

Game 2 Eagle River 5, East 4

Noah Lower's two-out single scored Braden Olmstead with the winning run as the Wolves walked off on the Post 34 Thunderbirds in Game 2 of the tournament.

 

Eagle River scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning as the Wolves beat East at the Matson Invitational for the third consecutive year.

 

Lower finished 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a run. Olmstead and Stefan Retzlaf each had two hits for the Wolves (8-21).

 

Four Eagle River pitchers combined on a 5-hitter.

 

East's Jonny Earhart, Chase Solberg and Zack Barnhart had RBIs for East.

 

Earhart and Solberg also scored runs, along with Bryce Erichson and Daniel Mokom.

 

The T-birds (5-21) led 1-0 and 4-2 before the game slipped away.

 

Game 1 South Open 7, Bartlett 1

Lucas Wilkins and Conner Lowe each collected 2 RBIs and pitcher Luke Ivanoff threw a complete game 5-hitter in Game 1 of the tournament.

 

Ivanoff scattered five hits and four walks while striking out three batters. He carried a shutout into the seventh inning.

 

South Open (11-9) scored one or two runs in each of the first four innings.

 

Joey Serra singled, walked, stole a base and scored twice and Madduz Soland went 2-for-3 with a walk and a run.

 

Bartlett’s Sawyer Bryner drove in his team's lone run and pitched six innings.

 

Only three of the six runs he surrendered were earned. He also drew two walks at the plate.

 

Connor Sessoms went 2-for-4 with a stolen base for the Bears (2-27).

State Tournament Day 1 coverage: All 4 games

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 26, 2019

Chugiak blanked Palmer 10-0; South beat Kenai 8-5; Juneau held on to nip West 2-1; Wasilla rallied to top Dimond 7-5

State Tournament

Game 4 Wasilla 7, Dimond 5

Jacob Gilbert scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth inning and earned the winning decision with six super innings of relief as the top-ranked Post 35 Road Warriors prevailed in the first-round game.

 

Gilbert singled to lead off the sixth, followed by a walk to Jacob Hansen. After a wild pitch moved up both baserunners, Gilbert scored on an error to break a 5-5 tie. With one out, Hanson scored on another error to make it 7-5.

 

No. 1 Wasilla (27-6) rallied from a 4-0 deficit in the first inning.

 

Gilbert was a big reason, coming out of the bullpen in the first inning. He struck out five batters and kept Dimond quiet for the most part, allowing only an unearned run.

 

Clayton Boyett got the final out for the save.

 

Wasilla’s Taylon Ottinger drove in his team’s only RBI. He also made a beautiful diving grab on a grounder and then popped up to get the out to end the top of the sixth inning.

 

Boyett, Waylon Payne, Kyle Graham, Byson Malave also scored runs for the Road Warriors, who were playing the Post 21 Lynx for the first time this year.

 

No. 8 Dimond (15-15) jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning.

 

Zach Jenkins hit an RBI single and later scored on a wild pitch to make it 2-0. Luke Smith’s RBI double and Eric Galosich’s run-scoring single double Dimond’s lead.

 

Jenkins finished 3-for-4 and Galosich went 2-for-4. Smith also provided stellar relief for 3.1 innings for the Lynx.

 

Game 3 Juneau 2, West 1

Brock McCormick tossed 4.2 scoreless innings, Gabe Storie recorded a save and Christian Ludeman delivered the winning RBI as the Post 25 Midnight Suns held on in the first-round game at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Juneau improved to 3-0 against West this year and moved to 11-2 at the state tournament since 2017 en route to winning the last two championships.

 

McCormick struck out five batters and allowed only one hit for No. 2 Juneau (24-4), which scored both of its runs in the third inning.

 

Storie singled and Donavin McCurly walked to set it up. Storie scored on an error for the first run and McCurley scored on Ludeman's single.

 

Storie also played a huge role on the mound, retiring five of the six batters he faced. He ended the game with the tying run on second base.

 

Four Post 1 Eagles pitchers held Juneau scoreless in five of six frames. On most days that would be good enough to win.

 

Leland Wilson pitched two innings, Ivan Tillman one inning, Luke Langness 2.2 innings and Luis Nunez one-third of an inning. Together, they had 10 strikeouts.

 

No. 7 West (16-12) pulled within 2-1 in the sixth inning after Sam Lebo led off with a single and advanced to second on Jack Opinsky's sac bunt. Lebo scored on Quinn Bates-Janigo’s double for the only extra-base hit of the game.

 

Storie entered the game at that point and sealed the deal, working around a hit by pitch in the seventh.

 

This is the second straight year Juneau has defeated West at the state tournament.

 

Game 2 South 8, Kenai 5

Reid Brock was brilliant out of the bullpen, throwing 5.2 innings of scoreless relief to propel the Post 4 Wolverines in a first-round game at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Brock also drove in two runs for a South team that took a 6-5 lead in the third inning and held on, thanks to Brock. Brock also drove in two runs at the plate.

 

Ricky Gatter went 2-for-4 with a double, stolen base and two runs for No. 5 South (18-12).

 

Gunnar Nix drove in three runs. Josh Costello scored three times.

 

These teams are 2-2 in four meetings this season.

 

This was their first meeting at state since 2015, when they split a pair of games (Day 1 & Day 4).

 

Kenai's Harrison Metz went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and a run.

 

Mose Hayes was 2-for-4 with a run and stole base and Logan Smith was 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs for No. 4 Kenai (20-12).

 

Herald Ochea pitched two scoreless innings in the sixth and seventh.

 

Game 1 Chugiak 10, Palmer 0

Sam Hall spun a 2-hitter in the five-inning game and Christian Cambridge, Ian Frizelle and Justin Nevells combined for six RBIs in the first-round game at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Hall is the first Chugiak pitcher to throw a shutout at the state tournament since Jimmy Lanier in 2015.

 

Nevells went 3-for-3 with a walk, three runs and an RBI. Cambridge was 2-for-3 with three RBIs and Frizelle doubled and drove in two runs.

 

Chugiak (24-5) is the No. 3 seed in the tournament.

 

The Post 33 Mustangs scored a run in the first inning and three more in the second inning to take a 4-0 lead. The score stayed that way until the bottom of the fifth when they exploded for six runs, capped by Frizelle's two-run double that ended the game by mercy rule.

 

No. 6 Palmer (17-12) is making its first appearance at the state tournament since 1993.

 

Trace Severson and Owen Hayes delivered the only base hits for the Post 15 Pioneers.

 

Brayden Methven recorded 4.2 innings on the mound and held Chugiak scoreless in the third and fourth innings.

Legion State Tournament, Matson Invitational brackets

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 23, 2019

Both tournaments run July 26-30 - State Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium and Matson Invitational at Bartlett High School

State bracket.jpg

 

Matson bracket.jpg

Longtime Legion supporter Marion Davis passes away

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 19, 2019

Davis was an incredibly kind and generous person. For many years as the Alaska general manager of Horizon/Matson, his company helped with many different baseball and sports field construction projects…

American Legion Baseball in Alaska is sad to announce that longtime youth sports supporter Marion Davis of Anchorage passed away early this morning from heart complications at a Portland (OR) hospital. He was 70.

 

Davis was an incredibly kind and generous person. For many years as the Alaska general manager of Horizon/Matson, his company helped with many different baseball and sports field construction projects around the state.

 

Those include Bartlett High School, Colony High School, Dimond High School, Service High School, Mulcahy Stadium, Kosinski Fields, Polar Little League and Abbott-O-Rabbit Little League, to name just a few.

 

In addition, through Davis’s interest, Horizon/Matson helped with reduced transportation costs for field drying material, and dugout and fence construction in Fairbanks, Kenai, Wasilla and many other sites in Alaska.

 

His impact in providing improved and safe fields has touched thousands and thousands of Alaska kids. 

 

His late grandson was Taylar Young and the Davis/Young family coordinated the development of the Taylar Young Memorial Ballpark at South Anchorage High School in Taylar's memory.

 

His family and the Taylar Young Memorial Foundation maintain the grounds at the field, including the memorial garden at the field.

 

Davis also served on many other nonprofit boards to include Special Olympics and Angelus Memorial Cemetery Association.

 

A more complete obituary and details on services will be published.

 

He was born in Mississippi, but Davis loved the Alabama Crimson Tide. Roll Tide.

 

Davis ended his career at Matson as Vice President of Alaska Operations.

 

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Wall has 6 wins – the rest of the Shepherds staff has 9

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 15, 2019

Philip Wall of Juneau improved to 6-1 in seven appearances this summer for the 15-7 So Cal Shepherds of Sunset League in California.

Philip Wall of Juneau reached 10 strikeouts for the first time this summer in the Sunset League as he helped the So Cal Shepherds maintain their slim lead in the South Division.

 

The right-hander pitched a season-high eight innings to highlight a 13-2 win over the Orange County Legends in California.

 

Wall, of Thunder Mountain High fame, lowered his season ERA to 2.09 in 43 innings.

 

He has six wins – the rest of the staff has nine.

 

Wall leads the team in winning decisions, ERA, innings and strikeouts (27).

 

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Bonck throws six strong for West Coast League team

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

The 6-foot-5 left-hander struck out four batters over six innings in his longest appearance since 2017 against Arizona State University.

Ketchikan’s Nathan Bonck stepped into a time machine and delivered his best pitching effort in two years.

 

It came with the Port Angeles Lefties of the West Coast League as the southpaw tossed six strong innings in a 6-3 loss to Cowlitz Black Bears in Longview, Washington.

 

Bonck carried a 3-2 lead into the seventh inning when he was pulled.

 

The 6-foot-5 left-hander struck out four batters over six innings and gave up four hits and three walks.

 

Bonck, of Ketchikan High fame, was the 2015 Gatorade Alaska Player of the Year who is now entering his senior season at NCAA D1 Seattle University.

 

This was his longest appearance since throwing six innings against Arizona State University in 2017.

 

This summer he has a 1.86 ERA and six strikeouts in 9.2 innings over three appearances in the West Coast League.

Homza catches no-hitter in Class A Northwest League

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 3, 2019

The third-year pro was the centerpiece in a combined no-hitter for San Diego Padres affiliate Tri-City as the Dust Devils beat Everett 5-0 in Pasco, Washington.

Anchorage’s Jonny Homza helped make history in the Class A Northwest League by catching the first no-hitter in four years.

The third-year pro was the centerpiece in a combined no-hitter for San Diego Padres affiliate Tri-City as the Dust Devils beat Everett 5-0 in Pasco, Washington.

Four pitchers threw 120 pitches and recorded all 27 outs, with the 20-year-old converted catcher right in the middle of the action.

Tri-City pitching coach Leo Rosales credited Homza for his part in the no-no.

“Jonny had a big part in this game, too,” Rosales said. “I’m very proud of him. He’s come a long way. They stuck to a plan and attacked these hitters.”

Homza, of South High fame, also did his part at the plate with a double and two RBIs.

The 2017 fifth-round draft pick by the Padres grew up as an elite infielder in Alaska and has logged 49 pro games at third base, second base and shortstop.

But his future is behind the plate.

Homza has caught eight of 11 games with Tri-City and has a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage on 102 total chances. He’s also thrown out six of 10 base runners.

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Tonya Rau wins Legion raffle for 4 AK Airlines tickets

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 1, 2019

Thank you to everyone who helped support our athletes by buying a ticket.

Congratulations to Tonya Rau of Eagle River for winning the Alaska Legion Baseball raffle ticket drawing for 4 Alaska Airlines tickets.

 

Thank you to everyone who helped support our athletes by buying a ticket.

 

Shoutout to Hunter Rau, who sold the golden ticket.

Napoleon (OH) ties record with third BP Invitational title

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jun 30, 2019

River Bandits (19-9) banged out 13 base hits, with Zac Brickel's two-run double opening the flood gates in the fourth inning when they scored seven runs to go up 9-0 en route to 12-1 win.

BP Invitational

Championship Game: Napoleon (OH) 12, Auburn (RI) 1

The Post 300 River Bandits tied the BP Invitational record with their third tournament title, thanks to Austin Lichty's complete game and eight players driving in runs in the championship at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Napoleon (19-9) banged out 13 base hits, with Zac Brickel's two-run double pushing the lead to 5-0 and opening the flood gates in the fourth inning as the River Bandits scored seven runs to go up 9-0.

 

They put immediate and immense pressure on the Gershkoff Post 20 Rhode Island pitcher, loading the bases but not scoring in the first inning and putting runners at first and third and not scoring in the second inning.

 

Napoleon again loaded the bases in the third inning, and this time scored on Jacob Smith's infield single to make it 1-0. That run snapped the Rhode Island team's 17.2-inning tournament scoreless streak. And again, the damage was limited.

 

But that all changed in the fourth inning, when the River Bandits batted around and blew the game wide open.

 

Smith's second RBI made it 6-0 and it was 8-0 on Landon Willeman's RBI single. A double steal made it 9-0. They plated another four runs on a night when 12 players had either a hit, run or RBI.

 

Willeman - a Bowling Green University D1 commit - was named BP Invitational Most Valuable Player after a fabulous showing in all facets of the game. He is Napoleon's first BP MVP since 2013 selection Dylan Hendricks.

 

This Rhode Island team came into the title game having given up just 4 runs in 28 innings, with back-to-back shutouts.

 

Pinch-hitter Massimo Feroce - who pitched one of those shutouts earlier in the tournament - drove in his team's lone run with an RBI single in the fifth inning. By then, though, the outcome was far out of reach.

 

Napoleon is the second team to win a third BP Invitational championship since Columbia Post 19 Tennessee, which won in 2012, 2014 and 2016.

 

Top Pitcher Award

Cam Harris, Auburn Post 20 Rhode Island

This ace dealt a beauty of a performance in the semifinals, needing just 97 pitches to craft a 4-hit shutout. He had seven strikeouts in seven innings. He handed Juneau its first loss of the summer and its first shutout in three years.

 

Gold Glove Award

Justin Nevells, Chugiak Post 33 Mustangs

In a tournament made up of defensive gems, this shortstop sparkled the most. He showcased remarkable range, quick hands and a good arm. He finished among the tournament leaders with 10 assists, two double plays and a perfect fielding percentage (1.000) on 22 total chances.

 

Big Stick Award

Thomas Barbieri, Auburn Post 20 Rhode Island

As the No. 3 hitter in the lineup, you expect production. This catcher crushed it. He led the tournament with nine hits. He led the tournament with a .643 batting average. He had two hits in four of five games.

 

Most Valuable Player Award

Landon Willeman, Napoleon Post 300 River Bandits Ohio

Whether he was hitting, pitching or fielding, this dude delivered. He batted .500 with a home run from the leadoff spot. He made just 1 error on 21 total chances at shortstop. He struck out a tournament-high 11 batters on the mound. He was a finalist for all four awards, but since he can't win everything. He was named MVP.

Ohio walks off Chugiak, advances to BP Invitational final

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jun 30, 2019

With the win, Napoleon (18-9) reached its first BP Invitational championship game since 2013. The River Bandits are 11-5 in its last 16 games in the tournament, but lost in the semifinals in 2015 and …

BP Invitational

Semifinal: Napoleon (OH) 1, Chugiak 0

Dakota Benner's two-out RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning scored Zac Brickel with the winning run as the Post 300 River Bandits walked off the Post 33 Mustangs in a fantastic finish in the second semifinal of the BP Invitational at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Two previous times in the game Napoloen had a runner thrown out at the plate, including earlier in the seventh, but this time the River Bandits got the run across. But it was bang-bang.

 

With the win, Napoleon (18-9) reached its first BP Invitational championship game since 2013. The River Bandits are 12-5 in its last 17 games in the tournament, but lost in the semifinals in 2015 and 2017.

 

Napoleon will play for the BP Invitational title against Gershkoff Post 20 of Auburn, Rhode Island, at 6 p.m. ADT.

 

Watch the game live at www.alaskalegion.com.

 

Two-way terror Landon Willeman of Napoleon was his usual terrific self, racking up 11 strikeouts at pitcher and going 2-for-3 at the plate. He is now 7-for-13 on the weekend.

 

Willeman, a rocket right-hander, struck out seven of the first 14 batters he faced. In the fifth, he walked the bases loaded and then escaped with two Ks and a groundout.

 

Chugiak (13-3) didn't much offensively, but kept the game close with some glove love.

 

Defense was the difference for the Mustangs, who turned a double play to end the first, got a beautiful snag at the hot corner from Mason Peace and threw two runners at the plate, one by center fielder Christian Cambridge and one by pitcher Garrett Nevells.

 

Nevells pitched well in a hard-to-swallow defeat. He must have felt like he pitched well enough to win. And on most days, his effort would have been.

 

The crafty right-hander allowed four hits and one walk and was around the zone all day, enducing soft contact most of the time.

 

In addition to making plays on defense, Cambridge (2-for-3) and Nevells (1-for-2) accounted for all three hits for Chugiak. Sam Hall walked twice.

Rhode Island snaps Juneau's win streak to reach BP final

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jun 30, 2019

Cam Harris put Gershkoff Post 20 on his back, throwing a 4-hit shutout and driving in the first two runs in a 3-0 win over Juneau Post 25 in the semifinals of the BP Invitational.

BP Invitational

Semifinal: Auburn (RI) 3, Juneau 0

With its tournament title hopes on the line, Gershkoff Post 20 turned to ace Cam Harris and he delivered a fabulous 4-hitter in 97 pitches to help the Rhode Island team win the semifinal game and advance to the BP Invitational title game at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Harris struck out seven batters in seven innings and allowed four hits and one walk. He also got a double play and a few other web gems behind him.

 

This was the first loss for Juneau (15-1) on the summer and the first time in three years the team didn't score a run.

 

Credit Gershkoff (9-7) for effective pitching, hitting and defense.

 

Harris was in the middle of it all.

 

Batting from the No. 7 spot, he went 1-for-2 with a sacrifice and two RBIs. He drove in the first run with a sac fly in the fourth inning, scoring Drew Spirito. In the sixth he knocked in Thomas Barbieri with a single.

 

Harris also started a 1-6-3 double play in the fourth inning.

 

Andrew Clesas and Barbieri each went 2-for-3 and combined to score three runs.

 

Juneau did not play poorly. Not at all. The Midnight Suns didn't make an error, they hit the ball hard and Brock McCormick was on point on the mound.

 

He pitched all six innings in just 77 pitches, scattering seven hits and one walk. He was around the plate all day and worked well with his catcher Chase Foster, who threw out a baserunner to end the fifth inning.

 

Harris and McCormick were ready to go as the first five innings lasted only 55 minutes. The game took 72 minutes.

 

Rhode Island will play the winner of Napoleon (OH) and Chugiak in tonight’s title game at 6 p.m. ADT.

Juneau, Chugiak, Ohio, Rhode Island make up BP semis

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jun 29, 2019

Juneau and Chugiak win their pools for No. 1 seeds, the two Lower 48 teams settle for No. 2 seeds. Catch up on all the action with game by game recaps:

BP Invitational

Game 12: Chugiak 13, Service 7

Ian Frizelle hit a three-run bomb in the first inning and finished with four RBIs and DJ Davis went 3-for-3 as the Post 33 Mustangs ran away with a victory to punch their ticket to the semifinals of the BP Invitational at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Chugiak (13-2) banged out 14 hits with five going for extra bases, including doubles by Trystan Costanios, DJ Davis, Christian Cambridge and Mason Peace.

 

Davis had RBIs in each of his first three at-bats, the first giving the Mustangs a 4-0 lead, then 9-4 and finally 10-5.

 

Frizelle's home run was Chugiak's third in three tournament games. Costanios was 3-for-3 with three RBIs and a run. Cambridge also scored three times.

 

Service flew out of the gates, with nine of the first 14 batters reaching base as the Post 28 Cougars plated four runs in the first two innings.

 

Josh Smith was 3-for-3 with two RBIs and a run. Henry Helgeson finished 2-for-5 and scored twice. Sean Giffen, Carsen Sandau and Kyle Andrew also had RBIs for Service.

 

The tough season continued for Service, but nobody told Chris Duke. The first baseman crashed hard into a fence in foul territory as he chased a pop up. Winners aren't always defined by the scoreboard.

Game 11: Auburn (RI) 10, West 0

Massimo Feroce was masterful over his seven innings of work, needing just 85 pitches to polish off the Post 1 Eagles in a 3-hit shutout to keep his team in the title hunt at the BP Invitational at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Feroce threw first-pitch strikes to 15 of 25 batters and was never threatened in a dominating performance.

 

The right-hander worked around three hits and four walks while striking out two and getting a double play behind him.

 

Post 20 Gershkoff pounded out 11 hits, including two doubles from Drew Spirito and one by Evan Smith.

 

Spirito and Nate Poshkus each reached base all four times. Spirito went 2-for-2 to go with a hit by pitch and walk. Poshkus singled three times, walked and drove in two RBIs.

 

The team will play tomorrow in one of two semifinals; the only question will be as the No. 1 or No. 2 seed out of Pool B.

 

Noah Cook had two RBIs and kickstarted a beautiful double play after a nice sliding stop and underhand scoop for the 4-6-3 twin killing.

 

Speaking of double plays, West turned a pair of them, including one to end a nightmarish seventh inning when Rhode Island tacked on five runs.

 

Shortstop Jack Opinsky was in the middle of both double plays and also made a college-level backhanded stab in the hole, but made an errand throw denied him a chance at making arguably the web gem of the tournament.

 

West pitcher Luke Langnes pitched better than his number indicated. They weren't terrible: five runs (three earned) in six innings, but take away a brutal first inning and he pitched well. He was especially sharp in the third, fourth, fifth and sixth innings when he retired 12 of 15 batters.

Game 10: Napoleon (OH) 9, Dimond 6

Brandon Shafer and Austin Bostater each had two-run base hits in the seventh inning as the Post 300 River Bandits rallied to keep alive their title hopes on Day 3 of the BP Invitational at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

In a crazy game that featured 18 hits and late-game drama in the outfield, Napoleon was able to battle back from the brink of defeat. A loss dropped them into the consolation pool, a win secured a semifinal berth for the fourth time in four chances since 2013.

 

Trailing 6-5 entering the final frame, the River Bandits saw six of the first seven batters reach base: Axel Shanks walked, Hunter Bostater singled and Zac Bickel doubled, Shafer singled, Austin Lichty singled and Austin Bostater tripled.

 

Napoleon (19-6) has won 11 of 16 games at the BP Invitational in its last four trips.

 

Let's get to the oddities in the outfield. With a haze of smoke hovering over the field due to the Kenai Peninsula wildfire, the ball must have been tough to see because there were several strange plays with guys having a hard time picking it up.

 

Dimond (10-8) tied the game at 4-4 in the fifth inning when the Napoleon left field and shortstop collided in the outfield going for a high pop up that fell to the grass. Then on the next play, the same two players along with the center fielder surrounded a Luke Smith flyball that dropped in the triangle and allowed the go-ahead run to cross the plate.

 

The Post 21 Lynx then went ahead 6-4 on Eric Galosich's RBI single. The River Bandits got one back in the sixth inning after scoring when the Dimond center fielder dropped what looked like a routine fly ball.

 

After Napoleon rallied in the seventh, closer Landon Willeman struck out the side for the save.

Game 9: Juneau 7, Napoleon (OH) 4

Donavin McCurley pitched a complete game and reached base three times, drove in two runs and scored the go-ahead run in the seventh inning to lead the Post 25 Midnight Suns to victory on Day 3 of the BP Invitational at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

In a back-and-forth game that featured three ties and five lead changes, Juneau took command with a three-run seventh to improve to 3-0 in the tournament and 15-0 overall this summer.

 

McCurley reached after getting hit by a pitch. He moved to second base on Brock McCormick's single. He went to third on a passed ball and scored on a wild pitch.

 

Christian Ludeman added a two-run single to give the Midnight Suns a nice cushion that proved enough for McCurley, who got the winning decison after scattering seven hits and four walks over seven innings.

 

With the win, Juneau secured a spot in Sunday's semifinals.

 

Riley Griffin and Chase Foster added RBIs for Juneau, the two-time defending Alaska state champion.

 

This was just the fifth loss for Napoleon in its last 15 games at the BP Invitational.

 

The Post 300 River Bandits got another big game from big bat Landon Willeman, who finished 3-for-4 with a double, two runs and an RBI.

 

Willeman hit a leadoff home run in last night's win and today he led off the game with a double.

 

Zac Brickel went 2-for-4 with a triple and run. Axel Shanks and Christian Peterson also drove in runs for Napoleon, a two-time champion of the BP Invitational.

Game 8: Juneau 7, South 6

The Post 25 Midnight Suns raced out to a big lead and then hung on for dear life, escaping a two-on, two-out jam to end the game in the first contest on Day 3 of the BP Invitational.

 

Juneau banged out 10 hits, including four for extra bases, but it was a defensive play that proved to be the difference at the end when first baseman Christian Ludeman relayed a throw home to gun down a run at the plate to end the inning.

 

The two-time defending Alaska Legion state champion Midnight Suns extended their 14-game winning streak.

 

Ludeman also had a nice day at the plate, going 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run. He was one of three players with two hits.

 

The other two, Brock McCormick and Bobby Cox, each ripped a pair of doubles and combined to score three runs and drive in two more for Juneau (14-0).

 

Cox started at pitcher and earned the win, going six innings and scattering four hits and four walks with four strikeouts. Olin Rawson closed it out by the slimmest margin.

 

South Post 4 (10-5) scored all six runs in the final two frames, getting RBIs from a half dozen dudes: Reid Brock, Josh Costello, Josh McGovern, Gunnar Nix and Ivan Keil.

 

Ricky Gatter went 2-for-4 with two runs and two stolen bases. Terren Sugita tripled in the fourth inning for his team's first hit of the game.

Longest game, homers highlight Day 2 of BP Invitational

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jun 28, 2019

The longest game in tournament history was among the big stories on the second day of the 4-day tournament. Here is a recap of all 5 games:

BP Invitational

Game 7: Napoleon (OH) 5, South 1

Landon Willeman hit a leadoff home run and Hunter Bostater and Brandon Shafer both made big plays down the stretch to push the Post 300 River Bandits to victory in their tournament opener at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Willeman walloped a 3-2 pitch over the wall in his team’s first at-bat of the game to fuel a 2-for-3 performance at the plate. He also scored a run in the fifth inning when Napoleon padded its lead.

 

Bostater’s heads up base running paved the way to a run in the fourth inning that gave the River Bandits the lead for good at 2-1. First, he drew a walk and then he raced all the way to third base on one wild pitch. Later, Bostater scored on Caleb Frank’s beautiful sacrifice bunt to first base.

 

In the fifth inning, Napoleon scored three times to put the game away at 5-1. Nathan Vold was hit by pitch, was bunted to second and moved to third on an error. He scored on a wild pitch. Then Shafer delivered a two-out, two-run single.

 

Napoleon pitchers Christian Petersen (4IP, win) and Daryke Bass (3IP, save) scattered seven hits and two walks and combined for six shutout frames.

 

But South’s Terren Sugita pitched well in defeat. Very well, actually.

 

Mixing pitches like a blender, the crafty right-hander struck out 10 of 26 batters he faced over a six-inning complete game effort.  He allowed only three hits on the night.

 

Sugita gained steam after allowing the leadoff home run as he struck out four of the next five batters before issuing a walk. He had 7Ks in the first 3.1 innings.

 

South's Gunnar Nix drove in his team's lone run with an RBI single in the fourth inning.

 

Napoleon’s pitching and defense stepped up in the big moments.

 

In the third, the River Bandits had a caught stealing and strikeout looking on back-to-back pitches. In the fourth, they escaped a bases-loaded no-out jam with a strikeout, groundout and pop up.

Game 6: Auburn (RI) 4, Service 1

Jorge Ramos, Drew Spirito and Noah Cook had RBIs and Evan Smith and Cam Harris combined in a 3-hitter as Post 20 Gershkoff won its first tournament game.

 

Scoreless through the first three innings, Gershkoff got on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning after Spirito tripled in a run and scored on Cook's RBI single.

 

Thomas Barbieri led off with a single and came home on Spirito's blast over the center fielder's head to the deepest part of the ballpark. Two pitches later, Cook laced a single to give the Rhode Island team a pump of adrenaline.

 

The team arrived in the early hours this morning before hitting the field in the evening. It took the players a little while for their bats to wake up.

 

But they did in this game.

 

In the very next inning Gershkoff plated two more runs after Andrew Clesas singled, Barbieri walked and Cook walked to load the bases.

 

Enter Ramos, a pinch hitter, who bounced a base hit up the middle to score Clesas and Barbieri and make it 4-0.

 

Smith, a solid southpaw, and Harris, a rocket right-hander, shut it down on the mound.

 

Smith went the first 5.1 innings with six strikeouts before Harris sealed the deal with a save after fanning all four batters he faced, including a perfect seventh when he struck out the side on nine pitches.

 

Service's Sean Giffen doubled and scored on Andrew Jaidinger's single with two outs in the sixth inning. Giffen also pitched the first three innings and struck out three.

Game 5: Chugiak 4, Auburn (RI) 1

Christian Cambridge and Trystan Costanios each homered in the first inning to power the Post 33 Mustangs over Post 20 Gershkoff of Rhode Island on Day 2 of the BP Invitational at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

After just 16 pitches Chugiak led 3-0 after Cambridge crushed a two-run dinger and one out later Costanios hammered a solo shot.

 

All of this just minutes after the Mustangs wrapped up a 10-inning 3-3 tie with West in a game that matched the BP Invitational record for the longest in tournament history. It was called after the 2-hour, 15-minute time limit.

 

If they were tired, they didn’t show it.

 

Chugiak starter Sam Hall went the distance, throwing a 4-hitter in just 90 pitches. He walked two and struck out three.

 

Rhode Island starter Andrew Clesas also pitched a complete game, needing 105 pitches and bouncing back nicely from that rough welcome-to-Alaska first inning.

 

Clesas retired 11 of the next 12 batters to keep his team in the game. He didn’t give up another hit until the fifth inning.

 

In that fifth inning, Gershkoff flashed some delightful defense.

 

First, third baseman Drew Spirito went to the turf to field a grounder and from his knees threw out a runner at the plate to save a run. Then shortstop Noah Cook turned an unassisted double play to end the inning.

 

In the bottom of the fifth, Clesas singled in Nate Poshkus for Rhode Island’s lone run.

 

Chugiak tacked on an insurance run in the seventh after Mason Peace and Garrett Nevells hit back-to-back singles, followed by Justin Nevells’ base knock that glanced off the glove of the shortstop.

 

Game 4: Chugiak 3, West 3 tie

 

Tied for the longest game in BP Invitational history, the teams played 10 innings and settled for a tie after reaching the 2-hour, 15-minute time limit on Day 2 of the tournament at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Pitching and defense were the theme of the day, but not necessarily in that order.

 

West substitute left fielder Sam Brandeberry saved the day for the Post 1 Eagles with a great grab with the bases loaded to end the top of the 10th inning.

 

In the sixth inning, both teams saved runs. In the top half, West shortstop Jack Opinsky threw out a runner at the plate. In the bottom half, Chugiak right fielder made a diving catch with a runner in scoring position to end the inning.

 

The pitching was spotless as neither team scored for the final five frames.

 

Chugiak's Ian Frizelle (7IP) and Justin Nevells (3IP) combined for 10 strikeouts and held West to three hits and one run over the last nine innings for the Post 33 Mustangs.

 

West’s Quinn Bates-Janigo (6IP) and Max Fink (4IP) danced around more base runners but in the end were just as effective.

 

In 2014, South Post 4 and Columbia (TN) Post 19 played to a 4-4 tie in 10 innings.

 

Game 3: Juneau 9, Dimond 2

 

Bobby Cox and Donavin McCurley each handled double duty to help the Post 25 Midnight Suns power past the Post 21 Lynx on Day 2 of the BP Invitational at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Cox doubled, tripled and finished 4-for-4 with an RBI and run at the plate. He also pitched 2.1 innings of scoreless relief.

 

McCurley went 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs. He started the game and pitched 2.2 shutout innings.

 

Four pitchers combined to limit Dimond to just two base hits.

 

Luis Mojica went 1-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs. Riley Griffin was 2-for-3 with a double and RBI. Gabe Storie and Brock McCormick also had RBIs for Juneau (1-0 BP, 13-0 overall).

 

Alex Bruce and Matt Thompson delivered hits for Dimond (1-1 BP, 10-7 overall).

 

Bruce tripled and scored and Thompson had an RBI. Luke Smith also scored.

Dimond, West prevail on Day 1 of BP Invitational

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jun 27, 2019

The 4-day tournament continues today with five games on Day 2 at Mulcahy Stadium.

BP Invitational

Game 2: Dimond 6, South 4

Parker Coplin had three hits, two RBIs and picked up a one-out save in relief of starter Luke Smith, who bounced back after a slow start, as the Post 21 Lynx prevailed on the first day of the BP Invitational at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Smith pitched 6.2 innings and tossed scoreless frames in the third, fourth, fifth and sixth innings to rebound after giving up three runs in the first two innings.

 

Smith scattered seven hits and four walks to go with seven strikeouts.

 

Jeremiah Eneix and Alex Bruce added RBIs and Matt Thompson scored twice. Connor Cunningham and Alex Bruce each walked three times.

 

After falling behind 3-0 early, Dimond took the lead for good with a four-run third inning.

 

Dimond put pressure all night on South Post 4 pitchers, who loaded the bases in four straight innings. Credit South reliever Gunnar Nix for twice getting out of those jams unscathed.

 

South’s Gage Webster went 3-for-3 with a pair of RBIs and Dylan Maltby drove in the game’s first run in the first inning. Nix came out of the bullpen to strike out three batters and yield no runs in 3.1 innings of work.

 

Game 1: West 5, Service 0

Juan Benitez threw five shutout innings and the Post 1 Eagles scored four times in the second inning to pave the way to a first-day win in the BP Invitational at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Benitez allowed only three hits and needed only 57 pitches. He walked none and struck out a pair.

 

Max Fink and Jack Opinsky each drove in two runs as West scored five runs on just four hits. Quinn Bates-Janigo also drove in a run.

 

West stole six bases, including two by Carter Stolp. Luke Langnes singled, stole a base and scored a run.

 

Nicko Opinsky closed it out with two hitless innings.

 

The Post 28 Cougars got base knocks from Sean Giffen, Josh Smith and Andrew Jaidinger. Kyle Andrew pitched well in relief, allowing just one run in three innings.

Napoleon returns to Alaska for a record 10th time

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jun 27, 2019

“We try to come up every two to three years, so we can give all the kids a chance to visit Alaska,” said longtime River Bandits manager Randy Bachman.

Ohio’s Randy Bachman brought the Napoleon River Bandits to Alaska for the first time in 2002 out of curiosity.

 

But the beauty and baseball kept him coming back for more.

 

Bachman this summer has returned to the BP Invitational for the tenth time, giving Napoleon the most appearances by an Outside team in the tournaments 25-year history.

 

“When we were invited for the first time, we had no idea how to get this fundraised, but I wasn't about to turn down the opportunity,” Bachman told me. “All 18 players and coaches were on a mission to make sure we got it done.”

 

Since then, the River Bandits have made the 3,000-mile trek a tradition.

 

“We try to come up every two to three years, so we can give all the kids a chance to visit Alaska,” Bachman said.

 

Napoleon is one of the most decorated American Legion Baseball teams to come to Alaska as a two-time Legion World Series qualifier. In 2013, the River Bandits won the BP Invitational and went on to play in the World Series.

 

Bachman, 63, has spent most of his life on the field as a player, coach and umpire.

 

In 1974, he started the Van Wert (OH) Orioles to continue his playing career. By 1977 he was managing the team. He left in 1994 and in 2014 was inducted into the National Semi-Pro Baseball Hall of Fame.

 

In 1998, he created the Napoleon River Bandits and coached the team until 2006 when he became the Post 300 general manager.

 

All the while Bachman called balls and strikes as an umpire.

 

He has been an ump for 43 years, working elite college leagues like the Big Ten Conference and Alaska Baseball League. In 2007 he was inducted into the Ohio High School Officials Hall of Fame.

 

With Napoleon, Bachman has helped the River Bandits claim titles at all three stops of the Alaska Airlines Tournament Tour in Wasilla, Kenai and Anchorage.

 

The 10-day road trip, he said, allows the team to focus on baseball without distractions.

 

“No football practice, no girlfriends, and in some areas in Alaska, no cell phones or internet,” Bachman said. “It is a chance for all the kids to bond and develop some great team chemistry, while creating a great baseball experience and memories of a lifetime.”

 

Randy Bachman.jpg

Legion All-Star aces deal early, Bucs score late in 7-1 win

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jun 21, 2019

Leland Wilson (West Post 1), Gage Webster (South Post 4) and Jacob Gilbert (Wasilla Post 35) each threw scoreless frames over second, third and fourth innings to keep it a 1-0 game.

Led by aces Leland Wilson, Gage Webster and Jacob Gilbert, the Anchorage Legion Camp All-Stars held their own against the collegiate Anchorage Bucs in a 7-1 loss at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

The exhibition game has been played for more than two decades, but this year it was renamed to the Sladen Mohl Game in honor of the former South Legion Post 4 and Bucs player who died in April.

 

The Bucs retired Mohl’s No. 55 in a pregame ceremony. A No. 55 jersey was also featured in front of the Legion All-Stars’ dugout.

 

Wilson (West Post 1), Webster (South Post 4) and Gilbert (Wasilla Post 35) each threw scoreless frames over the second, third and fourth innings to keep it a 1-0 game.

 

The Bucs flexed their muscles with five runs in the fifth inning and another run in the sixth to build a 7-0 advantage.

 

The Legion All-Stars avoided the shutout by scoring a run in the seventh inning off former South player Brody Jessee, who is a relief pitcher for the Bucs this summer.

 

Chugiak Post 33’s Ian Friezelle doubled down the right-field line, stole third base and scored on Palmer Post 15’s Ben Alley’s RBI single to center.

 

Wasilla’s Carson Boyett started and brother Clayton Boyett finished. Other Legion pitchers included Chugiak’s Cam Costanios and South’s Reese Ivanoff.

 

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Homza’s growth at catcher coincides with promotion

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jun 20, 2019

Jonny Homza of Anchorage has thrived behind the plate, as his development defensively has paved the way for his rise up the ranks in the San Diego Padres organization

Jonny Homza of Anchorage continues to move up the food chain in the San Diego Padres organization as the third-year pro was promoted to the Class-A Tri-City Dust Devils after two years in the Rookie League.

 

The 20-year-old made his name as a incredible infielder but was drafted in the fifth round of the 2017 MLB draft to play catcher, hardly an easy move.

 

But Homza has thrived behind the plate, as his development defensively has paved the way for his rise up the ranks of pro baseball.

 

He joined Tri-City for the start of the Class A season and in his first three games has doubled, driven in three runs and thrown out two baserunners.

 

In 41 games at catcher, he has hosed 22-of-77 base stealers for a .286 career percentage. That’s about average for catchers, but it’s more impressive when you remember Homza has played only 296 innings at his new position.

 

The former South Legion Post 4 all-star owns a .981 career fielding percentage with 25 passed balls.

 

Homza has also logged 47 games at second base, shortstop and third base in his pro career. He’s played another nine games at designated hitter.

 

At the plate, the six-foot slugger owns a .227 batting average and .323 on-base percentage in 99 career games. He has three home runs, 21 doubles and 44 RBIs.

 

Homza is one of 24 Alaskans to play pro baseball at the Single-A, Double-A, Triple-A and Major League level.

 

Major League

Marshall Boze P Soldotna

Chad Bentz P Juneau

Chris Mabeus P Soldotna

 

Triple-A

Tom Allison 2B Susitna Valley

Cliff Anderson SS/2B Kodiak

Alex Jamieson C Anchorage

Joey Newby P Soldotna

Corey Madden P Anchorage

 

Double-A

Dustin Krug P Kodiak

Jamar Hill OF Anchorage

Chad Nading P Anchorage

Dylan Baker P Juneau

 

Single-A

Matt Way P Sitka

Jerome Johnson P Fairbanks

Ryan Shaver P Fairbanks

Levi Robinson 3B Anchorage

Trajan Langdon 3B Anchorage

Timothy Stanley 2B Anchorage

Brian Montalbo P Anchorage

Anton Maxwell P Anchorage

Joe Ayers SS Juneau

Toby Staveland P Juneau

Jeff Zitek SS Kenai

Jonny Homza C/3B Anchorage

Goldpanners defeat Fairbanks Legion Camp All-Stars

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jun 15, 2019

The Legion All-Stars were selected from the two-day College Coaches Camp in Fairbanks.

Fletcher Burnett of the Fairbanks Post 11 49ers collected an RBI and scored a run and Hatcher Wendt of the North Pole Post 30 Wild had a double for his team’s lone extra-base hit as the Fairbanks Legion Camp All-Stars lost a 22-4 loss to the collegiate Alaska Goldpanners.

 

The 49ers’ Logan Fisher singled and scored and Dylan Malamute walked and scored. The Wild’s Andrew Troppmann added an RBI.

 

In terms of pitching, North Pole’s Dustin Peterson and Gavin Fischer each went a full frame and Brock Weatherspoon went two-thirds. Shawn Conwell and Troppmann of Fairbanks combined to for the other 1.1 innings.

 

The camp all-stars were picked from the two-day College Coaches Camp in Fairbanks.

 

Wild assistant coach Jakob Pulsifer – the son of manager Ray Pulsifer – pitched for the Goldpanners. Miles Kizer – the Panners head coach – pitched the final inning.

Wall continues winning ways in collegiate Sunset League

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

The former Juneau Post 25 pitcher improved to 2-0 with the Southern California Shepherds after winning his second straight start in a 6-1 victory over the Signal Hill Oilers.

Philip Wall of Juneau keeps pitching at a high level, regardless of the competition.

 

Fresh off another successful college campaign, the right-hander landed a summer gig with the Southern California Shepherds of the Sunset League.

 

The former Juneau Post 25 pitcher improved to 2-0 after winning his second straight start in a 6-1 victory over the Signal Hill Oilers, scattering eight hits and a walk over six innings.

 

He’s got a 1.64 ERA and eight strikeouts in his first 11 innings with his new summer team.

 

Last summer he played American Legion Baseball in Alaska with the Juneau Post 25 Midnight Suns.

 

Wall was named MVP of the state tournament and played a pivotal role in helping Juneau make history at the Northwest Regional as the team snapped Alaska’s 10-year, 19-game losing streak at the World Series qualifier.

 

He has spent the past two seasons at the University of Northwestern-St. Paul and this year earned first-team all-league honors in the NCAA D3 Upper Midwest Athletic Conference.

Wanna play Legion? Here is info to make it happen

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jun 2, 2019

Get into the game - the season swings into action next week.

Juneau Post 25 Midnight Suns

Post Manager Jeremy Ludeman

723-9505   

jeremy@juneauak.org

 

Chugiak Post 33 Mustangs

Post Manager Steve Hall

321-3049

sphall@gci.net

 

Wasilla Post 35 Road Warriors

Post Manager Ken Ottenger     

301-4084   

ottworks@yahoo.com

 

West Post 1 Eagles

Post Manager John Wilson

317-3757   

jlwilson@gci.net

 

Eagle River ALB Wolves

Post Manager Kurby Olmstead

903-5860   

kurby_o@hotmail.com

 

Fairbanks Post 11 49ers

Post Manager Rodney Perdue

978-1995   

rperdue16@gmail.com

 

East Post 34 Thunderbirds

Post Manager Kurt Solberg      

242-7406   

babymoose97@hotmail.com

 

Bartlett Post 29 Golden Bears

Post Manager Jason McCart

240-9984

comicbk@aol.com

 

Dimond Post 21 Lynx

Post Manager Dan Montagna

350-7342   

dmontagna@nsales.com

 

South Post 4 Wolverines

Post Manager Mike Webster

529-4205   

mike@billsdistributing.com

 

Service Post 28 Cougars

Post Manager Willie Paul        

280-8439   

williepaul1@live.com

 

Kenai Post 20 Twins

Head Coach Robb Quelland

398-0871

bdrak1@yahoo.com

 

Ketchikan Post 3 King Salmon

Post Manager John Milner

220-7453   

redmilner@gmail.com

 

Kodiak Post 17 Bears

Post Manager Derek Clarkston

512-6828   

theclarkston@gmail.com

 

Palmer Post 15 Pioneers

Head Coach Matt McLaughlin

coopsbudak@gmail.com

 

North Pole Post 30 Wild

Post Manager Raymond Pulsifer

388-4255   

rlpulsifer@yahoo.com

 

Wasilla beats Ketchikan 8-6 to claim first state title

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jun 1, 2019

Wasilla rallied back from deficits of 2-0, 4-1, 6-4 to make school history and give the Mat-Su Valley its first state championship in high school baseball. It’s also just the second title for the Sout…

Wasilla 8, Ketchikan 6

Byson Malave stroked a go-ahead double in the fourth inning and relief pitcher Carter Huston was lights out down the stretch as the Warriors walked away their first state title thanks to a come-from-behind win in the championship game of the ASAA/First National Bank State Baseball Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Wasilla rallied back from deficits of 2-0, 4-1, 6-4 to make school history and give the Mat-Su Valley its first state championship in high school baseball. It’s also just the second title for the Southcentral Conference since Kodiak won it all in 2004.

 

The Warriors (22-2) took the lead for good thanks to a four-run fourth inning. Clayton Boyett scored to get Wasilla within 6-5 and Malave’s extra-base knock put his team ahead for good. Malave later scored after an error to make it 8-6.

 

Malave finished with three RBIs, adding a run-scoring single in the third inning.  Boyett went 2-for-4 with a double, two runs and four innings pitched as starting pitcher.

 

Wasilla tied the game at 4-4 in the third inning after executing a suicide squeeze – with Max Wasner laying down a bunt and Jacob Gilbert scoring from third base.

 

Wasner and Jacob Hanson finished with RBIs and Gilbert scored a pair of runs. Nolan Murphy reached base three times on a walk and twice getting hit by pitch.

 

And then there was Huston, who provided remarkable relief when his team needed it the most. He held Ketchikan (15-2) to just two hits and two walks in 3.2 innings.

 

Huston has pitched well all season, improving his record to 4-0 and lowering his ERA to 1.22 in 23 innings.

 

The Warriors had several stars and they needed every one of them to beat the Southeast Conference champion Kings, who boast a loaded lineup led by sluggers Liam Kiffer and Wyatt Barajas.

 

Together, they combined for a 12 home runs – more than the rest of the teams at state combined. Maybe the entire state of Alaska.

 

Kiffer crushed his sixth dinger with a solo shot in the third inning to give Ketchikan a 3-1 lead. He finished 2-for-3 with a home run, double and two RBIs. He also drew a 10-pitch walk with two outs in the sixth inning.

 

Barajas was 1-for-4 with a run. Barajas finished the season with six home runs and 39 RBIs.

 

Ketchikan pitcher Cody Kemble started the title game and struck out five batters over four innings. Three of the runs he surrendered were unearned. Kemble also doubled at the plate.

 

Hayden McGarrigan finished the game and kept Wasilla off the scoreboard over the final two frames.

 

Ketchikan was making its first appearance in the state championship game since 2012. For the Warriors, it was their first since all the way back in 2001. It was so long ago it was almost forgettable.

 

But nobody will ever forget the 2019 state champion Wasilla Warriors.

 

ASAA State Baseball Tournament

Most Championships

6 Juneau – 2002, 2003, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2018

5 Sitka – 2005, 2006, 2007, 2014, 2017

3 South – 2011, 2013, 2016

1 Wasilla – 2019

1 Chugiak – 2015

1 Dimond – 2009

1 Kodiak – 2004

1 Service – 2001

1 East – 2000

*ASAA tournament began in 2000

**In 2007 the field expanded from 4 to 8 teams

West shuts down Chugiak 10-0 in third-place game

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jun 1, 2019

Ivan Tillman earned his second win in three days and Luke Langnes and Nicko Opinsky each had three RBIs as the Eagles made school history by winning the third-place game at the ASAA/First National Ban…

West 10, Chugiak 0

Ivan Tillman earned his second win in three days and Luke Langnes and Nicko Opinsky each had three RBIs as the Eagles made school history by claiming the third-place game at the ASAA/First National Bank State Baseball Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Tillman (5-0) threw four scoreless innings to finish the high school season with a 27-inning scoreless streak. He allowed just two hits, one walk and struck out two.

 

Langness was 3-for-3 and Nicko Opinsky was 2-for-3. Jack Opinsky went 3-for-4 with a triple and four runs. Hayden Wanamaker was 2-for-2 with two RBIs and Quinn Bates-Janigo was 1-for-1 with an RBI double.

 

West’s Leland Wilson – who had been injured all year – made his pitching debut and struck out the side in his only inning of work.

 

The third-place finish was the best in school history for West (12-7), bettering the team’s fourth-place finish in 2010, the only other time the Eagles played at state.

 

It was also West’s first win against Chugiak in four meetings this year.

 

Justin Nevells went 2-for-3 and Christian Cambridge was 1-for-2 with a walk for Chugiak (16-4).

 

Rest of the team was 0-for-14.

Colony defeats Juneau 8-1 in fourth-place game

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jun 1, 2019

Zach Satterly threw a complete-game gem, Koen Leaders drove in four runs and Trace Severson made several nice defensive plays in left field as the Knights won the fourth-place game at the ASAA/First N…

Colony 8, Juneau-Douglas 1

Zach Satterly threw a complete-game gem, Koen Leaders drove in four runs and Trace Severson made several nice defensive plays in left field as the Knights won the fourth-place game at the ASAA/First National Bank State Baseball Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Satterly allowed six hits and one walk, working around the zone all day. He threw first-pitch strikes to 19 of 29 batters. He struck out three.

 

Leaders drew a walk with the bases loaded for his first RBI in the second inning. He had a two-run single in the third inning. He added a run-scoring fielder’s choice in the fifth inning.

 

Carson McLaughlin went 2-for-3 with a triple and three runs. Alex Manning reached base three times, scored twice and collected two RBIs.

 

This was Colony's first win over Juneau in four meetings all-time at the state tournament. Juneau won in 2017, 2013 and 2008.

 

Juneau’s Brock McCormick and Olin Rawson each went 2-for-3. Rawson knocked in his team's lone run.

Wasilla runs all over Chugiak 13-1 in semifinals

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 31, 2019

The Warriors improved their state-best record to 21-2 on the season and advanced to their first state championship game since 2001. Wasilla will face Ketchikan in a matchup between two teams in search…

Wasilla 13, Chugiak 1

A dream start put the Warriors in position to fulfill a dream scenario after winning their semifinal contest in shocking fashion at the ASAA/First National Bank State Baseball Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Wasilla scored six runs in the bottom of the first inning to set the tone for the rest of the game as the Warriors ran all over the Cook Inlet Conference champions in a game that ended after five innings because of the mercy rule.

 

Nobody does that to Chugiak, but Wasilla did, handing the Mustangs the school’s most lopsided loss in 21 games at the state tournament.

 

The Warriors improved their state-best record to 21-2 on the season and advanced to their first state championship game since 2001. Wasilla will face Ketchikan in a matchup between two teams in search of their first championship.

 

Wasilla jumped out a quick start for the second straight day, thanks in part to cleanup hitter Clancey O’Donnell, who for the second straight day drove in his team’s first run with a base knock.

 

The Warriors batted around in each of the first and fourth innings, producing a conveyor belt of base runners. There were seven hits, seven walks, two hit batsman and a few more that reached by error.

 

Waylon Payne’s RBI single made it 7-0, A.J. Camacho’s RBI double made it 8-0 and Clayton Boyett’s RBI single gave Wasilla a 12-0 lead.

 

The Southcentral Conference champions showed off pitching and defense too.

 

Jacob Gilbert pitched all five innings and struck out six batters with zero walks. He heated up over the third and fourth innings when he racked up four straight strikeouts.

 

His catcher, Max Wanser, threw out two base runners at second base, including the final out of the game.

 

This was Wasilla’s 13th win all-time at the state tournament – No. 5 all-time in Alaska and two behind Chugiak (15).

 

The Mustangs (16-3) scored in the seventh to avoid being shutout, which should stand for something. It seemed fitting that Justin Nevells had the RBI given he was one of the few bright spots for Chugiak.

 

He delivered a two-out base hit to get his team on the board. He also came from the bullpen in the first inning, the third pitcher used to get out of the opening frame. He held Wasilla scoreless for the next two innings and got the first two outs in the fourth before errors opened the flood gates.

 

Chugiak will face West tomorrow in an all-CIC third-place game.

Ketchikan storms back to beat West 7-6 in semifinals

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 31, 2019

The Southeast Conference champion Kings (15-1) scored four runs in the top of the sixth inning and two more in the seventh inning, capped by Kristian Pihl's RBI groundout that scored CJ Paule with the…

Ketchikan 7, West 6

The Kings rallied from deficits of 5-1 and 6-5 over the final two innings to stun the high-flying Eagles in the semifinals of the ASAA/First National Bank State Baseball Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Ketchikan (15-1) scored four runs in the top of the sixth inning and two more in the seventh inning, capped by Kristian Pihl's RBI groundout that scored CJ Paule with the winning run.

 

Hayden McGarrigan's sac fly scored Gavin Salazar to tie the game at 6-6. Cody Kemble pitched a 1-2-3 seventh to collect the save and help Ketchikan reach the state championship game for the first time since 2012.

 

The Kings now own 11 wins at the state tournament - No. 6 all-time in Alaska.

 

They will face the winner of Chugiak/Wasilla for the title.

 

Early on, West (11-7) built a seemingly comfortable 5-1 lead. Nicko Opinsky's two-run double gave the Eagles a 2-1 lead and he later scored on a wild pitch to make it 3-1. Five walks, an error and hit batsman fueled a two-run fifth inning to push the lead to 5-1.

 

It could have been worse for the Kings had they not ended the fifth with a double play. They carried that momentum into the sixth, when they struck for four runs to tie the game at 5-5.

 

With two outs and two out, Ketchikan saw the next five batters reach on hit by pitch, error, walk, hit by pitch and single. There was also a balk. Wyatt Barajas ripped a single up the middle to tie the game. It was his 39th RBI of the season, but none were as important as that one.

 

In the sixth inning, both shortstops (West’s Jack Opinsky, Ketchikan’s Brock King) saved runs by laying out to stop the ball from reaching the outfield. Ketchikan also turned a double play, its second in as many innings.

 

In the seventh inning, West’s Sam Lebo singled, stole second, went to third on a sac bunt and scored on a groundout by Quinn Bates-Janigo to give the Eagles a 6-5 lead. They surrendered two unearned runs in the seventh to deny them a chance to play in the school’s first-ever state title game.

 

West – making just its second appearance ever at the state tournament – will play for third place tomorrow. The 2010 team finished fourth, so a win would give the Eagles their best finish in school history.

Juneau, Colony advance to fourth-place game

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 31, 2019

Tonight's semifinals feature Ketchikan vs. West and Wasilla vs. Chugiak

Juneau-Douglas 11, North Pole 1

Garrett Bryant went 4-for-4 and Brock McCormick pitched a five-inning complete game as the Crimson Bears won the consolation game at the ASAA/First National Bank State Baseball Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Bryant doubled, drove in three runs, scored three runs and stole two bases. McCormick allowed just three hits and threw a first-pitch strike to 14 of 21 batters.

 

Riley Griffin went 2-for-3 with a double, RBI and run for Juneau (8-10). Brock McCormick, Christian Ludeman and Olin Rawson also had RBIs.

 

Gaby Soto Sanchez and Gavin Millard each went 1-for-3 and scored twice. Millard smacked a double and Sanchez swiped two bags.

 

This was Juneau’s record 27th win at the state tournament. The Crimson Bears are now 27-13 all-time, with the 40 games being No. 1 in Alaska.

 

They will face Colony in tomorrow's fourth-place game.

 

North Pole (9-7) finished tied for seventh at state.

 

Ben Green, Alex Garcia and Gavin Fischer each had base hits for the Patriots. Fischer’s hit was a double. He also scored a run and pitched 1.2 innings.

 

Colony 8, West Valley 4

Kaden Ketchum collected two hits, drove in two runs and pitched 2.1 innings to help the Knights win the consolation game to avoid elimination at the ASAA/First National Bank State Baseball Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

The leadoff hitter finished 2-for-4 at the plate with a double. His scoreless relief appearances ended with a save.

 

The Knights (12-7) advanced to tomorrow’s fourth-place game. This was the program’s eighth all-time win at the state tournament, which ranks No. 9 in Alaska.

 

Colony No. 9 hitter Evan Walker tripled, drove in two runs and scored twice. Ben Alley was 2-for-2 with an RBI and run. He also started and earned the win, throwing 4.2 innings and scattering four hits and five walks with three Ks.

 

West Valley (12-4) finished the season tied for seventh at state.

 

Andrew Troppman showed out for the Mid-Alaska Conference championships with a base hit, RBI, run scored, stolen base and one inning pitched.

 

Dylan Swarthout, William Boswood and Isaac Coon also had RBIs for West Valley and Billy Renfrew, Shaun Conwell and Jacob Angaiak also scored runs.

Woodall is CIC MVP, Jessee wins 1st Blasingame Award

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 30, 2019

Woodall - the 2019 Don Rabung CIC Most Valuable Player - is headed to NCAA D2 Saint Martin's University and Jessee - the winner of the inaugural Wade Blasingame Top Pitcher Award - is headed to NCAA …

South seniors Jacob Woodall and Brody Jessee were two of the biggest players in the Cook Inlet Conference and they both walked away with two of the biggest individual awards as the 2019 all-league honors were handed out.

 

The 6-foot-5, 215-pound Woodall was named Don Rabung CIC Most Valuable Player and the 6-foot-4, 190-pound Jessee won the inaugural Wade Blasingame Top Pitcher Award.

 

Woodall was named first team all-conference at starting pitcher and first base.

 

At the plate he hit .393 with eight RBIs and six runs in 10 league games. In five appearances on the mound, he tied for the league lead with 33 strikeouts and was third with 20 innings. He finished 2-1 with a save and 1.75 ERA.

 

Woodall is the third straight South player to win MVP honors, following Lian Lincoln in 2018 and Jonny Homza in 2017. Other South MVPs include Willy Homza in 2015, Max Karnos in 2013 and Zach Sterling in 2007.

 

Woodall will play college ball at NCAA D2 Saint Martin’s University.

 

Jessee is a hard-throwing right-handed pitcher headed to NCAA D1 Gonzaga University.

 

He finished third in the league with 22 strikeouts in only 14.2 innings. In three appearances he was 1-1 with a 1.43 ERA. He threw a five-inning 1-hitter against playoff team Eagle River.

 

The first-ever CIC top pitcher award is named after Blasingame, the president of Houston Contracting and a partner of the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation, who over the two decades has left an indelible mark on youth baseball in Alaska through his undying commitment, networking and support.

 

The CIC all-league team is voted on by the conference’s eight head coaches and stats are based on a 10-game league season.

 

Other top individual winners included Dimond slugger Zach Jenkins and Chugiak catcher Trystan Costanios.

 

Jenkins won the CIC Big Stick Award after he led the league with a .542 batting average and .667 on-base percentage. He drove in seven runs and scored 12 runs, thanks in part to 10 stolen bases. He was 13-for-24 at the plate, with two doubles.

 

Costanios flashed a .986 fielding percentage and threw out two base runners. He added four assists. He had just one passed ball and one error in 10 games.

 

Cook Inlet Conference Baseball Awards

 

Don Rabung CIC MVP Award

Jacob Woodall South SP/1B 2-1 1SV 1.75ERA, 33Ks, 20IP, .393avg, 8 RBIs, 6R

 

Wade Blasingame Top Pitcher Award

Brody Jessee South 14.2IP 22K 1-1 1.43 ERA

 

Big Stick Award

Zach Jenkins Dimond .542avg, .667obp, 7RBI, 12R, 10SB

 

Gold Glove Award

Trystan Costanios Chugiak .986 fielding percentage, 2CS, 4A

 

ALL-CIC FIRST TEAM

Starting pitcher

#23 Ivan Tillman West 18IP 17K 6BB 3-0 0.00ERA

#23 Jacob Woodall South 20IP 33K 11BB 2-1 1SV 1.75ERA

#12 Ryan Henrickson Dimond 24IP 33K 14BB 3-2 1.75ERA

#9 Billy Smith Chugiak 15.1IP 14K 10BB 1-0 0.91ERA

 

Relief pitcher

#4 Zack Barnhart East 9.1IP 9K 1BB 0-0 0.00ERA

#9 Alex Alvarez West 7IP 11K 7BB 1SV 1HLD 0.00ERA

 

Catcher

#24 Trystan Costanios Chugiak .241avg 6R 9RBI 3xb 1SB .378OBP

 

Designated hitter

#39 Brody Jessee South .444avg 6R 11RBI 3xb 2SB .483 OBP

 

First base

#23 Jacob Woodall South .393avg 6R 8RBI .486OBP

#21 Leland Wilson West .409avg 6R 8RBI 10SB .552OBP

 

Second base

#9 Billy Smith Chugiak .452avg 10R 11RBI 3xb 9SB .564OBP

 

Third base

#20 Quinn-Bates Janigo West .321avg 8R 6RBI 1xb 2SB .367OBP

 

Shortstop

#14 Connor Cunningham Dimond .464avg 14R 2RBI 2xb 4SB .625OBP

 

Outfield

#36 Christian Cambridge Chugiak .436avg 15R 5RBI 7xb 8SB .564OBP

#39 Ian Frizelle Chugiak .353avg 13R 6RBI 6xb 8SB .488OBP

#27 Zach Jenkins Dimond .542avg 12R 7RBI 2xb 10SB .667OBP

 

Utility

#24 Carsen Sandau Service .423avg 8R 9RBI 5xb 5SB .583OBP

 

ALL-CIC SECOND TEAM

Starting pitcher

#0 Ryan Wood Bartlett 13IP 19K 1BB 2-0 0.54ERA

#35 Camden Costanios Chugiak 17.6IP 19K 18BB 2-0 3.57ERA

#20 Quinn Bates-Janigo West 15.3IP 10K 9BB 2-1 5.02 ERA

#12 Daniel Bodine Eagle River 17IP 12K 11BB 0-1 4.53ERA

 

Relief pitcher

#27 Justin Nevells Chugiak 8.2IP 9K 5BB 2-0 2.42ERA

#7 Tony Maioriello South 11.2IP 13K 11BB 1-0 3.60ERA

 

Catcher

#6 Cam Witte Eagle River .241avg 1R 1RBI .421OBP

 

First base

#26 Chase Solberg East .185avg 2R 3RBI 1xb 1sb .267OBP

 

Second base

#2 Nicko Opinsky West .222avg 6R 3RBI 3SB .364OBP

 

Third base

#31 Ian Bryd Bartlett .227avg 2R 3RBI 3SB .370OBP

 

Shortstop

#27 Justin Nevells Chugiak .222avg 15R 7RBI 7SB .333OBP

 

Outfield

#47 Sam Bourdon Service .423avg 10R 8RBI 3xb 2SB .515OBP

#15 Gage Webster South .412avg 7R 4RBI 1xb .500OBP

#0 Shawn Jones West .250avg 9R 2RBI 3xb 6SB .400OBP

 

Utility

#8 Max Fink West .400avg 3R 4RBI 2SB .400OBP

 

ALL-CIC HONORABLE MENTION

Catcher

Jacob Dunham East

Josh Smith Service

 

First base

Taylor McCart Bartlett

 

Second base

Devin Wilcox Eagle River

 

Third base

David Lundell East

 

Shortstop

Jack Opinsky West

Noah Lower Eagle River

Blake Bacho Bartlett

 

Outfield

Ryan Henrickson Dimond

Ryan Gray Eagle River

Gavin Oakley East

Jalen John West

Ryan Bailey South

Jacob Lick Dimond

 

Utility

Damian Mohl South

Sterling Retzlaff Eagle River

 

Recent Don Rabung CIC MVP Winners

2019 Jacob Woodall South SP/1B 2W-1L 1SV 1.75ERA 33Ks 20IP .393BA 8 RBIs 6R

2018 Lian Lincoln South OF .500BA 8RBI 15R 4XBH .622OBP 9BB 5SB 1.000FLD 7OFA

2017 Jonny Homza South SS/SP .577BA 10RBI 15R .703OBP, 3W-0L 12.2IP 1.16ERA 19K

2016 Cody Curfman Chugiak SP/C 4W-0L 1.93ERA 16K 29IP .323BA 9RBI 32B 7SB 6CS 4PK

2015 Tie, Lucas Thorp Dimond 1B/RP .414BA 2HR 9RBI .759 SLG 1W-1L 2SV 2.69ERA 13IP

          Willy Homza, South SS .518BA 10RBI 7XBH .556OBP .938FLD

2014 Dalton Chapman West SP/1B 4W-0L 0.96ERA 1SV 77K 36IP .456BA, 15RBI 8XBH .711SLG

2013 Max Karnos South SP/1B 1W-1L 0.33ERA 35K (17 1 game) 20IP .429BA 8XBH 11RBI

2012 Zach Ferntheil Service SP/1B 3W-0L 2SV 1.12ERA 25K 18IP .423BA

 

 

Cook Inlet Conference Leaders

10 games

Hits:

2019 - Christian Cambridge, Chugiak - 17

2018 - Lian Lincoln, South - 17

2017 – Lian Lincoln, South - 16

2016 – Matthew Kley, South - 14

2015 – Willy Homza, South - 16

2014 – Dalton Chapman, West - 15

2013 - Chase Wilson, Chugiak - 19

 

RBI:

2019 – tie, Billy Smith, Chugiak – 11

              Brody Jessee, South - 11

2018 – tie, Quinn Bates Janigo, Dimond - 11

              Jacob Woodall, South - 11

2017 - Sladen Mohl, South - 16

2016 - Brady Lindberg, Chugiak 12

2015 - Logan Williams, Bartlett - 12

2014 - Dalton Chapman, West - 15

2013 - Deven Ferriss, Chugiak - 14

 

Runs:

2019 - Christian Cambridge, Chugiak - 15

2018 - Lian Lincoln, South - 15

2017 - Lian Lincon, South - 17

2016 - Jonny Homza, South - 18

2015 - Willy Homza, South - 16

2014 - Alex Valdez, South - 16

2013 - Deven Ferriss, Chugiak - 18

 

Home Runs:

2019 – Six tied - 1

2018 - Jake Andresen, Dimond - 2

2017 - Dylan Montagna, Dimond - 2

2016 - Five tied - 1

2015 – tie, Joe Fita, Dimond - 2

          Lucas Thorp, Dimond - 2

2014 - Alex Valdez, South - 1

2013 - Jordan Clevenger, Dimond - 1

 

Individual Pitching:

Innings:

2019 – Taylor McCart, Bartlett - 26

2018 - Leland Wilson, West - 25

2017 - Gaten Davis, East - 29.1

2016 - Gaten Davis, East - 30.1

2015 - Joe Fitka, Dimond - 20.2

2014 - Dalton Chapman, West - 36.2

2013 - Dalton Chapman, West - 30.2

 

Wins:

2019 – tie Ivan Tillman, West - 3

       Ryan Henrickson, Dimond - 3

         Ian Frizelle, Chugiak - 3

2018 – tie, Jacob Woodall, South- 3

          Leland Wilson, West - 3

2017 – tie, Parker Johnson, South - 3

          Jonny Homza, South - 3

2016 - Cody Curfman, Chugiak - 4

2015 - Four tied - 2

2014 – tie, Dalton Chapman, West - 4

          Nick Jensen, South - 4

2013 - Dalton Chapman, West - 3

 

Saves:

2019 – Five tied - 1

2018 - Justin Nevells, Chugiak - 2

2017 - Raleigh Pigg, Service - 2

2016 - Matt Hess, Chugiak - 2

2015 - Lucas Thorp, Dimond - 2

2014 - Guido Garili, Eagle River - 2

2013 - Brad Butcher, South - 2

 

Strikeouts:

2019 –tie Jacob Woodall, South – 33

          Ryan Henrickson, Dimond - 33

2018 - Leland Wilson, West - 44

2017 - Gaten Davis, East - 49

2016 - Gaten Davis, East - 43

2015 - Zach Brueggemann, Chugiak - 30

2014 - Dalton Chapman, West - 77

2013 - Dalton Chapman, West - 55

 

Team Awards:

Team Batting Average:

2019 - Chugiak - .324

2018 - Dimond - .313

2017 - South - .402

2016 - South - .338

 

Team Pitching ERA:

2019 – West – 2.19

2018 - Chugiak - 1.87

2017 - South - 1.50

2016 - South - 1.28

 

Team Fielding:

2019 – Chugiak - .978

Chugiak has grand slam, triple play in win over Patriots

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 30, 2019

Chugiak, Wasilla, Ketchikan and West Anchorage will make up Friday's final four at the ASAA/First National Bank State Baseball Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium.

Chugiak 13, North Pole 3

Led by Trystan Costanios, the Mustangs did a little bit of everything with a grand slam, inside-the-park home run and triple play in a dominating victory in five innings at the ASAA/First National Bank State Baseball Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Costanios finished 2-for-2 with two home runs and six RBIs as Chugiak moved into the state semifinals for the third time since 2015.

 

The senior catcher hit a grand slam over the left-field wall in the first inning and then shot the left-center gap in the third inning and scored after the two outfields collided.

 

Costanios has three home runs on his last five at-bats, dating to last week’s CIC playoff game against West Anchorage. He also has nine RBIs.

 

Chugiak’s Ian Frizelle, Billy Smith and Christian Cambridge each ripped 2-RBI base hits to help the Mustangs (16-2) score all their runs in the first three innings.

 

The Cook Inlet Conference champions ended the game with a triple play, thanks to left fielder Camden Costanios, who chased down a laser near the warning track to make an over-the-shoulder catch before doubling up the base runners.

 

Coming to the plate with runners at first and second, North Pole’s Alex Garcia crushed one to left that looked like an easy extra-base hit before Costanios jumped on his horse and tracked it down, much to the surprise of the Patriots.

 

North Pole (9-6) bounced back from a tough start to create some momentum in the fourth inning. It’s never easy to fight back from a 13-run deficit, but credit the Mid-Alaska Conference runner-ups for doing just that.

 

Gavin Fischer doubled, drove in an RBI and scored a run to highlight a three-run top half. Alex Kazense and Alex Garcia each 1-for-3. Mathias Allen-Huisma collected his team’s first hit of the night.

 

And North Pole pitcher Brock Weatherspoon keyed the bottom half after he wiggled out of a bases-loaded jam to keep Mustangs off the scoreboard for the first time in the game.

 

Chugiak has now defeated North Pole in each of the last two state tournaments.

 

Wasilla 10, Juneau-Douglas 3

Clancey O’Donnell drilled a bases-clearing double in the first inning that set up the Warriors and Nolan Murphy made it stick with six strong innings in the first-round game of the ASAA/First National Bank State Baseball Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

The first three Wasilla batters of the game walked to bring up O’Donnell, who smacked the first of his two extra-base hits on the day. He finished 3-for-4 and batted in four runs, giving him 21 RBIs in 21 games this year.

 

Wasilla (20-2) moved into the state semifinals for the third time since 2014 and improved to 2-0 all-time against Juneau in the state tournament. The first meeting saw the Warriors win 3-2 in a 2001 semifinal matchup.

 

Murphy allowed four hits, three walks and a pair of runs to lower his ERA to 2.57 in 19 innings this year. He improved his record to 4-0 in a half dozen appearances for the Southcentral Conference champions.

 

He stranded a runner in scoring position in the first, third, fourth and sixth innings.

 

Wasilla took advantage of nine hits, nine walks and a hit batsman.

 

Clayton Boyett continued his sensational season with two hits, two walks, three runs and two stolen bases to run his streak to 30 consecutive stolen bases without getting caught. His 36 runs are among the state leaders.


 

This was Juneau’s record 39th all-time game at the state tournament, with Sitka (28) and South Anchorage (27) the next closest. The Crimson Bears are also No. 1 with 26 wins and six state titles.

 

Christian Ludeman doubled twice and joined Brock McCormick and Riley Griffin in the RBI Club for the Crimson Bears (7-10) of the Southeast Conference.

 

McCormick was 2-for-3 with a run and Luis Mojica just missed a home run with a double off the wall in left field.

 

Juneau’s Olin Rawson pitched 6.2 innings of relief after entering the game under the most difficult of circumstances – bases loaded, no outs, first inning. He did well to keep his team in the hunt, but the Warriors proved too tough in the end.

 

West Anchorage 10, West Valley 0

Ivan Tillman pitcher a 1-hitter over five innings to extend his scoreless streak to 23 innings and catcher Luke Langnes drove in four runs as the Eagles ended the first-round victory in six innings at the ASAA/First National Bank State Baseball Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

With the win, West marched into the state semifinals for the first time in school history.

 

Tillman has racked up four winning decisions in his last five appearances. His strikeout-to-walk ratio is 23-7. He’s surrendered only eight hits during that scoreless streak.

 

His battery mate provided an early cushion after Langnes smacked a two-run single in the first inning and a two-run double in the third inning. Langnes finished 3-for-3, raising his average to .286 in 11 games.

 

West (11-6) scored in each of the six innings. Bubba Mendoza and Sam Lebo had RBI singles. Quinn Bates-Janigo went 2-for-2 and scored three runs, including one after earning a two-out walk and later scoring on a wild pitch.

 

In the seventh, Shawn Jones ripped his fourth double of the season and later scored to end the game by the mercy rule. West had 12 hits, with Nicko Opinsky and Mendoza chipping in two hits apiece.

 

This is the second time these two teams have met in the state tournament, with West Valley winning 5-4 in a 2010 first-round game.

 

West Valley ran into a buzz saw on the mound, but never stopped playing hard.

 

Take the fifth inning when the Mid-Alaska Conference champions from Fairbanks flashed some glove love by turning a 4-6-3 double play and ending the inning with catcher Isaac Coon throwing out a base runner at second.

 

Coon also had one of his team's two base hits. Jacob Angaiak also singled.

 

Graydon Lesneski, Shaun Conwell and Gus Jensen handled the pitching for the Wolfpack.
 

Ketchikan 10, Colony 3

The 1-2 combo of Wyatt Barajas and Liam Kiffer continues to pack a punch as the two heavyweights helped the Kings pound out a first-round victory at the ASAA/First National Bank State Baseball Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Barajas pitched five innings to earn his fifth straight winning decision in eight appearances this season. He allowed four hits and four walks with four strikeouts.

 

Barajas now has 51 strikeouts and a 1.75 ERA in 47 innings. He threw scoreless frames in the second, third and fourth innings against Colony as his offense found its rhythm.

 

Kiffer went 3-for-5 with a triple, run and two RBIs. The shortstop now has 31 RBIs in 23 games and raised his batting average to .472 (34-for-72).

 

Ketchikan (14-1) had 12 base hits by eight players – including a Brock King double and Kiffer triple to begin the game and set the tone.

 

Gavin Salazar and CJ Paule each had two hits, a run an RBI. Paule also banged out his frist triple of the season. Hayden McGarrigan scored two runs, stole a base and drove in a run for the Southeast Conference champions.

 

Ketchikan improved to 3-0 all-time against Colony at the state tournament. The Kings also won 7-1 in the 2018 third-place game and 4-2 in the 2013 fourth-place game.

 

Colony (11-7) fought back twice to cut the deficit in half – pulling within 2-1 in the first inning and 6-3 in the fifth inning.

 

Ben Alley went 2-for-4 and drove in a run to give him 18 RBIs in 18 games. Bryant Marks was 1-for-3 and scored his 19th run of the season.

 

Colony’s Brayden Methven delivered a double – his first of the season and his team's lone extra-base hit. He also recorded the final eight outs with two Ks – nothing new there, given he came in with a sparking 2.14 ERA.

 

Trace Severson pitched the first 4.1 innings and then ended the fifth inning after he threw out a base runner at the plate from his new position in left field.

Woodall named Gatorade Alaska Player of the Year

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 26, 2019

Senior Jacob Woodall won 2019 honors after he delivered a terrific two-way season in which he batted .400 in 19 games and went 3-1 with a 0.82 ERA for the Wolverines of the Cook Inlet Conference.

For the third time in the last four years, the South Anchorage Wolverines claimed the Gatorade Alaska Player of the Year award.

 

Senior Jacob Woodall won 2019 honors after he delivered a terrific two-way season in which he batted .400 in 19 games and went 3-1 with a 0.82 ERA for the Wolverines of the Cook Inlet Conference.

 

He joins two-time winner Jonny Homza (2017, 2016) and Ryan Skillern (2007) as South players to earn the state’s top high school player award.

 

Woodall, a 6-foot-5, 230-pound pitcher and first baseman, was giant this year.

 

He was big on the bump with 44 strikeouts in 25.2 innings. He allowed only three earned runs. He ended his high school career with a save, striking out five batters in two innings of work.

 

He went 24-for-60 at the plate and added 15 RBIs and 18 runs scored.

 

Woodall distinguished himself in the classroom as well with a 3.57 GPA, making him the total package and leading to him receiving a scholarship to play for NCAA D2 Saint Martin’s University in Lacey, Washington.

 

Gatorade Alaska Player of the Year

Past Winners

2019 Jacob Woodall South Anchorage

2018 Michael Cesar Juneau-Douglas

2017 Jonny Homza South Anchorage

2016 Jonny Homza South Anchorage

2015 Nathan Bonck Ketchikan

2014 Scooter Bynum Monroe Catholic

2013 Erickson Fish Sitka

2012 Zach Ferntheil Service

2011 Adam Manzer West Anchorage

2010 Dylan Baker Juneau-Douglas

2009 Ross Venneberg Sitka

2008 Joe Kohan Juneau-Douglas

2007 Ryan Skillern South Anchorage

2006 Chad Nading East Anchorage

2005 Zach Mixson Juneau-Douglas

2004 Craig Thibodeaux Eagle River

2003 Anton Maxwell East Anchorage

2002 Antoine McLeod East Anchorage

2001 Corey Madden East Anchorage

2000 Brian Montalbo Dimond

1999 Chad Bentz Juneau-Douglas

Jacob Woodall.jpg

Costanios brothers power Chugiak to CIC championship

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 23, 2019

Sophomore Camden Costanios pitched a 21-out no-hitter and senior Trystan Costanios put the game away in the third inning with a three-run home run as the No. 1. Mustangs clinched the CIC championship …

Chugiak 7, West 0

The Costanios brothers delivered one of the greatest 1-2 punches in Cook Inlet Conference history under the bright lights of the CIC playoffs.

 

Sophomore Camden Costanios pitched a 21-out no-hitter and senior Trystan Costanios put the game away in the third inning with a three-run home run as the Mustangs clinched the CIC championship in a battle of league leaders.

 

Camden Costanios retired the first seven batters he faced and threw 114 pitches in all.

 

He walked two batters and hit two batters, with one erased on a double play in the seventh inning.

 

Camden Costanios struck out nine batters and ended the no-no by inducing a ground ball to shortstop Justin Nevells.

 

Austin Bull went 2-for-3 and drove in two runs in the first inning to spot Chugiak a 2-0 lead. In the third, Billy Smith and Bull had consecutive singles to set the table for Trystan Costanios, who went yard to clear the bases.

 

Christian Cambridge went 3-for-4 and was one of six players to score a run for Chugiak (9-1 CIC, 15-2).

 

With the win, Chugiak claimed the CIC’s No. 1 seed at the ASAA state tournament at the end of the month. The Mustangs handed West its only two league losses this year.

 

West (8-2 CIC, 10-6) will be the CIC’s No. 2 seed.

 

In the seventh, Leland Wilson earned an eight-pitch walk after falling behind 0-2 in the count. The next batter rolled into a 6-4-3 double play to serve as the boost Camden Costanios needed to get over the hump.

 

South 6, Eagle River 4

Brody Jessee homered and tripled to power the Wolverines to victory in a CIC playoff-bracket game that featured four lead changes.

 

Jessee finished 2-for-4 with three RBIs, including a go-ahead two-run dinger in the fourth inning.

 

South (5-5 CIC, 13-6) also got a triple from Gage Webster and a double from Terren Sugita. Both those guys and Damian Mohl had RBIs.

 

Tony Maioriello started and pitched five innings, scattering seven hits and four walks with six strikeouts sprinkled in.

 

Jacob Woodall – who earlier in the day was named Gatorade Alaska Player of the Year – closed out the game for the save. He struck out five batters in two frames.

 

Ryan Gray played a helluva game for Eagle River (4-6 CIC, 9-10).

 

He pitched all six innings and batted 2-for-4 with a triple and three RBIs.

 

He danced around constant commotion on the mound, allowing eight hits and six walks. But to his credit, he kept the game close.

 

Mason Piper doubled and went 2-5 with an RBI and run. Noah Lower was 2-for-4.

 

Service 13, Bartlett 8

Carsen Sandau, Hutton Stiles, Henry Helgeson and Sam Bourdon combined for 12 of their team's 16 hits as the Cougars won in extra innings in CIC consolation action.

 

Sandau went 5-for-5 with two triples, two doubles and five RBIs. Stiles was 3-for-5 and scored four runs. Helgeson and Bourdon each had two hits.

 

The slugfest featured 28 hits and 10 walks as both teams combined to leave 23 runners on base. The game was tied after seven innings and wasn't decided until the 10th.

 

Bartlett's John Grantier and Drake Hughes each went 3-for-5 and Connor Sessoms doubled and drove in two runs.

 

Grantier, Hughes, Ryan Wood and Baylee Gillen also had RBIs for the Golden Bears. Taylor McCart struck out seven batters in 7.2 innings.

 

Dimond 9, East 3

Zach Jenkins went 3-for-3 with a double, two runs and two RBIs as the Lynx wrapped up the season sweep of the T-birds in CIC consolation action.

 

Ryan Henrickson pitched five innings and struck out seven. He allowed just two hits and both runs were unearned. Henrickson and reliever Adam Boyce issued just one walk between them.

 

Connor Cunningham scored two runs and Jack Dolan and Logan Sweet each had base hits and scored a run.

 

East's Erik White tripled, scored a run and also pitched a scoreless frame.

 

Gavin Oakley and Patrick Leshan collected RBIs for the T-birds.

Chugiak, West each win 2-1 thrillers in CIC playoffs

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 22, 2019

Chugiak beat South 2-1 and West edged Eagle River 2-1 to move teams to 8-1 entering tonight's pivotal rematch.

Chugiak 2, South 1

Billy Smith drew a bases-loaded walk with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning to help the Mustangs walk away with a CIC playoff win.

 

Camden Costanios started the rally with an infield single with one out. Then Justin Nevells bunted and reached on an error and Christian Cambridge walked to load the bases.

 

Smith not only had the game-winning RBI, he singled and scored his team’s first run in the second inning. He also started the game at pitcher and threw 5.1 innings, but earned a no-decision.

 

Smith and South starter Brody Jessee traded fastballs for five innings as the score stood 1-0. It was an old-fashioned pitcher’s duel.

 

There was also some defense, most notably from South shortstop Oliver Brown, who made a remarkable, ranging play to his left to end the fifth inning and stop two runs from scoring.

 

In the sixth, South got back-to-back baserunners on hit batsman and then got an opposite-field single from Terren Sugita. Credit Chugiak left fielder Costanios for quickly getting to the ball and throwing in to deny the base runners from advancing. And credit Chugiak reliever Christian Cambridge for escaping the bases-loaded jam with a pop up.

 

The Wolverines would wind up tying the game in the seventh inning, thanks to some two-out magic.

 

It all started with Ryan Bailey, who singled on the eighth pitch of the at-bat. Then Reid Brock singled, which forced Chugiak to make a call to the bullpen and brought in Justin Nevells to face Jacob Woodall.

 

Woodall singled to score Bailey and tie the game at 1-1 before Nevells ended the inning with a strikeout. Woodall finished 2-for-3; Brock 2-for-4.

 

This was the fifth time in the last six years that Chugiak and South have squared off in the CIC playoffs (South leads 3-2).

 

Chugiak swept the season series this year and now leads the all-time series 16-13 dating to 2005. The Mustangs are the only CIC team to have a winning record against the Wolverines.

 

West 2, Eagle River 1

Leland Wilson’s two-run single in the first inning provided all the offense the Eagles needed to win the hard-fought CIC playoff game.

 

Juan Benitez, Alex Alvarez, Max Fink and Luke Langnes combined on 2-hitter for West, which improved to 8-1 in the CIC and 10-5 overall.

 

This is the most CIC wins for West since 2010, which was also the last time the Eagles advanced to the state tournament.

 

In the bottom of the first inning, Shawn Jones ledoff with a double and Jack Opinsky singled to get the party started. With one out, Wilson knocked them in.

 

West managed only one other base hit the rest of the game against Eagle River starter Daniel Bodine, who pitched 5.2 innings, and reliever Orazio Ramos, who recorded the final out.

 

In the fourth inning, the Wolves pulled within 2-1 after Sterling Retzlaff reached on an error and later scored on a wild pitch.

 

It was an eventful inning for West reliever Alex Alvarez, who walked two runners after Retzlaff reached to load the bases. After the wild pitch, Alvarez settled down to end the threat with a strikeout.

 

Bodine pitched well in defeat, scattering four hits and one walk. He struck out four. Noah Lower and Kam Williams each went 1-for-3 for the Wolves (4-5 CIC, 9-9).

 

This was the first time since 2014 that Eagle River and West faced off in a CIC playoff game.

 

This was also the ninth time in the last 12 meetings dating to 2015 that the two teams have played a game decided by one or two runs.

 

Service 19, East 7

Hutton Stiles crushed a grand slam and Sam Bourdon went 4-for-4 as the Cougars took out a season's worth of frustrations in the slugfest victory in CIC consolation-bracket action.

 

The win snapped an eight-game losing streak in the CIC.

 

Service banged out 16 hits, including seven doubles and a home run from Stiles. The 19 runs tied the most for Service in the series with East dating to 1992.

 

Bourdon doubled twice, drove in four runs and scored four runs. Stiles had 5 RBIs and Henry Helgeson went 3-for-5 with two doubles, an RBI and two runs. Josh Smith was 3-for-4 with a double, RBI and two runs scored.

 

Bryce Erichson smacked a double, scored a run and drove in two runs for East. David Lundell doubled, scored a run and had an RBI.

 

Despite the loss, the T-birds still lead Service 24-23 in the all-time series.

 

Dimond 11, Bartlett 1

Eric Galosich pitched four innings and drove in a run as the Lynx won the CIC consolation-bracket game to complete the season sweep of the Golden Bears.

 

Zach Jenkins went 2-for-3 with three runs, Jacob Lick tripled, scored twice and drove in two runs.

 

Luke Smith, Riley Straw, Jeremiah Eneix, Ryan Hendrickson, Logan Sweet and Adam Boyce also had RBIs.

 

Bartlett's Lee Elliot pitched a complete game and drove in a run.

 

Drake Hughes batted 2-for-3 and Taylor McCart scored his team's only run.

West, Chugiak secure CIC's two berths to State

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 18, 2019

West will make its first appearance at the state tournament since 2010 while Chugiak will be going to the big dance for the fourth time in the last five seasons.

West 3, South 1

Ivan Tillman was spotted a 2-0 lead and went to work in this Cook Inlet Conference playoff game as the right-handed pitcher held the Wolverines to three hits and one walk over seven innings in a complete-game gem.

 

With the win, No. 2 West wrapped up its first state tournament berth since 2010 and denied No. 3 South a state berth for the first time in nine years.

 

Shawn Jones scored the game's first run on wild pitch in the first inning and then sealed the deal with a two-out RBI single in the sixth inning.

 

Tillman allowed just three hits, one unearned run and one walk. He struck out four.

 

West shortstop Jack Opinsky turned a double play to end the game, one play after his error brought the tying run to the plate.

 

Quinn Bates-Janigo had an RBI single and Alex Alvarez scored the insurance run.

 

South’s Ryan Bailey led off the game with a single and later drove in his team's only run with a groundout in the third inning.

 

Jacob Woodall pitched six innings and struck out seven batters. He pitched four scoreless innings, highlighted by a four-pitch fifth inning.

 

Woodall was huge for the Wolverines this season, earning two wins last week to get them into playoff position. He pitched like the ace of the staff with each appearance.

 

Chugiak 7, Eagle River 2

Ian Frizelle pitched 4.2 innings to earn the win, tripled, stole two bases and drove in a run as the No. 1 Mustangs won the CIC playoff game to secure a state tournament berth for the fourth time since 2015.

 

Chugiak banged out 10 hits, with Billy Smith going 3-for-4 with two RBIs and Christian Cambridge going 2-for-3 with three runs scored.

 

Austin Bull and Trystan Costanios also had RBIs for Mustangs, who had nine stolen bases.

 

Chugiak scored three runs in the first inning and three more in the fourth.

 

No. 4 Eagle River got RBIs from Sterling Retzlaff and Orazio Ramos. Cam Witte and Mason Piper scored. Witte also recorded 5.2 innings as a pitcher.

 

The loss dropped the Wolves to 4-4 in the CIC and eliminated them from state tournament consideration.

 

This is Eagle River’s first appearances in the CIC playoffs since 2014.

 

Bartlett 3, East 1

Ryan Wood struck out 13 batters over seven innings in a complete-game effort as the No. 7 Golden Bears continued their best season since 2015.

 

Blake Bacho walked and later scored to give Bartlett an early 1-0 lead and a Connor Sessoms RBI single pushed the lead to 2-0.

 

That was all the offense Wood needed.

 

He struck out the side in the fourth and seventh innings. In the sixth, he used back-to-back strikeouts to escape a bases-loaded jam.

 

Bacho singled, walked twice, stole a base and scored. Bartlett swiped six bases, including two by Ian Byrd and another by Kevin Tapia, who also scored a run.

 

East’s Zack Barnhart pitched five innings of outstanding relief, allowing only two hits and an unearned run while striking out eight.

 

Erik White doubled and scored on Ian Carle's RBI single for the No. 6 T-birds only run.

 

Dimond 8, Service 7

Zach Jenkins lined a single to center field with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning that scored Logan Sweet and Parker Coplin and provided a walk-off win.

 

It was No. 5 Dimond’s fifth CIC win and its third by one run. Eight players combined for 10 base hits.

 

Connor Cunningham went 3-for-3 with two stolen bases and two runs scored. Jenkins and Ryan Henrickson scored twice and Jeremiah Eneix, Luke Smith and Jack Dolan drove in runs.

 

Coplin pitched one inning and earned the win in relief.

 

Service’s Kyle Andrew had three RBIs and a run. Henry Helgeson, Josh Smith and Nick Coats also had RBIs.

 

Smith had the lone extra-base hit with a double. The No. 8 Cougars walked 15 times on the night. Andrew and Lochner pitched all 6.2 innings.

 

Dimond beat Service 10-9 earlier this season in CIC play.

 

Chugiak clinches No. 1 seed for CIC playoffs

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 17, 2019

Mustangs will be joined in CIC playoffs by No. 2 West, No. 3 South and No. 4 Eagle River.

Billy Smith's home run in the fifth inning served as an explanation point for the Mustangs clinching the No. 1 seed for the upcoming Cook Inlet Conference playoffs.

 

Smith’s dinger put the finishing touches on a 9-6 win over Eagle River that moved Chugiak into a first-place tie with West.

 

But because Chugiak beat West 10-3 earlier this season in their only meeting, the Mustangs rode away with the top seed.

 

This is Chugiak's fifth straight CIC playoff appearance.

 

West beat South 6-4 to earn the No. 2 seed in a close game that came down to the final pitch.

 

This will be West's second straight playoff appearance. South is making its ninth straight trip to the CIC playoffs.

 

Eagle River will round out the top four playoff spots, sneaking in through the backdoor after East lost.

 

South, Eagle River and Dimond each finished 4-3 in CIC league play, but South beat both teams and Eagle River beat Dimond, with those head-to-head meetings serving as tiebreakers.

 

Eagle River is in the CIC dance for the first time since 2014.

 

Here is how it all went down:

 

Chugiak 9, Eagle River 6

Justin Nevells did a little bit of everything as he went 1-for-3 with two runs and stolen bases to go with 3.2 innings of relief to earn the win coming out of the bullpen.

 

Nevells allowed four hits and no walks in providing much-needed relief after Eagle River battled back after falling behind big early on.

 

Trystan Costanios and Christian Cambridge both doubled and drove in two runs for Chugiak, which led 8-0 after two innings. Half of their eight hits went for extra bases, including a solo home run from Smith.

 

Eagle River scored five runs in the third inning and Noah Lower tossed five innings of relief to make a game of it.

 

Ozario Ramos doubled and finished with two RBIs. Chase McGraw batted in two runs. Mason Piper 2-went-3 with an RBI and two runs.

 

Chugiak is now 14-2 versus Eagle River in CIC play since 2007.

 

West 6, South 4

Alex Alvarez earned a one-out save under the most difficult circumstances, ending the game on a strikeout with the bases loaded to end the threat.

 

West extended the lead from 4-2 to 6-2 with a pivotal two-run fifth inning after Shawn Jones doubled and later scored and Luke Langnes scored pinch-runner Max Fink with a sac fly.

 

Quinn Bates Janigo pitched 6.2 innings and scattered eight hits and two walks. He also drove in a run with the bat. Leland Wilson went 2-2 with an RBI and run. Revy Mack added an RBI. Jones and Fink each scored twice.

 

South's Dylan Maltby went 2-for-2 and reached base four times with a pair of walks. Jacob Woodall was 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run.

 

Gage Webster went 1-for-3 with a run and pitched five innings, striking out nine.

 

In the seventh inning, South created a little two-out magic to create a potential rally after Damian Mohl and Maltby singled, and Woodall walked to load the bases.

 

Exit Bates-Janigo. Enter Alvarez, who ended the game with a nasty breaking ball.

 

It was just West’s third win against South in the last 14 meetings dating to 2011.

 

Bartlett 10, Service 2

The Golden Bears broke out the bats and the pencils to update the history book, scoring their first CIC win since 2015 and earning their first victory against Service since 2006.

 

It made for a very special Senior Night.

 

Ryan Wood threw six inspiring innings, limiting the Cougars to two hits. He struck out six, walked nobody and carried a shutout in the fifth inning.

 

Bartlett’s Drake Hughes and Ian Byrd each went 2-for-2 with an RBI and run scored. Hughes doubled for the lone extra-base hit of the game.

 

The Bears stole 10 bases to help turn six hits and nine walks in double-figure runs - the first time that's happened for Bartlett in a league game since 2012.

 

Service's Carsen Sandau and Sam Bourdon recorded their team's only two base hits and combined to pitch all six innings.

 

This is Service’s worst start since 2008.

 

Dimond 7, East 0

Playing the role of spoiler, Dimond knocked East out of the playoff picture thanks to a pinpoint pitching performance from Ryan Henrickson.

 

Henrickson was brilliant with 10 strikeouts over six innings of work. He allowed just one base hit and issued two walks. Jack Dolan closed it out with a two-strikeout seventh inning.

 

Dimond’s Connor Cunningham went 3-for-4 with two doubles, two runs and an RBI.

 

Zach Jenkins had two RBIs and Adam Boyce scored twice. Henrickson and Luke Smith added RBIs.

 

East's Gavin Oakley delivered his team's only base knock; a double, no less.

 

At 5-6 overall, East has equaled its win total from the previous two seasons combined.

 

With three league wins, they have nearly matched their total (4) from the past two seasons.

 

East was gunning for first CIC playoff berth since 2008.

Dimond storms back with four-run 7th to shock Chugiak

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 14, 2019

Down 5-2 going into the final inning, Dimond struck for four runs with Jeremiah Eneix's two-run single putting the Lynx ahead for good in the game of the night in the CIC.

Dimond 6, Chugiak 5

Jeremiah Eneix, Jack Dolan and Connor Cunningham drove in runs to key a four-run top of the seventh inning that sparked a come-from-behind win for the Lynx, who moved to 3-3 in the Cook Inlet Conference.

 

Down 5-2 going into the final inning, Dimond struck for four runs with Eneix's two-run single putting the Lynx ahead for good.

 

It was Chugiak’s first CIC loss in six games.

 

Dimond pitcher Parker Coplin threw 6.1 innings of remarkable relief, keeping his team in the game long enough to give it a chance to win.

 

Coplin allowed five hits and one run with four strikeouts. Cunningham finished 3-for-3 with two runs and Ryan Henrickson had two RBIs.

 

Chugiak's Billy Smith pitched well in taking a no decision. He gave up five hits and only two runs in six innings of work.

 

Justin Nevells went 2-for-4 to go with two runs and Christian Cambridge was 2-for-3 and scored once.

 

With one out in the seventh, Chugiak’s Ian Frizelle tripled but was got caught off base in a rundown to end the scoring threat.

 

East 4, Bartlett 0

Patrick Leshan and Erik White combined for a 21-out no-hitter and Zack Barnhart reached base three times and drove in two runs as East improved to 3-3 in the CIC.

 

Leshan started and went 4.1 innings, walking three and striking out three. White closed it out with 2.2 innings with two walks and four Ks.

 

The T-birds turned two double plays, played error-free baseball and center fielder Gavin Oakley threw out a base runner at home in the third inning.

 

Barnhart went 2-for-2 with a walk. Axel Wyatt went 2-for-3 with a triple and two runs. Chase Solberg was 2-for-3 with an RBI.

 

Bartlett starter Taylor McCart pitched six innings and scattered eight hits and three walks. He only allowed one run over his four innings of work.

 

Julian Cepeda walked twice and stole four bases to do his part offensively for the Golden Bears.

 

South 11, Eagle River 0

For the third time in the last four games, the Wolverines pounced for six runs in the top of the first inning to carry them to the winner’s circle.

 

South is the hottest team in the CIC with four consecutive league wins after an 0-2 start in league.

 

Gonzaga University signee Brody Jessee pitched a 1-hitter with zero walks in five innings.

 

South pounded out 12 hits and 11 runs in just four innings.

 

Damian Mohl, Jacob Woodall, Terren Sugita, Ricky Gatter and Jessee each banged out two hits.

 

Woodall, Sugita and Gatter finished with two RBIs and Ryan Bailey, Oliver Brown and Sugita scored twice.

 

Eagle River's Noah Lower registered his team's lone base hit.

 

Lower – who is just a freshman – is the only Eagle River player to get a base hit in each of the six CIC games.

 

The Wolves slipped to 4-2 in the CIC.

 

West 13, Service 3

The Eagles plated 11 unanswered runs over the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to power a victory that keeps alive their CIC title hopes.

 

Quinn Bates-Janigo went 3-for-3 and led the 11-hit attack for West, which is tied with Chugiak atop the league at 5-1.

 

Bates-Janigo also scored twice and collected a pair of RBIs.

 

Luke Langnes doubled and drove in three runs. Bubba Mendoza was 2-for-4 with a double, two RBIs and two runs. Hayden Wanamaker laced a triple.

 

West Alex Alvarez came out of the bullpen to pitch 2.2 innings of shutout relief to earn the win, striking out six batters.

 

Service's Sam Bourdon went 2-for-2 with an RBI and run scored. Henry Helgeson went 1-for-3 with a double and Carsen Sandau was 1-for-3 and scored a run.

Top teams in CIC began to separate from rest of pack

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

South, Eagle River, Chugiak and West each posted solid wins Saturday and have appeared to set themselves a part from bottom half of league.

South 6, Dimond 1

Jacob Woodall earned his second win in five days after allowing just four hits and striking out six batters in 5.1 innings to help the Wolverines improve to 3-2 in the CIC.

 

The senior pitcher has a 2-0 record and 1.36 ERA over his last two starts, stretching 10.1 innings. He’s fanned 19 in that stretch.

 

Woodall has bookended a three-game South winning streak that has the Wolverines (11-3) back in playoff contention.

 

Brody Jessee went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs. Reid Brock scored twice and drove in a run. Damian Mohl and Woodall also had RBIs.

 

The game was 2-1 after four innings before South scored one run in the fifth and three more in the sixth.

 

Dimond’s Ryan Henrickson pitched 4.2 innings and overcame seven walks to allow just two earned runs. He also went 2-for-3 at the plate and scored a run.

 

The Lynx fell to 2-3 in the CIC, 6-9 overall.

 

Eagle River 15, Service 5

Noah Lower and Chase McGraw each drove in three runs and Orazio Ramos had three hits and two RBIs for the Wolves, who improved to 4-1 in the CIC.

 

Ryan Gray scored three runs and collected two RBIs and Daniel Bodine scored three times on a day when Eagle River (9-5) posted a double-figure run total for the second straight game.

 

Ramos finished 3-for-3 while McGraw and Cam Witte went 2-for-3. Lower was 2-for-4.

 

Witte got the win on the mound with five innings of work before Lower finished it off in the sixth.

 

Service's Josh Smith was 1-for-3 with two runs and an RBI.

 

Carsen Sandau, Chris Duke, Nathaniel Cole and Tobias Lochner each added RBIs for the Cougars, who fell to 0-5 in the CIC and 1-7 overall.

 

Chugiak 10, East 3

The CIC's top offensive squad did all of its damage in the first three innings en route to a victory that kept the Mustangs undefeated in the CIC at 5-0.

 

Justin Nevells went 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs.

 

Trystan Costanios doubled and drove in two runs. Christian Cambridge scored twice and Ian Frizelle and Austin Bull each drove in runs.

 

Chugiak (11-1) has scored a CIC-high 63 runs in five games.

 

Frizelle, Lewis and Nevells combined on a five-hitter.

 

East's Patrick Leshan was 2-for-4 while Zack Barnhart and Bryce Erichson batted in runs.

 

David Lundell, Erik White and Daniel Mokom scored the runs for East, which fell to 2-3 in the CIC and 4-5 overall.

 

West 15, Bartlett 5

The Eagles scored in each of the five innings and turned six base hits into two touchdowns to improve to 4-1 in the CIC.

 

Max Fink drove in three runs and Bubba Mendoza, Leland Wilson and Luke Langnes each collected two RBIs for West (6-5).

 

Quinn Bates-Janigo and Wilson each scored three runs. Bates-Janigo delivered a double for the game's lone extra-base hit.

 

Sam Lebo, Nicko Opinsky and Revy Mack scored twice.

 

Pitchers Ivan Tillman, Alex Alvarez, Carter Stolp and Mack combined for a three-hitter.

 

Bartlett's John Grantier drove in two runs and Taylor McCart and Kevin Tapia each scored two runs.

 

Tapia and Lee Elliott each batted in RBIs for the Golden Bears, who slipped to 0-5 in the CIC and 2-7 overall.

Wall wins game to keep alive team’s season in UMAC

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 11, 2019

Juneau’s Philip Wall pitched 7.1 innings and the University of Northwestern scored three runs in the top of the ninth inning to assure a 6-2 victory over the No. 1-seeded St. Scholastica Saints

With its back against the wall, the University of Northwestern-St. Paul turned to Juneau’s Philip Wall.

 

The sophomore starter pitched 7.1 strong innings and the Eagles scored three runs in the top of the ninth inning to assure a 6-2 victory over the No. 1-seeded St. Scholastica Saints in an elimination game at the NCAA D2 Upper Midwest Athletic Conference Tournament in Duluth, Minnesota.

 

Wall scattered nine hits and three walks, dancing around baserunners and dodging danger to keep alive his team’s season.

 

Only one of the two runs he surrendered were earned.

 

The former Juneau Legion Post 25 pitcher improved to 5-3 on the season. His five wins are the most among college pitchers from Alaska.

 

Northwestern led 3-2 going into the ninth before adding three insurance runs.

 

Wall lowered his ERA to 2.80 in 64.1 innings. He has struck out 40 batters and walked 23. He also has two 9-inning complete games to his credit.

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Curfman pitches playoff gem, but team loses in extras

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 11, 2019

Cody Curfman of Chugiak was spectacular for Northern State University, but he can't stop 4-2 loss in 10 innings to No. 2 Minnesota State in NSIC Tournament in Minnesota.

Northern State University starter Cody Curfman of Chugiak carried a shutout into the sixth inning and allowed only two runs in seven innings of work, yet the super playoff performance was all for naught.

 

The No. 7 Wolves lost a 4-2 heartbreaker in 10 innings to No. 2 Minnesota State in the first round of the NCAA D2 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Tournament in Burnsville, Minnesota.

 

Curfman was spectacular, allowing only two hits and no run through the first six innings as Northern State led 2-0. In the seventh, Minnesota State used two singles, a sac bunt, a groundout and a fielder’s choice to manufacture a couple runs to tie the game.

 

The former Chugiak Legion Post 33 pitcher deserved better than a no decision.

 

He walked two and struck out four batters to give him 57 punchouts in 62.2 innings.

 

Curfman (4-4) owns a 3.59 ERA and a 2-to-1 strikeout to walk ratio.

 

He pitched seven innings in five of his final seven starts, dropping his ERA more than two full runs during that stretch.

 

Curfman was named CIC MVP as a senior in 2016.

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Chugiak beats West to take sole possession of CIC lead

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 10, 2019

The Mustangs built an early 6-0 lead on their way to posting a 10-3 victory in a battle for first place in the Cook Inlet Conference.

The Mustangs manufactured a bunch of early runs by taking advantage of some early errors en route to a 10-3 victory over the Eagles in a battle for first place in the Cook Inlet Conference.

 

Chugiak built a 6-0 lead after two innings with only run being earned, but they all count the same.

 

Justin Nevells went 1-for-3 with a walk, a run and two RBIs.

 

Mason Peace and Jacob Kosinkski each drove in runs for Chugiak, which improved to 4-0 in the CIC.

 

Camden Costanios pitched 5.1 innings to earn the win. He allowed just one hit but walked four in allowing three runs.

 

He also walked three times, which set up pinch-runner Micah Cassezza scoring once.

 

West's Shawn Jones doubled, drove in a run and scored a run for the Eagles, who fell to 3-1 in the CIC.

 

Leland Wilson went 1-for-3 with a pair of RBIs.

 

South 13, Bartlett 0

For a second straight game, the Wolverines used a six-run top of the first inning to set the tone in a lopsided CIC victory, evening their league record at 2-2.

 

Brody Jesse went 3-for-3 with a triple, two runs and four RBIs to highlight the 11-hit attack. Reid Brock went 1-for-1 with three RBIs and a run.

 

Jacob Woodall added two RBIs and two runs. Ryan Bailey also scored two runs on a night when South had six players with RBIs.

 

Gage Webster struck out eight batters in three innings of work.

 

Bartlett's Blake Bacho went 2-for-2 and Taylor McCart rapped out a base hit.

 

 

East 11, Service 1

The T-birds continued their turnaround season, beating the Cougars in a league game for the first time since 2009.

 

Zack Barnhart 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI as East improved to 2-2 in the CIC.

 

Led by Chase Solberg, seven East players had RBIs. Patrick Leshan, Bryce Erichson and Daniel Mokom each scored twice.

 

Leshan was the starting pitcher and allowed four hits and one unearned run in five innings.

 

East put the game away wth a five-run second inning and three-run third inning.

 

Henry Helgeson led Service with a 2-for-3 effort at the plate. Nick Coats went 1-for-1 with a walk and a run.

 

Tobias Lochner pitched two scoreless innings of relief.

 

 

Eagle River 17, Dimond 9

Ryan Gray and Sterling Retzlaff took matters into their own hands, combining for five base hits and six RBIs and pitching all seven innings as the Wolves improved to 3-1 in the CIC.

 

Gray went 3-for-5 with a double, 4 RBIs and two runs. He also picked a three-inning save.

 

Retzlaff batted 2-for-4 with a double, 2 RBIs and two runs. He started and pitched the first four innings for the win.

 

The fifth inning featured a total of 11 runs.

 

Dimond’s Jacob Lick led his team with a 3-for-4 performance. He drove in two runs and scored one. Zach Jenkins singled, walked twice and scored three runs.

 

Eagle River and Dimond have split their last eight meetings dating to 2012.

Petterson closes out win that keeps CBC in playoff hunt

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 9, 2019

The former Kenai Legion Post 20 pitcher recorded the final seven outs in a 7-6 win over Wenatchee Valley that kept alive the team’s NWAC playoff chances.

Soldotna's Gavin Petterson closed out a 7-6 victory for Columbia Basin College that kept alive the team’s NWAC playoff chances.

 

The sophomore relief pitcher recorded the final seven outs against Wenatchee Valley.

 

First, he wiggled out a bases-loaded jam in the seventh inning. Then he struck out the side in the eighth inning. Finally, he worked a clean ninth inning.

 

The former Kenai Legion Post 20 starter now has 3 wins and 2 saves for Columbia Basin.

 

Petterson lowered his ERA to 3.16 in 25.2 innings with 30 strikeouts.

 

Columbia Basin hosts Spokane on Saturday in a crucial doubleheader.

 

Two victories would give Petterson and the Hawks an outright NWAC East Region championship. One win would assure a playoff spot and two losses might knock them out of the playoff picture altogether.

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Parity returns to CIC as league is as balanced as ever

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 8, 2019

The CIC is as balanced as ever. And that’s a good thing for baseball in Anchorage. Parity pushes people to be better and creates better competition.

For proof of just how much parity is part of the Cook Inlet Conference this year, just look at the Chugiak-Bartlett game.

 

Chugiak had beaten Bartlett 13 straight times this decade, including the last four by mercy rule.

 

Yet here we were in the sixth inning, with Chugiak nursing a 5-3 lead. It’s not like Chugiak is down. Bartlett is up.

 

The whole league is up.

 

The CIC is as balanced as ever.

 

And that’s a good thing for baseball in Anchorage. Parity pushes people to be better and creates better competition.

 

Chugiak 8, Bartlett 4

With two outs in the sixth inning, senior Christian Cambridge tripled in sophomore Zach Cole, sophomore pinch-hitter Bryce Collins doubled in Cambridge and then senior Billy Smith singled in Collins to help the Mustangs pull away.

 

That three-run rally extended a 5-3 lead to 8-3 and pushed Chugiak to 3-0 in the CIC.

 

Cambridge went 2-for-4 with a double, triple, two RBIs and two runs.

 

Bartlett senior Tyler Borschnack singled, walked, was hit by pitch, stole three bases and scored three runs.

 

Freshman Lee Elliott pitched well for the Golden Bears, holding Chugiak to just five hits and three runs through 5+ innings.

 

West 4, Dimond 2

Junior Quinn Bates-Janigo went 2-for-4 at the plate and nearly pitched a complete game as the Eagles improved to 3-0 in the CIC.

 

Bates-Janigo tormented his former team, striking out seven batters in 6.2 innings of work. He also drove in a run and scored a run.

 

Senior reliever Juan Benitez got a one-out save. West senior Jalen John went 2-for-4 with an RBI and junior Nicko Opinsky was 2-for-4 and scored a run.

 

Dimond senior Connor Cunningham batted 2-for-4 with a run and sophomore pinch-hitter Riley Straw drove in a run.

 

Junior Ryan Henrickson struck out six over five innings for the Lynx, who fell to 2-1 in the CIC.

 

Eagle River 6, East 3

Senior Daniel Bodine tossed a 2-hit complete game and had scoreless frames in six of seven innings pitched as the Wolves improved to 2-1 in the CIC.

 

Bodine struck out a half dozen and worked around five walks. He also went 1-for-2 at the plate and scored a run.

 

Freshman Noah Lower went 2-for-3 with a run. Junior Ryan Gray and Kam Williams collected RBIs as Eagle River took off in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings.

 

Early on, Bodine and East junior Chase Solberg traded goose eggs for the first three innings.

 

T-bird senior David Lundell batted 1-for-2 with a run. Senior Erik White scored a run and pitched two innings. East fell to 1-2 in the CIC.

 

South 13, Service 1

It was only a matter of time before the Wolverines got on track and they wasted no time in jumping out to a 6-0 lead after the top of the first inning to improve to 1-2 in the CIC.

 

Senior starter Jacob Woodall backed it up with a pinpoint performance as he struck out a CIC season-high 13 strikeouts in five innings. He allowed just two hits and two walks.

 

Junior Gage Webster went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a pair of runs. Senior Damian Mohl was 1-for-2 with two runs and senior Gunnar Nix was 1-for-3 and added two RBIs. Senior Ryan Bailey scored two runs.

 

Service senior Josh Smith drove in his team’s lone run. Freshman Tobas Lochner went 1-for-1 with a run and senior Nathaniel Cole 1-for-2.

Robertson, Graham have been big this year for Dawson

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 7, 2019

Wasilla's Austin Robertson has emerged as the team’s best pitcher and Wasilla's Kyle Graham has been a reliable outfielder at the plate and in the field for Dawson Community College this season.

Dawson Community College has found a gold mine with Wasilla Legion Post 35.

 

Freshmen Austin Robertson and Kyle Graham have played pivotal roles this season to help the Bucs reach the Region 13 Tournament for the first time since 2016.

 

Robertson has emerged as the team’s best pitcher and Graham has been a reliable outfielder at the plate and in the field.

 

Robertson has started 8 of 10 games and posted a team-best 5 wins, 50 innings and 49 strikeouts.

 

He’s been lights out of his last three appearances, throwing complete games in each outing and winning two of them. He’s got a 2.00 ERA over his last 21 innings.

 

Graham has played in 33 of the team’s 38 games. His .244 batting average is tops among the three batters on the team from Alaska.

 

He’s got four 2-hit games and three more with 2 RBIs or more.

 

Graham has scored 15 runs, driving in 13 runs and stolen 3 bags.

 

He’s got a .932 fielding percentage and an assist on 44 total chances.

 

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Cupp blasts 1st bomb as Dawson qualifies for regions

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 6, 2019

Anchorage's Cobey Cupp and Wasilla's Taylon Ottinger have helped the Bucs reach the Region 13 Tournament for the first time since 2016.

Anchorage’s Cobey Cupp belted his first collegiate home run for Dawson Community College during the Mon-Dak Conference Tournament in Devils Lake, North Dakota.

 

The freshman shortstop hit a solo dinger in the fourth inning to pull his team within 4-2 in a game the Bucs lost 12-3 to Bismarck State College.

 

Dawson finished third in the tournament to secure a berth to the Region 13 Tournament, the first for the Montana school since 2016.

 

Cupp, a former Service Legion Post 28 infielder, finished the final seven games of the season with a .583 on-base percentage and .333 batting average.

 

He has played in 32 of his team’s 38 games and collected 10 RBIs and 20 walks.

 

Dawson also includes former Wasilla Legion Post 35 infielder Taylon Ottinger.

 

Ottinger has also pitched a little for the Bucs, posting a 1.85 ERA in five innings of work.

 

He’s one of only two players on the team with a strikeout and extra-base hit.

 

Ottinger’s first college hit this season went for a triple.

 

“This group of guys has been great to coach,” said Dawson skipper Phil McClure. “We have had our ups and downs, but everyone is really starting to buy-in to the process. I am proud of the guys and their competitive edge here toward the end.”

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East snaps 14-game, 13-year losing streak to South

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 5, 2019

Patrick Leshan’s three-run double provided the go-ahead runs as East beat South for the first time since 2006. East trailed 4-0 and was being no-hit going into the sixth inning.

In a comeback for the ages, the East T-birds snapped a 14-game, 13-year losing streak to perennial powerhouse South with a dramatic 5-4 win at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

East trailed 4-0 and was being no-hit going into the sixth inning.

 

Patrick Leshan’s three-run double provided the go-ahead runs as East beat South for the first time since 2006.

 

Erick White singled, drove in a run and scored a run in the decisive sixth inning.

 

The first six T-bird batters reached base - two walks, an error, hit by pitch and two base hits.

 

White earned the win in relief, pitching 4 innings and retiring six of the final eight batters he faced.

 

South starter Tony Maioriello carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning and struck out six batters.

 

Jacob Woodall and Gunnar Nix each had RBIs for the Wolverines.

 

Dimond 12, Bartlett 2

Ryan Henrickson, Jack Dolan and Riley Straw each had 2 RBIs and starter Luke Smith spun a 2-hitter.

 

Smith walked two and struck out eight batters.

 

Straw went 2-for-2 and scored 3 runs. Connor Cunningham also scored 3 runs.

 

Eric Galosich and Parker Coplin both had two hits.

 

Bartlett's Tyler Borschnack and Ian Bryd had base hits and RBIs for the Golden Bears.

 

West 11, Eagle River 1

Jack Opinsky and Nicko Opinsky combined for 5 hits and 3 RBIs as the Eagles plated nine runs over the first two innings.

 

Jack Opinsky went 3-for-3 with an RBI and run scored. Nicko Opinsky was 2-for-3 with 2 RBIs and 2 runs scored.

 

Revy Mack drove in 3 runs, Hayden Wanamaker scored 3 runs and Luke Langnes pitched four effective innings, backed by two scoreless frames by reliever Juan Benitez.

 

Eagle River's Sterling Retzlaff drove in his team's lone run, scored by Stefan Retzlaff.

 

Ryan Gray allowed just one run with three innings of solid relief.

 

Chugiak 27, Service 2

Ian Frizelle went 6-for-6 with 4 RBIs and earned the win as a starting pitcher in one of the greatest single-game performances in CIC history.

 

Frizelle had three doubles, scored three runs and struck out seven batters in 4.2 innings on the bump for the defending CIC champion Mustangs.

 

It was the most runs for Chugiak in 51-game all-time series with Service, dating to 1992.

 

Chugiak’s school record for runs is 28 set twice in 1998.

 

The CIC single-game record for runs is 40 was set by Dimond in 2009.

Homza homers, breaks Brown's season walks record

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 5, 2019

Brown University senior Willy Homza of Anchorage hit his career-best fifth home run and broke the single-season school walks record in Ivy League doubleheader against Harvard.

Willy Homza of Anchorage crushed a two-run home run in the third inning to kickstart Brown University’s 5-3 win over Harvard during an Ivy League doubleheader in Providence, Rhode Island.

 

It was the fifth homer of the season for the senior infielder, which is tied for the second most among the record 49 Alaskans playing college baseball.

 

Homza, of South High fame, had two home runs in 95 career games over his first three seasons.

 

Now he’s got five in 38 games.

 

In Game 1, he drew a pair of walks to give him 39 on the year, which broke the single-season school record of 37 that had stood since 1986.

 

Homza ranks among Brown’s top 5 in home runs, total bases (59), RBIs (22), batting average (.259) and on-base percentage (.432).

 

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Follow every Cook Inlet Conference game live

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 1, 2019

Ross, Palmer pace college home run hitters from Alaska

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 1, 2019

Former Wasilla Legion Post 35 sluggers Ben Ross of Corban University and Matthew Palmer of Waldorf University have combined for 13 of the state’s 24 home runs and rank 1-2 in the race to be the home r…

When it comes to the top college baseball home run hitters from Alaska, the main power source hails from the Valley.

 

Former Wasilla Legion Post 35 sluggers Ben Ross of Corban University and Matthew Palmer of Waldorf University have combined for 13 of the state’s 24 home runs and rank 1-2 in the race to be the home run king of the 907.

 

Ross is the leader in the clubhouse with eight homers in 43 games. The 6-foot-4 outfielder is a graduate student for the NAIA team in Salem, Oregon.

 

Ross hit home runs in three consecutive games in early April.

 

His 19 home runs over his last three seasons are the most for a college player from Alaska since Tyler Thompson of Anchorage bashed 17 home runs from 2014 to 2016 at Pacific Lutheran University.

 

The No. 2 home run hitter from Alaska is Palmer, who has five bombs in 48 games for the NAIA team in Forest City, Iowa.

 

Palmer hit home runs in back-to-back games in February.

 

Palmer leads all Alaskans with 42 RBIs.

 

Kenai's Paul Steffensen of Mesa Community College, Anchorage’s Willy Homza of Brown University and Juneau’s Michael Cesar of Pacific Lutheran University are tied for No. 3 with four home runs apiece.

 

Steffensen hit two homers in February and two more in April to go with a bunch of other extra-base hits.

 

The sophomore outfielder is batting .329 with 31 RBIs, 15 doubles and two triples in 41 games.

 

Homza belted all four of his dingers during a nine-game stretch in March for the NCAA D1 team in Providence, Rhode Island.

 

The senior infielder leads all Alaskans with a .435 on-base percentage and 35 walks in 36 games.

 

Cesar has been the hottest player in April with three homers and 12 RBIs since April 6.

 

The freshman catcher ranks No. 3 among Alaskans with 26 RBIs in 30 games.

 

College Home Run Leaders from Alaska

8 – Ben Ross, Wasilla Legion Post 35, Corban University

5 – Matthew Palmer, Wasilla Legion Post 35, Waldorf University

4 – Paul Steffensen, Kenai Legion Post 20, Mesa Community College 

4 – Willy Homza, South Legion Post 4, Brown University

4 – Michael Cesar, Juneau Legion Post 25, Pacific Lutheran University

2 – Cooper Bailey-Parsons, Service Legion Post 28, Olympic College

1 – Parker Johnson, South Legion Post 4, Indiana Wesleyan University

Mohl's funeral service Saturday at Cornerstone Church

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Apr 29, 2019

Funeral service for the former South player will be held at 1 p.m. Cornerstone Church of God, 10431 Brayton Drive in Anchorage.

Sladen Mohl's funeral service is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday at Cornerstone Church of God, 10431 Brayton Drive in Anchorage.

 

The service is open to everyone.

 

Mohl played for South High School and Legion Post 4 teams.

 

The entire South program will attend the service, which means Saturday’s South-East game has been moved to 7 p.m.

 

As a result, the Bartlett-Dimond game has been moved to 4 p.m.

 

4pm Bartlett vs. Dimond **NEW TIME

7pm South vs. East **NEW TIME

Wall bounces back to throw complete-game gem

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Apr 28, 2019

After back-to-back losses, Philip Wall of Juneau rebounded by spinning a seven-hitter for his third career 9-inning complete game in a 3-2 victory over Crown College in Minnesota.

After uncharacteristically losing his previous two starts, Philip Wall of Juneau bounced back in a big way.

 

He isn’t the active leader in career wins among college pitchers from Alaska for nothing.

 

The right-hander with the University of Northwestern-St. Paul spun a seven-hitter for his third career 9-inning complete game in a 3-2 victory over Crown College in NCAA D3 action in Minnesota.

 

The former Juneau Legion Post 25 pitcher improved to 4-2 on the season and 9-5 for his career.

 

Wall walked two and struck out just three of 36 batters faced, pitching to contact and trusting his defense. He got nine flyball outs and 15 groundball outs.

 

The game was tied 2-2 before Northwestern took the lead in the seventh inning.

 

Wall owns a 2.86 ERA in 116.2 career innings.

Curfman’s ERA drops like a 12-to-6 curveball for NSU

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Apr 23, 2019

Former Chugiak Legion Post 33 pitcher has seen his ERA fall to 3.15 after lowering it in eight straight appearances for NCAA D2 Northern State University in South Dakota.

When it comes to the Northern State University player who has improved the most this season, it’s tough to beat Cody Curfman’s comeback.

 

The former Chugiak Legion Post 33 pitcher has massively improved his mount presence since early March as his ERA has dropped like a 12-to-6 curveball, falling from double digits all the way to 3.15.

 

Whether it’s the Most Improved Player Award or Comeback Player of the Year, the junior right-hander deserves to have his name on a plaque.

 

Curfman has emerged as the NCAA D2 team’s No. 2 starter as he leads the team with 47 strikeouts, ranks second with 45.2 innings and third with three wins.

 

He had a dumpster fire of a debut on March 2 after giving up 5 runs in just 2 innings for a 22.50 ERA.

 

Since then, though, he’s lowered his ERA in eight straight outings: 22.50 to 7.71 to 7.56 to 6.39 to 5.94 to 4.50 to 3.48 to 3.32 to 3.15.

 

That’s some serious steam.

 

Curfman has been especially excellent over his last four starts as he’s gone 7+ innings in all four and earned 7+ strikeouts in all four.

 

In his most recent appearance, he struck out a career-high 11 batters in a 10-3 win over Bemidji State.

 

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Former South star killed by DUI driver in California

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Apr 19, 2019

“We are all going to miss him dearly,” South coach Taylor Nerland told me. “Sladen was a wonderful young man."

Girdwood’s Sladen Mohl, the former South all-star catcher who went on to play for El Camino College in California, was killed tragically by a DUI driver in Torrance. He was 19.

 

Mohl was a pedestrian in the accident and died at the scene.

 

The news rocked the Alaska baseball community as condolences poured in on social media from players, coaches and friends.

 

“We are all going to miss him dearly,” South coach Taylor Nerland told me.

 

Mohl was a star catcher for both South High and South Legion programs. As a high school senior, he earned first-team All-Cook Inlet Conference honors and shared the league's Big Stick Award after he batted .458 in nine games. In 2016 with Post 4, he was named to the ALB Team of Excellence after hitting .426 in 16 games.

 

A great player, but a better person.

 

“Sladen was a wonderful young man," Nerland said. "I can only hope that my sons grow up to be as respectful, compassionate, responsible and honest as Sladen was.”

 

Mohl went on to redshirt one year at Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho, before transferring to El Camino, where he was a Kinesiology major who played infield for the Warriors.

 

In February, he went 3-for-4 and scored the winning run to highlight a 2-1 win over Saddleback.


Last summer, he played with the Anchorage Bucs of the Alaska Baseball League.

 

This season, Mohl started 29 games at El Camino and collected 20 hits, scored 15 runs and caught for the top pitching staff in the state. With Mohl behind the plate, ECC pitchers posted a 2.18 team ERA for the top mark in the California Community College Athletics Association.

 

“We are all deeply saddened by this tragedy. Sladen was an excellent baseball player but an even better teammate and individual,” said El Camino coach Nate Fernley. “He was kind, positive and brought smiles to everyone he came in contact with. Our hearts are with his family at this moment.

 

“Sladen will be missed but never forgotten.”

 

A GoFundMe page has been started for the family to assist them with this unexpected loss.

 

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Former Legion players honored for military service

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Apr 16, 2019

East Legion Post 34's Yerarmy Aristy Valdez and Service Legion Post 28's Michael Perez were honored in a special military appreciation ceremony for their five-year service with the Alaska National Gua…

Special thanks to everybody involved in last night’s military appreciation ceremony recognizing two former American Legion Baseball players from Anchorage who are now with the Alaska National Guard.

 

Hometown heroes Yerarmy Aristy Valdez and Michael Perez were the guests of honor.

 

As teenagers they played for different baseball teams – Aristy Valdez for East Legion Post 34 and Perez for Service Legion Post 28.

 

They have since joined forces with the Guard.

 

Now age 23, they have each earned the rank of sergeant and are both targeted for active duty.

 

Both soldiers were presented plaques in appreciation of their integrity, commitment and courage; everything American Legion Baseball represents.

 

We salute service.

 

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Haning goes from long reliever to starter for CCU

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Apr 15, 2019

Anchor Point's Zach Haning has a 3.26 ERA since March 1 for Colorado Christian University.

A long reliever for most of the season, Anchor Point's Zach Haning is now starting for Colorado Christian University.

 

He started each of his last two starts and compiled a total of 12 strikeouts in 8.2 innings, including a season-high 7 Ks against Metro State.

 

The senior pitcher has appeared in 14 games, 12 of them coming out of the bullpen.

 

He’s earned three saves with the NCAA D2 Cougars.

 

Haning has racked up 33 strikeouts in 24.2 innings on the season.

 

He has surrendered just seven earned runs over his last 19.1 innings, giving him a 3.26 ERA since March 1.

Ross has more HRs than rest of Corban team combined

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Apr 13, 2019

Ben Ross of Wasilla has 16 home runs over his last three seasons – the most for a college player from Alaska since Tyler Thompson of Anchorage bashed 17 home runs from 2014 to 2016.

When it comes to who hits home runs for Corban University, there’s Ben Ross of Wasilla.

 

And then there’s everybody else.

 

The graduate student slugger went yard in three straight games recently to give him five homers for the season – more than the rest of his team combined.

 

The former Wasilla Legion Post 35 outfielder leads the NAIA Warriors with 11 bombs over the last two seasons.

 

His 16 home runs over his last three seasons are the most for a college player from Alaska since Tyler Thompson of Anchorage bashed 17 home runs from 2014 to 2016 at Pacific Lutheran University.

 

Ross clubbed five homers his sophomore season at Blue Mountain Community College of the NWAC.

 

Steffensen has 3 hits in back-to-back games for Mesa

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

Mesa Community College sophomore Paul Steffensen of Kenai is hitting .383 with 38 extra-base hits in 91 career games.

Kenai’s Paul Steffensen had 3 hits in back-to-back games for the Mesa Community College Thunderbirds to raise his season batting average to .358.

 

This was the fifth time the sophomore outfielder had 3 hits in 35 games.

 

He has base hits in 15 of his last 17 games and is 44-for-123 at the plate overall.

 

The former Kenai Legion Post 20 outfielder is a career .383 hitter in 91 games dating to last season.

 

Of his 130 hits, 38 have gone for extra bases on 20 doubles, 12 triples and 6 home runs.

Monaghan’s marvelous start leads to first NCAA D1 win

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Apr 11, 2019

Austin Peay State University junior pitcher Nolan Monaghan of Wasilla carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning before departing because of a pitch count.

Wasilla’s Nolan Monaghan didn’t allow a run and picked up his first career NCAA D1 winning decision for Austin Peay State University in a 10-2 win over Evansville in Clarksville, Tennessee.

 

The junior pitcher started the game and carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning before departing because of a pitch count.

 

He struck out six of the 15 batters he faced in 4.1 innings of work.

 

The former Wasilla Legion Post 35 pitcher has racked up 14 strikeouts in his last 8.2 innings.

 

Monaghan is now 1-1 at Austin Peay after going 6-4 in two seasons at Feather River Community College in California. He has 68 collegiate Ks.

 

Bailey-Parsons delivers walk-off win with two-out RBI

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Apr 8, 2019

The former Service Legion Post 28 infielder is hitting .260 in 23 games with one home run and 15 RBIs.

Cooper Bailey-Parsons of Anchorage drove in the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to provide an 8-7 walk-off win for Olympic over Skagit Valley in Bremerton, Washington.

 

The freshman third baseman finished 1-for-4 for the game and 2-for-8 in the doubleheader. He doubled in Game 1.

 

The former Service Legion Post 28 infielder is hitting .260 in 23 games with one home run and 15 RBIs.

 

Bailey-Parsons has been a standout among the eight Alaskans in the NWAC this year, leading the 907 pack in several offensive category, including RBIs, extra-base hits (6) and total bases (27).

 

Palmer continues to provide power source for Waldorf

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Apr 6, 2019

The left fielder leads the North Star Athletic Association with 30 RBIs in 28 games and ranks third in home runs (4), fourth in doubles (8) and tied for fifth in total bases (48).

There’s a reason Matt Palmer bats cleanup for Waldorf University.

 

The senior slugger from Palmer is one of the most productive hitters in the North Star Athletic Association.

 

The left fielder leads the league with 30 RBIs in 28 games and ranks third in home runs (4), fourth in doubles (8) and tied for fifth in total bases (48).

 

Palmer is crushing it.

 

The former Wasilla Legion Post 35 infielder is riding an eight-game hit streak and batting.274 on the NAIA season.

 

In the last six games, he’s banged out five extra-base hits with two doubles, a triple and two bombs.

Back to full-time hitting, Johnson finds his groove at IWU

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Apr 5, 2019

Anchorage's Parker Johnson is hitting .333 (11-for-33) with 7 RBIs and 4 doubles in nine games since rejoining the offense as everyday player.

After spending the first half of the season as a pitcher, Anchorage's Parker Johnson is back to being a full-time hitter for Indiana Wesleyan University.

 

At first, the sophomore played second base and batted near the bottom of the order.

 

But that didn’t last.

 

Parker was moved back to shortstop and his accustomed leadoff spot in a move has paid immediate dividends for the NAIA squad.

 

The former South Legion Post 4 utility player is hitting .333 (11-for-33) with 7 RBIs and 4 doubles in nine games since rejoining the offense as an everyday player.

 

He hasn’t pitched since March 19.

 

Johnson batted .270 in 47 games last season and is a .283 career hitter in 64 games.

Curfman carries shutout into sixth, racks up 8 Ks

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Apr 4, 2019

The 2016 Cook Inlet Conference MVP carried a shutout into the sixth inning and struck out a season-high eight batters for Northern State in a tough 3-2 loss to Wayne State.

Chugiak’s Cody Curfman carried a shutout into the sixth inning and struck out a season-high eight batters for Northern State University.

 

He deserved a win, but settled for a hard-luck loss after two unearned runs doomed his super start in a 3-2 loss to Wayne State in NCAA D2 action in Nebraska.

 

The 2016 Cook Inlet Conference MVP pitched 7.1 innings, his longest outing this year in six appearances with the college team.

 

Curfman (1-2) allowed only four hits, one earned run and one walk.  

 

With Northern State nursing a 1-0 cushion in the sixth inning, he struck out the first two batters he faced before a single, a walk and two throwing errors by his catcher erased the lead.

 

And then in the seventh, again with two outs, the left field made an error that allowed a base runner to score all the way from first.

 

He was pulled after 96 pitches.

 

The loss shouldn’t overshadow his progress. The former Chugiak Legion Post 33 pitcher has now lowered his season ERA in five consecutive games, taking it down from 7.71 to 7.56 to 6.39 to 5.94 to 4.50.

 

That’s not easy.

 

Curfman has succeeded, in part, because of precise control as he owns a 22-to-10 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 24 innings.

Koloski provides Phoenix College consistency on mound

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Apr 4, 2019

The former South Legion Post 4 pitcher has thrown the ball incredibly well in eight of nine appearances this season for Phoenix College.

At first glance, you see a pitcher’s 5.25 ERA and assume he can’t get outs.

 

But that’s not the case with Anchorage’s Tommy Koloski.

 

Even though his ERA is on the high side, the sophomore right-handed pitcher has been lights out this year for Phoenix College.

 

Subtract his one bad outing among his nine appearances and Koloski’s ERA dips to 1.91.

 

In other words, he’s allowed only 5 earned runs in 23.1 innings – minus the nine runs he gave up in two-thirds of an inning in his worst out of his career.

 

Overall the former South Legion Post 4 pitcher has struck out 27 batters in 24 innings and saw six appearances where he didn't allow an earned run.

 

If there was ever a game that encapsulated Koloski’s season it was his most recent start against Central Arizona College.

 

He struck out season-high six batters over 4.1 innings, and allowed only four hits and zero earned runs.

 

Yet his team lost 6-0.

 

Ottawa University (AZ) knows what’s up and recruited Koloski, who announced he will join the NAIA next season to continue his college baseball career as an upperclassman.

Davis throws complete game with 8 Ks for Dean College

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Mar 31, 2019

The former East Legion Post 34 pitcher threw his fourth career complete game for Dean College in a 10-2 victory over Elms College in Massachusetts.

Gaten Davis of Anchorage threw 60 of 80 pitches for strikes en route to going the distance and earning his third career winning decision for Dean College in a 10-2 victory over Elms College in Franklin, Massachusetts.

 

Davis scattered seven hits and struck out a season-high eight batters he faced. Better yet, he didn’t issue a walk.

 

The 6-foot-6 sophomore ended the second, third and sixth innings with strikeouts.

 

The former East Legion Post 34 pitcher now has four complete games in nine career starts with the NCAA D3 school.

 

Davis has racked up 57 strikeouts in 60.1 career innings.

Monaghan shows flashes in first start for Austin Peay

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Mar 31, 2019

Former Wasilla Legion Post 35 pitcher Nolan Monaghan struck out seven of the 16 batters he faced over a career-high 3.1 innings against Murray State in Tennessee.

He didn’t get the win, but Wasilla’s Nolan Monaghan did show that he belongs at the NCAA D1 level.

 

The junior pitcher earned his first start with Austin Peay State University and performed admirably in the face of instant adversity.

 

Monaghan struck out seven of the 16 batters he faced over a career-high 3.1 innings in an 8-3 loss to Murray State in Clarksville, Tennessee.

 

He struck out the leadoff hitter – but a passed ball allowed him to reach base. Then he hit the next batter and walked the next guy to load the bases.

 

At that point it would’ve been easy to write him off, but Monaghan battled back.

 

Sure, he allowed a two-run single, but he got out of the first inning with a double play and then struck out five of the next six batters, including the side in the third inning.

Petterson picks up win, 7 Ks in year's first appearance

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Mar 30, 2019

Columbia Basin College pitcher Gavin Petterson of Soldotna threw 4.1 innings of scoreless relief in an 11-8 victory over Yakima Valley in the NWAC.

Soldonta's Gavin Petterson pitched for the first time this season for Columbia Basin College and his timing couldn't have been better.

 

The right-handed sophomore threw 4.1 innings of scoreless relief in an 11-8 victory over Yakima Valley in the NWAC.

 

Petterson struck out seven batters.

 

The former Kenai Legion Post 20 pitcher last season went 2-1 with two saves in eight appearances for Columbia Basin.

 

His career ERA is now 1.78 in 30.1 innings.

Wilson turns in short but sweet stint in Arizona

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Mar 29, 2019

Leland Wilson of Anchorage allowed just one hit in three innings during an exhibition game with Langley Blaze against a group of minor-league players in Arizona.

Anchorage’s Leland Wilson held his own against next-level batters in Arizona during an exhibition game with Langley Blaze out of Canada.

 

The 6-foot-4 left-handed pitcher gave up just one base hit and one unearned run in three innings of work against a group of minor-league players there for spring training.

 

The West Legion Post 1 ace struck out two batters and the hit he gave up wasn’t well hit.

 

“It was a little doink single,” Tony Wylie told me.

 

Each spring, Wylie, a former Legion state championship manager, takes elite locals to Arizona to play exhibition games against minor-league competition through his contacts with the Langley Blaze.

 

Wilson – a preseason Alaska high school player-of-the-year candidate – struggled to find the zone early, probably from nervous of having more than 20 professional scouts sitting behind home plate.

 

Once he settled down, he found his groove.

 

“He did well,” Wyle said. “His fastball touched 88, and he’s got a few more miles per hour in him.”

 

Last season, Wilson went 8-2 with an 0.62 ERA in 11 starts over the Legion and high school season. He struck out 100 batters in 55.2 innings.

Homza among Ivy League’s best at getting on base

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Mar 29, 2019

Ivy League pitchers aren’t having much luck fooling Willy Homza of Anchorage. The Brown University senior has struck out only 10 times in 83 plate appearances. Few players are as dialed in as …

Ivy League pitchers aren’t having much luck fooling Willy Homza of Anchorage.

 

The Brown University senior has struck out only 10 times in 83 plate appearances.

 

Few players are as dialed in as he is right now.

 

Homza is hitting .385 on a 10-for-26 clip in the last eight games with three home runs, nine RBIs and 10 walks.

 

The former South Legion Post 4 shortstop leads the Ivy League with 21 walks in 19 games and ranks sixth with a career-high .463 on-base percentage.

 

He has reached base in 17 of 19 games and boasts a career-high .279 batting average.

Wall throws 1-hit shutout, loses no-hitter in 7th

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Mar 23, 2019

The former Juneau Legion Post 25 pitcher lost his no-hit bid with two outs in the seventh inning as the University of Northwestern-St. Paul beat Crown College 4-0.

Juneau’s Philip Wall came one out from throwing his first college no-hitter but settled for a 1-hit shutout as the University of Northwestern-St. Paul beat Crown College 4-0 in St. Paul, Minnesota.

 

The sophomore right-hander carried his no-no into the seventh and final inning, retiring the first two batters he faced to set up his magical moment.

 

But Bailey Sarto singled through the left side on a 3-1 count to break up Wall's no-hit bid.

 

The former Juneau Legion Post 25 pitcher retired the first nine batters before issuing a walk to lead off the fourth inning. That base runner was later erased on a caught stealing.

 

Wall (2-0) racked up seven strikeouts and faced just three batters over the 7-inning minimum.

 

He threw a 9-inning no-decision in his last outing.

 

Coupled with this performance, Wall lowered his season ERA to 0.41 in 22 innings.

Steffensen keeps blistering pitchers in Arizona

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Mar 21, 2019

The former Kenai Legion Post 20 outfielder is batting .355 in 28 games this season with Mesa Community College.

Kenai’s Paul Steffensen is just feasting on opposing pitchers in the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference.

 

The Mesa CC center fielder has nine hits and five doubles in his last 19 at-bats.

 

The former Kenai Legion Post 20 outfielder is batting .355 in 28 games this season.

 

Fourteen of his 33 hits have gone for extra bases and he's added 24 RBIs and 24 runs scored.

 

Last year, Steffensen hit .398 and finished second in the ACCAC for the batting title.

Hendricks pitches best game of Buena Vista career

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Mar 18, 2019

The former Ketchikan Legion Post 3 pitcher struck out a career-high seven batters in a career-best 5.1 innings, leaving the game in the sixth inning with his team nursing a 3-2 lead.

Ketchikan’s Casey Hendricks pitched the best game of his Buena Vista University career but settled for a no decision in a 7-5 loss to Macalester in Tucson, Arizona.

 

The junior right-hander struck out a career-high seven batters in a career-best 5.1 innings, leaving the game in the sixth inning with his team nursing a 3-2 lead.

 

The former Ketchikan Legion Post 3 pitcher allowed just three hits, one earned run and one walk.

 

Twelve of his 15 career games have come out of the bullpen. His longest previous career-long appearance was 3.2 innings.

Chapman picks up first win in Grand Canyon slugfest

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Mar 17, 2019

The former West Legion Post 1 ace was among the few pitchers who did not allow a run in Grand Canyon's 25-18 win over Xavier in NCAA D1 action.

Anchorage’s Dalton Chapman didn’t just escape Grand Canyon University’s 25-18 win over Xavier unscathed, he came away with his first win of the season.

 

The former West Legion Post 1 ace was among three of 14 pitchers who did not allow a run in a four-hour NCAA D1 slugfest in Phoenix, Arizona, that featured 43 runs, 44 hits and 22 walks.

 

Chapman pitched a clean seventh inning after Grand Canyon scored 16 runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to take a 21-10 lead.

 

The 6-foot-5 senior right-hander worked himself into a bases-loaded jam and then got himself out with a two-out fielder’s choice.

 

On the season, Chapman is 1-0 with a 3.68 ERA in seven appearances. He's got nine strikeouts in 7.1 innings.

 

Homza has 3 hits in twin bill, first homer for Brown

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Mar 16, 2019

The former South Legion Post 4 infielder crushed a two-run bomb in the first inning of a 13-8 loss to Fairfield in Providence, Rhode Island.

Willy Homza of Anchorage delivered three hits and three RBIs in two games, including his first home run of the season, for Brown University in a doubleheader loss to Fairfield in Providence, Rhode Island.

 

The senior third baseman crushed a two-run bomb in the first inning of a 13-8 loss in Game 2. He went 2-for-4 with an RBI in a 7-6 loss in Game 1.

 

It was the first home run of the season for the former South Legion Post 4 infielder and third of his career with the NCAA D1 Bears.

 

He raised his season batting average to .238 in 13 games

 

More impressive is his team-leading .418 on-base percentage, fueled by 13 walks in 13 games.

 

Homza has drawn more walks this season than he did last season (12) in 23 fewer games. His career on-base percentage was .325 entering his final year.

Cesar continues to come up clutch for PLU

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Mar 14, 2019

Former Juneau Legion Post 25 catcher Michael Cesar has four RBIs that have tied the game or given Pacific Lutheran University the lead.

Good things have happened this season for Pacific Lutheran University when freshman Michael Cesar of Juneau is at the plate.

 

Four of the catcher’s 10 RBIs have tied the game or given the NCAA D3 Lutes the lead.

 

The former Juneau Legion Post 25 all-star has a .271 batting average and .988 fielding percentage through his first 16 games with the NCAA D2 team.

 

Cesar hit his first home run earlier this week in an 6-5 loss to Puget Sound.

 

The game was tied at 2-2 in the eighth inning until Cesar went yard to give PLU a 4-2 lead.

 

He ranks third on the team with 10 RBIs and seventh with 13 base hits.

Bailey-Parsons leads Olympic with .304 average

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

The former Service Legion Post 28 third baseman is the top hitter for Olympic College in Washington, thanks in part to his 4-for-4 performance against Thompson River.

Thanks to a 4-for-4 performance at the plate earlier this month, Anchorage’s Cooper Bailey-Parsons is leading his college team in hitting a month into his freshman season.

 

The former Service Legion Post 28 third baseman is the top hitter for Olympic College in Washington with a .304 batting average through his first eight games in the NWAC.

 

Bailey-Parsons is coming off a torn ACL.

 

Now he’s tearing the cover off the ball.

 

He went 2-for-4 in his first college game. The next week he went 4-for-4 with four RBIs and two walks in a 21-14 slugfest win over Thompson River.

 

Bailey-Parsons has added six RBIs and a .407 on-base percentage.

Wall earns win in Northwestern opener in Florida

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Mar 8, 2019

The former Juneau Legion Post 25 pitcher allowed zero earned runs in six innings and got some late offense from his teammates in a 4-3 win over Wilkes University.

The University of Northwestern-St. Paul turned to Juneau’s Philip Wall as its opening day starter and he didn’t disappoint.

 

The sophomore allowed zero earned runs in six innings and got some late offense from his teammates as the NCAA D3 Eagles rallied for a 4-3 win over Wilkes University in Florida.

 

The former Juneau Legion Post 25 pitcher scattered seven hits and struck out three batters.

 

Wall improved his career record to 6-2 and lowered his career ERA to 2.98 in 72.2 innings.

Curfman strikes out 6 in tough-luck loss for D2 NSU

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Mar 7, 2019

The former Chugiak Legion Post 33 pitcher threw a season-high five innings for Northern State University, a NCAA D2 school in South Dakota.

Chugiak's Cody Curfman struck out a season-high six batters and allowed only one earned over five innings of work for Northern State University.

 

Unfortunately, two errors in the fifth inning cost him a chance at a winning decision as Cedarville won the NCAA D2 game 12-9 in Aberdeen, South Dakota.

 

The former Chugiak Legion Post 33 pitcher threw a season-high five innings and allowed six hits, four runs and two walks.

 

Curfman carried a shutout into the fourth inning when it was broken up in part because of a passed ball.

 

This was his second start and a much better effort compared to his first when he allowed five earned in two innings during an 11-1 loss to West Virginia Wesleyan.

Ross has home run, 7 RBIs in Corban series sweep

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Mar 3, 2019

The former Wasilla Legion Post 35 outfielder went 6-for-12 with a home run, three doubles and seven RBIs in three games in Oregon.

Ben Ross of Wasilla enjoyed a dominating performance at the plate during Corban University’s three-game sweep of Oregon Tech.

 

The starting right fielder went 6-for-12 with a home run, three doubles and seven RBIs.

 

In today's series finale, he homered in the third inning and rapped a two-run double in the fifth inning to power a 10-8 come-from-behind win.

 

The former Wasilla Legion Post 35 outfielder has two home runs this season and eight career bombs in 58 games with the NAIA squad in Salem, Oregon.

 

Ross also keyed a 6-4 win in Game 2 with a two-run double in the fifth inning.

Cesar wins it for PLU with ninth-inning RBI single

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Mar 2, 2019

The former Juneau Legion Post 25 catcher singled with the bases loaded to break a tie and provide a 3-2 victory for Pacific Lutheran University.

Michael Cesar of Juneau batted in runs in both games of Pacific Lutheran University’s doubleheader sweep of College of Idaho, including the game-winning RBI in Game 1.

 

The former Juneau Legion Post 25 catcher singled with the bases loaded to break a tie and provide a 3-2 victory.

 

He started Game 2 behind the plate and finished 2-for-5 with an RBI in the fifth inning in a 6-1 win.

 

The freshman finished 3-for-6 in the twin bill, raising his season batting average 51 points to .265.

 

He also had 6 RBIs in 12 games.

 

Cesar was last season’s Gatorade Alaska Player of the Year.

Costello bangs out two hits, steals bag in Dallas win

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Mar 1, 2019

Anchorage's Max Costello entered the game in the fourth inning as a pinch runner and promptly stole second base for the University of Dallas in an 8-5 win over Wilmington in Texas.

Former South Legion Post 4 outfielder Max Costello of Anchorage made the most out of his time as a mid-game substitution for the University of Dallas in an 8-5 win over Wilmington in Texas.

 

Costello entered the game in the fourth inning as a pinch runner and promptly stole second base.

 

Then in the sixth and eighth innings he singled to finish 2-for-2 at the plate.

 

Costello is now 2-for-5 in three games this season.

 

Last year, he started five of 16 games and batted .308 (8-for-26) with a double and five RBI.

 

He now has four career stolen bases.

 

16th annual Legion 'Spring Break' youth camps set

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Feb 28, 2019

March 11-12-13: 2 camps for 2 different age groups at 2 different locations – grades K-5 at Hanshew & grades 6-8 at South.

Sign up today and save money with early registration for the 16th annual American Legion ‘Spring Break’ kids camps, March 11-12-13 in Anchorage.

 

There are 2 camps for 2 different age groups at 2 different locations – one camp is for elementary school kids in grades K-5 and the other camp is for middle school kids in grades 6-8.

 

Develop baseball and softball skills in specific hitting and pitching stations. Take batting practice in the cages. Participate in pitching lessons. Work on fielding technique. Master base running strategy.

 

If you love to play ball, this camp is for you.

 

All players of all skill level are welcome.

 

Register by March 9 to save $20 per camper.

 

Learn from local community coaches, who all played Legion, college and beyond.

 

MIDDLE SCHOOL CAMP

GRADES 6-8

WHEN March 11-12-13

TIME 1:30pm to 4:30pm

WHERE South High School

COST $75 Early Registration by March 9

     $95 Late Registration after March 9

PLAY BALL Middle school baseball begins its first season in the Anchorage School District this spring. Get ready at the spring break camp.

Grades 6-8 at South.png

 

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CAMP

GRADES K-5

WHEN March 11-12-13

TIME 10:00am to 4:00pm

WHERE Hanshew Middle School

COST $95 Early Registration by March 9

     $115 Late Registration after March 9

PLAY BALL Putting the fun in fundamentals. Lots of activities.

Grades K-5 at Hanshew.png

 

REGISTRATION

SIGN UP Each camper fills out info box on flyer

EMAIL alaskalegionbb@gmail.com

DROP OFF/SNAIL MAIL Sleep Comfort by Nerlands Midtown Mattress Superstore, 123 E. Fireweed Lane, Anchorage

QUESTIONS? JUST CALL 258-2505

Monaghan pitches clean inning for D1 Austin Peay

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Feb 28, 2019

Junior left-handed pitcher worked out of a two-on, one-out jam against Vanderbilt with a double play in the bottom of the sixth inning of a 7-6 win in Tennessee.

Former Wasilla Legion Post 35 pitcher Nolan Monaghan threw his first clean inning for NCAA D1 Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee.

 

The junior transfer worked out of a two-on, one-out jam against Vanderbilt with a double play in the top of the sixth inning of a 7-6 come-from-behind victory.

 

He began the sixth with a groundout before giving up a single and walk before erasing any damage with a DP.

 

Dozens of Alaskans are playing college baseball, but Monaghan is one of just five playing at the D1 level this season.

 

The 6-foot-3 left-hander has faced Kentucky, Bradley and Vanderbilt this season coming out of the bullpen.

 

Monaghan transferred from Feather River College in California, where he went 6-4 with 53 strikeouts in 76 innings.

 

Mohl has 3 hits, scores winning run for El Camino

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Feb 24, 2019

The freshman catcher with El Camino singles and later scores in sixth inning in 2-1 win over Saddleback in California.

Former South Legion Post 4 player Sladen Mohl of Girdwood went 3-for-4 and scored the winning run to help El Camino beat Saddleback 2-1 in the California Community College Athletic Association.

 

The freshman catcher singled in the sixth inning and came around to score on a double.

 

El Camino is 11-1 on the season.

 

Mohl is hitting .231 with six runs and three walks in nine games.

 

This was his second two-hit game. He went 2-for-3 with a double in the season opener against Canyons.

 

El Camino features 28 of 29 players from California, with Mohl being the only exception.

Palmer bashes go-ahead homer to key Waldorf win

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Feb 22, 2019

Matthew Palmer hit a three-run bomb in the fifth inning to give his team the lead for good in an 8-4 for Waldorf College of Iowa.

Former Wasilla Legion Post 35 all-star Matthew Palmer crushed the go-ahead home run for Waldorf College in an 8-4 win over Central Baptist in Arkansas.

 

The senior left fielder hit a three-run bomb in the fifth inning to give his team the lead for good at 6-4.

 

Palmer has six home runs in his last 21 games with the NAIA team in Iowa.

 

In all, 12 of his 20 career hits have gone for extra bases in 33 games.

 

Palmer, who is from Palmer, has two games with two home runs in the same game.

 

Nerland to receive ASAA Lifetime Achievement Award

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Feb 17, 2019

The Alaska School Activities Association will recognize Steve Nerland with the Lifetime Achievement Award at a May 5 Hall of Fame ceremony to celebrate its Class of 2019 inductees.

As a longtime coach, event organizer and local sports advocate, Steve Nerland of Anchorage has touched the lives of thousands of athletes from Alaska.

 

The Alaska School Activities Association will recognize his efforts by presenting him with the Lifetime Achievement Award at a May 5 Hall of Fame ceremony to celebrate its Class of 2019 inductees.

 

One of the major architects of the sports landscape in Anchorage over the last 25 years, Nerland has long advocated for better sports facilities.

 

He was a driving force behind the successful effort to obtain funding to design and build The Dome and Alaska Airlines Center, and led numerous others efforts including upgrades to Mulcahy Stadium and dozens of other baseball fields and getting turf fields installed at schools all over Anchorage.

 

In 1989, he helped create the Alaska Airlines Classic high school basketball tournament. He also served as tournament chair for the Cougar Tipoff and Great Alaska Shootout.

 

In 1994, Nerland started the non-profit Alliance for the Support of American Legion Baseball in Alaska. The Alliance handles Legion operations in the state and in 2014 was pivotal in the league expanding to a record 16 varsity teams with the addition of off-the-road teams from Kodiak, Ketchikan and Juneau.

 

From 2001 to 2012 he was the head baseball coach at Service High School and even though he hasn’t coached in six years still ranks No. 2 in CIC history with 84 career wins.

 

This year he’s behind the start of middle school baseball and softball in the Anchorage School District.

Steffensen slugs grand slam, adds career-high 6RBIs

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Feb 13, 2019

Former Kenai Legion Post 20 all-star is hitting .364 with 11 RBIs and eight runs in nine games for Mesa Community College in Arizona.

Kenai’s Paul Steffensen smacked a grand slam, doubled and drove in a career-high six RBIs to help Mesa Community College beat Benedictine 13-5 in Arizona.

 

It was the first home run of the season for the sophomore left fielder and third in 65 career games.

 

The former Kenai Legion Post 20 all-star is hitting .364 with 11 RBIs and eight runs in nine games. Five of his eight hits have gone for extra bases.

 

Last season Steffensen rattled off a 26-game hitting streak, which is believed to be the longest for an Alaska player at the college level.

 

He owns two 4-hit games, two 5-hit games and two long hitting streaks (26, 15) as he’s lite up opposing pitchers to the tune of a .395 career average.

 

Steffensen was the 2016 ALB State Tournament MVP when he led the Twins to the state championship.

Registration open for ASD Middle School baseball

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Feb 7, 2019

Play ball! This is the first year of Anchorage School District Middle School baseball and its open to ASD students of all skill level.

Player Registration Now Open for Anchorage School District Middle School Baseball

 

Play ball with Anchorage School District Middle School baseball.

 

This is the first year. Come out and join the fun.

 

All skill levels welcome.

 

Uniforms and equipment will be provided.

 

Sign up here:

 

Practice begins in late March

 

The season consists of 6 games on Saturdays in May & June

(No Games May 25; Season Ends June 8)

 

All games will be played on Anchorage fields with Field Turf.

Johnson’s strong start derailed by one bad inning

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Feb 6, 2019

Indiana Wesleyan University sophomore Parker Johnson of Anchorage carried a shutout into the fifth inning before running into trouble in loss to Saint Xavier (IL).

Anchorage's Parker Johnson had a great start in his first college starting pitching appearance for Indiana Wesleyan University.

 

The sophomore right-hander retired the first seven batters he faced and carried a shutout into the fifth inning.

 

Unfortunately, he was chased after allowing two runs on a walk, single, sac bunt and triple to start the fifth. His team’s 1-0 lead was gone and so was he after 4.1 innings of work.

 

Johnson, of South Legion Post 4 fame, took the hard-luck loss in a 4-1 setback to Saint Xavier (IL) in Game 2 of the team’s doubleheader in the season-opening NAIA series in Westfield, Indiana.

 

The Alaskan gave up only two runs and scattered four hits and three walks.

 

In the third inning, Johnson got out of a two-out, bases-loaded jam with a called third strike.

 

Last season, Indiana Wesleyan finished first among 49 teams in the National Christian College Athletic Association with a team ERA of 2.95.

 

But Johnson didn’t pitch.

 

However, he did start 39 of 41 games, mostly in left field, and hit .276 with 19 runs, 18 RBIs and six doubles.

Throwing Program to start at Dome, runs thru Feb.

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jan 21, 2019

Tuesdays and Thursdays / Jan. 24-Feb. 28 / 3:30pm-5:00pm

Join us at The Dome twice a week through the end of February for a structured winter throwing program to start the progress of getting your arm ready for the baseball season.

 

Throw now, avoid injury later.

 

Meet every Tuesday and Thursday (starting Jan. 24) from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. through the end of February and utilize the drills to strengthen and condition arms by utilizing the drills presented by professional and college coaches at recent Legion clinics.

 

“Players need to be throwing 2-3 times a week from now until March to be ready for practices and games,” Coach Clouse of Everett College told campers recently.

 

The throwing program will be structured so that players can pick up where they left off, even if they miss a session or show up late to a session. 

 

After players complete that days throwing program, hitting stations will be available to work on the various drills taught at our camps. 

 

Total cost is $75 for all 11 sessions. This is open to players in eighth grade and high school only.

 

This is not open Dome time and registered players will be expected to participate in the program.

 

Throwing Program @ The Dome

Tuesdays / Thursdays

Jan. 24 to Feb. 28

3:30pm to 5:00pm

Sign up using registration link on homepage

Camp with college coaches set for Anchorage, Valley

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Dec 22, 2018

If you want to play college baseball, this camp is for you. The three-day Anchorage camp runs Jan. 18-19-20 at The Dome. The two-day Valley camp runs Jan. 20-21 at the Menard Center in Wasilla.

The annual Winter College Coaches Camp featuring JoJo Howie, Zander Clouse and Dylan Lavelle of Everett Community College will be in Alaska next month for separate stops in Anchorage and the Mat-Su Valley.

 

Everett is one of the premier programs in the NWAC, having reached the league championship game three times since 2013. Dozens of Alaskans have played baseball in the NWAC over the last few years.

 

If you want to play college baseball, this camp is for you.

 

The three-day Anchorage camp runs Jan. 18-19-20 at The Dome.

 

The two-day Valley camp runs Jan. 20-21 at the Menard Center in Wasilla.

 

The camp will include pitching, hitting and fielding instruction for all players, ages 8-18. Groups will be split into different age groups.

 

Save $25 on your entry fee with early registration through Jan. 13.

 

CAMP COST

                                               Early    Late

Youth                                         $85    $110

American Legion                       $95    $120

Non-Legion High School Age   $125  $150

**Early Registration ends Jan. 13

 

CAMP SCHEDULE

2019 Anchorage Winter College Coaches Camp

Jan. 18-20 @The Dome

Friday Jan 18

High School 4:00pm-5:55pm

All Youth Ages 6:05pm-8:00pm

Saturday Jan. 19

High School 2:00pm-3:45pm

Youth (ages 11-13) 4:00pm-5:45pm

Youth (ages 8-10) 5:15pm-7:00pm

Sunday Jan. 20

High School 10:00am-11:50am

Youth Age (ages 11-13) 12:00pm-1:45pm

Youth Age (ages 8-10) 1:15pm-3:00pm

 

2019 Valley Winter College Coaches Camp

Jan. 20-21 @Menard Center, Wasilla

Sunday, Jan. 20

Legion/High School 4:00pm-5:55pm

All Youth 6:05pm-8:00pm

Monday, Jan. 21

Legion/High School 10:00am-12:45

All Youth 1:15pm-4:00pm

Bentz to be inducted into Alaska Sports Hall of Fame

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Dec 14, 2018

The Juneau native became only the second person to play Major League Baseball after being born without one of his hands when he made his debut on April 7, 1994.

Former Major League Baseball player Chad Bentz of Juneau will be the first baseball player inducted into the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame.

 

Bentz and Olympic trap shooter Corey Cogdell-Unrein of Eagle River were the lone selections from the people category for the Class of 2019 and will be joined by the Alaska Run for Women from the event category and Kodiak’s upset of perennial powerhouse East Anchorage in the 2001 high school state title game from the moment category.

 

This will be the 13th class to be honored by the Hall, which uses a process a based on votes from the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame selection panel, past inductees and the public.

 

“We’re very pleased with the choices that came out of the selection process,” said Alaska Sports Hall of Fame executive director Harlow Robinson. “Alaska is such a diverse state with a rich sports culture and this group reflects that.”

 

The Class of 2019 will be honored at a banquet in April at the Anchorage Museum.

 

Here is a closer look at the Class of 2019:

 

No Alaska athlete did more with less than Bentz.

 

He became only the second person to play Major League Baseball after being born without one of his hands when he made his debut on April 7, 1994.

 

“I played baseball when I was younger, and got made fun of,” Bentz said in 2004. “I didn’t like going because all they did was make fun of me. So, I didn’t play anymore. Then I saw Jim Abbott. He gave me the will to at least try playing again.”

 

The 6-foot-2, 215-pound left-hander pitched in 40 career MLB games, more than any other player from Alaska. He played for the Montreal Expos in 2004 and the Florida Marlins in 2005.

 

Bentz – one of three Alaskans to play in the big leagues – finished 0-3 with a 5.86 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 29.2 innings.

 

Arguably his most impressive achievement is the fact that he’s the only Alaskan with a MLB base hit.

 

“Not bad for a boy who overcame many obstacles he faced in his life, both geographical and physical,” Bentz said.

 

Bentz, 38, played nine years in the minor leagues and racked up an 11-20 record with 23 saves in 195 appearances, almost all in relief.

 

After his baseball career ended in 2010, he played a season of college football at NCAA D3 Castleton State in Vermont. He was a fullback and carried the ball 12 times and scored two touchdowns.

 

He is now the head baseball coach at his alma mater of Juneau-Douglas High School and guided the Crimson Bears to the ASAA 2018 state championship.

Schedule breakdown for camp w/ MLB coaches

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Dec 12, 2018

Learn what time Legion and youth players need to show up for the Professional Baseball Camp all three days.

Professional Baseball Camp

Dec. 20-22 @ West High School

We have worked hard with Brent Strom and Ralph Dickenson to reschedule the 2018 Professional Coaches Camp. Unfortunately, both coaches have other obligations until spring training but they have arranged for two outstanding coaches from the Houston Astros in Troy Snitker, the team’s co-hitting coach, and Bill Murphy, the organization's pitching coordinator.

Camp Schedule

Thursday Dec. 20

       ALL HIGH SCHOOL 4:00-6:00

       ALL YOUTH 6:00-8:00

Friday Dec. 21 (No School)

       ALL HIGH SCHOOL 10:00am-1:00pm

       YOUTH AGES 11-13 1:30pm-4:00pm

       YOUTH AGES   8-10 4:30pm-7:00pm

Saturday Dec. 22

      ALL HIGH SCHOOL 9:00am-12:00pm

       YOUTH AGES 11-13 12:30pm-2:00pm

       YOUTH AGES  8-10 2:00pm-3:30pm

 

PLEASE NOTE THE YOUTH GROUP HAS BEEN SPLIT UP BY AGE. Thanks to a great registration from our youth players will have broken the youth group in half so that the players get more reps in smaller groups. If youth players need to attend the other age group to be with a sibling, we can accommodate that. The separate groups will go through similar drills and allow the coaches to work with smaller numbers.

Camp postponed by earthquake set for Dec. 20-22

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Dec 9, 2018

The camp will again feature coaches from the Houston Astros – Troy Snitker, the team’s co-hitting coach, and Bill Murphy, the organization’s pitching coordinator.

Just in time for the holidays, the Professional Baseball Camp featuring MLB coaches from the Houston Astros is back on the calendar after getting postponed because of the massive Nov. 30 earthquake.

 

The new dates are Dec. 20-22 at West High School in Anchorage. Times for Legion players and youth groups will be released in a few days, but plan on Thursday night, Friday afternoon (no school) and Saturday afternoon.

 

If players are not able to attend this camp, they can transfer their paid admission to our College Coaches Clinic Jan. 18-19-20 at The Dome.

 

Note: An email will go out at the start of the week that will confirm times, locations and allow participants to confirm they will be attending this camp or apply the credit to the January camp. 

 

This month’s Professional Baseball Camp will again feature coaches from the Houston Astros – but it won’t be Brent Strom and Ralph Dickenson, who couldn’t return this time due to scheduling conflicts.

 

Both men were in town during the earthquake and had looked forward to working with Alaska kids once again. They vowed to come back in 2019.

 

“Many of your kids have attended these clinics the last few years and I was looking forward to seeing their progress from last year,” said Strom, the Astros pitching coach. “Both Ralph and I have other clinic obligations until Spring Training, but we have arranged through the Astros organization and Alaska Airlines for two outstanding coaches to come to Anchorage.”

 

The new Astros coaches coming are Troy Snitker, the team’s co-hitting coach, and Bill Murphy, the organization’s pitching coordinator.

 

“These are really up-and-coming coaches and they will be teaching many of the techniques that we believe in our organization,” Strom said.

 

Strom was a starting pitcher in the big leagues back in the day, but right after the earthquake he became a closer and personally made sure the Alaska camp had MLB-quality coaches fill in.

 

If Strom approves of them, that’s the only recommendation needed.

 

“Troy's father was the MLB National League Manager of the Year for the Atlanta Braves this year,” he said. “Bill is a young pitching coach with a bright future.

 

“Neither of the them have ever been to Alaska, so they are very excited.”

 

Strom expects to be back next year with Dickenson.

 

“We hope to be back in November 2019 for our 10th year in Alaska,” he said. “Have a great holiday season.”

Alaskans shine in the rain at Arizona Senior Classic

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Oct 23, 2018

“It is the biggest, most scouted tournament in the western United States,” ABA manager Tony Wylie said. “Over 250 college coaches and recruiters typically attend the event as well as over 75 MLB scout…

Rain may have shortened the Arizona Senior Fall Classic, but it couldn’t dampen the spirit of the Alaska Baseball Academy 18U Sockeyes.

 

Even if it was for only two games, they were happy to play in front of scouts.

 

“It is the biggest, most scouted tournament in the western United States,” ABA manager Tony Wylie said. “Over 250 college coaches and recruiters typically attend the event as well as over 75 MLB scouts representing all 30 MLB clubs.”

 

The ABA team is comprised of elite players from Alaska Legion programs.

 

The Alaskans played to a 3-3 tie in 10 innings with Mountain West Baseball Academy of Colorado in the first game.

 

Chugiak Post 33 all-star Ian Frizelle lined a triple into right field for the team’s lone extra-base hit. Mose Hayes of Homer pitched five scoreless innings of relief.

 

“The game was well played defensively by both squads with only one error committed in the 10 innings,” Wylie said.

 

The Sockeyes lost the second game 7-2 to the California Cubs, a team loaded with college-ready sluggers and hard-throwing pitchers.

 

“The Alaskans held their own for most of the game versus the talent-laden Cubs,” Wylie said. “Their roster included 10 D1 scholarship players with multiple pitchers in the 90-92 mph range.”

 

Alaska pitchers included Gage Webster and Jacob Woodall of South Post 4 and Leland Wilson of West Post 1. That’s about as good as it gets in the 907.

 

Wilson, a lanky lefty, fared the best with didn’t allow a run over his three innings of work.

 

“Wilson was very impressive on the mound, striking out four with only a single and a walk,” Wylie said. “Following the game there were four or five MLB scouts asking to speak with the young 6-foot-4 southpaw from West.”

 

Alaska base hits were delivered by East Post 34 all-star Ricky Gatter and Chugiak's terrific trio of Christian Cambridge, Justin Nevells and Frizelle.

 

This was the first time the Alaskans have been rained out in Arizona in the 15 years Wylie has been taking teams.

 

The Arizona Senior Fall Classic is a 64-team showcase event.

Alaska Jr. Sockeyes win division at Arizona tourney

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Sep 18, 2018

The team comprised of young Alaska Legion players pounded out 10 hits and got RBIs from six players in a 15-4 victory over the Southwest Baseball Knights in the championship game.

Buoyed by big bats, the Alaska Baseball Academy Junior Sockeyes outscored opponents 43-6 and hit .400 as a team en route to posting a 4-0 record and winning the Futures Division of the Arizona Southwest Wood Bat Classic Meltdown tournament.

 

The team comprised of young Alaska Legion players pounded out 10 hits and got RBIs from six players in a 15-4 victory in four innings over the Southwest Baseball Knights in the championship game.

 

“Several players stood out and received some inquiries from a few major-league scouts,” ABA manager Tony Wylie said. “Playing in sweltering heat all weekend the high temperatures didn’t make it easy for the Alaskans, with the mercury reaching 110 degrees on championship Sunday.”

 

Dylan Maltby went 2-for-3 with a triple, three RBIs and three runs. Noah Lower finished 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs. Kaden Bevegni was 2-for-2 with an RBI and a pair of runs.

 

Oliver Brown pitched three innings and allowed just one hit. He also walked and scored a run. Camden Costanios threw the final inning and reached base three times, scoring twice.

 

Logan Smith added two RBIS and Carl Colavecchio drove in a run and scored two more.

 

The Junior Sockeyes won the other games by scores of 8-1, 8-1 and 12-0.

 

In the semifinals, Bevegni pitched four strong innings with six strikeouts and no walks in a mercy-rule win.

 

“Other teams were making jokes and asking how we find baseballs in the snow,” Wylie said. “They weren’t laughing at the final handshake.”

Hyrum (UT) end Dimond’s season at NWCART

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Aug 11, 2018

Four Dimond pitchers combined to issue 13 walks, including six in the fourth to fuel a big inning that allowed Utah to cruise to 14-3 win at Northwest Class A Regional Tournament in Idaho.

The Hyrum (UT) Trappers broke open the game with a big fourth inning en route to 14-3 triumph in a loser-out game that eliminated the Dimond Post 21 Lynx from the Northwest Class A Regional Tournament in Lewiston, Idaho.

 

Four Dimond pitchers combined to issue 13 walks, including six in the fourth to fuel a seven-run outburst that allowed Utah to seal the deal early.

 

The Lynx finished 0-2 at the regional, but they have nothing to hang their heads about after bagging a 24-win season.

 

Luke Smith and Logan Sweet each went 2-for-3 at the plate. Smith knocked in a run and Sweet threw out a baserunner trying to steal second.

 

Jacob Lick went 1-for-3 with an RBI. Kobe Vanderwood was 1-for-2 with a walk for Dimond.

 

Connor Cunningham and Jack Dolan scored runs in the third inning. Zach Jenkins singled and later scored in the fourth.

 

Dimond was trying to become the fourth Alaska team since 2013 to win a game at the NWCART.

 

Northwest Class A Regional

Recent History for Alaska

2018 Dimond 0-2

2017 Service 0-2

2016 Service 1-2

2015 Kenai 0-2

         Juneau 1-2

2014 Juneau 1-2

         Fairbanks 0-2

         Dimond 0-2

2013 South   2-2

2012 Chugiak 0-2

Burley (ID) snatches win from Dimond in late stages

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Aug 10, 2018

Down to their last out, the Green Sox tied the game in the bottom of the seventh inning and then won it in extras to beat the Post 21 Lynx 5-4 at the Class A Regional Tournament in Idaho.

The Green Sox tied the game with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning on a two-out error and then won it in the eighth inning with a walkoff single to beat the Post 21 Lynx 5-4 on Day 1 of the Class A Regional Tournament in Lewiston, Idaho.

 

The loss spoiled a great start from pitcher Parker Coplin, who left in the fifth inning with Dimond leading 4-2.

 

Luke Smith had two hits and drove in two runs. Kobe Vanderwood had two hits and scored two runs. Logan Sweet and Adam Boyce had RBIs.

 

Boyce helped Dimond danced around some serious trouble in the seventh inning and nearly wiggled off the hook. With the bases loaded, the Lynx denied a squeeze play to get one out and Boyce struck out a batter for the second out.

 

But Burley tied the game after a sharp grounder bounced off the shortstop’s arm, allowing the Green Sox to plate a pair of runs and tie the game at 4-4.

 

Dimond avoided further damage when Boyce ended the inning with a strike out, stranding the winning run on third base.

 

In extra innings, Dimond went 1-2-3 in the top of the eighth and Idaho went walk, balk, walk, walkoff.

 

Alaska teams have fared pretty well at the NWCART since 2013, posting a combined five wins by Service (2016), Juneau (2015, 2014) and South (2013). The South team won two games.

 

The Lynx are still alive in the double-elimination regional.

 

Dimond (24-10) will play the Hyrum (UT) Trappers on Saturday at 9 a.m. ADT.

 

Dimond 200 110 00 - 4 6 1

Burley (ID) 000 110 21 - 5 5 1

Dimond – Coplin, Boyce (5), Knowlton (8) and Dolan. Idaho – Ritchie, E.Waterson (5), S. Watterson (8). W – S. Watterson. L – Boyce. 2B – None. 3B – None. HR – None.

Billings (MT) eliminates Juneau from NW Regional

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Aug 10, 2018

The Post 4 Royals scored 11 runs in the third inning to run away with a 16-3 victory over the Post 25 Midnight Suns, who finished sixth in the tournament and ended the season 29-4.

The Billings (MT) Post 4 Royals scored 11 runs in the third inning to run away with a 16-3 victory in five innings at the Northwest Regional and eliminate the Juneau Post 25 Midnight Suns, who finished sixth in the tournament and ended the season 29-4.

 

There’s no getting around it: the third inning was ugly, but neither that nor the lopsided loss should overshadow Juneau’s beautiful performance this week as the team made history and reminded people how Alaska can compete at the regional level with enough muscle and moxie.

 

Not only did the Midnight Suns become the first Alaska team to win a regional game since 2009, but they scored 23 runs in three games to double the previous high for an Alaska team at the tournament in the last decade.

 

South Post 4 scored 11 runs in two games in 2014, Kenai Post 20 scored 10 runs in two games in 2012 and South scored 9 runs in three games in 2009.

 

Even today, with the game well out of hand, Michael Cesar drove in Zeb Storie from second base with an RBI single in the team’s final at-bats. Juneau went out swinging.

 

Storie, Cesar, Donavin McCurley, Kasey Watts, Robert Cox and Brock McCormick all delivered base hits against a Billings pitching staff that walked only two batters compared to 10 by Juneau, including three in a row with the bases loaded in the third inning.

Watts led the team with five runs and five walks, Cox was tops with six base hits and Phil Wall drove in a team-high five RBIs. The Storie bros combined for nine hits, six RBIs and four runs. Cesar was second with four runs and tied for third with three RBIs.

 

Northwest Regional

Recent History for Alaska

2018 Juneau 1-2

L 8-7 Meridian (ID) W 13-9 Missoula (MT) L 16-3 Billings (MT)

2017 Juneau 0-2

L 13-2 Missoula (MT) L 3-1 Lewiston (ID)

2016 Kenai 0-2

L 11-4 Cheyenne (WY) L 16-2 Kennewick (WA)

2015 Chugiak 0-2

L 20-2 Bellevue (WA) L 9-5 Gillette (WY)

2014 South 0-2

L 18-8 Boise (ID) L 24-3 Medford (OR)

2013 Chugiak 0-2

L 8-1 Eugene (OR) L 18-1 Waipahu (HI)

2012 Kenai 0-2

L 14-8 Billings (MT) L 12-2 Waipahu (HI)

2011 Dimond 0-2

L 11-4 Waipahu (HI) L 14-2 Boise (ID)

2010 Dimond 0-2

L 18-3 Boise (ID) L 13-3 Wausau (WI)

2009 South 1-2

W 5-4 Cheyenne (WY) L 10-2 Billings (MT) L 12-2 Bellevue (WA)

2008 Chugiak 0-2

L 8-3 Bozeman (MT) L 18-3 Kennewick (WA)

Juneau ends Alaska’s 19-game region losing streak

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Aug 9, 2018

The Post 25 Midnight Suns ended a long and painful losing streak for Alaska Legion AA teams at the Northwest Regional, snapping the state’s 10-year, 19-game tournament losing streak with a 13-9 win ov…

The Juneau Post 25 Midnight Suns ended a long and painful losing streak for Alaska Legion AA teams at the Northwest Regional, snapping the state’s 10-year, 19-game tournament losing streak with a 13-9 win over the host Post 27 Mavs in Missoula, Montana.

 

Juneau capitalized in the sixth inning with a six-run offensive outburst in the top half and two delightful defensive plays in the bottom half, which added up to a historic victory the entire state should savor.

 

Phil Wall – the state tournament MVP – played a pivotal role in the decisive sixth inning. At the plate, he cleared the bases with a three-run double down the right-field line to give his team a 9-7 lead. In the field, the second baseman saved a run when me made a nice play moving to his left to field and fire to first for the out.

 

Robert Cox made a wonderful diving catch in right field in the sixth inning. He also went 3-for-5 with two runs and two RBIs on a day when the Midnight Suns collected 15 hits and drew seven walks to keep persistent pressure on four Montana pitchers.

 

Gabe Storie stroked a two-run standup double in the top of the seventh to make the score 13-9 and provide insurance for relief pitcher Kasey Watts, who closed the door with a strong final inning.

 

Juneau’s victory was the first for an Alaska team at the Northwest Regional since 2009 when South Post 4 beat Cheyenne (WY) 5-4.

 

The Midnight Suns have been close in their previous two games at regionals – losing 8-7 yesterday to Meridian (ID) and 3-1 last year to Lewiston (ID).

 

So, it’s fitting Juneau was the team to make Alaska history.

 

The team’s next game is Friday at 11 a.m. ADT in another loser-out game against the loser between Yakima Valley (WA) Post 36 and Billings (MT) Post 4.

 

Watch live at www.mpsn406.com.

 

Juneau (29-3) came out looking to win right away, jumping out to a 1-0 in the first inning on Cox’s two-out single that scored Michael Cesar, who reached on an error to start the rally. The lead swelled to 3-0 in the second inning after the Midnight Suns scored on a balk and a Cesar RBI single.

 

Montana roared back to take a 4-3 lead, much like Idaho did in Wednesday’s tournament opener. And just like that game, Juneau answered immediately when Watts belted a solo home run to the things up at 4-4.

 

In the past, so many Alaska teams would get off to a good start at the regional tournament only to have a Lower 48 team bash its way back into the game. But this Juneau team has the muscle and moxie to keep up in a slugfest.

 

Down 5-4 in the fifth, Juneau tied the game again on Zeb Storie’ s sac fly.

 

Down 7-5 in the sixth, Cox drove in a run with a single before Wall brought home three runs with a double to put Juneau ahead for good.

 

Watts, who got the final out of the eighth inning, stayed in the game and enjoyed a quiet seventh inning with two popups and a lineout to end the game.

Juneau 121 016 2 - 13 15 2

Missoula (MT) 041 022 0 - 9 9 3

Juneau - Cox, G.Storie (2), Z.Storie (5), Watts (6) and Cesar. Montana - Heidrick, J.Martin (5), T.Martin (6), Hill (7) and Clayton. W - Watts. L - Hill. 2B - Wall (J), G.Storie (J), Martin (M). 3B - None. HR - Watts (J).

Juneau drops devastating 8-7 loss at NW Regional

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Aug 8, 2018

Meridian (ID) scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to spoil an excellent effort by the two-time defending Alaska state champion Midnight Suns.

From heartwarming to heartbreak, Juneau Post 25 experienced every emotion in a roller-coaster game with Meridian (ID) Post 113 that featured four lead changes and ended in an 8-7 walkoff loss that denied Alaska its first win at the Northwest Regional since 2009.

 

Idaho scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to spoil an excellent effort by the two-time defending Alaska state champion Midnight Suns, who played well and did so many things right to build a seemingly safe 7-4 cushion.

 

Credit Idaho for the comeback, but credit Juneau for proving that Alaska can compete at the regional level despite the state’s struggles in past years.

 

The Midnight Suns banged out 11 hits and made only one error. They led 1-0 after the first inning and 3-0 after the second inning. And when Idaho rallied to take the lead 4-3, they bounced back with a four-spot in the fifth inning to take a 7-4 lead.

 

Going into the final inning, it felt like Alaska's long losing streak finally would end at the Legion regional tournament. It didn't happen - but the loss shouldn't overshadow Juneau's effort and energy on the field.

 

Zeb Storie went 2-for-5 with three RBIs, Phil Wall was 3-for-4 with two RBIs and Robert Cox batted 2-for-4 with an RBI. Gabe Storie finished 2-for-3 and scored twice.

 

In Juneau’s big fifth inning, Wall doubled in a pair of runs and Zeb Storie drove in two runs with a two-out, two-strike base hit.

 

Wall, the state tournament MVP, pitched six-plus innings and allowed 10 hits. He was chased in the seventh after hitting the leadoff hitter, walking the next batter and then giving up a double that made it 7-5.

 

Donavin McCurley entered with runners on second and third and gave up a sac fly and single before striking out the next batter for the second out of the inning. The game ended when Idaho’s Charlie Tentinger ripped an opposite-field gap shot to score the winning run from second base.

 

The loss was just the third for Juneau in 31 games this season. It was also McCurley’s first losing decision in a full year, with his last loss coming at last year's Northwest Regional.

 

Juneau dropped into the loser’s bracket of the double-elimination Legion World Series qualifier and will play Thursday at 11 a.m. ADT against the loser of Cheyenne (WY) Post 6 and host Missoula (MT) Post 27.

 

Watch Juneau play live at this site: mpsn406.com.

 

The Midnight Suns will try to snap Alaska’s 19-game losing streak dating to 2009 when South Anchorage’s Post 4 beat Cheyenne 5-4.

 

This is the second straight year Juneau has been close, losing 3-1 to eventual regional champion Lewiston (ID) at the 2017 tournament behind McCurley's complete-game gem.

 

Juneau 120 040 0 - 7 11 1

Meridian (ID) 001 300 4 - 8 12 1

Juneau - Wall, McCurley (7) and Cesar.  Idaho - Yancey, Lefever (5), Nielebeck (6) and Tentinger. W – Nielebeck. L – McCurley. 2B - 2B - Harrision (ID), Wall (J), Jablonski (ID), Cox (J). 3B – None. HR - None.

Juneau seeks Alaska’s 1st NW Region win since ‘09

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Aug 7, 2018

Juneau (28-2) will play Meridian, Idaho, in the first game Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. ADT.

When it comes to pitching, Juneau Post 25 has plenty of it and the Midnight Suns will need every available arm when they hit the field for this week’s Legion Northwest Regional in Missoula, Montana.

 

The Alaska state champion will play Meridian, Idaho, in the first game Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. ADT.

 

Juneau (28-2) showcased its dominant pitching staff at the state tournament when the Midnight Suns carved up opposing batters with a 1.50 ERA in 42 innings.

 

They closed out the tournament with a record 26-inning scoreless streak, thanks to back-to-back-to-back complete-game shutouts by Phil Wall, Kasey Watts, Gabe Storie and five shutout innings by Donavin McCurley.

 

The ‘Fab Four’ combined for a miniscule 0.39 ERA at state after allowing just two runs in 36 innings.

 

Wall, the tournament MVP, pitched a total of 12 innings, won both decisions and gave up just one run. He threw a 3-hit shutout in the title game against Dimond Post 21 to improve his season record to 6-1.

 

Storie didn’t give up an earned run in 10 innings and Watts was spotless in eight innings of work. McCurley allowed just one run in six innings; he is 5-0 on the summer.

 

Last year, McCurley turned in one of Alaska’s greatest pitching performances at the Northwest Regional in a 3-1 loss to eventual champion Lewiston, Idaho.

 

He needed only 89 pitches to complete a 9-inning gem during he did not strike out a single batter. He gave up eight hits and one walk. He pitched to contact and trusted his defense.

 

The two-run defeat was the closest an Alaska team has come to winning in nearly a decade.

 

South Post 4 was the last Alaska team to be victorious at the Northwest Regional with a 5-4 win over Cheyenne, Wyoming, in 2009.

 

Offensively, Juneau looks to bounce back after a tough outing at the plate in last year’s region tournament in which the Midnight Suns scored a total of just three runs.

 

They aren’t the first Alaska state champ to struggle against Lower 48 pitching. Since 2008, only two teams – South (11) in 2014, Kenai (10) in 2012 – have reached double figures in runs at regionals.

 

Zeb Storie and Michael Cesar headline Juneau’s loaded lineup.

 

Storie hit .594 with a team high 37 runs scored in 21 games during league and state tournament.

 

Cesar – the state’s high school player of the year – batted .471 with a team-best 27 RBIs.

 

Juneau is led by coaches Jeremy Ludeman and Joe Tompkins, who were among the men honored as Alaska Legion coaches of the year.

Legion A: South Black wins state championship

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Aug 5, 2018

South Black beat South Gold 9-0 in a battle between Post 4 Legion A squads in the title game of the Alaska Airlines Junior Legion State Tournament.

Oliver Brown pitched a 2-hit complete-game shutout as South Black beat South Gold 9-0 in a battle between Post 4 Legion A squads in the title game of the Alaska Airlines Junior Legion State Tournament at Bartlett High School.

 

Brown retired eight of the first nine batters he faced to get off to a good start he carried through to the end. He struck out four of the final five hitters.

 

He struck out nine and walked just one.

 

South Black won all three tournaments during the Alliance’s Legion A tournament tour, beating South Gold in all three title games.

 

Kellen Curtis went 3-for-5 with two RBIs and a run scored. Hayden Bragg drove in a run and scored twice.

 

Other South Black players to drive in a run included Brown, Maddux Soland, AJ Sawicki and Reece Ivanoff.

 

South Gold’s Blair Coomer and Luke Wilkins each banged out base hits. Pitchers Josh McGovern and Payden Subitch combined to leave 10 baserunners stranded on base.

 

South Black 131 001 3 - 9 9 1

South Gold 000 000 0 - 0 2 3

Black - Brown and Maltby. Gold - McGovern, Subitch (5) and Lyzowski. 2B - None. 3B - None. HR - None.

Legion A: South’s Black, Gold to meet in state final

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Aug 4, 2018

State semifinals: Black 9, Dimond 2; Gold 5, Wasilla 1

The South-Black and South-Gold Legion A teams each won semifinal games to advance to the championship game of the Alaska Airlines Junior Legion State Tournament.

 

South-Black beat Dimond 9-2 and South-Gold beat Wasilla 5-1. Both games were at Bartlett High School.

 

Sunday’s state title game is at 12 p.m. at Bartlett.

 

This is the third straight tournament these teams have met in the title game, with South-Black winning the previous two meetings.

 

South-Black 9, Dimond 2

Hayden Bragg, Kellen Curtis and Joey Serra each drove in two runs to support winning pitcher Dylan Maltby for the No. 1 seed.

 

Bragg went 3-for-4, doubled and scored two runs. Curtis was 1-for-2 with a run, walk and a hit by pitch. Serra was 1-for-3 and added a sac fly.

 

Maltby allowed only one hit over his 5.2 innings of work. He scattered nine walks and struck out four batters.

 

Dimond’s Logan Sweet singled and scored a run. Alex Wright walked three times and scored a run. Rivey Straw singled and walked twice.

 

Relief pitcher Jeremiah Eneix threw two innings of scoreless relief.

 

Dimond 200 000 0 - 2 2 2

South-Black 135 000 x - 9 7 3

Dimond - Muriarty, Straw (2), Eneix (5) and Sweet. South - Maltby, Ellis (6), Brown (7) and Curtis. W - Maltby. L - Muriarty. 2B - Bragg (S). 3B - Brown (S). HR - None.

 

South-Gold 5, Wasilla 1

Eric Galosich pitched the whole way and got an early boost from Josh McGovern’s two-run triple in the third inning for the No. 2 seed.

 

Galosich allowed eights and no walks over his seven-inning effort. He finished the game with four straight scoreless frames.

 

McGovern finished with three RBIs. Blair Coomer batted 3-for-4 and scored a run. Skyler Sugita went 2-for-3 with an RBI.

 

Wasilla’s AJ Camacho was 3-for-3 with a triple and a double. Lennon Bass went 2-for-4.

 

Jacob Hanson put in a yeoman’s effort on the mound in terms of avoiding crooked numbers despite runners constantly on base via hit (9), walk (1) and hit by pitch (4).

 

He ended three innings by strikeout and one inning by double play.

 

South-Gold 102 110 0 - 5 9 3

Wasilla 001 000 0 - 1 8 2

South - Galosich and Lyzowski. Wasilla - Hanson and Camacho. W - Galosich. L - Hanson. 2B - Camacho (W). 3B - McGovern (S), Camacho (W). HR - None.

State: Juneau wins 2nd consecutive championship

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 31, 2018

Juneau Post 25 starter Phil Wall was masterful on his way to pitching a 3-hit shutout in a 7-0 win over Dimond Post 21 at Mulcahy Stadium.

State Tournament

Title Game: Juneau 7, Dimond 0

Phil Wall threw a 3-hit shutout and started a game-ending 1-6-3 double play as the Post 25 Midnight Suns ended the tournament with 26 consecutive scoreless innings en route to beating the Post 21 Lynx at Mulcahy Stadium and becoming the first repeat Legion state champion since 2011.

 

Wall was masterful as he struck out the side in the fourth inning and didn’t issue a walk until the sixth. He ran into a little trouble in the seventh but eliminated the threat by inducing a game-ending double play to give Juneau its state-best 28th win of the season.

 

Wall had five strikeouts and six comebackers and was named tournament MVP after earning his second win of the tournament and lowering his ERA to 0.58.

 

The Midnight Suns needed his shutout pitching early because they led only 1-0 on an unearned run and Dimond pitcher Luke Coplin – who also was gunning for his second tournament win – showed courage under stress as Juneau went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position in the first four innings.

 

Things changed in the fifth and sixth innings when Juneau plated three runs in each frame to pull away to win the program’s second straight state championship under the coaching duo of Joe Tompkins and Jeremy Ludeman, who were among Alaska Legion’s coaches of the year.

 

Tournament Big Stick Award winner Kasey Watts got the rally started in the fifth with a two-run single to give him eight RBIs, the most in the tournament. Owen Mendoza, who batted .500 for the tournament on 9-of-18 hitting, also drove in a run in the fifth.

 

The Midnight Suns put the game away with three more runs in the sixth as Gabe Storie, Donavin McCurley and Michael Cesar all scored runs.

 

They are Alaska’s first back-to-back state title since Dimond won in 2011 and 2010.

 

Juneau will represent the 907 at the Northwest Regional Tournament, which starts Aug. 8 in Missoula, Montana.

 

Dimond (24-9) advanced to the program’s 10th appearance all-time in the Legion state title game.

 

And although the Lynx didn’t win the title, they will receive a consolation prize in the form of a Outside trip to the Northwest Class A Regional Tournament, which begins Aug. 10 in Lewiston, Idaho.

 

Dimond 000 000 0 - 0 3 3

Juneau 010 033 x - 7 10 0

Dimond - Coplin, Roettger (5), Boyce (6) and Dolan. Juneau - Wall and Cesar. W - Wall. L - Coplin. 2B - None. 3B - None. HR - None.

 

State Tournament Awards

Top Pitcher

Jake Andresen, Dimond Post 21

His presence alone was enough to inject his team with instant confidence, so much so he was used very tactically to maximize his pitch count. This right-hander made two starts and his team won both times as he struck out 10 batters and sported a zero ERA in eight innings of work.

Gold Glove

Declan Dammeyer, West Post 1

Whether he was behind the plate or roaming center field, this durable dual threat was a terrific defensive player who showed love for the glove. As a catcher, he threw out two baserunners and allowed only one stolen base. In the outfield, he was steady and did not make an error on 18 total chances.

Big Stick

Kasey Watts, Juneau Post 25

A combination of precision and power, the left-handed cleanup hitter ripped the ball virtually every time he stepped in the box. The first baseman led the tournament with eight RBIs and two triples. He had three RBIs against South and Chugiak. He added two RBIs in the title game and hit .300 in six games.

Most Valuable Player

Phil Wall, Juneau Post 25

He came back from college to help his team win another state championship, and as fate would have it, he got the ball for the big game. He didn't disappoint, throwing a 3-hit shutout for his second win at state. For the tournament, the righty threw 12 innings and finished with a tidy 0.58 ERA and 11 strikeouts.

State: Juneau blanks West, will play Dimond in final

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 31, 2018

With the win, Kasey Watts lifted top-seeded Juneau into the state championship game against No. 2 seed Dimond at 6:15 p.m. Juneau won the Legion state championship a year ago and is now one win away f…

State Tournament

Game 14: Juneau 7, West 0

Post 25 starter Kasey Watts pitched a 7-inning 3-hitter and faced the minimum over the final four innings to lift the Midnight Suns past Post 1 in a semifinal game at the 66th ALB State Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium. alaskalegion.com

 

The southpaw allowed only three singles, all coming with one out in the inning, and he didn’t allow a baserunner to go beyond second base. He also hit cleanup in the batting order, but the team didn’t need his bat. Just his left arm.

 

With the win, Watts lifted top-seeded Juneau into the state championship game against No. 2 seed Dimond at 6:15 p.m. Juneau won the Legion state championship a year ago and is now one win away from being the first team to repeat since Dimond in 2011 and 2010.

 

Offensively, Juneau (27-2) got all the runs it needed to beat West in the first inning. After the first three batters reached base on single, walk and error, Robert Cox hit a sac fly and Owen Mendoza had a two-run single as Juneau took a 3-0 lead.

 

The Midnight Suns added another crooked number in the fourth inning on RBIs from Gabe Storie, Donavin McCurley and Michael Cesar. Storie reached base all three times with a double, single and walk.

 

Zeb Storie added an RBI double in the fifth inning to complete the scoring.

 

West got base hits from Revy Mack, Leland Wilson and Luke Langnes. Reliever Luis Nunez allowed just one run after coming out of bullpen to pitch 2.2 innings.

 

The Eagles were playing on the final day of the state tournament for the first time since 1988.

 

West finished third in the tournament and 17-15 overall this season.

 

West 000 000 0 - 0 3 2

Juneau 300 310 x - 7 9 0

West - Fink, Nunez (4) and Langnes. Juneau - Watts and Cesar. W - Watts. L - Fink. 2B - G.Storie (J), Z.Storie (J). 3B - None. HR - None.

Wasilla beats Eagle River to cap 5-0 Matson title run

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 31, 2018

Led by tournament MVP Jacob Gilbert, the Road Warriors finished 5-0, including an 8-3 victory in title game at Mulcahy Stadium.

Matson Invitational

Title Game: Wasilla 8, Eagle River 3

Jacob Gilbert went 3-for-4 to highlight his team’s 11-hit attack as the Post 35 Road Warriors capped a 5-0 record by beating the Wolves in the championship game of the 5th ALB Matson Invitational at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Dawson White went 2-for-2 with two walks and three runs scored. Kendell Ruta was 2-for-4 with two runs. White was joined by Ben Werner, James Arend and Taylon Ottinger all drove in runs in the RBI Club.

 

Wasilla (22-11) took the lead for good in the third inning with a four-run frame.

 

That was plenty of support the pitching staff needed as Austin Robertson and Nolan Murphy combined on a 4-hitter, with only one run being earned. Roberton started and struck out seven batters in 4.2 innings. Murphy came on in the fifth inning and sealed the deal with 2.1 innings of shutout relief.

 

Eagle River's Ryan Gray, Chase McGraw, Daniel Bodine and Aaron Davis each had base hits. Bodine collected the team's lone RBI.

 

Wasilla won its five tournament games by a combined 39-16 margin – flexing its top-seeded muscle.

 

Gilbert earned Matson Invitational Most Valuable Player honors after leading the tournament with nine hits, seven RBIs and a .600 batting average. Twice, he drove in three RBIs in one game. He also pitched 5.2 innings and had a 2.47 ERA.

 

Eagle River 100 020 0 - 3 4 6

Wasilla 014 102 x - 8 11 3

Eagle River - Retzlaff, C. Frederick (3) and C. Frederick, McGraw (3). Wasilla - Robertson, Murphy (5) and Arend. W - Robertson. L - C. Frederick. 2B - None. 3B - None. HR - None.

 

Matson Invitational Awards

Top Pitcher

Isaac Roehl, Fairbanks Post 11

On Day 3 of the tournament, this right-handed pitcher pitched a shutout when his team needed it most. He needed only 77 pitches for his 7-inning complete game and allowed only five hits and zero walks as his team won the game 1-0.

Gold Glove

Damien Frederick, Eagle River

This steady second baseman is fundamentally sound and showed love for the glove with flawless defense and a 1.000 fielding percentage on 10 total chances, including one double play.

Big Stick

Zack Satterly, Palmer Post 15

At 6-1, 230 pounds, he walks softly and carries a big bat. He hit the tournament’s only home run and finished second in the tournament with a .583 batting average. He had 11 total bases in four games and scored four runs, including the game-winner against Ketchikan.

MVP

Jacob Gilbert, Wasilla Post 35

He hit in the middle of the lineup and was productive all five days of tournament action – never taking a day off. Twice, he had 3 RBIs in one game. He led the entire tournament with 7 RBIs, 9 base hits and a .600 batting average. He also pitched 5.2 innings and had a 2.47 ERA.

State: West, Juneau stay alive; winner plays Dimond

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 30, 2018

Day 4 scores: West 5, Kenai 2; Juneau 6, Dimond 0

State Tournament

Game 13: Juneau 6, Dimond 0

Gabe Storie threw a 4-hit shutout and 2017 State MVP Zeb Storie went 3-for-4 and scored the game's first run as the Post 25 Midnight Suns beat previously tournament unbeaten Post 21 on Day 4 of the 66th ALB State Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Gabe Storie had a pretty uneventful evening in terms facing few baserunners and not allowing any of them to reach farther than second base. In each of the second and third innings, the first two Dimond hitters reached base only for the rally to eventually evaporate.

 

He allowed only one hit over the final four frames and ended the fourth and sixth innings with a strikeout. He had five on the night.

 

Zeb Storie, the leadoff hitter, was the only batter on his team hitting fourth or better to get a base hit – and he got three of them. He’s now hitting a team-best .538 for the tournament.

 

He led off the game by working the count full and reaching on a single. He went to second on a passed ball, tagged on a flyball and then scored on another fly ball off the bat of Michael Cesar to give the Midnight Suns (26-2) their first run.

 

They tacked on two more runs in the second inning, thanks largely to Owen Mendoza's triple. He knocked in one run and then scored on Bryson Echiverri's RBI single to make it 3-0.

 

Juneau’s offense didn’t let up, adding single runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to push the lead to 6-0.

 

The Midnight Suns are especially dialed in at the plate and everybody seems to be seeing the ball well. Nobody struck out against Dimond and opposing pitchers have only fanned seven Juneau batters in 124 plate appearances during the state tournament.

 

Dimond (24-8) didn’t look like the same team that ran the table through the first three days of the tournament.

 

Jack Dolan was in the middle of the action all night for the Lynx.

 

As a hitter, he went 2-for-3 effort to lift his batting average to .364 for the state tournament. As a pitcher, tossed 5.2 innings and held Juneau’s terrific trio of Donavin McCurley/Cesar/Kasey Watts hitless (0-for-8).  

 

Zach Jenkins and Raythan Robbins also had base knocks for Dimond. Kobe Vanderwood drew a pair of walks.

 

The loss didn’t mean anything in terms of the Lynx had already clinched a spot in Tuesday’s state title game.

 

Juneau will play West Post 1 at 3:15 p.m., with the winner taking on Dimond at 6:15 p.m.

 

Dimond 000 000 0 - 0 4 2

Juneau 120 111 x - 6 7 0

Dimond - Dolan, Boyce (6) and Robbins. Juneau - G.Storie and Cesar. W - G.Storie. L - Dolan. 2B - None. 3B - Mendoza (J). HR - None.

 

Game 12: West 5, Kenai 2

Post 1 ace Leland Wilson struck out 11 batters over 5.2 innings to earn the win and closer Luis Nunez recorded the final four outs for the save as the Eagles move on and sent home the Post 20 Twins in the 66th ALB State Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

West (21-11) scored twice in the first and third innings to take an early 4-1 lead and then leaned on its pitching and defense do the rest, paving the way for the Eagles to advance to the final day of the state tournament for the first time since 1988.

 

Kenai jumped on Wilson with one out in the first inning with back-to-back singles that provided a 1-0 lead, but that was it. The smooth southpaw didn’t allow another hit the rest of the way.

 

Meanwhile, West’s Declan Dammeyer and Revy Maack both reached and scored in the first inning, with Thomas Zettler driving in one of those runs with an RBI single.

 

In the third inning, Mack got things started again after getting hit by a pitch and coming around to score on Wilson's RBI single. Wilson would later score on an error to make it 4-1.

 

Kenai’s patience at the plate resulted in a slew of walks over the fourth and fifth innings, helping the Twins plate a run. Trapper Thompson walked, moved to second on a balk, went to third on a groundout and scored on a passed ball to make it 4-2 in the fifth.

 

West answered with a manufactured fun its own in the sixth inning from Nicko Opinsky, who walked and sac bunted to second, moved to third on a base hit and scored on a passed ball.

 

Kenai starter Logan Smith pitched a 6-inning complete game, scattering seven hits and three walks. He pitched well enough to win on most days, but this was West’s day.

 

The Eagles saved their ace for Day 4 and it paid off as the team needed his terrific outing to eliminate a perennial powerhouse that has won 17 state tournament games and two state titles since 2012. The Twins are used to winning in the postseason.

 

West, on the other hand is not.

 

At least, that used to be the case. Last year was the first time the Eagles advanced to state since 2012. They finished sixth.

 

This year they can do no worse than third and are still alive to reach the championship game for the first time since 1988 or win the program’s first Legion state title since 1977.

 

Kenai 100 010 0 - 2 3 3

West 202 001 x - 5 7 0

Kenai - Smith and Boze. West - Wilson, Nunez (6) and Langnes. W - Wilson. L - Smith. S - Nunez. 2B - None. 3B - None. HR - None.

Matson: Unbeaten Wasilla to face Eagle River for title

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 30, 2018

Day 4 scores: Eagle River 9, Palmer 4; Wasilla 9, Fairbanks 3

Matson Invitational

Game 13: Wasilla 9, Fairbanks 3

Jacob Gilbert went 3-for-3 and drove in three runs over back-to-back innings when the Post 35 Road Warriors pulled away from the Post 11 49ers to remain undefeated with a Day 4 win in the 5th ALB Matson Invitational at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Gilbert had a two-run single in fourth inning and then singled in another run in the fifth inning to power top-ranked Wasilla, which will face Eagle River in Tuesday’s tournament title game at 9 a.m. at Mulcahy. There is an if-necessary game scheduled for 11:30 a.m.

 

Kendell Ruta had two RBIs and scored two runs. Ben Werner, James Arend and Taylon Ottinger also drove in runs for the Road Warriors (20-11).

 

Those breakout innings were plenty of support of winning pitcher Carter Huston, who threw five effective innings. He allowed three hits and just two walks.

 

Ben Werner, James Arend and Taylon Ottinger also drove in runs for Wasilla.

 

Those breakout innings were plenty of support of winning pitcher Carter Huston, who threw five effective innings. He allowed three hits and just two walks.

 

For Fairbanks, Issac Roehl went 2-for-2 with a walk, two runs and an RBI.

 

Travis Moore drove in a run and Pearson Clark also scored for the 49ers, who finished third in the tournament.

 

Fairbanks 100 101 0 - 3 4 2

Wasilla 013 500 x - 9 7 2

Fairbanks - Troppmann, Jensen (4), Bronson (5) and Emerson. Wasilla - Huston, Walters (6) and Wasner, Boyett (3), Wasner. W - Huston. L -Troppman. 2B - None. 3B - None. HR - None.

Game 12: Eagle River 9, Palmer 4

Eight of the first nine batters reached base on a single or walk, which set the tone for an eight-run rally in the first inning that carried the Wolves to a Day 4 victory over the Post 15 Pioneers in a loser-out consolation game at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Eagle River extended the lead to 9-0 in support of starter Sterling Retzlaff, who retired nine straight batters to begin the game, but was then pulled after three innings and just 28 pitches to keep him eligible to throw in Tuesday’s tournament championship game against unbeaten Wasilla at 9 a.m., with the if-necessary game at 11:30 a.m. at the stadium.

 

Eagle River's Aaron Davis pitched the final four innings to earn the win in relief. Starters must pitch four innings to qualify for the decision.

 

Ryan Gray doubled in two runs in the first (his second at-bat of the inning) and added a sac fly in the third inning for the Wolves. Retzlaff singled, walked twice and scored a run.

 

Kaden Ketchum was Palmer's MVP for the game. The relief pitcher was summoned from the bullpen with the bases loaded and no outs. He gave up a flyball to his first batter that scored one run but after that he delivered nothing but goose eggs with four shutout innings of relief.

 

In the sixth inning, Kolten Ketchum produced a two-run single to pull the Pioneers within 9-3. He also walked and later scored a run the inning before.

 

Trace Severson tacked on Palmer's final run with a two-out RBI single that scored Ben Alley. The Pioneers finished fourth in the tournament.

 

Palmer 000 012 1 - 4 3 2

Eagle River 801 000 x - 9 5 2

Palmer - Huddleston, Alley (1), Ka.Ketchum (3) and Hale, Ryan (2). Eagle River - Retzlaff, Davis (4) and C.Frederick. W - Davis. L - Huddleston. 2B - Gray (ER). 3B - None. HR - None.

State: Dimond gets by West in battle of unbeatens

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 29, 2018

Day 3 scores: Dimond 3, West 2; Juneau 8, Chugiak 3; Kenai 4, Kodiak 3

State Tournament

Game 11: Dimond 3, West 2

Youngster Luke Smith pitched like a wily veteran in the biggest game of his Legion career to keep the Post 21 Lynx unbeaten while handing the Post 1 Eagles their first loss in the 66th ALB State Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Smith, a 2021 grad, finished what he started with a 7-inning 6-hit complete game. He retired eight of the final nine batters he faced, showing off the moxie of an older player.

 

West starter Thomas Zettler deserves a ton of credit as well as the right-hander limited to Dimond to just two hits over six innings and carried a perfect game through 3.1 innings.

 

He was victimized by bad luck as an error led to the go-ahead run, but that’s baseball. Like life, the game isn’t always fair.

 

Dimond catcher Jack Dolan scored the go-ahead run and helped call a terrific game, which saw Smith pitch to contact and trust his defense. Smith had zero strikeouts – the same number of Dimond errors.

 

Raythan Robbins and Jake Andresen also scored runs for the Lynx while Dolan and Kobe Vanderwood registered the two hits.

 

Zettler was on his game - hitting the jackpot of strikeout-groundout-flyout sequence in each of the first three innings.

 

West broke through to take a 2-0 lead after Zettler singled, was bunted to second by Leland Wilson and then scored on Nicko Opinsky's single. Luke Langnes, who reached on a fielder's choice, scored on Luis Nunez's sac fly.

 

Besides the hiccup in the fourth inning, Zettler was lights out and closed out his CG by retiring seven of the final eight batters.

 

West 000 200 0 - 2 6 2

Dimond 000 300 x - 3 2 0

West - Zettler and Langnes. Dimond - Smith and Dolan. W - Smith. L - Zettler. 2B - None. 3B - None. HR - None.

 

Game 10: Juneau 8, Chugiak 3

Two proud programs that are used to winning in the postseason clashed in a loser-out consolation game in the 66th ALB State Tournament, with the back-and-forth matchup coming down to a pivotal sixth inning when the Post 25 Midnight Suns pulled away at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Kasey Watts and Michael Cesar combined for five hits and five RBIs, including all four in the bottom of the sixth inning when Juneau sealed the deal. With the bases loaded, Cesar singled in two runs and then Watts cleared the bases with a two-run triple.

 

Juneau starter Donavin McCurley nursed a 4-3 in the top of the sixth inning when he walked DJ Davis on four pitches and hit Ian Frizelle with a pitch to put runners at first and second with no outs. He looked vulnerable and needed a pick-me-up. The defense had his back.

 

First, the Midnight Suns got the lead runner on a sac bunt attempt. Then they got the lead runner on a bouncer hit in the hole where the short stop had only one play.

 

Finally, McCurley ended the threat by picking off the base runner in a terrifically timed play with his shortstop Zeb Storie – last year’s state tournament MVP.

 

Cesar finished 3-for-3, Watts tripled twice and Storie went 2-for-4 and scored twice.

 

Frizelle crushed a solo home run to left field to give Chugiak Post 33 a 1-0 lead in the second inning. The Mustangs kept it going with a double by Trystan Costanios and two-run single by Christan Cambridge that made it 3-0.

 

Chugiak and Juneau entered the game with a combined 27 state tournament wins and three Legion state titles since 2013.

 

Chugiak 030 000 0 - 3 4 1

Juneau 002 024 x - 8 10 0

Chugiak - Smith, J.Nevells (6) and Costanios. Juneau - McCurley, Watts (7) and Cesar. W - McCurley. L - Smith. 2B - Costanios (C), Storie (J). 3B - Watts 2 (J). HR - Frizelle (C).

 

Game 9: Kenai 4, Kodiak 3

David Michael went 4-for-4 and scored the winning run on Austin Asp's walkoff single to provide the Post 20 Twins with a dramatic victory over the never-say-quit Post 17 Bears in a loser-out consolation game in the 66th ALB State Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

The game featured four lead changes and came down to the final play – a testament to the preparation and passion in both dugouts.

 

Trailing 3-2 entering the bottom of the seventh, Jeremy Kupferschmid walked and stole second to put himself into scoring position. Next up was Michael, who singled up the middle for the fourth time on the day to drive in Kupferschmid with the tying run.

 

Harris Metz then sacrificed his at-bat by bunting Michael into scoring position before Adam Brinster walked and Asp ended the game with the winning base knock, knocking Kodiak out of the tournament.

 

What a season for the boys from The Rock. Not only did they provide one of the greatest upsets in state tournament history a 3-1 victory over No. 1 Juneau in the first round to snap the team’s 21-game winning streak, but they nearly KO’d Kenai as well.

 

Entering the top of the seven trailing 2-1 and having little success offensively, Kodiak summoned some more magic with a two-run rally to put themselves to make history again.

 

With one out, Anders Hocum walked after working a full count and moved to second on an error. He scored on Jack Malloy's RBI single on the second pitch he saw.

 

With two outs, Malloy stole second to put the go-ahead run in scoring position. Luke James made it an easy stroll home with the go-ahead double. It was the second straight money plate appearance for James, who the previous inning drew a 10-pitch walk.

 

Even though Kodiak was eliminated with the loss, the Bears can hang their heads high when they get home. They placed sixth – two spots higher than their No. 8 seed – and made history by becoming the first Kodiak team to win a game at the state tournament since 1986.

 

Kenai, on the other hand, is making its 32nd consecutive appearance at the state tournament.

 

Kodiak 001 000 2 - 3 5 2

Kenai 002 000 2 - 4 8 3

Kodiak - James, Malloy (7) and James. Kenai - Ochea, Ceccarelli (6), Kupferschmid (7) and Boze. W - Kupferschmid. L - Malloy. 2B - James (Ko). 3B - None. HR - None.

Matson: Wasilla only unbeaten among final four

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 29, 2018

Day 3 scores: Wasilla 10, Eagle River 7; Fairbanks 1, East 0; Palmer 7, Ketchikan 6

Matson Invitational

Game 11: Wasilla 10, Eagle River 7

Ben Werner and Taylon Ottinger each had three hits as the Post 35 Road Warriors banged out 11 hits and made a late charge to beat the Wolves in a Day 3 winner's bracket game at the Matson Invitational at Bartlett High School.

 

Werner reached base four times and scored three runs, including the go-ahead score in the sixth inning in a game that ended because of the tournament's 2-hour, 15-minute time limit.

 

Ottinger and Jake Gilbert each had three RBIs for Wasilla (19-11), which improved to 3-0 in the tournament.

 

Gilbert pitched 5.2 innings with six strikeouts but left trailing 7-6, giving way to Logan Murphy, who got the final out and picked up the win.

 

Aaron Davis went 2-for-2 and collected two RBIs and scored twice.

 

Ryan Gray, Chase McGraw, Christian Frederick and Cam Witte also drove in runs for the Wolves.

Eagle River 101 410 - 7 7 4

Wasilla 014 104 - 10 11 1

Eagle River - Olmstead, Gray (2), McGray (4), Bodine (6) and Witte. Wasilla - Gilbert, Murphy (6) and Arend. W - Murphy. L - McGraw. 2B - Davis (ER), McGraw (ER), Gilbert (W). 3B - None. HR - None.

 

Game 10: Fairbanks 1, East 0

Issac Roehl outdueled Patrick Leshan in an old-fashioned pitching battle that could have gone either way before the Post 11 49ers escaped with a close win in a Day 3 consolation bracket game at the Matson Invitational at Bartlett High School.

 

The only run came in the second inning when Travis Moore smacked a leadoff double, advanced to third on a sac bunt by Kaleb McWilliams and scored on August Jensen's base hit. Jensen, who bats No. 8 in the lineup, singled after working the count full.

 

Roehl pitched a 7-inning complete game on just 77 pitches. He allowed five hits and no walks and got two double plays behind him. He also went 2-for-3 at the plate.

 

East’s Jonny Earhart went 2-for-3 and was his team’s only baserunner to reach third base. Other base hits came from Ricky Gatter, Zack Barnhart and Jacob Dunham.

 

Leshan scattered seven hits and five walks over 5.2 innings. He did a marvelous job of dancing around trouble - three times wiggling off a base-loaded jam with no damage.

East 000 000 0 - 0 5 2

Fairbanks 010 000 x - 1 7 0

East - Leshan, Solberg (6) and Earhart. Fairbanks - Roehl and Emerson. W - Roehl. L - Leshan. 2B - Moore (F). 3B - None. HR - None.

 

Game 9: Palmer 7, Ketchikan 6

Zach Satterly pitched 5.2 innings of shutout relief, batted 3-for-3 and scored the winning run in the fifth inning as the Post 15 Pioneers rallied from an early 6-2 deficit to stay alive in the tournament and eliminate the Post 3 King Salmon in a Day 3 consolation bracket game at Bartlett High School.

 

With his team down 6-2 and ducks on the pond, Satterly entered the game and immediately induced an inning-ending double play. It was a sign of things to come. he issued no walks and allowed five hits, with only two baserunners getting as far as third base.

 

In the fifth inning, Ketchikan scored two runs to take the lead for good after Kolten Ketchum singled and scored on Satterly's double and eventually driven home by on James Nelson.

 

Ketchikan’s Wyatt Barajas went 2-for-4 with a double and was one of five players with RBIs. The others were Brock King, Gavin Salazar, Liam Kiffer and Sean Taveres.

Palmer 022 120 0 - 7 8 2

Ketchikan 150 000 0 - 6 8 4

Palmer - Engst, Satterly and Ryan. Ketchikan - Kemble, King (3), Salazar (5) and Schultz. W - Satterly. L - Salazar. 2B - Satterly (P), Barajas (K), Kiffer (K). 3B - None. HR - None.

Alaska Legion Team of Excellence announced

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 29, 2018

The annual Alaska Legion Team of Excellence all-state selections were made by the coaches at a meeting before the postseason started.

Alaska Legion Team of Excellence

FIRST TEAM 

Starting Pitcher

Phil Wall Juneau

Leland Wilson West

Balau Buckmaster Wasilla

Jake Andresen Dimond

Andrew Jaidinger Service

Garrett Nevells Chugiak

Terran Sugita South

Jaren Childs Service

Braden Olmstead Eagle River

Cody Kemble Ketchikan

 

Relief Pitcher

Sam Hall Chugiak

Gage Webster South

Austin Asp Kenai

Luke James Kodiak

 

Utility

Donavin McCurley Juneau

Kendell Ruta Wasilla

London Emerson Fairbanks

Christian Cambridge Chugiak

 

Catcher

Michael Cesar Juneau

Josh Costello South

Declan Dammeyer West

 

Infield

Zebadiah Storie Juneau

Ben Werner Wasilla

Lian Lincoln South

Justin Nevells Chugiak

Kasey Watts Juneau

Jake Andresen Dimond

Ricky Gatter East

Kaden Roettger Dimond

 

Outfield

Kyle Graham Wasilla

Ronan Klancher Service

Robert Cox Juneau

Ian Frizelle Chugiak

Gage Webster South

Carsen Sandau Service

Garrett Nevells Chugiak

Anders Hocum Kodiak

 

Coaches of the Year

Willie Paul Service

Joseph Tompkins Juneau

Jeremy Ludeman Juneau

Derek Clarkson Kodiak

 

HONORABLE MENTION

Starting Pitcher

Isaac Roehl Fairbanks

Gaten Davis East

Kaden Roettger Dimond

Parker Coplin Dimond

Ian Frizelle Chugiak

Jimmy McGovern South

Adam Brinster Kenai

Logan Smith Kenai

 

Relief Pitcher

Austin Robertson Wasilla

 

Utility

Chase Reed North Pole

Nelson Korshin Bartlett

Jaren Childs Service

Jack Dolan Dimond

Logan Smith Kenai

Brock King Ketchikan

 

Catcher

Trystan Costanios Chugiak

Joe Ryan Palmer

 

Infield

Alex Garcia North Pole

Kobe Vanderwood Dimond

Quinn Janigo-Bates Dimond

Jack Opinsky West

Thomas Zettler West

Sam Hall Chugiak

Reid Brock South

Terran Sugita South

Adam Brinster Kenai

Austin Asp Kenai

Liam Kiffer Ketchikan

Luke James Kodiak

Zach Satterly Palmer

 

Outfield

Jeremy Kupferschmid Kenai

Ryan Gray Eagle River

Braden Olmstead Eagle River

State: Dimond, West move into undefeated territory

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 28, 2018

Day 2 scores: Kenai 6, Service 5; Juneau 6,South 3; Dimond 4, Chugiak 1; West 10, Kodiak 3

State Tournament

Game 8: West 10, Kodiak 3

Ivan Tillman shrugged off an early error to pitch beautifully over six innings and Nicko Opinsky drove in three runs as the Post 1 Eagles won beat the upstart Post 15 Bears in the winner's bracket in the 66th ALB State Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Tillman's throwing error allowed the first inning to extend and Nathan James made him pay with a two-run single to spot Kodiak a quick lead.

 

After that, though, Tillman threw five consecutive shutout innings, getting key strikeouts, popups and groundouts when he needed it most

 

The game was tight until the fourth and fifth innings when West hung back-to-back crooked numbers.

 

Declan Dammeyer went 3-for-4, Revy Mack, Leland Wilson and Opinsky each had two hits. Sam Lebo doubled and had two RBIs.

 

West improved to 2-0 at the state tournament for the first time since 1988. The Eagles are 17-13 overall.

 

Kodiak won its first game at state since 1986 last night with a stunning upset of No. 1 Juneau.

 

Want more 1980s fun facts? West and Kodiak haven't played at state since 1981.

 

Anders Hocum, Jack Malloy and Luke James each scored runs and pitcher Hunter Ewell pitched two shutout innings of relief.

Kodiak 200 000 1 - 3 6 2

West 100 540 x - 10 13 2

Kodiak - Walton, L.James (4), Ewell (5) and N.James. West - Tillman, Nunez (7) and Dammeyer. W - Tillman. L - Walton. 2B - Lebo (W), N.Opinsky (W). 3B - Wilson (W). HR - None.

Game 7: Dimond 4, Chugiak 1

Post 21 ace Jake Andresen dealt a 4-hit gem with seven strikeouts over 5.2 innings and added an RBI double to help his own cause to highlight his team's winner's bracket victory over Post 33 in the 66th ALB State Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

He got out of first inning jam thanks to a double play and escaped a bases-loaded jam in the third inning with a flyout.

 

Andresen has now pitched eight innings over two games, striking out seven and allowing one run (which was unearned).

 

The Dimond coaches have been stragetic with his pitch count over the last two days to maximize the college-bound right-hander for as long as possible.

 

Andresen and his battery mate Jack Dolan each drove in runs with base hits in the first inning to spot the Lynx a 2-0 lead.

 

Chugiak scratched out a run in the fifth inning after Justin Nevells singled, advanced to third on an error and scored on a sac fly from cleanup hitter DJ Davis.

 

In the next half inning, Raythan Robbins doubled in a run and later scored to push Dimond's lead to 4-1.

 

Lynx closer Kaden Roettger got the final four outs to save Dimond’s 23rd win of the summer. The Lynx are 2-0 at state for the third time this decade, with 2014 and 2011 being the other two.

Chugiak 000 010 0 - 1 4 1

Dimond 200 020 x - 4 4 1

Chugiak - Frizelle, Schackleford (4), J.Nevells (6) and Costanios. Dimond - Andresen, Knowlton (6), Roettger (6) and Dolan. W - Andresen. L - Frizelle. S - Roettger. 2B - Bull (C), Andresen (D), Robbins (D). 3B - None. HR - None.

Game 6: Juneau 6, South 3

Pitching from Phil Wall and batting from Kasey Watts proved to be a lethal 1-2 punch as the Post 25 Midnight Suns eliminated the Post 4 Wolverines in a loser-out game at the 66th ALB State Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Wall spun five innings of 2-hit ball and retired 10 straight batters over the first, second, third and fourth innings.  He carried a shutout into the sixth inning.

 

Juneau’s defense turned two double plays – one for Wall and another for reliever Robert Cox to end the game.

 

The top-ranked Midnight Suns bounced back from last night’s stunning 3-1 loss to No. 8 Kodiak, snapping the team’s 21-game winning streak.

 

Kasey Watts went 2-for-3 and finished with three RBIs. The cleanup hitter also laid down a sac bunt in the first inning, which led to more runs.

 

Watts is a combination of power and precision.

 

Donavin McCurley went 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs. Zeb Storie and Cox added RBIs. Michael Cesar scored twice

 

South's Terren Sugita had RBI and Lian Lincoln doubled, walked and scored. Gage Webster and Derrick McGinnis also scored runs for South, which ended the season (23-10).

South 000 001 2 - 3 4 0

Juneau 330 000 x - 6 7 2

South - Nix, Webster (2) and Costello. Juneau - Wall, Cox (6) and Cesar. W - Wall. L - Nix. 2B - Lincoln (S), Cox (J), McCurley (J), Z.Storie (J). 3B - None. HR - None.

Game 5: Kenai 6, Service 5

Jacob Boze cleared the bases with a double to key a four-run fifth inning and Adam Brinster pitched six strong innings as the Post 20 Twins eliminated the Post 28 Cougars in the 66th ALB State Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Brinster got the rally started for Kenai with an RBI single that broke a 2-2 tie. Later in the fifth, Boze came up with the bases loaded and laced the first pitch he saw over the head of the left fielder for an extra-base hit and a 6-2 cushion.

 

The Twins needed every run as Service battled back to make a game of it down the stretch. It’s fitting for a long rivalry between championship programs that have met 22 times in the state tournament since 1983. It’s now tied 11-11.

 

Brinster struck out six batters and scattered eight hits over his pitching performance. He worked out of innings with a runner in scoring position in four of the first five innings.

 

Austin Ap worked a perfect seventh for the save.

 

Asp also scored two runs. Harris Metz and Trapper Thompson each had two hits.

 

Service's Carsen Sandau went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and Chris Malagodi went 2-for-4 with an RI and two runs scored.

 

Sandau delivered RBIs in the third and fifth innings. Henry Helgeson doubled and later scored his team's final run in the sixth inning. Service finished the season 15-15.

Kenai 000 240 0 6 9 0

Service 002 021 0 - 5 8 0

Kenai - Brinster, Asp (7) and Boze, Smith (6). Service - Jaidinger, Klancher (5), Giffen (6) and Malagodi. W - Brinster. L - Jaidinger. S - Asp. 2B - Boze (K), Helgeson (S), Malagodi (S). 3B - None. HR - None.

Matson: Eagle River, Wasilla remain unbeaten

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 28, 2018

Day 2 scores: Ketchikan 15, North Pole 5; Fairbanks 6, Bartlett 0; Eagle River 6, East 3; Wasilla 2, Palmer 1

Matson Invitational

Game 8: Wasilla 2, Palmer 1

It had all the makings of a rivalry game. Big game, tournament setting, loud crowd cheering both sides.

 

Mat-Su Valley bragging rights were at stake as the Post 35 Road Warriors and Post 15 Pioneers were meeting in a pivotal game for the third time this season - Palmer won at the Todd Ryan; Wasilla won the only league meeting.

 

The first two games were blowouts – but this one was an instant classic.

 

With his team down to its last out in the bottom of the seventh inning, Clayton Boyett went into hero mode as he singled, stole second and then raced home with the winning run to lift Wasilla to a wild walkoff win in the winner’s bracket in the Matson Invitational at Bartlett High School.

 

The game featured huge hits – like Palmer’s Zach Satterly game-tying home run in the sixth inning – and precise pitching – with Wasilla's Balau Buckmaster and Palmer's Trace Severson both going the distance.

 

Buckmaster got the win as he retired nine of the first 10 batters on his way to a 4-hitter with seven strikeouts. Severson carried a perfect game into the fourth inning and had only one hiccup in the fourth inning when he allowed three hits, including an RBI single from Wasilla’s James Arend.

Palmer 000 001 0 - 1 4 3

Wasilla 000 100 1 - 2 6 0

Palmer - Severson and Ryan. Wasilla - Buckmaster and Arend. W - Buckmaster. L - Severson. 2B - Nelson (P). 3B - None. HR - Satterly (P).

Game 7: Eagle River 6, East 3

Sterling Retzlaff, Chase McGraw and Christian Frederick combined for a 4-hitter but it didn't come easy as they danced around baserunners en route to doubling up the Post 34 T-birds in the winner's bracket of the Matson Invitational at Bartlett High School.

 

Frederick earned the rare eight-out save, retiring the final five batters he faced.

 

Damien Frederick delivered a two-out, two-run single in the third inning to cap a four-run rally that helped the Wolves take control.

 

McGraw reached base all four times.

 

East put eight runners in scoring position on a combination of hits, walks and hit by pitch, but seldom cashed in.

 

Zack Barnhart came to play, doubling and scoring in the third inning and walking and later scoring in the fifth inning.

 

East pulled within 4-3 in the fifth inning when Jonny Earhart touched home.

East 001 020 0 - 3 4 2

Eagle River 004 020 x - 6 7 2

East - White, Solberg (4), Carle (6) and Earhart. Eagle River - Retzlaff, McGraw (4), C. Frederick (5) and Witte. W - Retzlaff. L - White. S - C. Frederick. 2B - Barnhart (E), Retzlaff (ER), Gray (ER), McGraw (ER). 3B - None. HR - None.

Game 6: Fairbanks 6, Bartlett 0

London Emerson had it all working as he struck out 12 batters and got a double play behind him to highlight a scoreless outing for the Post 11 49ers that staved off eliminatin in the 5th ALB Matson Invitational at Bartlett High School.

 

Emerson fanned seven of the first nine batters he faced to set the tone for the rest of the afternoon.

 

He faced few baserunners and only twice Bartlett got a player to third base. Emerson allowed only two hits.

 

Pearson Clark, Issac Roehl and Kaleb McWilliams each had two hits and combined for five RBIs.

 

Bartlett's Taylor McCart pitched a complete-game 7-hitter with five strikeouts.

 

Drake Hughes and Harry Weigle got base knocks for the Bears.

Bartlett 000 000 0 - 0 2 1

Fairbanks 022 200 x - 6 7 0

Bartlett - McCart and Lambert. Fairbanks - Emerson, Jensen (7) and Troppmann. W - Emerson. L - McCart. 2B - None. 3B - None. HR - None.

Game 5: Ketchikan 15, North Pole 5

Wyatt Barajas doubled and homered, and Liam Kiffer tripled as two Post 3 King Salmon players combined for 7 RBIs and extended their team's season by winning the loser-out game at Bartlett High School.

 

Barajas drilled an RBI double in the first inning and a two-run homer in the third inning.

 

Kiffer reached base four times on three-run triple and three walks, including on with the bases loaded.

 

Ketchikan banged out 10 hits and took advantage of 13 base on balls to put constant pressure on North Pole pitchers.

 

The King Salmon struck for eight runs in the third inning.

 

North Pole's Chase Reed went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored. Josh Smith batted 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs.

 

The Wild are two-time champions of the Matson Invitational.

 

Ketchikan won last year's title and is now still alive for this year's title run.

North Pole 101 300 - 5 6 1

Ketchikan 308 301 - 15 10 2

North Pole - Williams, Reed (1), Garcia (3) and Smith. Ketchikan - Kiffer, McGarrigan (3), Stack (4), Slick (5) and Schultz. W - Stack. L - Williams. 2B - Reed (NP), Kemble (K), Barajas (K). 3B - Kiffer (K). HR - Barajas (K).

Thirty years later, Boze's 21-strikeout game still tops

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 28, 2018

In 1988, Kenai Post 20 rocket right-hander Marshall Boze broke the all-time strikeout record in a 6-1 loss to East Post 34 during the ALB Legion State Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium.

Before he became the first Alaskan to play Major League Baseball, Soldotna’s Marshall Boze had a different claim to fame.

 

He struck out 21 batters in one game, and lost.

 

In 1988, the rocket right-hander with Kenai Post 20 threw a three-hitter over eight innings broke the all-time strikeout record in a 6-1 loss to East Post 34 during the Alaska American Legion Baseball State Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

East went on to win the state championship.

 

Boze went on to pitch in the big leagues.

 

Thirty years ago, though, he was a teenage Legion player with big dreams and electric stuff. The 6-foot-1, 200-pounder had racked up high strikeout totals in previous games, but nothing like his record-breaking performance against East.

 

“He was overwhelming,” said Kenai manager Lance Coz, who coached Boze in 1988. “He was like that guy in ‘Bull Durham’- boom, boom, boom, he’d strike out three batters and the next time he’d kill the mascot.”

 

Boze definitely dealt like an ace against an East team that still cherishes its brush with greatness.

 

“I remember that game like yesterday,” said East shortstop Troy Lovdahl, now 47. “Still have the scorecard (teammate) Chris Pobieglo kept by hand.”

 

After falling behind early in the game, Boze didn’t allow a base hit after the third inning and went into Roger Clemens mode and struck out 15 of the final 19 batters.

 

Of those four hitters that didn’t see strike 3, two walked, one grounded out and the other flied out.

 

“All I remember is his ball was super heavy and hard. At the plate, you were just trying to stay alive,” said East catcher Trent Taylor, now 48. “I got interviewed after the game because I was the only guy on our team who didn’t strike out!”

 

Armed with a 90-mph fastball and devastating slider, Boze had the kind of stuff that made batters look foolish.

 

“Marshall’s pitches had so much movement,” Lovdahl said. “He struck me out on a slider I missed by three feet.”

 

The East hitters weren’t the only ones having trouble handling Boze’s pitches. His catcher did as well. Five East batters struck out only to reach base after the ball got passed the catcher.

 

“Not only could East not touch him, his catcher struggled to catch him,” Coz said. “His stuff was too good.”

 

Half the runs East scored that day came from guys reaching base after striking out. Still, Boze doesn’t put blame on his battery mate. He holds no ill will.

 

“Nobody was harder on him than he was, and he was really hard on himself that day,” said Boze, now 47. “I don’t think I was even pissed off about that game. I was just happy I struck out 21 guys.

 

“I was pretty pissed because we couldn’t touch that guy’ s curveball.”

 

That other guy was East starter Rob Tune, who threw a 9-inning complete game 6-hitter.

 

“He just kept throwing his curveball and saying, ‘Here, hit it,’ and nobody could touch it,” Boze said.

 

East scored six runs on three hits, with the T-birds getting all their base hits and all the runs they needed coming in a four-run second inning.

 

Taylor, the captain, singled and later scored on Rick Mueller’s sac fly. Mike Periera reached base after striking out, Rob Tune walked and Lovdahl followed up with a two-run triple. Lovdahl scored on Jeff Tune’s single.

 

“I touched two pitches that day,” Lovdahl said. “A foul ball and the triple.”

 

Taylor had the best success against Boze, going 1-for-3 with a walk. He was also the only East player not to strike out.

 

“You asked me how I saw him so good? I didn’t. I just got lucky,” Taylor said. “I was a good fastball hitter and that’s what my hit was on. His slider was nasty. It looked like a fastball and then it disappeared.”

 

Boze’s 21 strikeouts broke the previous Legion state tournament record of 20 set in 1980 by Kenai left-hander Kevin Stalker. Prior to that Anchorage’s Dick Scarborough twice struck out 19 batters at the state tournament in 1956 and 1955.

 

Looking back, Boze remembers his Legion days fondly.

 

“I just remember being really happy when I pitched because I got to strike people out,” he said. “That’s what I lived to do.”

 

In 1989, he went to Southwestern College in Chula Vista, California. In 1990, he was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 12th round. He started in rookie ball and advanced To Single-A, Double-A and Triple-A.

 

On April 28, 1996, Boze made his MLB debut against the Seattle Mariners. He retired all four batters he faced.

 

A month later he was closing games.

 

Boze earned his first save in just his seventh MLB game and had a 1.50 ERA through his first 10 appearances.

 

In all, he played in 25 games in the 1996 season, finishing eight of them. He struck out 19 batters in 32.1 innings and finished 0-2 with a 7.79 ERA.

 

Boze didn’t lack confidence on the mound. And it didn’t matter who was at the plate.

 

“He was built like a bull and when he hit Albert Belle he didn’t even think twice about backing down,” Coz said with a laugh. “That’s typical Marshall.”

 

In 10 minor-league seasons, Boze posted a 62-65 record in 221 career games. He completed 18 of his 159 starts and struck out 693 batters in 1,025 innings. His wins, strikeouts and innings are way ahead of any other pro pitcher from Alaska.

 

He’s most proud of being the first Alaskan to pitch in the big leagues.

 

“That means the world to me,” Boze said. “I like the look on people’s face when I get to say that. They look at you twice, like, ‘What, really?’ Sometimes I’m even in awe of that.”

Kodiak stuns No. 1 Juneau, first state win since '86

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 27, 2018

Day 1 scores: Chugiak 3, Service 2; West 4, South 3; Dimond 3, Kenai 2; Kodiak 3, Juneau 1

State Tournament

Game 4: Kodiak 3, Juneau 1

TJ Foxworthy and Jack Malloy helped orchestrate one of the biggest Legion upsets in years as the Post 17 Bears shocked the top-seeded Post 25 Midnight Suns in the 66th annual ALB State Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

The loss snapped Juneau’s 21-game winning streak dating back to June 8.

 

Kodiak is making its first appearance at the state tournament since 1992. It was the first win at the state tournament for The Rock since 1986.

 

Coach Derek Clarkston’s team is the first No. 8 seed to knock off a No. 1 since 2014 when South upset Wasilla, but this one feels different.

 

Kodiak finished 10 games behind Juneau in the regular season’s 18-game schedule. The defending state champion Midnight Suns (23-2) are stacked with college-ready stars – many of whom helped Juneau win the high school state title on June 2.

 

Still, baseball has a way of evening the playing field.

 

The game was scoreless through four innings. Finally, Juneau struck first in the bottom of the fifth inning on an RBI double from Evan Mendoza.

 

Kodiak (11-16) answered right back with a three-run rally in the sixth inning, thanks to five walks. Jace Crall was hit by pitch and then Nathan James and Shaun Walton walked to load the bases.

 

Khyler walked to knock in a run, Foxworthy laced a single and Mallory walked. Foxworthy’s hit was only his team’s second base knock for the game.

 

Malloy picked up the win in relief, pitching 3.2 innings and holding the league's top team to two hits and one run. Foxworthy started and was just as sharp, throwing a shutout for 3.1 innings.

Kodiak 000 003 0 - 3 2 0

Juneau 000 010 0 - 1 6 0

Kodiak - Foxworthy, Malloy (4) and James. Juneau - G.Storie, Echiverri (4), Z.Storie (6) and Cesar. W - Malloy. L - Echiverri. 2B - Mendoza (J). 3B - None. HR - None.

Game 3: Dimond 3, Kenai 2

Kaden Roettger and Jake Andresen drew back-to-back walks with the bases loaded to provide the cushion the Post 21 Lynx needed to escape the Post 20 Twins in the 66th annual ALB State Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Dimond had five straight batters reach base in that pivotal fifth inning to extend its lead to 3-0. Isaiah Mills and Parker Coplin each walked and later scored. Raythan Robbins had the only base hit in that stretch.

 

Coplin also picked up the win with four innings of long relief. He came into the game in the third inning to replace starter Jake Andresen, who was pulled after just 30 pitches and seven outs, to make the ace available to pitch Saturday.

 

It was a gamble, but the move paid off for the No. 2 seed.

 

Kenai pitchers Harris Metz, Logan Smith and Austin Asp held Dimond to just three hits to keep the Twins in the game.

 

With one out in the seventh inning, Kenai made its move after Jacob Boze and Metz delivered consecutive singles. David Michael and Adam Brinster drove in runs to get Kenai close.

 

This was the third consecutive year these two teams have played at the Legion state tournament. In 2017, Dimond won 13-9. In 2016, Kenai won 6-3.

 

The two programs have combined to win 11 state championships.

Kenai 000 000 2 - 2 6 1

Dimond 100 020 x - 3 3 3

Kenai - Metz, Smith (5), Asp (6) and Smith, Boze (5). Dimond - Andresen, Coplin (3), Roettger (7) and Dolan. W - Coplin. L - Metz. 2B - Vanderwood (D). 3B - None. HR - None.

Game 2: West 4, South 3

Starter Luke Langnes pitched all seven innings and catcher Declan Dammeyer threw out a baserunner trying to steal second base in the seventh inning to protect the lead and push the Post 1 Eagles over the top in the 66th annual ALB State Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Dammeyer threw out two base runners on the day and scored his team’s first run in the first inning after leading off the game with a walk.

 

Leland Wilson drove in a pair of runs and Thomas Zettler doubled and drove in a run for West (16-13).

 

Revy Mack scored twice in support of Langnes, who did not issue a walk and struck out a half dozen.

 

South's Ryan Bailey went 3-for-3, including an RBI single in the seventh inning to pull the Post 4 Wolverines (23-9) within a run.

 

Reid Brock went 2-for-3 with an RBI and Lian Lincoln went 1-for-4 with an RBI.

 

Lincoln singled on the pitch right after Dammeyer threw out the base runner in the seventh, putting extra emphasis on the defensive play as it thwarted the potential tying run from scoring.

 

This was the first-ever meeting between the two teams at the Legion state tournament.

West 201 010 0 - 4 7 0

South 002 000 1 - 3 8 2

West - Langnes and Dammeyer. South - Woodall, DeLesline (3) and Costello. W - Langnes. L - Woodall. 2B - Zettler (W), Bailey (S). 3B - None. HR - None.

Game 1: Chugiak 3, Service 2

Billy Smith reached on a hit by pitch to lead off the sixth inning and later scored the go-ahead run that helped Post 33 survive and advance in the 66th annual ALB State Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Starter Garrett Nevells and closer Sam Hall did not allow an earned run over seven innings of work. Hall got the win, but Nevells did most of the heavy lifting.

 

Nevells scattered seven hits and two walks over five innings before leaving in a 2-2 tie. Hall worked the final two innings and shut the door on a two-on, two-out threat in the seventh to end the game.

 

Chugiak (21) won the game on just four hits. The first three hitters in the lineup - Christian Cambridge, Justin Nevells and Ian Frizelle - each got base hits and middle-of-the-order guys - Smith and Austin Bull - scored runs. Cambridge also scored.

 

Chugiak's defense threw out two Service baserunners at the plate.

 

Service's Jaren Childs pitched well enough to win but was victimized by poor defense. The right-hander struck out eight batters over six innings and allowed only one earned run. Five of the six inning he finished with at least one runner in scoring position.

 

Ronan Klancher went 3-for-3 and Chris Malagodi and Cobey Cupp each had an RBI for Post 28.

 

These are two of Alaska’s strongest programs with a combined 28 appearances in the state title game.

Service 000 200 0 - 2 9 3

Chugiak 110 001 x - 3 4 2

Service - Childs and Malagodi. Chugiak - G.Nevells, Hall (6) and Costanios. W - Hall. L - Childs. 2B - Klancher (S), Cambridge (C). 3B - None. HR - None.

Matson: Eagle River, Palmer, East, Wasilla win

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 27, 2018

Day 1 scores: Eagle River 10, North Pole 0; Palmer 3, Fairbanks 1; East 5, Ketchikan 2; Wasilla 10, Bartlett 2

Matson Invitational

Game 4: Wasilla 10, Bartlett 2

Taylon Ottinger's two-out, two-run single capped a five-run first inning that carried the Post 35 Road Warriors to victory over Post 29 in the Matson Invitational at Bartlett High School.

 

He also added two stolen bases and pitched in relief, retiring all five batters he faced.

 

Wasilla (17-11) is the top seed in the tournament.

 

Kyle Graham went 2-for-4 to lead a balanced attack that featured eight different players getting base knocks.

 

Graham also joined Ben Werner, Jacob Gilbert, Nolan Murphy and Ottinger in the RBI Club.

 

Bartlett's Ian Bryd reached base all three times, including an RBI single in the sixth inning.

 

Taylor McCart also reached three times on two walks and a hit by pitch.

Bartlett 000 002 0 - 2 2 3

Wasilla 431 002 x - 10 9 1

Bartlett - Weigle, Korshin (3) and Lambert. Wasilla - Huston, Walters (3), Boyett (5), Ottinger (6) and Arend. W - Walters. L - Weigle. 2B - White (W). 3B - Huston (W). HR - None.

Game 3: East 5, Ketchikan 2

Gaten Davis pitched a complete-game 4-hitter with 10 strikeouts as the Post 34 T-birds beat the defending tournament champion Post 3 King Salmon in the Matson Invitational at Bartlett High School.

 

Erick White went 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI. He was also part of a double steal in which he stole steal and Jonny Earhart stole home. Earhart scored two runs.

 

East did all of its damage in the first two innings. White and Solberg had back-to-back run-scoring singles in the second inning to put East up 5-0.

 

Ketchikan's Gavin Salazar pulled his team within 5-2 in the third inning with an RBI single that scored Sean Tavares.

 

Cody Kemble pitched 6.2 innings of long relief, coming out of the bullpen in the first inning. He gave up four hits and struck out six and kept his team in the game.

 

Davis and Kemble exchanged goose eggs for the third, fourth and fifth innings.

East 230 000 0 - 5 5 1

Ketchikan 002 000 x - 2 4 2

East - Davis and Earhart. Ketchikan - Nordlund, Kemble (1), Barajas (7) and Schultz. W - Davis. L - Nordlund. 2B - None. 3B - None. HR - None.

Game 2: Palmer 3, Fairbanks 1

Kolten Ketchum pitched a complete-game 7-hitter and Zach Satterly went 2-for-3 with an RBI and run scores as the Post 15 Pioneers continued their late-season surge with a close win at the Matson Invitational at Bartlett High School.

 

Ketchum gave up an unearned run in the first inning and had a clean sheet the rest of the way. Three times he worked out of a two-on jam.

 

Satterly drove in his team's first run with an RBI single in the first inning. In the fifth inning he singled and later scored his team's final run.

 

Joe Ryan drew three walks and scored a run.

 

Fairbanks took an early 1-0 lead after Pearson Clark reached on an error and later scored on London Emerson's RBI single.

 

Kaleb McWilliams worked around eight walks to allow just one earned run in five innings.

Fairbanks 100 000 0 - 1 7 1

Palmer 100 020 x - 3 3 3

Fairbanks - McWilliams, Roehl (6) and Kadel. Palmer - Ko.Ketchum and Ryan. W. - Ko.Ketchum. L - McWilliams. 2B - None. 3B - None. HR - None.

Game 1: Eagle River 10, North Pole 0

Braden Olmstead and Ryan Gray combined for four hits and four runs to highlight an offensive attack that ended the game by mercy rule after a five-run fifth inning on Day 1 of the Matson Invitational at Bartlett High School.

 

Olmstead finished 2-for-3 with three RBIs and Gray went 2-for-4 with a double.

 

Chase McGraw drove in two runs and Christian Frederick and Sterling Retzlaff each had one RBI. Daniel Bodine tripled.

 

Gray and Frederick combined in a 3-hitter.

 

North Pole base hits by Alex Garcia, Josh Smith and Wyatt Kammer.

North Pole 000 00 - 0 3 5

Eagle River 031 15 - 10 9 0

North Pole - Fischer, Christmann (5) and Reed, Smith (5). Eagle River - Gray, Frederick (4) and Witte. W - Gray. L - Fischer. 2B - Garcia (NP), Gray (ER). 3B - Bodine (ER). HR - None.

Postseason picture comes into focus on final day

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 24, 2018

State seeds: 1.Juneau 2.Dimond 3.Chugiak 4.South 5.West 6.Service 7.Kenai 8.Kodiak. Matson seeds: 9.Wasilla 10.Ketchikan 11 Eagle River 12.Palmer 13.Fairbanks 14.North Pole 15.East 16.Bartlett

Here are the official seeds for Alaska Legion postseason tournaments:

66th annual ALB State Tournament

Seed, Team, League Points, Overall Record

1. Juneau 69 23-1

2. Dimond 66 21-7

3. Chugiak 63 20-9

4. South 60 23-8

5. *West 51 15-13

6. Service 51 15-13 

7. Kenai 48 16-15

8. Kodiak 39 10-16

*West won tiebreaker over Service (fewest runs allowed in 18 league games 73-78)

Friday’s Day 1 Matchups

At Mulcahy Stadium

10am (6) Service vs. (3) Chugiak

1230pm (5) West vs. (4) South

315pm (7) Kenai vs. (2) Dimond

615pm (8) Kodiak vs. (1) Juneau

5th annual ALB Matson Invitational

Seed, Team, League Points, Overall Record

9. Wasilla 57 16-11

10. Ketchikan 45 15-13

11. Eagle River 36 10-21

12. *Palmer 30 10-19

13. Fairbanks 30 8-18

14. North Pole 27 6-19

15. East 24 5-22

16. Bartlett 23 4-23

*Palmer won tiebreaker over Fairbanks (fewest runs allowed in 18 league games 125-149)

Friday’s Day 1 Matchups

At Bartlett High School

10am (14) North Pole vs. (11) Eagle River

1230pm (13) Fairbanks vs. (12) Palmer

315pm (15) East vs. (10) Ketchikan

615pm (16) Bartlett vs. (9) Wasilla

Three Alaska teams ruled ineligible by National Legion

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 24, 2018

Not having required insurance keeps Palmer, Ketchikan and Wasilla from taking field at state tournament, so they will compete instead at the Matson Invitational.

Three American Legion Baseball teams from Alaska have been ruled ineligible for sanctioned postseason competition by the National Legion office because the teams did not purchase required insurance on time, Alaska Legion senior officials announced today.

 

The three Alaska Legion teams are Palmer Post 15, Ketchikan Post 3 and Wasilla Post 35.

 

As a result, Wasilla and Ketchikan will not participate in this year’s Alaska Legion State Tournament, a qualifier for the Northwest Regional. Palmer would not have qualified anyway.

 

All three Alaska Legion teams instead will participate in the Matson Invitational.

 

Every Legion team in the country that advances to these regional games must have proof of insurance by the required date as certified by the National Legion office.

 

The insurance policy has been in place for 30 years and is required by both National Legion and Alaska Legion. The deadline for teams to purchase insurance was May 31.

 

The rule was discussed before the season at Alaska Legion meetings and National Legion sent emails to remind coaches in advance of the deadline.  

 

Each Legion post is responsible for registering the team online and paying for the required insurance before the deadline. The practice of team responsibility for registration has been in place in Alaska for several years and all three teams had previously registered and paid insurance on time in past years.

 

The National Legion office made the ruling today in a final eligibility check with Alaska Legion officials prior to the start of postseason competition on Friday.

 

An appeal made by Alaska Legion officials on behalf of the disqualified teams was denied, said Alaska Legion senior official Steve Nerland. The other 13 Alaska Legion teams paid their insurance on time, according to the National Legion office.

 

The season is not finished for Wasilla, Ketchikan and Palmer.

 

Alaska Legion Department Chair Russ Baker invited all three teams to participate in the Matson Invitational, a tournament created in 2014 for Alaska Legion teams that didn’t qualify for state.

 

None of the teams ruled ineligible will lose league points from the regular season or drop in the Alaska Legion standings, Nerland said.

 

“The points are the points,” he said.

 

The five-day postseason run kicks off Friday, with the 66th annual Alaska Legion State Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium and the 5th annual Matson Invitational at Bartlett High School.

 

The Alaska Legion state champion will qualify for the Northwest Regional in August in Missoula, Montana. The winner of the region tournament advances to the Legion World Series.

 

Nearly 3,600 teams nationally participate in American Legion Baseball.

 

The state runner-up will participate in the Northwest Class A Regional Tournament (NWCART) in Lewiston, Idaho, also in August.

 

The Matson Invitational champion does not advance outside of Alaska.

Homza crushes 1st home run of his professional career

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 14, 2018

Anchorage 19-year-old Jonny Homza crushed his first home run of his professional career with the San Diego Padres rookie-level team in the Arizona League.

First came thunder from Jonny Homza’s bat. Then came lightning.

 

The Anchorage 19-year-old crushed his first home run of his professional career with the San Diego Padres rookie-level team in the Arizona League.

 

His two-run bomb came in the first inning of a 12-1 win over the Mariners in a game shortened to five innings because of lightning.

 

Homza, of South Post 4 Legion fame, was a fifth-round draft pick of San Diego last year and this is his second season. He played with AZL Padres 1 last year; this year it’s AZL Padres 2.

 

He hit No. 3 in the lineup and finished 1-for-3 with a walk to help raise his on-base percentage to a career-high .368 in 15 games. Last year it was .304 in 52 games.

 

Homza got the night off behind the plate. The infielder-turned-catcher has thrown out six baserunners in six games at catcher.

 

He has a 1.000 fielding percentage in three games at third base.

 

Homza is one of just two Alaskans currently playing pro ball in the minor leagues.

 

Jonathan Oudin wins ALB raffle for 4 AK Airline tickets

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 10, 2018

Thank you to everyone who helped support our athletes by buying a ticket.

Congratulations to Jonathan Oudin of Eagle River for winning the Alaska Legion Baseball raffle ticket drawing for 4 Alaska Airlines tickets.

 

Winning Raffle Ticket #06607

 

Shoutout to Zach Cole, who sold the golden ticket.

 

All proceeds went towards helping local Legion teams pay season expenses.

 

Thank you to everyone who helped support our athletes by buying a ticket.

South becomes first Alaska team to win BP since 2010

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 8, 2018

Tournament MVP Jimmy McGovern threw a 5-hitter as Post 4 won the title game 4-0 over Excelsior Post 259 of Minneapolis, Minnesota, at Mulcahy Stadium.

BP Invitational

Championship Game: South 4, Excelsior (MN) 0

Jimmy McGovern took care of the pitching. Reid Brock, Gage Webster and Josh Costello brought the bats; and Lian Lincoln, Ryan Bailey and Terran Sugita supplied stellar defense.

 

Together, they lifted South Post 4 to the BP Invitational championship with a 4-0 victory over Excelsior Post 259 of Minneapolis, Minnesota, in the title game at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

South (17-7) is the first Alaska team to win the tournament since Dimond Post 21 in 2010.

 

McGovern pitched a 5-hit shutout in going all seven innings. He walked just one and struck out three batters. The right-hander shut down an Excelsior squad that came into the final hitting .371 as a team over the last three days.

 

He retired 14 of the final 17 batters and threw just 87 pitches. He also doubled and was named the Most Valuable Player for his performance in helping South become what is believed to be the first Alaska team to defeat three different Lower 48 teams at the BP Invitational.

 

Brock, Webster and Costello each drove in runs for the champs.

 

Lincoln – the tournament’s Gold Glove Award winner - continued his perfect defense at shortstop while center fielder Bailey and third baseman Sugita each robbed base hits from Excelsior slugger Joel Thimsen, who won the Big Stick Award.

 

This year’s BP Invitational was billed beforehand as the most talented fields in the tournament’s 24-year history and the teams didn’t disappoint, with 11 of 17 games being decided by one or two runs. Six games ended in walkoff fashion.

 

South 200 110 0 - 4 4 1

Excelsior (MN) 000 000 0 - 0 5 1

South - McGovern and Costello. Excelsior - Wandersee, Mortensen (6) and Masui. W - McGovern. L - Wandersee. 2B - McGovern (S). 3B - None. HR - None.

 

Individual Awards

Top Pitcher

Jake McAleavy, Lone Peak (UT) Post 19

In a tournament long on great pitching, this southpaw stood tallest. The 5-foot-10 left-hander struck out 11 of 18 batters he faced in a 12-3 win over Chugiak Post 33. He gave up just one hit and no runs in 5.1 innings of work.

 

Gold Glove

Lian Lincoln, South Post 4

He plays center field on some days, but in this tournament, he played shortstop. Lincoln displayed range, a strong arm and the ability to turn a twin bill. He didn’t make an error in 25 chances and helped turn three double plays.

 

Big Stick

Joel Thimsen, Excelsior (MN) Post 259

He squared up the ball virtually every time he came to the plate. The hard-hitting first baseman batted .470 and led his team with eight hits, three doubles and five RBIs in five games.

 

Most Valuable Player

Jimmy McGovern, South Post 4

Whether he was pitching or hitting, McGovern was right in the middle of the action in three of his team’s wins. He collected three RBIs in a 7-5 win over Lone Peak Post 19 of Utah. He drove in the winning run with a sac fly to give his team a 2-1 win over Columbia Post 19 of Tennessee. And then he threw a shutout in the title game.

Excelsior escapes, will play South for BP championship

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 8, 2018

Day 4 scores: South 3, West 2; Service 6, Lone Peak (UT) 4; Dimond 6, Chugiak 5; Excelsior (MN) 4, Columbia (TN) 4

BP Invitational

Semifinal #2: Excelsior (MN) 4, Columbia (TN) 4

*Excelsior advances on tiebreaker of higher seed

In a back and forth game that had the feeling of a Legion playoff game, it seemed fitting that these two national powers tied in the semifinals of the BP Invitational at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Under different circumstances, the game would have continued. But with a 2-hour, 15-minute time limit reached, Excelsior advanced to the championship game as a result of being a higher seed. Excelsior was the No. 1 seed out of Pool B, whereas Columbia was the No. 2 seed out of Pool A.

 

Hardly an ideal ending, but both teams should be congratulated after treating fans to an excellent baseball game.

 

It was a rematch of last week’s Bill Miller Big Fish Wood Bat Tournament final in Kenai, won 4-0 by Columbia.

 

The game’s final out had plenty of drama with big Andy Hale at the plate and the tying run at third base and the winning run at first base.

 

Jared Wandersee got Hale to ground out to end the threat and send Excelsior back to the championship game. It felt like a save.

 

Excelsior’s Will Sturek came up big for his club. In the second inning, he doubled and scored to put Post 259 up 2-1. In the fifth inning he drove in a run with an RBI single that tied the game at 3-3.

 

This is the first time Columbia won't win the BP title in four trips to Alaska after claiming championships in 2016, 2014 and 2012.

 

Columbia (TN) 011 010 10 - 4 8 0

Excelsior (MN) 110 020 0x - 4 9 2

Columbia - Mealer, James (5) and Massey. Excelsior - Wukmir, LaLonde (5), Wandersee (8) and Stoler, Masui (8). 2B - Joslin (C), Sturek (E). 3B - Will McCall (C). HR - None.

BP Invitational

Semifinal #1: South 3, West 2

Jacob Woodall laced the first pitch he saw in the bottom of the eighth inning to score Reid Brock from second base and lift Post 4 to victory in the semifinals of the BP Invitational at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

The extra-inning victory propelled South into the tournament championship game for the first time since 2014.

 

South won the game, but West’s Luke Langnes stole the show.

 

The right-hander carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning and drove in both runs to give West a 2-0 lead.

 

In the sixth, South’s Lian Lincoln broke up the no-no with a clean infield single into the hole between third and short. He stole second and later scored on an error and just like that the no-hitter and shutout were gone.

 

Josh Costello tied the game 2-2 with an RBI groundout.

 

The game stayed even until the eighth inning, when with one out, Brock reached on an error and advanced to second on Costello’s base hit. Langnes struck out the next batter for the second out before being lifted for a reliever.

 

Woodall was the next batter and ripped a game-winning single to give South its second walkoff win in four games during the BP Invitational.

 

West 000 101 00 - 2 7 4

South 000 002 01 - 3 4 1

West - Langnes, Benitez and Danmeyer. South - Hultberg, DeLesline (6) and Mohl. W - DeLesline. L - Langnes. 2B - None. 3B - None. HR - None.

South, West, Minnesota, Tennessee advance to semifinals

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 7, 2018

Day 3 scores: Excelsior (MN) 17, Service 0; Columbia (TN) 9, Chugiak 0; Columbia (TN) 9, Lone Peak (UT) 8; South 7, Lone Peak (UT) 5; Dimond 4, West 3

BP Invitational

Game 12: Dimond 4, West 3

Josh Knowlton tripled to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning to set up the winning run that led Post 21 to its first win at the BP Invitational at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Knowlton showed off his opposite-field power by hammering the second pitch he saw into the right centerfield gap and then on the jets to make it all the way to third base without a throw.

 

Pinch-runner Jacob Lick scored the winning run on a wild pitch on a close play at the plate.

 

Dimond (16-7) improved to 1-2 in the tournament.

 

With his team trailing by a run in the sixth inning, Luke Smith led off with a single and went to second on a sac bunt by Zach Jenkins. Smith later scored on an error to tie the game at 3-3.

 

West dropped to 1-2 in the tournament but advanced to Sunday’s semifinals as a result of winning a three-way tiebreaker with Dimond and Service.

 

Thomas Zettler and Sam Lebo each drove in runs as West took a 3-2 lead in the top of the sixth inning.

 

Post 1 banged out nine hits, with Revy Mack leading the way with a 2-for-4 effort. Carter Stolp went 1-for-3 and scored two runs.

 

Starter Max Fink allowed just two hits and one run over his four innings of work.

 

West 000 102 0 - 3 9 3

Dimond 001 011 1 - 4 6 1

West - Fink, Nunez (5), Zettler (6) and Nunez, Langnes (5). Dimond - Coplin, Straw (7) and Dolan. W - Straw. L - Zettler. 2B - None. 3B - Lebo (W), Knowlton (D). HR - None.

BP Invitational

Game 11: South 7, Lone Peak (UT) 5

Lian Lincoln, Gage Webster and Jimmy McGovern each reached base three times as Post 4 pounded out 14 hits to secure a spot in the semifinals of the BP Invitational at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

This was South’s second win against a Lower 48 team in as many days under manager Mike Webster.

 

Lincoln singled three times and scored. Webster singled, doubled, walked, scored and drove in a run. McGovern tripled, singled twice and finished with three RBIs.

 

Reid Brock went 2-for-4 with an RBI and got the win out of the bullpen after throwing four scoreless innings.

 

South (15-7) is now tied for the state lead for most victories on the season.

 

Lone Peak jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the first inning after Matt Barney, Ryder Christensen and Trey Gambill all reached base and scored.

 

Barney, the leadoff hitter, hit a double (his team’s only extra-base hit) and later raced home on a wild pitch.

 

Lone Peak's Tanner Nielson went 3-for-3. Karsten Hatch and Ethan Lamb each had RBIs.

 

The Utah team showed some real love for the glove and turned four double plays.

 

South 041 100 1 - 7 14 0

Lone Peak (UT) 300 200 0 - 5 6 2

South - Sugita, Brock (4) and Costello. Lone Peak - Wood, Thomas (4), Lamb (7) and Nielson. W - Brock. L - Wood. 2B - Webster (S), Lincoln (S), Barney (LP). 3B - McGovern (S). HR - None.

BP Invitational

Game 10: Columbia (TN) 9, Lone Peak (UT) 8

Ethan Mealer drove in the tying run and later came around to score the winning run to cap a wild five-run rally in the bottom of the seventh as Columbia kept alive its title chances in the BP Invitational at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

A loss would have eliminated the Tennessee team from championship contention and it looked likely as Columbia entered the final inning trailing 8-4.

 

But Columbia strung together five straight hits by Will McCall, Matt Joslin, Andy Hale, Dillan Saunders and Mealer. Hale hammered an RBI double and Saunders ripped a two-run triple to get within 8-7.

 

Mealer drilled the first pitch he saw to tie it. He advanced to second when Nathan Massey was hit by a pitch and scored when the Lone Peak shortshop misplayed JT Hamilton’s groundball to allow Mealer to score.

 

McCall finished 3-for-3 and led off the rally with an infield single.

 

Columbia improved to 2-1 in the tournament and advanced to Sunday’s semifinals.

 

The Utah team erased an early two-run deficit with a six-run second inning to take control. Or so it seemed.

 

The Misfits got two hits apiece from Trey Gambill, Karsten Hatch, Cade Walker and Tanner Nielson. They also combined for four RBIs.

 

Connor Thomas tripled and Ryder Christensen doubled for the Utah extra-base hits.

 

Utah fell to 1-1 in the tournament.

 

Lone Peak (UT) 061 010 0 - 8 11 2

Columbia (TN) 201 010 5 - 9 10 2

Lone Peak - Bean, Cannon (6), Lomeli (7) and Thomas. Columbia - Kennedy, South (5) and Massey. W - South. L - Cannon. 2B - Christensen (LP), Hale (C), Joslin (C). 3B - Thomas (LP), Saunders (C). HR - None.

BP Invitational

Game 9: Columbia (TN) 9, Chugiak 0

Brock Young was masterful on the mound and Post 19 came out with purpose to punish the ball one day after losing for the first time in the BP Invitational.

 

Columbia scored in each of the first four innings to build an 8-0 lead, which Young easily protected.

 

The left-hander retired 15 of the first 18 batters and one point he struck out four of five hitters.

 

Columbia is now 5-1 on its tournament tour in Alaska, 1-1 in the BP Invitational.

 

Last night, Post 19 suffered a 2-1 loss to South Post 4 to snap the team's 15-game unbeaten streak dating to 2012.

 

Dillan Saunders went 3-for-4 with two runs score and two runs batted in.

 

Will McCall, Andy Hale and Ethan Mealer each had two hits.

 

Christian Cambridge had two of his team's six hits and relief pitcher Sam Hall allowed just one earned run in three innings of work.

 

Chugiak dropped to 1-2 in the tournament.

 

Chugiak 000 000 0 - 0 6 4

Columbia (TN) 241 101 x - 9 10 0

Chugiak - G.Nevells, Hall (4) and Costanios. Columbia - Young and Brock. W - Young. L - G.Nevells. 2B - Costanios (Ch), Saunders (Co), Hale (Co), Brock (Co). 3B - McCall (Co). HR - None.

BP Invitational

Game 8: Excelsior (MN) 17, Service 0

Cameron Smrekar and Ian Masui each had two hits and three RBIs as Post 259 rolled in a mercy-rule game shortened to five innings to open Day 3 of the BP Invitational at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Starter Andy Andresen threw a 4-hit shutout with five strikeouts.

 

Joel Thimsen and Ike Fuecker each had two RBIs for Excelsior, which improved to 3-0 in the tournament and 8-2 on its tournament tour in Alaska.

 

Excelsior is guaranteed spot in Sunday’s semifinals.

 

Chris Malagodi went 2-for-3 for Service, which fell to 1-2 in the tournament.

 

Service 000 00 - 0 4 1

Excelsior (MN) 980 0x - 17 10 0

Service - Jaidinger, Coats (1), Andrew (3) and Malagodi. Excelsior - Anderson and Masui. W - Anderson. L - Jaidinger. 2B - Smrekar (E), Hanson (E). 3B - None. HR - None.

South snaps Columbia's 15-game unbeaten streak at BP

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 6, 2018

Day 2 scores: Lone Peak (UT) 12, Chugiak; 3; Excelsior (MN) 5, West 3; Excelsior (MN) 10, Dimond 0; Service 16, Dimond 5; South 2, Columbia (TN) 1

BP Invitational

Game 7: South 2, Columbia (TN) 1

A sac fly by Jimmy McGovern drove in Gage Webster with the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning as Post 4 handed the Tennessee team its first loss in 16 games at the BP Invitational dating to 2012.

 

Webster played hero for South, first pitching out of a two-on, one-out jam in the top of the inning and then getting himself in scoring position with an extra-base hit in the bottom half.

 

The left-hander ripped an opposite-field double down the third-base line, just inside the bag, and advanced to third on Damian Mohl’s single. McGovern came up next and lofted a flyball to center field that was deep enough for  Webster to race home.

 

South starter Jacob Woodall pitched well enough to win but settled for a no-decision. He needed just 81 pitches to get through 7.1 innings before running into trouble in the eighth with baserunners at second and third.

 

Enter Webster, who induced a lazy pop up and deep fly ball to end the threat.

 

Columbia entered the game 14-0-1 all-time at the BP Invitational in three appearances in 2012, 2014 and 2016. Post 19 has won the tournament all three years.

 

The only previous blemish was a 4-4 tie with South in 2014.

 

Now South is the first Alaska team to beat the former Legion World Series champs.

 

Columbia tied the game at 1-1 in the fourth inning when Jackson Cook scored on Will McCall’s sac fly.

 

Andy Hale started and allowed just three hits in five innings. Cook was called on in relief and pitched 2.2 innings.

 

Columbia (TN) 000 100 00 - 1 4 0

South 001 000 01 - 2 7 1

Columbia - Hale, Cook (6) and Massey. South - Woodall, Webster (8) and Costello. W - Webster. L - Cook. 2B - Brock (C), Webster (S). 3B - None. HR - None.

BP Invitational

Game 6: Service 16, Dimond 5

The youngest player in the tournament played like a veteran as Sean Giffen pitched four effective innings to earn the win and keep alive Post 28’s title chances in the BP Invitational at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Service (9-8) plated nine runs in the second inning and Giffen threw clean frames in the third and fourth inning to improve to 1-1 in tournament play.

 

Cobey Cupp drove in three runs and Nathaniel Cole and Jaren Childs each had two RBIs. Chris Malagodi scored three runs.

 

Service took advantage of 16 walks.

 

Dimond (15-5) got a big game from Kobe Vanderwood, who tripled, scored a run and drove in two runs.

 

Isaiah Mills had an RBI and Jacob Lick went 2-for-2.

 

Dimond fell to 0-2 in tournament play.

 

Service 190 42 - 16 8 1

Dimond 110 03 - 5 5 2

Service - Giffen, Stiles (5) and Sandau. Dimond - Smith, Dolan (2), Boyce (3), Knowlton (5), Vanderwood (5) and Straw. W - Giffen. L - Smith. 2B - Sandau (S). 3B - Vanderwood (D). HR - None.

BP Invitational

Game 5: Excelsior (MN) 10, Dimond 0

Nick Thimsen homered and Cameron Smrekar doubled and tripled as Excelsior broke out the big sticks with six extra-base hits to help Excelsior remain undefeated in the BP Invitational at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

The Minnesota team is 2-0 in tournament play and 7-2 on its Alaska road trip.

 

Joel Thimsen ripped a pair of doubles and finished with three RBIs. Mason Nadolney doubled and drove in two runs.

 

It was more than enough support for starter Will Sturek, who tossed a 4-hit complete-game effort. He walked three and struck out two in six innings.

 

Dimond is the first-place team in Alaska and the loss was just its fourth in 19 games this summer.

 

Jake Andresen allowed seven hits and four earned runs over five innings. He struck out a half dozen.

 

Zach Jenkins and Kobe Vanderwood each went 2-for-3 to collect all of their team's base hits.

 

Jacob Lick made a beautiful diving catch in left field for Dimond to away what would have been another extra-base hit.

 

Excelsior (MN) 201 124 - 10 10 0

Dimond 000 000 - 0 4 1

Excelsior - W.Sturek and Stolar. Dimond - Andresen, Vanderwood (6), Boyce (6) and Dolan. W - W.Sturek. L - Andresen. 2B - J.Thimsen 2 (E), Smrekar (E), Nadolney (E). 3B - Smreker (E). HR - N.Thimsen (E).

BP Invitational

Game 4: Excelsior (MN) 5, West 3

The bottom of the lineup made sure Post 259 from Minneapolis, Minnesota, came out on top on the second day of the BP Invitational at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Excelsior got six hits, three runs and two runs from hitters Nos. 7, 8 and 9, including a game-tying two-run single from No. 9 hitter Ike Fuecker in the top of the sixth inning.

 

Excelsior scored four runs over the sixth and seventh innings to rally from behind and reward reliever Jack Wilson with the win. He threw three shutout frames over the final three innings to give his team a chance to come back.

 

Mike Sturek’s sac fly in the sixth gave the Minnesota team the lead for good.

 

West (10-5) looked to be in control, leading 3-1 after five innings with ace Leland Wilson on the bump.

 

The southpaw scattered eight hits and six walks, escaping two-on jams in the second, fourth and fifth innings.

 

West’s Jack Opinsky went 3-for-4 with an RBI.

 

West fell to 1-1 in tournament play.

 

Excelsior (MN) 010 003 1 - 5 10 0

West 002 100 0 - 3 7 0

Excelsior - Tyrpa, Hanson (5) and Masui. West - Wilson, Zettler (6) and Danmeyer. W - Hanson. L - Wilson. 2B - W.Sturek (E), J.Thimsen (E), M. Sturek (E). 3B - None. HR - None.

BP Invitational

Game 3: Lone Peak (UT) 12, Chugiak 3

Left-hander Jake McAleavy struck out 11 of 18 batters he faced in a dominating pitching performance to lead the Post 19 Misfits of Highland, Utah, on the second day of the BP Invitational at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

McAleavy worked 5.1 innings and allowed one hit, one walk and hit one batter.

 

Lone Peak won its tournament debut and improved to 6-3 on its Alaska road trip.

 

Ryder Christensen and Ethan Lamb each drove in three runs and Justin Wood added two RBIs. Trey Gambill scored three times.

 

Chugiak (12-7) used six pitchers with Justin Nevells throwing the only clean inning.

 

Ian Frizelle went 2-for-3 with a run and RBI. Trystan Costanios also drove in a run.

 

Chugiak is 1-1 in tournament play.

 

Lone Peak (UT) 212 110 5 - 12 10 3

Chugiak 000 003 0 - 3 4 2

Lone Peak - McAleavy, Lamb (6), Wood (7) and Thomas. Chugiak - Smith, C.Costanios (3), Frizelle (4), J.Nevells (6), Cambridge (7), Peace (7) and T.Costanios. W - McAleavy. L - Smith. 2B - Thomas (LP), Frizelle (C). 3B - None. HR - None.

Chugiak walks off, West survives Day 1 of BP Invitational

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 5, 2018

Day 1 scores: Chugiak 3, South 2; West 4, Service 3

BP Invitational

Game 1 Chugiak 3, South 2

DJ Davis drove in the winning run with two outs as Post 33 walkoff in extra innings over Post 4 on the first day of the BP Invitational at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Davis looped an RBI single to left field in the bottom of the eighth inning to score Trystan Costanios from second base. His base hit capped a 10-pitch at-bat against South pitcher Jimmy McGovern.

 

Davis came to the plate with runners at first and second, but McGovern picked off a runner at third base for the second out.

 

The game was a pitcher’s duel with Chugiak starter Braden Shackleford carrying a shutout into the sixth inning. He was relieved by Sam Hall, who threw 2.1 innings of shutout relief.

 

South starter Gunnar Nix struck out seven batters and allowed just two runs over six innings.

 

Costanios gave Chugiak a 2-0 lead with a two-out, two-run single in third inning.

 

South's Austin DeLesline, the No. 8 hitter, crushed a two-run, two-out double to deep right centerfield to tie the game at 2-2.

 

South 000 002 00 - 2 4 1

Chugiak 002 000 01 - 3 6 2

South - Nix, McGovern (7) and Costello. Chugiak - Shackleford, Hall (6) and Costanios. W - Hall. L - McGovern. 2B - DeLesline (S). 3B - None. HR - None.

BP Invitational

Game 2 West 4, Service 3

Post 1 pitchers danced around trouble all night before waltzing away with a dramatic win on the first day of the BP Invitational at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Nicko Opinsky ended the game with a strikeout as Service left the bases loaded in each of the final two innings. In all, the Cougars stranded 11 baserunners.

 

Credit West pitchers Juan Benitez, Jack Opinsky, Luis Nunez and Nicko Opinsky for wigging off the hook time and time again.

 

Benitez started and did not allow a run over four innings of work.

 

West’s Sam Lebo, Jack Opinsky and Nunez had RBIs. Carter Stolp went 2-for-3 with a run.

 

Service pitcher Ronan Klancher started and struck out eight batters over five innings. Both runs he allowed were unearned.

 

Henry Helgeson went 2-for-4 with a run. Jaren Childs, Hutton Stiles and Andrew Jaidinger drove in runs.

 

Service 000 001 2 - 3 5 2

West 001 102 x - 4 7 1

Service - Klancher, Coats (6), Helgeson (6) and Sandau. West - Benitez, J.Opinsky (5), Nunez (7), N.Opinsky (7) and Nunez, Danmeyer (7). W - Benitez. L - Klancher. S - N.Opinsky. 2B - Lebo (W), J.Opinsky (W). 3B - None. HR - None.

Utah’s Lone Peak beats Ketchikan for Todd Ryan title

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 1, 2018

Lone Peak scored 10 runs in the fourth inning and five more in the fifth inning to pull away for an 18-11 victory in Wasilla.

Ethan Lamb doubled and tripled to highlight an 18-hit attack from Utah’s Lone Peak Post 19 that carried the Misfits to an 18-11 victory over Ketchikan Post 3 in the title game of the Todd Ryan Memorial Tournament in Wasilla.

 

Lone Peak scored 10 runs in the fourth inning and five more in the fifth inning to pull away and claim the championship in the second stop on the four-leg Alaska Airlines Tournament Tour. The series continues this week in Kenai before wrapping up in Anchorage for the BP Invitational.

 

The Misfits should have lots of confidence moving forward after winning the title and avenging a 6-2 loss to Ketchikan earlier in the tournament.

 

Lamb drove in four runs, scored three runs and pitched 1.2 innings, striking out five of eight batters he faced. He also played both middle infield positions.

 

Lone Peak’s Ryder Christiansen went 3-for-3 with four RBIs and three runs. Karsten Hatch was 3-for-5 with a pair of RBIs.

 

Ketchikan was playing its 10th game in six days on an extended road trip from Southeast Alaska. Credit the Kings for fighting through mental and physical fatigue.

 

The loss snapped their six-game winning streak.

 

Wyatt Barajas went 2-for-4 with four RBIs and Cody Kemble was 2-for-5 with two runs and two RBIs. Hayden McGarrigan and CJ Jasper each had two hits and combined to drive in three runs.

 

Lone Peak (UT) 110 (10)50 1 - 18 13 1

Ketchikan 210 503 0 - 11 11 6

Lone Peak - Walker, Lamb (4), Christiansen (5), Hatch (6) and Thomas. Ketchikan - Barajas, Salaza (5) and Kiffer. W - Walker. L - Barajas. 2B - Lamb (LP), Christiansen (LP), Barajas (K), Kemble (K), King (K), Nordlund (K). 3B - Lamb (LP), Gambil (LP), Walker (LP). HR – None.

Peck, McKeel bring more than 2,500 career wins to Alaska

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jun 28, 2018

National powers from Minnesota and Tennessee have each been to Alaska three times, but never at the same time. Until this year.

Iconic American Legion Baseball managers Jim Peck of Minnesota’s Excelsior Post 259 and Mickey McKeel of Tennessee’s Columbia Post 19 have each brought three teams to Alaska over the years. But never at the same time.

 

Until now.

 

The national powers are both participating in the Alaska Airlines Tournament Tour along with Utah’s Lone Peak Post 19.

 

This is the most star-studded talent in the history of the series, with Peck and McKeel combining for more than 2,500 career victories.

 

The 78-year-old Peck ranks No. 5 all-time in Legion history with 1,778 wins and the 58-year-old McKeel has racked up more than 750 wins and owns a Legion World Series title from 2007.  

 

Neither general manager is on the field these days, but they remain in the dugout and their shadow looms large over the programs they made famous.

 

Peck is in his 55th year of coaching baseball in Minnesota, where he has turned Excelsior into a national powerhouse. Twice he led the team within striking distance of a Legion World Series title, advancing to the title game in 2002 and placing fifth in 1998.

 

The Excelsior program was in bad shape when he first took over in 1974. The team had won just three games the year before he coached.

 

“It was mostly a joke,” Peck told me.

 

From joke to juggernaut.

 

“We haven’t had a losing season in well over 40 years,” he said.

 

Peck started coaching as a way to volunteer in his community. Giving back was something he learned from his dad. He called it being a do-gooder, and he’s done well at it.

 

The coaching legend has been inducted into the Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame, the Minnesota American Legion Baseball Hall of Fame and the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Post 259 retired his No. 39 jersey.

 

“We changed in the fact that it was going to be more baseball oriented and we were going to start playing more games,” Peck said. “You can’t play 15 games a year and expect to be halfway successful unless you’ve got a really small roster. We usually have 18 kids and try to play as many games as possible against real tough competition.”

 

In 1977, Peck created the Gopher Classic, which is now the largest Legion tournament in the country with 98 teams. His teams have played opponents from 49 of the 50 states.

 

He also taken his players to Australia, New Zealand, Europe and the Dominican Republic. This is his fourth trip to Alaska.

 

“We do all kinds of things to make it fun and interesting for the kids,” Peck said. “You can’t do that in high school ball because you’re limited how many games you can play. In Legion, we are only limited by our imagination.”

 

McKeel has a wild imagination. He was crazy enough to think a small town in Tennessee could contend with the most storied programs on the national stage. Then he made it happen, creating a championship culture and a standard for excellence for the last 19 years.

 

He led Columbia to the Legion World Series title in 2007 and a fifth-place showing in 2014. His teams finished second in the Mid-South Region five times, meaning it was one win away from advancing to the World Series.

 

“His goal was always to win the World Series,” Columbia head coach Scott Beasley told me. “Nothing else was acceptable.”

 

Beasley, who played for McKeel on the 2007 national championship team, is one of three former players on the current coaching staff along with assistants Garrett Ammons and Alex McKelvy. McKeel also hosts an annual alumni game to stay connected.

 

“A testament to Mickey and his approach to the family side of Post 19 is shown in our coaching staff,” Beasley said. “He cares deeply about his former players and tries to keep up with as many of them as possible.”

 

Last fall, the Columbia family lost Bobby Bratton after a battle with cancer. He was just 31. He left behind a wife and two young daughters.

 

Since then, McKeel held a fundraiser in honor of Bratton and donated all the proceeds to the family. He created the Bobby Bratton Memorial Scholarship. He retired Bratton’s No. 8 jersey and the team is wearing a No. 8 patch this year in his honor.

 

“This is just one way to see the type of person Mickey McKeel represents,” Beasley said. “On the field, he was a grizzly bear. Off the field, Mickey is one of the greatest people you will ever know.”

North Pole wins Midnight Sun title game in slugfest

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jun 24, 2018

The Post 30 Wild beat Eagle River 13-12 for their third consecutive one-run victory in the tournament.

The North Pole Post 30 Wild jumped to a big lead and then hung on for a wild 13-12 win over Eagle River in the championship game of the Midnight Sun Invitational in Fairbanks.

It was the third consecutive one-run victory for North Pole, which had lost their first six games to open the Alaska Legion AA season.

The Midnight Sun is the first leg in the four-stop Alaska Airlines Tournament Tour.

North Pole tablesetters Alex Garcia and Josh Smith each scored three runs and Matthew Williams drove in four runs.

Wild starter Chase Reed allowed just one run over his first four innings and pitched a total of 5.2 innings to earn the win.

Eagle River trailed 10-1 before the Wolves battled back and pulled within a run on Christian Frederick’s two-out, two-run single in the seventh inning.

Braden Olmstead went 4-for-5 with a pair of RBIs and Frederick finished with three RBIs.

Bartlett Post 29 beat Fairbanks Post 11 by a 13-4 score in the third-place game.

The next stop on the tournament series is the Todd Ryan Memorial in Wasilla at the end of this week.

Eagle River 100 016 4 - 12 9 5

North Pole 420 403 x - 13 10 5

Eagle River - Lewis, Frederick (4) and Witte. North Pole - Reed, Weatherspoon (6), Wilken (6) and Smith. W - Reed. L - Lewis. 2B - Christman (NP), Garcia (NP), Williams (NP). 3B - None. HR - None.

North Pole, Eagle River to face off for Midnight Sun title

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jun 23, 2018

The teams played on Day 1 of the tournament with Eagle River squeezing out a 1-0 win. The rematch will be Sunday at 11 a.m.

The North Pole Post 30 Wild have picked a great time to get hot.

 

The Wild won their first two games of the season on Day 2 of the annual Midnight Sun Invitational tournament at the Arco/Marlin fields in Fairbanks.

 

North Pole beat Fairbanks Post 11 6-5 and Bartlett Post 29 3-2.

 

Each of North Pole’s games have been one-run games, including a 1-0 loss to Eagle River on Day 1.

 

Sunday’s rematch will decide which team will walk away with the Midnight Sun championship.

 

The Midnight Sun is the first leg in the four-event Alaska Airlines Tournament Tour.

 

Fairbanks and Bartlett will play in the third-place game.

 

Midnight Sun Invitational Scores

Saturday

Fairbanks 5, Eagle River 4

North Pole 3, Bartlett 2

North Pole 6, Fairbanks 5

Eagle River 12, Bartlett 2

Friday

Fairbanks 14, Bartlett 4

Eagle River 1, North Pole 0

Lierman Sr.’s spirit always part of College Coaches Camp

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jun 4, 2018

The late, great Chugiak Post 33 manager Bill Lierman Sr. worked tirelessly to provide local kids with exposure to college coaches without leaving Alaska.

The ALB College Coaches Camp will celebrate its 25th year this summer, a testament to the passion of Alaska Legion players to get better as well as to the man that played a driving force in creating the first camp in 1994.

 

The late, great, longtime Chugiak Post 33 manager Bill Lierman Sr. worked tirelessly to grow youth baseball in Alaska and provide local kids with exposure to college coaches without leaving the state.

 

Sadly, he passed away in 2004. He will not be forgotten and we salute his dedication to the game.

 

This year’s Summer College Coaches Camp will be held June 18-21 at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Once again, Alaska Legion players will receive one-on-one instruction from eight college coaches for four days.

 

There are no Legion games that week, so AA and A players have plenty of time to work on throwing, batting, pitching and base running drills.

 

You're never too cool to fine tune fundamentals.

 

Take advantage of player evaluations and earn a chance to play the Anchorage Bucs of the Alaska Baseball League on June 21.

 

Get it all for just $95.

 

The camp is limited 115 Alaska Legion players.

Kenai Legion player follows family footsteps to Army

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jun 3, 2018

Coming from a military family, Cody Quelland of Soldotna was born with discipline in his DNA and an urge to serve his country. His journey will begin at the United States Military Academy.

Be all you can be isn’t just a slogan for the U.S. Army, it’s a way of life for Cody Quelland of Soldotna.

 

Coming from a military household, he was born with discipline in his DNA and an urge to serve his country. He always wanted to follow his family’s footsteps and dreamed of attending a prestigious military academy after graduating high school.

 

Now 18, Quelland earned his diploma this month and got his wish with an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point in New York.

 

“The military has always been a big part of my family,” he told me, “with my grandpa, father, brother and countless cousins serving in the Air Force, Coast Guard and Navy. My grandpa, two uncles and my cousin are on a list of Army veterans I hope to join.”

 

The Kenai Legion Post 20 catcher will play baseball in Alaska until July, when he has to leave for basic training at West Point.

 

“I don't mind the thought of the military lifestyle,” he said. “West Point will help guide me in the direction that will better myself for my military service as well as my professional career. A military life may sound gruesome to some people but to a person who has lived in small-town Soldotna his whole life, having this level of guidance will surely help me in the long run.”

 

West Point students must participate in an athletic activity in addition to fulfilling school and military requirements. He plans to play baseball and try other sports such as lacrosse, rugby and paintball. All the while he will take classes and participate in military drills morning, noon and night.

 

It’s a grueling work load that can sink some cadets but Quelland is confident he will make it because he was raised to conquer challenges, not run from them.

 

Take baseball. He plays catcher, a demanding and exhausting position that’s not for the faint of heart. It requires durability and demands toughness. Just like the Army.

 

“I'm willing to do anything and everything for my team,” he said. “Being a team player and leader fits nicely with the military lifestyle. From my family that has served in the military, the one thing that always comes up is the brotherhood that is built between soldiers and the trust that they have in one another. Every person has a responsibility and if they fail at their job, the entire team suffers.”

 

Quelland graduated Soldotna High with a 4.2 grade-point average. He doesn’t have a set major for college in mind but believes it could be engineering.  

 

“I'm sure West Point will expose me to career field I haven't seen or even considered,” he said. “I see the military as a stepping stone. West Point grants me an education at one of the most prestigious schools in the country, allows me to participate in sports and allows me a job directly out of college. I don't know if I will continue my military service after my five years of required service but it is a possibility.”

State: Juneau claims first title since '12 w/ win over South

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jun 2, 2018

Championship: Juneau-Douglas 3, South 2. Third-place: Ketchikan 7, Colony 1. Fourth-place: Chugiak 14, Palmer 4

Juneau-Douglas 3, South 2

Luke Mallinger drove in Michael Cesar with the winning run in the seventh inning to lift the Crimson Bears to a dramatic victory over the Wolverines in the championship game of the ASAA/First National Bank State Baseball Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage.

Mallinger drove in all three runs to continue his incredible tournament performance and Kasey Watts threw 115 pitches and earned the winning decision as Juneau won its first state title since 2012 and the fourth in school history.

Watts got the start and went six strong, giving way to Donavin McCurley after three consecutive shutout innings. Watts gave up two hits and six walks while striking out three. McCurley earned the save and left the tying run on third base.

South was playing in its state record sixth straight state title game.

The Wolverines looked good early after taking leads of 1-0 and 2-1 after the first three innings.

Jacob Woodall drove in Lian Lincoln in the first inning and Lincoln singled and later scored on a wild pitch in the third inning.

Woodall pitched the entire game for South, scattering eight hits over seven innings with five strikeouts. He threw 110 pitches in his complete game.

In the seventh inning, South’s Luke Giffen led off with a walk and advanced to second base on Lincoln’s sacrifice bunt. With two outs, Giffen moved to third on a balk but McCurley left him there after ending the game with a flyout to center field.

Mallinger’s sacrifice fly scored Juneau’s first run in the third inning and he doubled in the tying run in the fifth inning. The slugger finished 6-for-10 with nine RBIs in three tournament games and would have won the MVP award if there was one.

Juneau’s other state titles came in 2012, 2010 and 2008.

Juneau-Douglas 001 010 1 - 3 8 3

South 101 000 0 - 2 2 0

Juneau-Douglas - Watts, McCurley (7) and Cesar. South - Woodall and Costello. W - Watts. L - Woodall. Sv - McCurley. 2B - Mallinger (JD). 3B - None. HR - None.

Ketchikan 7, Colony 1

Cody Kemble tossed a four-hitter with 10 strikeouts in a complete-game effort to lead the victorious Kings in the third-place game of the ASAA/First National Bank State Baseball Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage.

He carried a shutout into the sixth inning and finished his seven innings of work with a total of 96 pitches.

Kemble got it done at the plate as well, going 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs and a run.

Ketchikan’s Wyatt Barajas went 3-for-4 with two doubles, two RBIs and a run.

Tug Olson doubled twice and drove in a run.

For the Kings, it was their best finish at the state tournament since finishing second in 2012. They were fifth in 2016 and sixth in 2015.

Colony’s Carson McLaughlin got half of his team's four hits.

Zach Satterly got a base hit, scored a run and pitched five innings with four strikeouts.

This is the second time Colony has placed fifth at the state tournament since 2014. The Knights were seventh last year.

Colony 000 000 1 - 1 4 2

Ketchikan 002 023 x - 7 9 2

Colony - Satterly, McLaughlin (6) and Ryan. Ketchikan - Kemble and and Albecker. W - Kemble. L - Satterly. 2B - Olson 2 (K), Barajas 2 (K), Kemble (K). 3B - None. HR - None.

Chugiak 14, Palmer 4

The Mustangs broke out the big sticks and smashed nine extra-base hits en route to winning the fourth-place game of the ASAA/First National Bank State Baseball Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage.

Christian Cambridge tripled and hit an inside-the-park home run to highlight the 16-hit attack. DJ Davis and Brian Wing tripled and Braden Shackleford hit two doubles.

Ian Frizelle went 3-for-3 and Wing finished 3-for-4 with three RBIs.

Garrett Nevells pitched all seven innings to earn the winning decision. He allowed nine hits and one earned run. He struck out seven.

Chugiak finished the season 17-3 and were winners of the Cook Inlet Conference.

Palmer won a school-record 11 games this season and the Southcentral Conference championship to help them qualify for the state tournament for the first time.

Alasdair McKechnie went 2-for-4 with an RBI and Anthony Jones was 2-for-2 for the Moose.

Palmer’s Skyler Hale, Luke Guggenmos and Cade Holland also drove in runs.

Chugiak 102 241 4 – 14 16 2

Palmer 000 110 2 - 4 9 5

Chugiak - Nevells and Costanios. Palmer - Huddleston, Engst (5), McKechnie (7) and Hale, Shults (7). W - Nevells. L - Huddleston. 2B - Bull (C), Shackleford 2 (C), Peace (C), Frizelle (C), Jones (P), Shults (P). 3B - Davis (C), Cambridge (C), Wing (C). HR - Cambridge (C).

All-Tournament Team
Cade Holland, Palmer
Michael Starr, Ketchikan
Gage Webster, South
Walker Stuart, North Pole
Kolten Ketchum, Colony
Luke Giffen, South
Donavin McCurley, Juneau-Douglas
Josh Costello, South
DJ Davis, Chugiak
Michael Cesar, Juneau-Douglas
Wyatt Barajas, Ketchikan
Luke Mallinger, Juneau-Douglas

State: Juneau, South punch tickets to title game

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jun 1, 2018

Semifinals: Juneau 10, Colony 6; South 5, Ketchikan 2. Consolation: Chugiak 5, North Pole 4; Palmer 4, West Valley 3

South 5, Ketchikan 2

Gage Webster pitched a dominant game with 13 strikeouts and Josh Costello singled in the go-ahead run as the Wolverines beat the Kings in the semifinals of the ASAA/First National Bank State Baseball Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage.

The sophomore southpaw threw 6.2 innings and retired 15 straight batters from the second inning to the seventh inning before coming out after 119 pitches and two outs in the seventh. The limited is 120.

Webster’s masterpiece powered the Wolverines to the state championship game against Juneau-Douglas on Saturday at 4 p.m. It’s South’s sixth straight appearance in the final, with the team winning titles in 2016 and 2013.

With the scored tied at 2-2 in the fourth inning, South’s No. 9 hitter Luke Giffen led off with a walk and advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt from Lian Lincoln, the Cook Inlet Conference most valuable player. One out later, Costello knocked in Giffen with the go-ahead run.

Terren Sugita gave the Wolverines some breathing room with a two-run triple in the seventh inning. Reid Brock also drove in a run.

Ketchikan got a wonderful pitching performance from starter Wyatt Barajas, who threw 114 pitches over 6.1 innings and danced around trouble all night.

He scattered eight hits and six walks, but left the bases loaded in the first inning and wiggled out of two-on, two-out jams in each of the third and fourth innings. Barajas had 1-2-3 frames in the fifth and sixth innings.

Cody Kemble had an RBI single in the first inning and a nine-pitch at-bat in the third. Michael Starr and CJ Jasper scored runs.

Ketchikan will face Colony in third-place game at 1 p.m. Saturday.

This is the second time these teams have played at the state tournament since Ketchikan’s 7-3 victory in 2012.

South 020 100 2 - 5 9 1

Ketchikan 200 000 0 - 2 3 2

South - Webster, Maiorello (7) and Costello. Ketchikan - Barajas, Olson (7) and Albecker. W - Webster. L - Barajas. Sv - Maiorello. 2B - None. 3B - Sugita (S). HR - None.

Juneau-Douglas 10, Colony 6

Luke Mallinger crushed a three-run home run in the first inning to get the Crimson Bears going early on the way to a comfortable win over the Knights in the semifinals of the ASAA/First National Bank State Baseball Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage.

Juneau outhit Colony 12-5 and led 10-0 in the fourth inning before putting things into cruise control. With the win, the Bears reached the state championship game for the first time since winning it all in 2012.

Mallinger finished with four RBIs. Donavin McCurley went 3-for-5 with a double and two RBIs and two runs and Michael Cesar went 2-for-3 with a double RBI and two runs.

Juneau's Kasey Watts did a little bit of everything. He batted 3-for-5 with an RBI at the plate. On the mound he threw three scoreless innings and struck out the side in the third inning on just 11 pitches.

Juneau will play in the state final Saturday at 4 p.m. against the other semifinal winner between South and Ketchikan.

Colony's Zach Satterfly went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and Cooper Smith and Kaden Ketchum drove in one run each. Smith also scored twice.

Brayden Methven came out of the bullpen and threw three scoreless innings of relief to keep the Knights in the game.

Colony made things interesting with a four-run seventh inning, showing a true fighting spirit.

The Knights will play in the third-place game Saturday at 1 p.m. against South or Ketchikan.

Juneau improved to 4-0 all-time against Colony at the state tournament, twice winning in the state semifinals; the first time was 1998.

Juneau-Douglas 420 400 0 - 10 12 1

Colony 000 200 4 - 6 5 0

Juneau-Douglas - Watts, Dale (4), Rawson (5), McCormick (7) and Cesar. Colony - Allen, Ka.Ketchum (3), Methven (5) and Ryan. W - Watts. L - Allen. 2B - McCurley (JD), Cesar (JD). 3B - None. HR - Mallinger (JD).

Palmer 4, West Valley 3

Starter Keagan Norman threw 108 pitches over his seven-inning complete game effort to highlight his team’s victory in consolation action of the ASAA/First National Bank State Baseball Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage.

Norman escaped a bases-loaded jam in the sixth inning as he finished the game with four straight shutout frames. He got through the seventh inning with just seven pitches. He struck out two batters and allowed seven hits and four walks.

It was the first-ever win for the Moose in this their debut at the state tournament.

Palmer did all of its scoring in the third inning, keyed by Cade Holland’s two-run single and Skyler Hale’s two-out, go-ahead RBI single.

Palmer advanced to the fourth-place game Saturday at 10 a.m. against Chugiak in a battle between conference champions. West Valley’s season ended and the team tied for seventh.

West Valley’s London Emerson and Andrew Troppman combined for four of their team’s seven hits. They also took turns playing pitcher and catcher, serving as the team’s 1-2 punch.

Emerson and Troppman each were 2-for-2 with an RBI to help the Mid Alaska Conference champs build an early 3-0 lead.

West Valley 201 000 0 - 3 7 3

Palmer 004 000 x - 4 5 1

West Valley - Emerson, Troppman (4) and Troppman, Emerson (4). Palmer - Norman and Hale. W - Norman. L - Emerson. 2B - Coon (WV), Shults (P). 3B - None. HR - None.

Chugiak 5, North Pole 4

Brian Wing and Mason Peace each scored a run in the bottom of the seventh inning as the Mustangs came from behind to beat the Patriots in consolation action of the ASAA/First National Bank State Baseball Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage.

North Pole starter Gavin Fischer was one out away from collecting a complete-game win before a few defensive errors flipped the script. He pitched well enough to win in his 6.2 innings of work but, in the end, suffered only a hard-luck loss.

Peace hit the ball that led to the tying run and later scored the winning run.

Chugiak starting pitcher Braden Shackleford struck out 10 batters over seven innings.

North Pole’s Walker Stewart doubled and drove in two runs. Wyatt Kammer went 2-for-4 with a pair of extra-base hits.

The win allowed Chugiak to play one more game. The Mustangs will hit the field Saturday at 10 a.m. against Palmer/West Valley winner.

The loss eliminated North Pole, which tied for seventh place.

North Pole 201 100 0 - 4 8 3

Chugiak 020 100 2 - 5 7 2

North Pole - Fischer, Weatherspoon (7) and Schlenker. Chugiak - Shackleford and Costanios. W - Shackleford. L - Fischer. 2B - Kammer (NP), Wolfe (NP), Davis (C), Cambridge (C), Peace (C). 3B - Kammer (NP). HR - None.

State: Ketchikan, Juneau, South, Colony win openers

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 31, 2018

Day 1 scores: Ketchikan 11, West Valley 0; Juneau-Douglas 16, North Pole 4; South 14, Palmer 0; Colony 9, Chugiak 8

Colony 9, Chugiak 8

Kolten Ketchum’s two-run double in the bottom of the seventh inning provided a walkoff win for the Knights in the game of the day in the first round of the ASAA/First National Bank State Baseball Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage.

Trailing 8-3 after five innings, Colony rallied for four runs in the sixth and two more in the seventh to snap Chugiak’s nine-game winning streak and advance to the final four for the first time since 2014.

Colony will face Juneau-Douglas in the state semifinals Friday at 4 p.m.

Ketchum, who stood to be the losing pitcher after getting rocked in his start, also delivered a two-run double in the sixth to get the comeback started.

With one out in the seventh, Colony’s Ben Alley drew a walk on a full count and Joe Ryan walked on four straight balls. Trace Severson then reached on a fielder’s choice after a close play at second base. Two pitches later, the game was over.

Severson spun 4.2 innings of one-run relief and walked away with a winning decision.

Colony’s Kaden Ketchum had two RBIs, including a two-out, run-scoring single that tied the game at 8-8. Cooper Smith, Zach Satterly and Jeremy Allen also drove in runs.

Chugiak’s Mason Peace and Christian Cambridge each had two hits and two RBIs.

Brian Wing and DJ Davis drove in single runs for the Mustangs, the Cook Inlet Conference champions. It was just Chugiak’s third loss in 18 games this year.

Starting pitcher Ian Frizelle scattered seven hits and three walks over four innings of work and left with a 7-3 lead.

This was the first time Colony and Chugiak have met at the state tournament since 2009, when Chugiak won 7-3.

Chugiak will face North Pole in a loser-out game Friday at 10 a.m.

Chugiak 412 010 0 - 8 10 0

Colony 300 004 2 - 9 12 1

Chugiak - Frizelle, Wing (5), Hall (6), Cambridge (7) and Costanios. Colony - Ko.Ketchum, Severson (3) and Ryan. W - Severson. L - Cambridge. 2B - Davis (Ch), Satterfly (Co), Smith (Co), Ko.Ketchum 2 (Co). 3B - Ryan (Co). HR - None.

Ketchikan 11, West Valley 0

Starting pitcher Michael Starr didn't allow a base hit for five innings as the Kings scored early and often to beat the Mid Alaska Conference champions in the first round of the ASAA/First National Bank State Baseball Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage.

His only hiccup came in the fourth inning when he walked the bases loaded and then escaped the jam with a flyout, strikeout and groundout.

Starr also tripled and drove in a run for the Kings of the Southeast Conference.

Ketchikan’s Brock King went 3-for-3 with three RBIs. Gabe Bowlen and Wyatt Barajas each added two RBIs.

This was the third time these two teams met at the state tournament. In 2015, West Valley won 4-0. In 2009, Ketchikan prevailed 1-0.

Ketchikan will next play in the state semifinals Friday night at 7 against the winner of Palmer/South.

West Valley's Billy Renfrew, Gus Jensen and London Emerson drew walks. Emerson also struck out two batters in his one inning of relief.

The Wolfpack next play Friday at 1 p.m. in an elmination game against either Palmer or South.

Ketchikan 124 22 - 11 11 0

West Valley 000 00 - 0 0 3

Ketchikan - Starr and Albecker. West Valley - Jensen, Emerson (4), Lesneski (5) and Emerson, Troppman (4), Emerson (5). W - Starr. L - Jensen. 2B - Barajas (K). 3B - Starr (K). HR - None.

Juneau-Douglas 16, North Pole 4

The top of the lineup combined to go 8-for-11 with eight RBIs and seven runs to power the Southeast Conference champions to a mercy rule win in the first round of the ASAA/First National Bank State Baseball Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage.

Leadoff hitter Donavin McCurley went 2-for-5 with an RBI and three runs. He also pitched the first three innings and retired six of the final seven batters he faced.

Jacob Dale batted 3-for-3 with four RBIs and two runs. Michael Cesar – the reigning Gatorade Alaska Player of the Year – went 3-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs.

Kasey Wats and Luke Mallinger ripped triples for Juneau-Doulgas, which advanced to the state semifinals for the first time since 2015. The Bears will take on the Chugiak/Colony winner at Friday at 4 p.m.

North Pole banged out four doubles, including two by Ethan Wolfe. Walker Stewart doubled and had two RBIs.

Wyatt Fischer went 2-for-2 and drove in a run.

The Patriots will play either Chugiak or Colony in an elimination game Friday at 10 a.m.

Juneau-Douglas improved to 2-0 against North Pole at the state tournament. The Bears won the other meeting 10-0 back in 2007.

Juneau-Douglas 227 14 - 16 13 1

North Pole 200 11 - 4 7 4

Juneau-Douglas - McCurley, Rawson (4), McCormick (5) and Cesar. North Pole - Garcia, Christmann and Schlenker. W - McCurley. L - Garcia. 2B - Cesar (JD), Rivas (NP), Stewart (NP), Wolfe 2 (NP). 3B - Watts (JD), Mallinger (JD). HR - None.

South 14, Palmer 0

The Wolverines collected 20 hits and got six shutout innings from pitcher Terren Sugita to key a mercy rule win in the first round of the ASAA/First National Bank State Baseball Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage.

Sugita allowed two hits and six walks and danced around base runners to finish what he started. He struck out a half dozen and maintained his clean sheet after a runner was thrown out at the plate by third baseman Chase Subitch.

South’s Josh Costello went 4-for-4 with three RBIs and Luke Giffen was 3-for-3 and scored three times.

Cook Inlet Conference most valuable player Lian Lincoln batted 3-for-5 with an RBI and four runs. Jacob Woodall was 2-for-3 with three RBIs.

South advanced to the state semifinals for the eighth straight year.

The Wolverines will face Ketchikan at 7 p.m. Friday.

Meanwhile, Palmer was making its first-ever appearance at the state tournament.

The Southcentral Conference champions certainly weren’t overwhelmed by the pressure of the bright lights as the first three innings were tight.

The best scoring chances by Palmer came in the third inning after Owen Hayes led off with a double and in the fourth inning after James Nelson crushed a leadoff triple.

Palmer will hit the field again Friday at 1 p.m. against West Valley in a loser-out game.

South 200 345 - 14 20 0

Palmer 000 000 - 0 2 4

South - Sugita and Costello. Palmer - Guggenmos, Norman (6), Huddleston (6) and Hale. W - Sugita. L - Guggenmos. 2B - Hayes (P). 3B - Jessee (S), Nelson (P). HR - None.

Lincoln the latest South star to win CIC MVP honors

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 25, 2018

The 5-foot-11 senior center fielder led the league in hits, runs, triples and outfield assists, and was voted the Don Rabung CIC MVP.

He wasn’t necessarily the most dangerous hitter in the Cook Inlet Conference, but South’s Lian Lincoln no doubt did the most damage to opposing pitchers.

 

The 5-foot-11 senior center fielder led the Anchorage high school baseball league in hits, runs, triples and outfield assists, and last night was voted by league coaches as this season’s winner of the Don Rabung CIC MVP Award.

 

Lincoln is the fourth Wolverines all-star in six years to win the award, joining Jonny Homza in 2017, Willy Homza in 2015 and Max Karnos in 2013.

 

Lincoln won the CIC batting title with a .500 average in 10 games on 17-for-34 hitting. He scored 15 runs, ripped two triples and drove in eight runs, the fourth-highest RBI total in the league.

 

Defensively, he made all 10 putouts and added seven assists, including a double play. He also pitched three scoreless innings.

 

Lincoln and double-duty stud Jacob Woodall were the only South selections to the All-CIC First Team. Woodall tied for the league lead in RBIs (11) and pitching wins (3).

 

Other individuals honored included West’s Chris Crespo and Dimond’s Kaden Roettger sharing the Big Stick Award; Chugiak’s Braden Shackelford claiming the Gold Glove Award and Service’s Willie Paul earning Coach of the Year.

 

Cook Inlet Conference Baseball Awards

Don Rabung CIC MVP Award

Lian Lincoln South OF .500BA 8RBI 15R 4XBH .622OBP 9BB 5SB 1.000FLD 7OFA

Big Stick Award

Tie, Chris Crespo West .379BA 1HR 7RBI  

Kaden Roettger Dimond .379BA 1HR 9RBI

Gold Glove Award

Braden Shackelford Chugiak 1B 1.000FLD 71 defensive chances, including 3 DPs

Coach of the Year Award

Willie Paul Service Led No. 4 Cougars to upset wins over No. 1 South and No. 2 West in playoff round

FIRST TEAM

Starting pitcher

Leland Wilson West 4G 25IP 0.56ERA 3W-1L 44K

Andrew Jaidinger Service 5G 18.1IP 2.29ERA 3W-1L 16K

Jacob Woodall South 3G 18IP 2.33ERA 3W-0L 15K

Braden Olmstead Eagle River 3G 1W-1L 12IP 1.17ERA No-hitter

Relief pitcher

Kaden Roettger Dimond 5G 12.1IP 2.84ERA 1W-0L 20K

Justin Nevells Chugiak 4G 5.1IP 1.31ERA 2SV 4K

Catcher

Chris Malagodi Service 10G .333BA 9RBI 8R 5CS

First base

Jacob Woodall South 10G .370BA 11RBI 4R 4XBH

Second base

Connor Bates-Janigo Dimond 10G .393BA 7RBI 7R 2XBH

Third base

Chris Crespo West 9G .379BA 7RBI 4R 1HR

Shortstop

Ricky Gatter East 9G .412BA 2RBI 5R 3XBH

Outfield

Lian Lincoln South 10G .500BA 8RBI 15R 4XBH

Ian Frizelle Chugiak 7G .350BA 8RBI 9R 4BB

Brian Wing Chugiak 7G .313BA 3RBI 12R 2XBH

Utility

Quinn Bates-Janigo Dimond 10G .480BA 11RBI 7R 2XBH

Luis Nunez West 8G .346BA 3RBI 5R 1XBH

Designated hitter

Hutton Stiles Service 9G .364BA 3RBI 6R 2XBH

Recent Don Rabung CIC MVP Winners

2017 Jonny Homza South SS/SP .577BA 10RBI 15R .703OBP, 3W-0L 12.2IP 1.16ERA 19K

2016 Cody Curfman Chugiak SP/C 4W-0L 1.93ERA 16K 29IP .323BA 9RBI 32B 7SB 6CS 4PK

2015 Tie, Lucas Thorp Dimond 1B/RP .414BA 2HR 9RBI .759 SLG 1W-1L 2SV 2.69ERA 13IP

           Willy Homza, South SS .518BA 10RBI 7XBH .556OBP .938FLD

2014 Dalton Chapman West SP/1B 4W-0L 0.96ERA 1SV 77K 36IP .456BA, 15RBI 8XBH .711SLG

2013 Max Karnos South SP/1B 1W-1L 0.33ERA 35K (17 1 game) 20IP .429BA 8XBH 11RBI

2012 Zach Ferntheil Service SP/1B 3W-0L 2SV 1.12ERA 25K 18IP .423BA

SECOND TEAM

Starting pitcher

Chris Crespo West 3G 16IP 4.38ERA 1W-2L 21K

Jaren Childs Service 6G 18IP 3.89ERA 1W-2L 12K

Sam Hall Chugiak 3G 12.2IP 0.00ERA 2W-0L 4K

Garrett Nevells Chugiak 3G 13.1IP 2.63ERA 2W-1L 8K

Relief pitcher

Tony Maioriello South 2G 3IP 4.67ERA 1SV 8K

Ryan Wood Bartlett 3G 7.1IP 3.82ERA 0W-1L 6K

Catcher

Luke Langnes West 8G .333BA 8RBI 2R 1CS

Josh Costello South 10G .313BA 10RBI 6R 3PK

First base

Braden Shackelford Chugiak 6G .333BA 5RBI 4R 3BB

Second base

Sterling Retzlaff Eagle River 10G .357BA 6RBI 12R 2XBH

Third base

Kaden Roettger Dimond 10G .379BA 9RBI 8R 1HR

Shortstop

Jake Andresen Dimond 8G .389BA 5RBI 8R 2HR

Justin Nevells Chugiak 7G .409BA 7RBI 6R

Outfield

Sam Bourdon Service 10G .296BA 4RBI 8R 5BB

Braden Olmstead Eagle River 9G .261BA 1R 4SB

Abel Davis Eagle River 9G .301OBP 4R 1RBI

Utility

Christian Cambridge Chugiak 7G .263BA 4RBI 7R 6SB

HONORABLE MENTION

Starting Pitcher - Kyler Maisey Dimond

Relief Pitcher - Josh Linn Eagle River

Catcher - Chase McGraw Eagle River; Trystan Costanios Chugiak

First base - Leland Wilson West; Nathaniel Cole Service; Chase Solberg East

Second base - Reid Brock South; Brendan Miles Eagle River; Mitch Goudreau West

Third base - Erik White East; Mason Peace Chugiak  

Shortstop - Jack Opinsky West; Blake Bacho Bartlett; Luke Giffen South  

Outfield - Ian Byrd Bartlett

Utility - Taylor McCart Bartlett; Chase Subitch South

CIC LEADERS

Team Batting Average

.313 Dimond

.282 South

.277 Chugiak

.272 West

.255 Eagle River

.236 East

.235 Service

.143 Bartlett

Team Pitching ERA

1.87 Chugiak

2.10 South

2.45 West

3.75 Service

3.82 Eagle River

4.81 Dimond

9.78 East

15.16 Bartlett

INDIVIDUAL BATTING

Hits

17 Lian Lincoln South

12 Quinn Bates-Janigo Dimond

11 Chris Crespo West

10 Jacob Woodall South

10 Josh Costello South

10 Sterling Retzlaff Eagle River

9 Justin Nevells Chugiak

9 Chris Malagodi Service

9 Luis Nunez West

9 Reid Brock South

RBI

11 Quinn Bates-Janigo Dimond

11 Jacob Woodall South

10 Josh Costello South

9 Kaden Roettger Dimond

9 Chris Malagodi Service

9 Nathaniel Cole Service

8 Lian Lincoln South

8 Ian Frizelle Chugiak

8 Luke Langnes West

8 Kobe Vanderwood Dimond

Runs

15 Lian Lincoln South

13 Sean Carey Dimond

12 Brian Wing Chugiak

12 Sterling Retzlaff Eagle River

11 Nathaniel Cole Service

10 Chase Subitch South

10 Andrew Jaidinger Service

9 Shawn Jones West

9 Ian Frizelle Chugiak

9 Kobe Vanderwood Dimond

9 Reid Brock South

Home runs

2 Jake Andresen Dimond

1 Chris Crespo West

1 Kaden Roettger Dimond

1 Sean Carey Dimond

INDIVIDUAL PITCHING

Innings

25 Leland Wilson West

18.2 Jake Andresen Dimond

18.1 Andrew Jaidinger Service

18 Jaren Childs Service

16 Chris Crespo West

14.2 Billy Smith Chugiak

13.1 Garrett Nevells Chugiak

13 Thomas Zettler West

Wins

3 Jacob Woodall South

3 Leland Wilson West

3 Andrew Jaidinger Service

2 Billy Smith Chugiak

2 Garrett Nevells Chugiak

2 Sam Hall Chugiak

2 Kyler Maisey Dimond

2 Terren Sugita South

Saves

2 Justin Nevells Chugiak

1 Braden Olmstead Eagle River

1 Tony Maioriello South

1 Thomas Zettler West

1 Henry Helgeson Service

1 Nathaniel Cole Service

1 Brody Jessee South

Strikeouts

44 Leland Wilson West

24 Jake Andresen Dimond

21 Gage Webster South

21 Chris Crespo West

20 Kaden Roettger Dimond

18 Braden Schackelford Chugiak

16 Andrew Jaidinger Service

15 Jacob Woodall South

Chugiak, South earn walkoff wins to conclude playoffs

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 21, 2018

CIC Playoffs: Chugiak 9, Service 8; South 2, West 1. CIC Consolation: Dimond 11, Eagle River 1; Bartlett/East rained out

CIC Playoff Round

Chugiak 9, Service 8

The Mustangs twice rallied in the final two innings to stun the Cougars in extra innings at Bartlett High School and conclude Cook Inlet Conference play with their ninth consecutive victory, including a perfect 3-0 mark in the playoffs.

This win was as impressive as improbable as Chugiak stormed back from deficits of 7-2 in the seventh and 8-7 in the eighth before winning in walkoff fashion after Sam Hall drew a walk on a full count and with the bases loaded to plate Christian Cambridge.

Chugiak had already clinched the conference championship and a berth to the ASAA state tournament. Service, on the other hand, had to win this game to force an if-necessary game with South – a 2-1 winner over West in the other playoff game - for the league’s second state berth.

Service was riding a five-game winning streak and had knocked off No. 1 South and No. 2 West entering the night. It looked like Chugiak would be next, trailing by six runs and down to its final three outs.

But Chugiak has been the best team in the CIC all season and they showed it again as several guys played hero in the comeback. Jacob Kosinski, Ian Frizelle and Gus Lewis had RBIs in the seventh and Cambridge and Hall had RBIs in the eighth.

Service’s Jaren Childs went 2-for-4 with four RBIs. He also started and pitched well enough to win, allowing just three hits and three runs over six innings. His catcher Chris Malagodi was 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs.

Service 040 201 01 - 8 7 4

Chugiak 000 010 62 - 9 5 2

Service - Childs, Cole (7), Coats (8) and Malagodi. Chugiak - Schackelford, Wing (5), Cambridge (6) and Costanios. W - Cambridge. L - Coats. 2B - Malagodi (S). 3B - Conti (S). HR - None.

South 2, West 1

What started as an old-fashioned pitcher's duel ended in extra innings when Terren Sugita drove in the winning run as the Wolverines walked off on the Eagles at Mulcahy Stadium in a must-win playoff game for both teams.

Josh Costello led off the bottom of the eighth inning with a walk off West starter Leland Wilson, the best pitcher in the CIC this year. The starter was pulled after seven-plus in favor of reliever Luis Nunez, who uncorked two wild pitches that allowed Costello to race around to third base.

After West intentionally walked the next two batters to load the bases, Sugita shot a single to center field to score Costello with the game winner.

Both teams pitched and defended well enough to win as both starters completed seven innings and neither team committed an error.

South starter Jacob Woodall actually completed all eight innings with just 100 pitches. He scattered six hits and three walks. He struck out seven batters in what was nothing short of a playoff gem.

Wilson was a tough-luck loser as he allowed just two hits, but that leadoff walk in the eighth came back to bite him. The sophomore southpaw issued five walks but did strike out 10 batters, giving him 44 Ks in four league starts.

West took a 1-0 lead in the fifth inning after Nunez delivered a two-out base hit to score Declan Dammeyer. However, in the bottom half, South answered when Damian Mohl doubled and scored on Lian Lincoln's RBI single to tie it at 1-1.

South’s win, coupled with Service’s loss, means the Wolverines qualified for state for the eighth straight year

West 000 010 00 - 1 6 0

South 000 010 01 - 2 3 0

West - Wilson, Nunez (8) and Langnes. South - Woodall and Costello. W - Woodall. L - Wilson. 2B - Wilson (W), Mohl (2). 3B - None. HR - None.

CIC Consolation Round

Dimond 11, Eagle River 1

Kyler Maisey went 4-for-4 and was one of four Lynx to drive in a pair of runs in a six-inning win over the Wolves at Mulcahy Stadium.

Kobe Vanderwood, Quinn Bates-Janigo and Zack Jenkins also had two RBIs.

Jake Andresen pitched five innings and allowed just two hits and one run. He struck out seven batters.

Eagle River's Braden Olmstead and Christian Fredrick got base hits and Deven Wesolowski scored the teams' lone run.

Dimond 030 242 - 11 13 2

Eagle River 001 000 - 1 2 1

Dimond - Andresen, Roettger (6) and Carey. Eagle River - Miles, Linn (5) and Fredrick. W - Andresen. L - Miles. 2B - Q. Bates-Janigo (D), Andresen (D). 3B - None. HR - None.

Chugiak clinches state berth, 3 teams vie for other spot

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 19, 2018

CIC Playoffs: Chugiak 8, South 4; Service 10, West 7. CIC Consolation: Eagle River 6, East 3; Dimond 14, Bartlett 1

CIC PLAYOFF ROUND

Chugiak 8, South 4 (11)

The Mustangs exploded for four runs in the 11th inning to double up the Wolverines at Mulcahy Stadium and win the Cook Inlet Conference title as well as clinch a berth to the ASAA state tournament.

Chugiak has won eight games in a row.

Braden Schackelford and Justin Nevells had RBI singles and Mason Peace was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to knock in another run to highlight Chugiak’s crooked number.

At 8-1 with one game left Monday, Chugiak is two games up on the field as South, West and Service are all 6-3. One of those three teams will clinch the CIC’s other berth to the state tournament.

South, West and Service will all face must-win situations Monday. An if-necessary game is slated for Wednesday in case two teams are tied with the same record after 10 games.

Chugiak’s Sam Hall pitched 5.2 innings of scoreless relief to earn the win.

Ian Frizelle went 3-for-5, Trystan Costanios had two RBIs and Christian Cambridge went 2-for-5 with a double and RBI.

South’s Brody Jessee went 2-for-4 and tied the game at 4-4 in the fifth inning with a two-out RBI single.

Reid Brock, Damian Mohl and Ryan Bailey also had RBIs.

South starter Gage Webster struck out 11 batters over seven innings. Reliever Ryan Bailey had six Ks in 3.3 innings but ran into trouble in the 11th.

Chugiak 103 000 000 04 - 8 10 1

South 020 020 000 00 - 4 8 2

Chugiak - Smith, Hall (5), Nevells (11) and Costanios. South - Webster, Bailey (8), Hultberg (11) and Costello. W - Hall. L - Bailey. 2B - Cambridge (C). 3B - None. HR - None.

Service 10, West 7

Henry Helgeson pitched 5.2 innings and then moved to third base and immediately snared a line drive to end the scoring threat in what might have been the defining play of the game to carry the Cougars at Mulcahy Stadium.

Nathan Cole recorded a four-out save and Chris Malagodi had three RBIs for Service has won five games in a row to propel itself into a three-way chase with South and West for the CIC’s second and final berth to the ASAA state tournament.

Hutton Stiles stroked a pair of triples and finished 3-for-3 with three runs. Sam Bourdon and Dalton Conti also had RBIs.

The Cougars overcame six errors to hold off the Eagles.

West’s Declan Dammeyer and Leland Wilson each had two hits and an RBI.

Shawn Jones had three runs and three stolen bases. Chris Crespo had a base hit, RBI, run and pitched four innings.

Alex Alverez and Luke Langnes came out of the bullpen to allow just one run over three innings.

Service 090 000 1 - 10 6 6

West 310 012 0 - 7 8 2

Service - Helgeson, Cole (6) and Malagodi. West - Crespo, Alverez (5), Langnes (6) and Nunez. W - Helgeson. L - Crespo. Sv - Cole. 2B - Helgeson (S). 3B - Stiles 2 (S). HR - None.

CIC CONSOLATION ROUND

Eagle River 6, East 3

Daniel Bodine's two-out, two-run single in the fifth inning provided the Wolves some breathing room and a three-run cushion en route to win over the T-birds at Mulcahy Stadium.

Brendan Miles knocked in two runs. Sterling Retzlaff went 2-for-4 with a double, RBI and two runs. Kam Williams scored twice.

In the fourth, East pulled within 3-2 on RBI singles from Jalen John and Charlie White.

Starters Ricky Gatter of East and Aaron Davis of Eagle River were locked in a 3-2 duel through four innings before Bodine’s base hit.

East 000 201 0 - 3 3 3

Eagle River 003 021 x - 6 6 2

East - Gatter, Solberg (6) and Dunham. Eagle River - Davis, Miles (5), Bodine (6), Olmstead (7) and Linn. W - Davis. L - Gatter. Sv - Olmstead. 2B - Retzlaff (ER). 3B - None. HR - None.

Dimond 14, Bartlett 1

Jake Andresen and Sean Carey each hit inside-the-park home runs and drove in three runs as the Lynx pounded out their most runs in two weeks in a five-inning win at Mulcahy Stadium.

Quinn Bates-Janigo went 3-for-3 with a double and three RBIs.

Starter Kyler Maisey and reliever Conor Bates-Janigo struck out eight batters.

Bartlett's Taylor McCart went 2-for-2 with an RBI and Ian Byrd got a base hit and scored.

Bartlett 100 00 - 1 3 6

Dimond 167 0x - 14 9 0

Bartlett - McCart, Bishop (3), Bacho (3) and Cepeda. Dimond - Maisey, C. Bates-Janigo (4) and Dolan. W - Maisey. L - McCart. 2B - Q. Bates-Janigo (D). 3B - None. HR - Andresen (D), Carey (D).

Service stuns South, Chugiak runs away from West

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 18, 2018

CIC Playoffs: Service 6, South 5; Chugiak 8, West 2; CIC Consolation: Eagle River 14, Bartlett 2; Dimond 7, East 2

Service 6, South 5

Jaren Childs pitched the final six outs to record the save and save his team’s season as the Cougars avoided elimination in the Cook Inlet Conference playoffs at Mulcahy Stadium.

Service led 5-0 before holding on at the end, with Childs inducing a groundball to freshman shortstop Nick Coats, who made a nice play in the hole to register the final out.

The win helped the Cougars avenge a 10-0 loss to South and kept them alive for one of CIC's two berths to the ASAA state tournament.

With two games left in the CIC playoff round, Chugiak leads the way with a 7-1 mark with South (6-2) and West (6-2) one game ahead of Service (5-3).

The Cougars went ahead 6-2 in the fifth inning on Henry Helgeson’s two-out single that scored Childs from second base. Helgeson finished with two RBIs. Nathan Cole and Hutton Stiles added RBIs and leadoff hitter Chris Malagodi scored three runs.

South's Jacob Woodall, Gage Webster, Ryan Bailey and Luke Giffen drove in runs for the Wolverines.

Relief pitcher Reid Brock pitched 4.1 innings and allowed only two hits. Four South pitchers combined to issue 14 walks, but they also wiggled out of a lot of jams and forced Service to leave 14 runners on base.

The Wolverines (6-2) pulled within 6-4 in the sixth inning after Brock scored on a wild pitch and Gage Webster lofted a sacrifice fly.

In the seventh inning, Woodall doubled in a run to make it 6-5, but was left stranded in scoring position.

Service 113 010 0 - 6 7 0

South 000 202 1 - 5 6 2

Service - Jaidinger, Childs (6) and Malagodi. South - Sugita, Jessee (1), Brock (3), Lincoln (7) and Costello. W - Jaidinger. L - Sugita. Sv - Childs 2B - Woodall (So). 3B - None. HR - None.

Chugiak 8, West 2

Ian Frizelle cleared the bases with a two-out, three-run triple in the first inning to set the tone for the Mustangs at the Mulcahy Stadium as they beat the Eagles for the second time in the last week.

Frizelle finished with six RBIs as he added an RBI groundout in the third inning, a sac fly in the fifth and another RBI groundout in the seventh.

The win put Chugiak in a strong position to snag one of the two berths the Cook Inlet Conference receives to the ASAA state tournament with a one-game lead and two games to play.

Trystan Costanios had a sac fly for Chugiak, which manufactured eight runs despite having half that number of base hits.

Winning starter Garrett Nevells scattered eight hits over 5.1 innings.

West’s Luke Langnes got his team on the board in the first inning with a single to score Luis Nunez, who doubled with two outs to put himself in scoring position.

Chris Crespo crushed a solo home run in the seventh inning.

West starter Thomas Zettler didn’t pitch poorly but did yield six base on balls.

Chugiak 401 020 1 - 8 4 2

West 100 001 0 - 2 9 3

Chugiak - G. Nevells, Frizelle (6), J. Nevells (7) and Costanios. West - Zettler, Nunez (6) and Langnes. W - G. Nevells. L - Zettler. 2B - Nunez (W). 3B - Frizelle (C). HR - Crespo (W).

CIC CONSOLATION ROUND

Dimond 7, East 2

Kaden Roettger hit a home run and pitched all seven innings as the Lynx defeated the T-birds at the K fields.

Roettger finished 2-for-3 with two RBIs, a run and a walk. He carried a shutout into the sixth inning.

Conor Bates-Janigo went 2-for-4 with a double, RBI and two runs.

East's Ricky Gatter tripled and Jalen John and Azzur Neely had RBIs.

East 000 002 0 - 2 4 2

Dimond 040 102 x - 7 6 1

East - Oakley, John (5) and Dunham. Dimond - Roettger and Carey. W - Roettger. L - Oakley. 2B - C. Bates-Janigo (D). 3B - Gatter (E). HR - Roettger (D).

Eagle River 14, Bartlett 2

Ryan Gray went 3-for-3 with a double and was the winning pitcher to lead the Wolves to a win in five innings at the K fields.

Gray drove in two runs and scored twice. He struck out five baters over three innings of work.

Joshua Linn, Sterling Retzlaff and Daniel Bodine each finished with two RBIs.

Bartlett's Drake Hughes went 2-for-2 with an RBI and run. Taylor McCart went 2-for-3.

Bartlett 101 00 - 2 4 3

Eagle River 077 0x - 14 10 1

Bartlett - Borschnack, Hughes (3), Bacho (3) and McCart. Eagle River - Gray, Wesolowski (4) and Linn. 2B - Gray (ER). 3B - None. HR - None.

Johnson holds his own at NAIA Nationals Tournament

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 16, 2018

Indiana Wesleyan University freshman Parker Johnson of Anchorage hit .275 in 48 games. “The biggest part about college ball was learning what you’re good at and what you suck at and trying to improve …

The bright lights of the NAIA National Tournament didn’t intimidate Indiana Wesleyan University freshman Parker Johnson of Anchorage.

 

The third baseman went 3-for-9 and got base hits in both games as Indiana Wesleyan suffered consecutive losses and was eliminated from the Lawrenceville Bracket in Georgia.

 

“The national tournament was intense,” he told me. “I’m really excited to start the journey to get back there next year and put our team in a better position to make it to Lewiston.”

 

Johnson, of South Legion Post 4 fame, batted 2-for-5 with a double in a 10-7 loss to Point University of Georgia and 1-for-4 in a 12-2 loss to Lyon College of Arkansas.

 

Overall, he hit .275 in 48 games with eight doubles and 20 RBIs.

 

“The season was fun. I enjoyed playing so many games as opposed to the typical season in Alaska,” Johnson said. “I made a lot of adjustments on and off the field to try and improve my performance in games.

 

“The biggest part about college ball was learning what you’re good at and what you suck at and trying to improve the things you suck at quickly.”

Alaska Legion teams ready for new players with tryouts

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 15, 2018

The Legion season extends through August and features multiple tournaments for A and AA teams.

2018 Alaska Legion

Tryout Schedule

East Post 34

Manager: Kurt Solberg  

Phone/Email: 242-7406 babymoose97@hotmail.com

Tryout: Already happened, contact coach

Dimond Post 21

Manager: Dan Montagna

Phone/Email: 350-7342 dmontagna@nsales.com

Tryout: May 16, 4pm-5pm, Kosinski Fields

Eagle River 

Manager: Kurby Olmstead      

Phone/Email: 903-5860 kurby_o@hotmail.com

Tryout: May 17, 6pm-830pm, Loretta French Field

Service Post 28    

Manager: Willie Paul     

Phone/Email: 280-8439 williepaul1@live.com

Tryout: May 16, 4pm-5pm, Kosinski Fields

Chugiak Post 33   

Manager: Mark Bohrer

Phone/Email: 854-9397 mpbohrer@gci.net

Tryout: May 20, 1pm, Oberg Field

West Post 1

Manager: John Wilson

Phone/Email: 317-3757 jlwilson@gci.net

Tryout: May 17, 430pm, Kosinski Fields

South Post 4

Manager: Mike Webster

Phone/Email: 529-4205 mike@billsdistributing.com

Tryout: May 19, 12pm, Taylar Young Field

Bartlett Post 29    

Manager: Jason McCart

Phone/Email: 240-9984 comicbk@aol.com

Tryout: May 14 & May 16, 5-7pm, Polar Field

Wasilla Post 35    

Manager: Ken Ottenger 

Phone/Email: 301-4084 ottworks@yahoo.com

Tryout: TBD, contact coach

Fairbanks Post 11 

Manager: Rodney Perdue

Phone/Email: 978-1995 rod.perdue@foundationhealth.org

Tryout: TBD, contact coach

North Pole Post 30

Manager: Raymond Pulsifer

Phone/Email: 388-4255 rlpulsifer@yahoo.com

Tryout: May 20, 12pm-4pm, ARCO Field

Kenai Post 20      

Manager: Lance Coz

Phone/Email: 398-9077 lancecoz@hotmail.com

Tryout: June 1, contact coach

Juneau Post 25     

Manager: Jeremy Ludeman

Phone/Email: 723-9505 jeremy@juneauak.org

Tryout: TBD, contact coach

Ketchikan Post 3  

Manager: John Milner

Phone/Email: 220-7453 redmilner@gmail.com

Tryout: Already happened, contact coach

Kodiak Post 17    

Manager: Derek Clarkston

Phone/Email: 512-6828 theclarkston@gmail.com

Tryout: May 27, 5pm, Baranof Field

Palmer Post 15     

Manager: Tim Rockey

Phone/Email: 982-8939 timothy.rockey@gmail.com

Tryout: TBD, contact coach

Delta Post 22       

Manager: Sonny Zarecki

Phone/Email: (804) 994-4200 zareckiconstruction@hotmail.com

Tryout: TBD, contact coach

Round 7: Playoff teams West, Chugiak, South, Service win

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 14, 2018

CIC Scores: West 11, Eagle River 1; Chugiak 14, Dimond 3; Service 19, East 5; South 23, Bartlett 1

Service 19, East 5

Chris Duke went 4-for-4 with eight RBIs to lead the Cougars to a five=inning win at Mulcahy Stadium and their most runs against the T-birds in the 26-year history of the series.

Nathan Cole drove in four runs and scored four times. Carsen Sandau scored three times.

Service starter Jaren Childs got the win.

East’s Ricky Gatter 2-for-2 with a triple, run and stolen base. Hunter Deley had 2 RBIs and Zack Barnhart had an RBI and two stolen bases.

These teams have met 44 times since 1992, with each side winning 22 times.

Service 450 28 - 19 9

East 000 41 - 5 5 1

Service - Childs, Stiles (3), Malagodi (4), Cole (5) and Malagodi, Sandau (4). East - Solberg, Carle (2), John (2), Barnhart (5), Webster (5), Neely (5) and Dunham. W - Childs. L - Solberg. 2B - Duke (S). 3B - Gatter (E). HR - None.

South 23, Bartlett 1

The Wolverines banged out eight extra-base hits en route to a runaway victory over the Golden Bears at Bartlett High School in a win that clinched the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Cook Inlet Conference playoff round.

Jacob Woodall collected two doubles, three hits and five RBIs. Brody Jessee doubled twice and drove in four RBIs. Terren Sugina doubled, tripled and had four RBIs.

Chase Subitch was winning pitcher for South, which has won 16 straight games in the series dating back to 2005.

Bartlett’s Blake Bacho and Julian Cepeda had base hits and Cepeda scored his team's lone run.

South 694 04 - 23 19 0

Bartlett 000 01 - 1 2 3

South - Subitch, Mohl (3), Maioriello (5) and Costello, Griffin (5). Bartlett - Byrd, Bishop (2) and Cepeda, McCart (4). W - Subitch. L - Byrd. 2B - Subitch (S), Jessee 2 (S), Sugita (S), Woodall 2 (S). 3B - Lincoln (S), Sugita (S). HR - None.

West 11, Eagle River 1

Luke Langnes ripped three doubles and drove in two runs and starting pitcher Leland Wilson picked up his third league win as the Eagles cruised to a mercy rule win in six innings at Mulcahy Stadium.

Wilson struck out nine batters and allowed just two hits. The only run was unearned.

The sophomore southpaw has 34 strikeouts in 18 innings this season.

Chris Crespo went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs. Shawn Jones, Luis Nunez and Thomas Zettler also drove in runs.

Brendan Miles drove in his team's lone run - the second straight game he's done that. Last game it provided a 1-0 walkoff win.

In one of the more compeitive CIC series, Eagle River leads 12-9 since 2007.

Eagle River 000 010 - 1 2 2

West 002 153 - 11 6 1

Eagle River - Retzlaff, Bodine (4), Miles (5) and Fredrick. West - Wilson and Langnes. W - Wilson. L - Retzlaff. 2B - Langnes 3 (W). 3B - None. HR - None.

Chugiak 14, Dimond 3

Justin Rocco Nevells went 4-for-5 to highlight a 10-hit attack as the Mustangs pulled away for a mercy rule win in six innings at Bartlett High School.

Mason Peace, Christian Cambridge and Austin Bull each had two RBIs.

Christian Cambridge's 2-run triple put Chugiak ahead for good at 4-3 in the third inning.

Chugiak pitchers Bill Smith and Samuel Hall combined to pitch four shutout innings to end the game.

Dimond's Quinn Bates-Janigo drove in a run and Sean Carey, Kaden Roettgher and Jack Dolan scored runs. Roettger was his team's most effective pitcher with 2.1 innings of one-run relief.

Since 1992, Chugiak and Dimond have played each other 52 times with each side winning 26 times.

Dimond 210 000 - 3 4 1

Chugiak 016 106 - 14 10 1

Dimond - Andresen, Roettger (3), Coplin (6), Maisey (6), Carey (6) and Dolan. Chugiak - Smith, Hall (5) and Costanios. W - Smith. L - Andresen. 2B - Roettger (D), Frizelle (C), J. Nevells (C). 3B - Cambridge (C). HR - None.

Round 6: Olmstead throws traditional no-hitter in walkoff

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 12, 2018

CIC Scores: Eagle River 1, Dimond 0; Chugiak 4, West 2; South 10, East 0; Service 16, Bartlett 6

Eagle River 1, Dimond 0

Braden Olmstead pitched a no-hitter for seven innings but had to wait for a walkoff win to celebrate at Mulcahy Stadium.

Sterling Retzlaff smashed a leadoff triple to right field and scored two pitches later on a soft single to left field by Brendan Miles. Once the game ended, the Eagle River players rushed the field in celebration that ended with Olmstead being mobbed.

The sophomore southpaw needed only 70 pitches and faced the minimum 21 batters.

This no-hitter was different than others in the Cook Inlet Conference in recent years because he got 21 outs. It’s a traditional no-no. Not one of those abbreviated, mercy-rule shortened deals.

Dimond's Kaden Roettger walked in the second inning and was erased on a double play. Another Dimond base runner was caught stealing after reaching on an error.

Defensively, Eagle River center fielder Abel Davis made a nice diving catch and first baseman Miles made a couple nice catches on pop ups under windy conditions.

Eagle River has four of the last five meetings with Dimond, yet the Lynx still hold an 11-5 edge since 2007.

Dimond 000 000 0 - 0 0 1

Eagle River 000 000 1 - 1 7 1

Dimond - Maisey and Dolan. Eagle River - Olmstead and Fredrick. W - Olmstead. L - Maisey. 2B - None. 3B - Retzlaff (ER). HR - None.

Chugiak 4, West 2

Justin Rocco Nevells drove go-ahead run in the fifth inning and pitched the final four outs for the save to lead the Mustangs over the previously league unbeaten Eagles at Mulcahy Stadium.

Christian Cambridge led off the fifth with a walk and then stole two bases before eventually coming home on a two-out single by Nevells. Cambridge also drove in a run with an RBI single in the sixth inning.

Garrett Nevells pitched 3.2 innings of relief to earn the win.

West starter Chris Crespo allowed only three hits and two walks over six strong innings of work. Jack Opinsky went 2-for-3 with two runs.

Luke Langness tripled and joined Thomas Zettler with RBIs for the Eagles.

Chugiak has won five straight in the series and leads the all-time matchup 32-11 since 1992.

West 000 010 1 - 2 6 4

Chugiak 100 021 x - 4 3 1

West - Crespo and Langnes. Chugiak - Frizelle, G. Nevells (3), J. Nevells (6) and Costanios. W - G. Nevells. L - Crespo. Sv - J. Nevells. 2B - None. 3B - Langness (W). HR - None.

Service 16, Bartlett 6

In one of the wildest games of the CIC season that featured four lead changes and three ties over six innings, the Cougars finally put it away with an 11-run sixth inning to win my mercy rule at Mulcahy Stadium.

Nathan Cole went 3-for-4 and had three RBIs over two at-bats in the final inning, first driving in the go-ahead run with a single and then ending the game with a two-run single.

Service’s Carsen Sandau went 2-for-2 and added three RBIs, three runs and three stolen bases. Sam Bourdon went 3-for-4 with an RBI.

In the fifth, Bartlett’s Connor Sessoms and Julian Cepeda delivered back-to-back two-out RBI singles to tie the game at 4-4. In the sixth, Ryan Wood’s two-run single put the Bears up 6-5. Wood also pitched 5.1 innings in a strong start.

Service leads the all-time series 36-6 since 1992.

Bartlett 200 022 - 6 5 2

Service 021 11(11) - 16 11 2

Bartlett - Wood, McCart (6), Bacho (6) and Cepeda. Service - Helgeson, Coats (4), Conti (5) and Malagodi. W - Conti. L - McCart. 2B - None. 3B - None. HR - None.

South 10, East 0

South starter Terren Sugita allowed no hits over five innings of work as the Wolverines blanked the T-birds in a mercy-run shortened game at Mulcahy Stadium.

Sugita also doubled in a run to help his own cause.

The Wolverines managed just four hits but took advantage of 11 walks and two hit batsmen.

Lian Lincoln went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs. Chase Subitch scored twice, had a double and stole a base.

East's Luke Webster drew a walk and Gavin Oakley, Charlie White and Chase Solberg each were hit by pitch.

South now leads the all-time series 14-3 since 2005.

East 000 00 - 0 0 3

South 513 1x - 10 4 0

East - White, John (1), Oakley (3) and Dunham, Neely (3). South - Sugita and Costello, Mohl (4). W - Sugita. L - White. 2B - Subitch (S), Sugita (S). 3B - None. HR - None.

Petterson wins again, continues to deal in NWAC

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 10, 2018

Soldotna's Gavin Petterson has a 2-0 record and 2.14 ERA in his last two starts with Columbia Basin College.

With back-to-back wins, Soldotna's Gavin Petterson continued his last-season surge for Columbia Basin College of the NWAC.

 

The right-handed pitcher struck out a season-high five batters in 5.2 innings of work in a 7-5 win over Yakima Valley.

 

This comes after he spun seven innings of three-hit ball in a 7-1 win over Big Bend Community College.

 

Petterson, of Kenai Legion Post 20 fame, improved to 3-1 in 13 appearances, most of them in relief.

 

He's also got three saves, showing his versatility on the bump.

 

Petterson has a 2.14 ERA over his last 12.2 innings.

Round 5: West beats South in battle of CIC unbeatens

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 10, 2018

CIC scores: West 5, South 4; Chugiak 18, Bartlett 0; Service 8, Dimond 4; Eagle River 14, East 4

West 5, South 4

Five was the magic number for the Eagles, who used five straight hits to fuel a five-run third inning to get them to 5-0 in the Cook Inlet Conference after winning the battle of unbeatens at Mulcahy Stadium.

That big inning was all West needed as the victory snapped South's 14-game winning streak in league games dating back to a 6-0 loss to Service in 2016.

Shawn Jones, Jack Opinsky and Chris Crespo each had had RBIs for the Eagles.

West starter Thomas Zettler went all seven innings, scattering six hits and four walks. Just one run was earned.

South starter Gage Webster also went the distance and struck out 10 batters, having only that one bad inning. Lian Lincoln doubled, tripled and scored a run. Chase Subitch collected his team's only RBI.

South still leads all-time series 16-6

South 100 000 3 - 4 6 3

West 005 000 x - 5 6 1

South - Webster and Costello. West - Zettler and Langnes. W - Zettler. L - Webster. 2B - Lincoln (S), Jessee (S). 3B - Lincoln (S). HR - None.

Service 8, Dimond 4

Shutout in each of the last three games, the Cougars broke out of their slump with 11 hits and a five-run first inning to carry them to a much-needed victory at Mulcahy Stadium.

Henry Helgeson and Andrew Jaidinger each went 2-for-4 with a triple and two RBIs. Helgeson also doubled. Chris Malagodi, Nathan Cole and Dalton Conti also drove in runs for Service.

Jaidinger pitched five innings and allowed just one earned run.

Two of Dimond’s three hits went for triples from Kobe Vanderwood and Sean Carey. Conor Bates-Janigo batted in his team's only RBI and pitched three innings.

Service beat Dimond for the third straight time and increased its advantage to 27-22 in the all-time series since 1992.

Service 501 002 0 - 8 11 4

Dimond 101 100 1 - 4 3 2

Service - Jaidinger, Childs (6) and Malagodi. Dimond - C. Bates-Janigo, Smith (4), Q. Bates-Janigo (5), Dolan (6) and Carey. W - Jaidinger. L - C. Bates-Janigo. 2B - Helgeson (S). 3B - Conti (S), Jaidinger (S), Vanderwood (D), Carey (D). HR - None.

Eagle River 14, East 4

Aaron Davis went 3-for-4 with four RBIs, two runs and two stolen bases to lead the Wolves to a win at Mulcahy Stadium in five innings due to the mercy rule.

Sterling Retzlaff scored four runs. Josh Linn, Brendan Miles and Abel Davis each had a base hit, an RBI and a run.

Eagle River starter Daniel Bodine pitched four innings to earn the decision, thanks in part to zero walks.

East’s Gavin Oakley went 2 for 3 with two runs and two stolen bases.

Ricky Gatter and Charlie White had RBIs. Relief pitcher Ian Carle struck out three of the four batters he faced.

Eagle River now leads the series 13-5 since 2007

East 012 01 - 4 5 5

Eagle River 414 5x - 14 8 3

East - White, Solberg (1), Carle (3), Camacho (4) and Dunham, Gatter (3). Eagle River - Bodine, Linn (5) and McGraw, Frederick (4). W - Bodine. L - White. 2B - Linn (ER). 3B - None. HR - None.

Chugiak 18, Bartlett 0

Braden Schackelford put in a dominating performance at Mulcahy Stadium to help the Mustangs roll to their 12th straight win over the Golden Bears.

Schackelford and Gus Lewis combined to hold Bartlett to no hits and no walks in a five-inning game shortened to the mercy rule.

Schackelford struck out eight of nine batters he faced. He also went 3-for-4 with a double and three RBIs. 

Bartlett reliever Tyler Borschnack issued no walks in four innings of work.

Chugiak now leads series 36-11 since 1992

Chugiak (12)00 06 - 18 14 0

Bartlett 000 00 - 0 0 4

Chugiak - Schackelford, Lewis (4) and Wing. Bartlett - Bishop, Borschnack (2) and McCart. W - Schackelford. L - Bishop. 2B - Wing (C), Smith (C), Schackelford (C). 3B - Peace (C). HR - None.

Round 4: South, West, Chugiak, Eagle River post wins

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 7, 2018

CIC scores: South 9, Dimond 5; Chugiak 12, East 0; West 6, Service 0; Eagle River 11, Bartlett 0

South 9, Dimond 5

The top of the lineup set the tone for the Wolverines as Lian Lincoln, Chase Subitch and Jacob Woodall combined for five hits, five runs, three walks and two RBIs at Bartlett High School.

South built a 7-0 cushion off Dimond ace Jake Andresen after scoring three runs in the first inning, three in the second and another in the third.

Anthony Maioreillo added two RBIs and Reid Brock and Gage Webster each drove in one.

Woodall started and pitched five innings before giving way to Brody Jessee, who pitched two shutout innings of relief.

Dimond's Conor Bates-Janigo went 3-for-3 with a double and three RBIs. Quinn Bates-Janigo drove in another run. Andresen, who settled down on the mound after a rough start, scored two runs along with battery mate Jack Dolan.

South leads the all-time series 17-7 since 2005.

Dimond 000 230 0 - 5 8 2

South 331 002 x - 9 12 1

Dimond - Andresen, Roettger (6) and Dolan. W - Woodall. L - Andresen. Sv - Jessee. South - Woodall, Jessee (6) and Costello. 2B - C. Bates-Janigo (D), Subitch (S). 3B - None. HR - None.

Chugiak 12, East 0

Justin Rocco Nevells went 3-for-5 with three RBIs and starting pitcher Sam Hall pitched 5.1 innings as the Mustangs ran wild at Mulcahy Stadium

Chugiak's Billy Smith doubled and drove in two runs.Gus Lewis and Mason Peace also doubled.

Hall allowed just hits on the mound.

East's Ricky Gatter had a base hit and two stolen bases.

Erik White singled and didn't pitch poorly as the starter, as just one of three runs he surrendered in 3.1 innings was earned.

Chugiak leads 29-18 since 1992.

Chugiak 101 050 5 - 12 9 1

East 000 000 0 - 0 4 1

Chugiak - Hall, Wing (6), Cambridge (7) and Peace. East - White, John (4), Carle (7) and Dunham. W - Hall. L - White. 2B - Smith (C), Lewis (C), Peace (C). 3B - None. HR - None.

West 6, Service 0

Leland Wilson struck out 13 batters over six innings and the Eagles scored four runs in the second inning to beat the Cougars at Mulcahy Stadium.

It was the first win for the Eagles over Service since 2014

Wilson also got a hit and drew a walk. His battery mate Luke Langnes had two RBIs.

West’s Sam Joling singled, walked, stole a base and scored twice.

Hutton Stiles reached base twice for Service on a single and walk.

Service still leads all-time series 35-14 since 1992.

Service 000 000 0 - 0 2 4

West 140 100 x - 6 9 2

Service - Childs, Coats (3), Conti (5) and Malagodi. West - Wilson, Nunez (7) and Langnes. W - Wilson. L - Childs. 2B - Crespo (W). 3B - None. HR - None.

Eagle River 11, Bartlett 0

Deven Wesolowski and Aaron Davis each had two hits and two RBIs in a five-inning game shortened because of the mercy rule at Bartlett High School.

Chase McGraw and Brendan Miles also had two hits apiece. McGraw, Davis, Joshua Linn and Abel Davis scored two runs.

Taylor McCart got Bartlett's only hit.

Pitchers Sterling Retzlaff and Miles combined to strike out seven batters and walk just one.

Eagle River leads the all-time series 14-5 dating back to 2007.

Eagle River 123 41 - 11 14 2

Bartlett 000 00 - 0 1 2

Eagle River - Retzlaff, Miles (4) and Linn. Bartlett - McCart, Wood (5) and Cepeda. W - Retzlaff. L - McCart. 2B - None. 3B - None. HR - None.

Kenai Legion alums finish 1-2 for batting title in Arizona

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 6, 2018

Kenai's Paul Steffensen and Soldotna's Jake Darrow finished 1-2 for the batting title in the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference.

The batting title chase in the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference was a two-man race between a couple of guys from the same Kenai Peninsula community.

 

Kenai's Paul Steffensen and Soldotna's Jake Darrow battled down to the wire after spending much of the season matching each other knock for knock and taking turns leading the league in hitting.

 

Steffensen’s .404 average edged his baseball buddy for the title by just five percentage points in race that came down to the final few at-bats. Darrow finished at .399.

 

“Both of us are very highly competitive and I definitely wanted to beat him,” Darrow told me. “I think I probably wanted to beat him more than actually win the batting title, but I never wanted to see him fail. I just wanted to do better.”

 

Both players made Alaska baseball look good, especially the Kenai Legion Post 20 program where they played. Steffensen won a state title with the Twins in 2016 and Darrow won a state championship in 2012.

 

In 2018, both players were named first team all-stars in the ACCAC.

 

“I think (our success) says a lot about baseball players out of the Kenai Peninsula and Alaska as a whole,” Darrow said. “It just goes to show that it doesn’t matter where you come from if you work hard enough.”

 

Steffensen is a freshman left fielder for Mesa Community College. He led the league with 84 hits in 54 games, including a league-high 10 triples. He was fifth with 117 total bases.

 

He got a base hit in his first game and kept it going, reaching 26 straight games, which is believed to be the longest hitting streak by a collegiate player from Alaska.

 

“I just try to simplify things as much as I can,” Steffensen told me. “It’s still baseball wherever you’re playing it. Yeah, the pitching is going to be better and the teams will be better, but for the most part it’s still baseball.”

 

Darrow is a sophomore center fielder for Eastern Arizona College. He had 65 hits in 47 games and batted .519 in his team’s 16 wins. He also struck out only 14 times in 184 plate appearances.

 

He returned to competitive baseball in 2017 for the first time in three years after sitting out as a redshirt at another school and then taking part in a two-year religious mission.

 

Darrow’s past prepared him for success in the future.

 

“Being a part of the American Legion in Alaska and Post 20 program was some of the best years of my life and we always competed and played hard,” Darrow said. “Post 20 has had great coaches involved for years who have focused on playing the game the right way.”

Round 3: Pitching leads West, Dimond, South, Chugiak

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 5, 2018

CIC scores: West 11, East 0; Dimond 22, Bartlett 0; South 10, Service 0; Chugiak 5, Eagle River 1

Chugiak 5, Eagle River 1

Pitchers Ian Frizelle and Justin Nevells limited the Wolves to three hits and benefited from a late explosion from the offense to lead the Mustangs at Mulcahy Stadium.

Seven different Chugiak players got hits, five drove in runs and five scored runs - Brian Wing did all three.

Mason Pearce, DJ Davis, Nevells and Sam Hall also had RBIs for Chugiak.

Eagle River's Sterling Retzlaff went 2-for-3 and drove in Abel Davis with his team's only run. Starter Daniel Bodine didn't pitch poorly in the tough-luck loss, giving up five hits and no walks over five innings.

Chugiak leads the series 13-2 since 2007

Eagle River 000 010 0 - 1 3 1

Chugiak 000 212 x - 5 7 0

Eagle River - Bodine, Linn (6) and McGraw. Chugiak - Frizelle, J. Nevells (6) and Costanios. W - Frizelle. L - Bodine. Sv - J. Nevells. 2B - None. 3B - None. HR - None.

South 10, Service 0

Terren Sugita spun five innings of one-hit pitching and the Wolverines used an eight-run outburst in the fifth inning to break away from the Cougars at Mulcahy Stadium.

Josh Costello went 4-for-4 with a double and four RBIs for South, which won its 13th straight league game.

Sugita also doubled and drove in a run. Lian Lincoln went 2-for-3 with two RBIs, a run and stolen base.

Service’s Henry Helgeson and Carsen Sandau each got base hits. Nathaniel Cole threw two scoreless innings of relief.

South now leads all-time series 15-11 dating back to 2005.

South 010 080 1 - 10 8 2

Service 000 000 0 - 0 2 3

South - Sugita, Lincoln (6) and Costello, Hultberg (7). Service - Jaidinger, Helgeson (4), Cole (6) and Malagodi. W - Sugita. L - Jaidinger. 2B - Costello (So), Sugita (So). 3B - None. HR - None.

West 11, East 0

Chris Crespo allowed no hits and no walks over six innings in a game shortened due to the mercy rule at Mulcahy Stadium.

He retired the first 14 batters before East's Zack Barnhart reached on catcher's interference. Crespo struck out 10 of the 19 batters he faced.

West’s Sam Joling had two RBIs. Luis Nunez, Luke Langnes and Sterling Wanamaker each drove in runs. Wanamaker went 3-for-4 and also scored twice. Shawn Jones scored four times and stole three bases.

East still leads the all-time series 32-15 dating back to 1992.

West 220 322 - 11 8 1

East 000 000 - 0 0 3

West - Crespo and Langnes. East - Camacho, Solberg (2), Carle (4), Webster (6) and Dunham. W - Crespo. L - Camacho. 2B - None. 3B - None. HR - None.

Dimond 22, Bartlett 0

Quinn Bates-Janigo batted 4-for-4 to lead a 19-hit attack for the Lynx in a five-inning, mercy-rule game at Mulcahy Stadium.

Kobe Vanderwood and Kaden Roettger each had two hits, a double, three RBIs and scored twice.

Sean Carey had two RBIs, two stolen bases and scored three runs.

Bartlett's Tyler Borschnack and Drake Hughes got base hits and Julian Cepeda stole three bases.

Dimond increased its lead to 32-14 in the all-time series dating back to 1992.

Bartlett 000 00 - 0 2 6

Dimond 488 2x - 22 19 1

Bartlett - Wood, McCart (2), Bishop (3) and Cepeda. Dimond - Maisey, C. Bates-Janigo (4) and Dolan. W - Maisey. L - Wood. 2B - Roettger (D), Vanderwood (D). 3B - None. HR - None.

Round 2: South, Chugiak, Dimond win; West earns forfeit

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 3, 2018

CIC scores: South 3, Eagle River 1; Chugiak 11, Service 0; Dimond 21, East 5; West 7, Bartlett 0

South 3, Eagle River 1

Lian Lincoln took care of the offense and pitchers Brody Jessee and Ryan Bailey combined for eight strikeouts as the Wolverines won their 12th consecutive CIC league game in a win streak that dates back to last year.

Lincoln went 3-for-4 with two runs, a double and stolen base. He was on base in the first inning when a balk was called, moving him into scoring position. He later scored on Josh Costello’s RBI single.

In the next inning, Lincoln and Anthony Maioriello each scored runs on RBIs from Luke Giffen and Jacob Woodall.

Eagle River’s Joshua Linn scored his team's lone run and pitched three shutout innings of relief. Josh Agron singled and stole two bags.

South increased its lead to 12-2 in the all-time series since 2007.

South 120 000 0 - 3 6 5

Eagle River 000 001 0 - 1 5 2

South - Jessee, Bailey (4) and Mohl, Costello (7). Eagle River - Olmstead, Linn (5) and McGraw. W. - Bailey. L - Olmstead. 2B - Lincoln (S). 3B - None. HR - None.

West 7, Bartlett 0 forfeit

The Golden Bears did not have enough players to field a team.

Chugiak 11, Service 0

Billy Smith faced the minimum 18 batters on his way to pitching 1-hitter over his six-inning complete-game effort at Bartlett High School to help the Mustangs continue their recent success against the Cougars.

Smith needed only 56 pitches and faced only one 3-ball count. He struck out four and walked zero as Chugiak improved to 6-1 against Service since 2015.

Garrett Nevells had two RBIs and joined Christian Cambridge, Ian Frizelle and Smith to collect a hit, a run and an RBI. Bran Wing doubled and had two stolen bases.

Service pinch-hitter Hutton Stiles broke up the no-hitter with a leadoff single but was erased the very next play on a double play.

Service still leads the all-time series 28-21 dating back to 1992.

Chugiak 020 063 - 11 6 0

Service 000 000 - 0 1 4

Chugiak - Smith and Costanios. Service - Childs, Andrew (5), Coats (5), Conti (6) and Malagodi. W - Smith. L - Childs. 2B - Wing (C). 3B - None. HR - None.

Dimond 21, East 5

After inking his letter of intent earlier in the day, Jake Andresen put his signature on a big win with a home run at the K fields as the Lynx beat the T-birds for the sixth straight time since 2013.

The Mesa CC-bound all-star went 3-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs.

Dimond’s Kaden Roettger went 2-for-4 with three RBIs and he also pitched a scoreless inning, striking out the side. Kobe Vanderwood scored four runs and Kyle Masiey tripled.

Erik White drove in two runs for East, which scored five runs in the second inning. Jalen John, Gavin Oakley and Zack Barnhart also drove in runs.

East still leads the all-time series 25-21 since 1992

Dimond 364 107 - 21 17 0

East   050 000 - 5 6 9

Dimond - Smith, Roettger (5), Dolan (6) and Carey. East - Carle, Solberg (2), John (4), Oakley (6), Gatter (6), Barnhart (6) and Gatter, Dunham (4). W - Smith. L - Carle. 2B - White (E). 3B - Maisey (D). HR - Andresen (D).

Fazzini has been an extra-base machine for Mt. Hood

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 2, 2018

Anchorage' s Julito Fazzini has raised his batting average 26 points and slugging percentage 53 points since April 25 for Mt. Hood Community College.

Anchorage' s Julito Fazzini doubled for the third consecutive game to continue his extra-base assault on opposing pitchers in the NWAC.

 

The Mt. Hood Community College sophomore catcher went 1-for-2 with a two-bagger, walk and RBI in a 6-4 loss to Southwestern Oregon.

 

His last four hits have gone for doubles.

 

Fazzini, of South Legion Post 4 fame, has raised his batting average 26 points and slugging percentage 53 points since April 25.

Round 1: West, East, Service, South prevail in CIC openers

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 1, 2018

CIC scores: West 4, Dimond 1; East 15, Bartlett 2; Service 2, Eagle River 1; South 7, Chugiak 2

West 4, Dimond 1

Leland Wilson struck out 12 batters over six innings of work as the Eagles beat the Lynx for the first time since 2014 at the K fields.

Thomas Zettler drove in two runs and pitched a scoreless seventh inning to earn the save.

The game was a pitcher's duel between Wilson and Dimond ace Jake Andresen, who pitched all six innings for the Lynx.

Chris Crespo and Jack Opinsky also had RBIs for West.

Dimond's Quinn Bates-Janigo drove in his team's lone run and Conor Bates-Janigo was the only player in the game with two hits.

Dimond still leads West 32-14 in the all-time series dating back to 1992.

Dimond 000 100 0 - 1 3 3

West 010 003 x - 4 6 2

Dimond - Andresen and Dolan. West - Wilson, Zettler (7) and Langnes. W - Wilson. L - Andresen. Sv - Zettler. 2B - None. 3B - None. HR - None.

East 15, Bartlett 2

The T-birds unleashed a 15-hit attack and got two hits from five different players en route to their sixth straight win over the Golden Bears at Bartlett High School.

Erik White pitched all five innings and struck out eight batters. He went 2-for-3 with a triple, RBI and run.

Octavius McCleskey, Gavin Oakley, Chase Solberg and Ian Camargo each had a pair of RBIs.

Bartlett's Julian Cepeda drove in his team's only RBI. Blake Bacho and Ian Byrd scored runs.

East now leads Bartlett 37-18 in the all-time series dating back to 1992.

East 071 61 - 15 15 1

Bartlett 001 10 - 2 2 4

East - White and Dunham. Bartlett - McCart, Bacho (5) and Cepeda. W - White. L - McCart. 2B - White (E), Gatter (E), Solberg (E). 3B - White (E). HR - None.

Service 2, Eagle River 1

Andrew Jaidinger pitched five strong innings and scored the winning run as the Cougars earned their sixth straight win over the Wolves at the K fields.

With the game tied at 1-1 in the fifth inning, Jaidinger reached base after he was hit by a pitch. He was moved to second on Carsen Sandau's sac bunt and scored on a single by Jaren Childs.

Childs went 1-for-3 with an RBI and run. Henry Helgeson pitched two innings to earn the save.

Eagle River starter Sterling Retzlaff was the hard-luck loser, allowing only three hits and a walk over six innings of wonderful work.

Service now leads Eagle River 13-3 in the all-time series dating back to 2007.

Service 000 110 0 - 2 3 1

Eagle River 000 100 0 - 1 4 4

Service - Jaidinger, Helgeson (6) and Malagodi. Eagle River - Retzlaff, Linn (7) and McGraw. W - Jaidinger. L - Retzlaff. Sv - Helgeson. 2B - Linn (ER). 3B - None. HR - None.

South 7, Chugiak 2

Jacob Woodall didn't allow an earned run over five innings and Josh Costello drove in two runs as the Wolverines pulled away from the Mustangs at Bartlett High School.

South has won five straight head-to-head meetings, but this is the closest CIC series tied at 12-12 since 2005.

Lian Lincoln, Luke Griffin, Reid Brock, Damian Mohl and Woodall all had one RBI.

Anthony Maioriello got the save after he entered in the sixth with a 4-1 lead and finished the game.

Justin Nevells and Mason Peace drove in runs for Chugiak. Brian Wing had two hits and Christian Cambridge tripled and scored.

South 000 040 3 - 7 6 2

Chugiak 100 000 1 - 2 7 1

South - Woodall, Maioriello (6) and Costello. Chugiak – G.Nevells, Frizelle (5), Cambridge (7), Lewis (7) and Costanios. W - Woodall. L – G.Nevells. Sv - Maioriello. 2B - Costello (S), Woodall (S). 3B - Cambridge (C). HR - None. 

Seattle reliever Bonck earns hold, win in WAC series

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Apr 30, 2018

Ketchikan’s Nathan Bonck registered a hold and earned the win in back-to-back games as Seattle inched closer to third place in the NCAA D1 Western Athletic Conference.

Ketchikan’s Nathan Bonck played a pivotal role out of the Seattle University bullpen to help the Redhawks claim a series win against Cal State Bakersfield.

 

The left-hander’s fingerprints were all over two wins as the sophomore registered a hold and earned the win in back-to-back games as Seattle inched closer to third place in the NCAA D1 Western Athletic Conference.

 

He worked the seventh and eighth innings to hold the lead in an 8-6 win, striking out four of the nine batters he faced. He gave up one hit, walks and an unearned run.

 

The next day Bonck worked 2.1 innings in relief to earn his third win of the season in a 10-4 victory. He gave up three hits and a run.

 

For the season, the 6-foot-5 former Gatorade Alaska Player of the Year has a 3-1 record and 3.31 ERA. He has struck out 17 batters in 16.1 innings over a dozen appearances.

Davis strikes out season-high 9 batters for Dean

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Apr 28, 2018

Anchorage's Gaten Davis went all seven innings of an 8-3 win over Becker College in NCAA D3 action in Massachusetts.

In his final start of the season, Dean College freshman Gaten Davis of Anchorage had a season-high nine strikeouts on his way to pitching his third complete game.

 

The big right-hander went all seven innings of an 8-3 win over Becker College in NCAA D3 action in Massachusetts.

 

Davis, of East Legion Post 34 fame, allowed six hits and five walks. He had five shutout innings and allowed only one run after the first frame.

 

He won two games and earned a save for the 11-win Bulldogs.

 

Davis led Dean in appearances (14), strikeouts (40) and ERA (5.57). He was second with 42 innings.

Wall throws 118-pitch CG, now to 5-0 on the year

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Apr 26, 2018

Juneau’s Philip Wall leads the University of Northwestern-St. Paul in wins (5), ERA (2.39) and complete games (4).

Juneau’s Philip Wall tossed another gem for the University of Northwestern-St. Paul.

 

The freshman starting pitcher went the distance to highlight an 8-2 win over Crown during NCAA D3 action in Minnesota.

 

He threw 118 pitches en route to his fourth complete game, but the first time he went all nine innings.

 

Wall, of Juneau Legion Post 25 fame, improved to 5-0 in eight appearances.

 

He leads his team in wins and ERA (2.39) and ranks second with 52.2 innings.

Montagna hits grand slam, drives in 5 for Hibbing

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Apr 24, 2018

Anchorage's Dylan Montagna crushed a grand slam and drove in a career-high five RBIs for Hibbing in a 15-6 victory over Itasca in NJCAA action in Minnesota

Anchorage's Dylan Montagna made the most of his opportunities with the bases loaded for Hibbing Community College.

 

The freshman slugger crushed a grand slam and drew a walk in that situation, helping him drive in a career-high five RBIs in a 15-6 victory over Itasca in NJCAA action in Minnesota.

 

Montagna, of Dimond Legion Post 21 fame, ranks second on the team with two home runs and 14 RBIs in 15 games.

 

He is hitting .303 and has nearly as many walks (9) as strikeouts (12).

Fitka 6th Alaskan to pitch all 9 innings at D1 level

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Apr 22, 2018

Anchorage's Joe Fitka made Alaska history when the Chicago State University starter pitched a 9-inning complete game in a 4-3 win over Utah Valley in the windy city.

As a closer on a struggling team, Anchorage’s Joe Fitka figured the best way to get an opportunity to finish a game was to start one.

 

Then he went out and still finished it.

 

The Chicago State University sophomore right-hander threw a 5-hit complete game on 140 pitches to highlight a 4-3 walkoff win over Utah Valley University in the Western Athletic Conference.

 

“I felt good,” Fitka told me. “My splitter got me some good Ks; my curve was a little up at times but pretty good when needed; and my fastball was on command for the most part.”

 

Fitka, of Dimond Post 21 fame, walked two, struck out five and gave up just one earned run.

 

Chicago State fell behind 3-0 after an error allowed two unearned runs to score, but Fitka stayed strong and didn’t focus on the score.

 

“I just decided that I needed to get my team back into the game and I went out there and put up zeros, which let my team have a good opportunity to score some runs,” he said. “I wouldn’t go as far as best outing of my life, but yes it was a great outing and I look forward to more good outings in the future. My stuff was on. Never know what you got until you are throwing your warm-ups.”

 

Fitka is just the sixth Alaska pitcher to throw all 9 innings in a NCAA D1 game.

 

The other five are Anchorage’s Max Karnos with Sacramento State in 2016, Sitka’s Matt Way with Washington State in 2009, Anchorage’s Corey Madden with Saint Mary’s in 2006, Anchorage’s Anton Maxwell with Oregon State in 2005 and Juneau’s Dylan Hickey with Dayton in 2003.

 

Fitka improved his record to 1-2 in 13 appearances, including four starts. He also owns a team-best three saves, making him one of only three Alaskans to get a win and a save in the same D1 season, joining Madden in 2006 and Juneau’s Chad Bentz with Long Beach State in 2001.

 

“I think that’s a pretty crazy thing to think about,” Fitka said of the historic significance of his CG. “I went from closer to starter because I was mad that our team wasn’t getting me in a position to come in and get the save or pitch in general.”

Monaghan collects 5th win for Feather River

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Apr 21, 2018

Wasilla’s Nolan Monaghan bounced back from rough start to finish with five scoreless innings in 12-4 win over Lassen in California.

Wasilla’s Nolan Monaghan of Feather River Community College worked around some early damage to ultimately put the hurt on his opponent.

 

The sophomore southpaw finished his start with five scoreless innings in a 12-4 win over Lassen Community College in Quincy, California.

 

He pitched seven innings and worked around seven hits and three walks and fell behind 3-0 and 4-3 before shutting it down.

 

Monaghan, of Wasilla Legion Post 35 fame, improved to 5-1 in eight starts this year.

 

He has struck out 31 batters in 43.1 innings and owns a 3.32 ERA.

 

Feather River (26-9) won 16 of 20 regular-season games to clinch the team’s ninth straight Golden Valley Conference championship.

Johnson's progression continues at Indiana Wesleyan

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Apr 19, 2018

Anchorage's Parker Johnson has seen his batting average steadily climb since the beginning of the NAIA season for Indiana Wesleyan University.

It took Parker Johnson of Anchorage a little bit of time on a college field to get warmed up before his swing came alive for Indiana Wesleyan University.

 

The freshman left fielder has seen his batting average steadily climb since the beginning of the NAIA season.

 

He hit .182 in February and .303 in March before ripping off a .350 clip so far in April.

 

Johnson, of South Legion Post 4 fame, is hitting .299 in 34 games with 15 RBIs and 12 runs.

 

He’s also walked 14 times to help bolster a .393 on-base percentage, which ranks second on the team and 27 points higher than the team average.

 

Indiana Wesleyan is 28-14 on the season, 14-5 for first place in the Crossroads League.

Homza raises batting average 45 points in a week

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Apr 16, 2018

Anchorage’s Willy Homza went 8-for-17 over the last week to raise his batting average 45 points to .250 after 26 games with Ivy League's Brown University.

The best hitting stretch of his college career has helped Anchorage’s Willy Homza get on track at Brown University.

 

The Ivy League player from Alaska went 8-for-17 over the last week to raise his batting average 45 points to .250 after 26 games with the NCAA D1 school.

 

Homza, of South High fame, leads Brown with eight doubles and is third with 25 hits.

 

The junior shortstop has one home run, 11 RBIs, 11 runs and three stolen bases.

 

Defensively, he owns a .941 fielding percentage on 118 total chances and has a hand in 17 double plays.

Davis works overtime to get first college win for Dean

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Apr 14, 2018

Anchorage's Gaten Davis threw 125 pitches and worked all eight innings in a complete-game effort for Dean College of Massachusetts.

Anchorage's Gaten Davis threw 125 pitches en route to collecting his first collegiate win in a complete-game effort for Dean College of Massachusetts.

 

The former East Legion Post 34 ace worked all eight innings in a NCAA D3 game scheduled to go seven as Dean beat Elms College 4-3 in walk-off fashion.

 

The 6-foot-6 freshman right-hander struck out five and worked around seven hits and three walks.

 

With his team nursing a 3-1 lead after six innings, Davis gave up a pair of runs in the top of the seventh that tied the game and forced extra innings.

 

In the eighth inning, Davis pitched a perfect inning and struck out the final batter he faced.

 

He improved to 1-1 with a save and 4.11 ERA in 11 appearances. He has 27 strikeouts in 30.2 innings.

 

Davis has a 2.15 ERA over his last two starts.

Darrow’s .413 average atop Arizona collegiate league

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Apr 12, 2018

Soldotna’s Jake Darrow of Eastern Arizona College owns a two-point lead in the race for the ACCAC batting crown with two weeks left in the regular season.

He’s the league’s best hitter on the last-place team, so you know opponents try to pitch around Soldotna’s Jake Darrow of Eastern Arizona College.

 

It doesn’t matter.

 

Darrow still wins most one-on-one battles.

 

The Alaskan leads the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference with a .413 batting average after 43 games.

 

Eastern Arizona College sits 14th in the ACCAC with a 6-20 record and owns a 16-27 overall record.

 

Darrow is also among the league leaders with a .452 on-base percentage.

 

The sophomore center fielder is 62-for-150 at the plate with 23 RBIs, 22 runs and 13 stolen bases.

 

The former Kenai Legion Post 20 star owns a two-point lead in the race for the ACCAC batting crown with two weeks left in the regular season.

Wall comes up big when it matters most, stays unbeaten

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Apr 11, 2018

Juneau’s Philip Wall of the University of Northwestern-St. Paul did a marvelous job of shutting down Northland batters with runners on base en route to 5-2 win in Minnesota.

Juneau’s Philip Wall of the University of Northwestern-St. Paul scattered 13 hits over a career-high 8.1 innings in a 5-2 win over Northland College in Minnesota.

 

The freshman right-hander improved his record to 4-0 on the NCAA D3 season.

 

Wall pitched a 1-2-3 inning only once and threw from the stretch basically the entire time because there were so many base runners.

 

However, he did a marvelous job of keeping them from scoring as he held Northland batters to 3-for-22 hitting with runners on base.

 

Wall lowered his season ERA to 1.75 in 36 innings over six appearances.

Dimond scores clean sweep over Southeast competition

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Apr 10, 2018

The Lynx beat Juneau-Douglas, Ketchikan, Sitka and Thunder Mountain by a 21-9 combined score at high school tournament in Sitka.

No doubt Dimond all-star Jake Andresen is the driving force behind the Lynx.

 

He’s a college-ready pitcher and one of the best hitters in the Cook Inlet Conference.

 

But the senior standout knows baseball is a team game and he was quick to credit the unsung underclassmen, a group of guys Dimond will need this year to contend for a conference championship.

 

The Lynx looked like the total package at last week’s high school tournament in Sitka, where they earned a clean sweep over Southeast teams with four wins by a 21-9 combined score.

 

“The younger guys on the team showed up and really proved themselves and showed they could play on the team,” Andresen told me. “I’d say the key to our success this weekend was we played very well together as a team, and individually everyone played great.”

 

Count him among those individuals.

 

The Mesa Community College commit batted 5-for-10 with four extra-base hits and four RBIs. Other hitting stars for Dimond were Quinn Bates Janigo [.417] and Jack Dolan [.375].

 

“With hitting, we now have a 70-foot hitting cage, and I think that really helped improve with everyone’s swing before seeing real live pitching,” Andresen said. “We were aggressive, but also patient.”

 

Andresen and Kaden Roettger each pitched scoreless appearances.

 

“Coach Josh Ellis really emphasized first-pitch strikes and pounding the strike zone, and executing important two-strike pitches,” Andresen said. “Once I got the first strike I felt like I had already won the at-bat. Getting into an 0-2, 1-2 count really helped set up my curveball.”

 

Fazzini's 2-run double gets Mt. Hood going in NWAC win

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Apr 8, 2018

Anchorage's Julito Fazzini lined a two-run double and later scored to spark Mt. Hood’s 10-5 victory over Lane during NWAC action in Oregon

With his team down 5-0 after the top of the first inning, the Mt. Hood Community College Saints needed something to turn the tide.

 

Enter Julito Fazzini.

 

The Anchorage catcher lined a two-run double and later scored to highlight a four-run bottom of the first and spark Mt. Hood’s 10-5 victory over Lane Community College during NWAC action in Oregon.

 

Fazzini, of South Legion Post 4 fame, finished 2-for-3 in the game.

 

The sophomore cleanup hitter is hitting .250 with six RBIs in 16 games.

Treasure Valley’s Berg won’t get cheated at the dish

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Apr 6, 2018

Wyatt Berg of Fairbanks has four hits - and two of them were smacked out of the ballpark.

Wyatt Berg of Fairbanks hit his second home run of the season and drove in a career-high four RBIs for Treasure Valley Community College in a 9-8 loss to Walla Walla.

 

The sophomore catcher finished 2-for-4 in the game, which was the nightcap in a NWAC doubleheader in Ontario, Oregon.

 

The former Alaska Legion all-star has seven RBIs in 11 games.

 

Berg does not get cheated at the plate, with two of his four hits being smacked out of the park.

 

But he doesn’t just swing at anything, as evidence of a game March 24 when he walked three times in four at-bats.

Steffensen collects 5 hits for second time for Mesa

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Apr 5, 2018

Kenai’s Paul Steffensen went 5-for-6 with 10 total bases in a 16-5 victory over Eastern Arizona College and is now hitting .400 after 39 games.

Most players only dream of collecting five hits in a game, but Kenai’s Paul Steffensen is making that reality a regular occurrence.

 

The Mesa Community College freshman went 5-for-6 with 10 total bases in a 16-5 victory over Eastern Arizona College in the Arizona Community College Athletic Association.

 

The left fielder collected two triples, a double and two singles. He also drove in three runs and scored three times.

 

He also went 5-for-6 in late February against Gateway Community College.

 

Steffensen, of Kenai Legion Post 20 fame, ranks third in the league with a .400 batting average in 39 games.

 

He had a 26-game hitting streak earlier this season and has delivered a base hit in 35 of 39 games.

Bynum reaches another major milestone at college level

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Apr 3, 2018

Northern Illinois University senior Scooter Bynum of Fairbanks recently joined the 100-RBI club to become rare 200-hit, 100-run, 100-RBI college player from Alaska.

Scooter Bynum of Fairbanks continues to carve out his place in history among the greatest college baseball players from Alaska.

 

The Northern Illinois University senior standout surpassed the third major milestone of his career by adding his name to the 100-RBI club.

 

In the last few weeks he’s also surpassed the 200-hit and 100-run plateau, a rarity for college players from Alaska.

 

Bynum was the Gatorade Alaska Player of the Year in baseball and basketball in 2014 and that same year was drafted in the 18th round by the Cincinnati Reds – the third-highest non-pitcher pick from Alaska.

 

He went to school rather than play in the minor leagues to begin his pro career.

 

The center fielder played his first two seasons at Arizona Western College before transferring to Northern Illinois, a NCAA D1 program in the Mid-America Conference.

 

In 185 career games, Bynum has collected 206 hits, 120 runs and 103 RBIs.

Wall improves to 3-0 for D3 school in Minnesota

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Mar 31, 2018

Juneau's Philip Wall scattered nine hits over his seven-inning complete-game effort as the University of Northwestern-St. Paul upset No. 24 Bethel College in Minnesota.

Juneau's Philip Wall scattered nine hits over his seven-inning complete-game effort as the University of Northwestern-St. Paul knocked off the No. 24 NCAA D3 baseball team.

 

The former Juneau Legion Post 25 right-hander gave up no earned runs, struck out one batter and didn't walk anybody to highlight a 5-1 win over Bethel College in St. Paul, Minnesota.

 

Wall improved to 3-0 on the season and lowered his ERA to 1.95 in 27.2 innings.

 

In all three wins, he has pitched all seven innings for the complete game. He owns one shutout and a 12-to-4 strikeout to walk ratio.

 

Wall also plays the field when he’s not pitching, mostly second base and sometimes right field.

 

He is batting .250 in 20 at-bats with one RBI and one stolen base.

 

Ross hits team-leading 6th homer for Corban University

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Mar 30, 2018

Ben Ross of Wasilla is tied for the team lead with six home runs for Corban University in Salem, Oregon.

Ben Ross of Wasilla is tied for the team lead with six home runs for Corban University in Salem, Oregon.

 

The senior slugger crushed a two-run shot in the first inning of a 12-2 loss to Oregon Tech in the NAIA’s Cascade Collegiate Conference.

 

He finished the month of March with five home runs, including a stretch of three games in a row against Whitman College.

 

Ross is hitting .271 with 27 RBIs in 37 games.

West Eagles split first 2 games at San Diego tourney

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Mar 27, 2018

The West Eagles beat Foothills Christian before falling to Placer at the high school San Diego Lions Club Invitational.

The West Eagles officially kicked off high school baseball for the Cook Inlet Conference as they opened the season in sunny California.

 

Shawn Jones, Jack Opinsky and Chris Crespo each delivered RBIs in a three-run sixth inning to propel West to a 5-3 win over local team Foothills Christian at the San Diego Lions Club Invitational.

 

Three Eagles players pitched with Leland Wilson starting and going 4.2 innings, Luis Nunez coming in relief to get the win and Thomas Zettler coming in to close it out for the save.

 

On Day 2, West dropped an 8-2 decision to Placer of Auburn, California.

 

The game was tied at 2-2 in the fifth before Placer broke open the game. Crespo drove in a run and Opinski had two hits.

 

West will face Central Union tomorrow.

Montagna hits first homer, has 4 RBIs in one game

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Mar 26, 2018

Anchorage Dylan Montagna of Hibbing Community College finished with a home run, double and four RBIs in a 15-12 victory over Dakota in NJCAA action in Minnesota.

Last summer in Alaska, Dylan Montagna of Anchorage was arguably the state’s most prolific power hitter.

 

He’s now turning into one at Hibbing Community College in Minnesota.

 

The freshman first baseman hit his first home run, doubled and drove in four runs in a 15-12 victory over Dakota in NJCAA action.

 

The former Dimond Legion Post 21 all-star has three extra-base hits and eight RBIs in his last three games.

 

He is 8-for-16 with four walks on the season.

 

Last year, Montagna won the Big Stick Award for the Cook Inlet Conference and BP Invitational.

Darrow's .426 batting average is 3rd in ACCAC

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Mar 26, 2018

Soldotna's Jake Darrow leads his Eastern Arizona team and ranks third in the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference with a .426 batting average.

Soldotna slugger Jake Darrow is soaring as a sophomore with Eastern Arizona.

 

The former Kenai Legion Post 20 all-star leads his team and ranks third in the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference with a .426 batting average.

 

Darrow has collected 46 hits in 31 games and been walked [10] more than he’s struck out [9].

 

The Darrow name should ring a bell with Alaska Legion fans. Jake was part of Kenai’s state title in 2012 and little brother Josh was part of the 2016 championship squad.

 

They are now back together at Eastern Arizona.

 

Darrow returned to competitive baseball last year for the first time in three years after sitting out as a redshirt at another school and then taking part in a two-year religious mission.

 

He hit .282 as a freshman before getting back his timing this year and going on a tear.

 

Darrow leads Eastern Arizona in batting average, RBIs [17], doubles [4] and slugging percentage [.481]. He's also 8-of-10 on stolen bases.

Starter-turned-closer Davis gets first save with Dean

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Mar 25, 2018

Dean College's newly minted closer Gaten Davis of Anchorage notched his first save and extended his scoreless streak in a 4-2 win over Newbury in Massachusetts.

Anchorage's Gaten Davis is the new closer for the Dean Bulldogs.

 

The freshman right-hander has gone from starting games to finishing them and he picked up his first save with the NCAA D3 college in Town of Franklin, Massachusetts.

 

The 6-foot-6 pitcher worked around a two-out walk to close out a 4-2 win over Newbury and extend his scoreless streak.

 

Gaten, of East Legion Post 34 fame, hasn’t given up a run in his last 5.1 innings of work.

 

He has struck out nine batters in 10 innings in six appearances.

Fitka, Chapman accomplish big things in WAC for Alaska

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Mar 21, 2018

Anchorage's Joe Fitka of Chicago State and Anchorage's Dalton Chapman of Grand Canyon have accomplished big things for Alaska in the Western Athletic Conference.

They pitch for different teams in the Western Athletic Conference, but Joe Fitka of Chicago State and Dalton Chapman of Grand Canyon are both from Anchorage.

 

And together both 6-foot-5 right-handers have accomplished big things for the state of Alaska at college baseball’s top level.

 

Fitka leads Chicago State with three saves and is believed to be the first Alaska pitcher to earn a save in a NCAA D1 game since 2015 when Anchorage’s Corey Madden did it with Saint Mary’s.

 

Meanwhile, Chapman has a 2.73 ERA over his last four appearances and earned the win against Kansas to make him the first Alaskan to do that in a D1 game since 2016 when Max Karnos of Anchorage did it with Sacramento State.

 

Grand Canyon will host Chicago State in a three-game series starting Friday in Phoenix, Arizona.

 

Fitka, of Dimond Legion Post 21 fame, has emerged as the Chicago State closer and is 3-for-4 in save opportunities. His last appearances came against nationally ranked Central Florida.

 

Two of his saves were of the six-out variety.

 

Fitka [0-1] has struck out 17 batters in just 12.2 innings.

 

Chapman, of West Legion Post 1 fame, threw a season-high 3.2 innings against Kansas and continued a strong surge after a rough start to the season.

 

The beginning was brutal for Chapman, who allowed nine runs and five extra-base hits in his first three appearances stretching just 4.2 innings.

 

Since then, though, he’s been lights out and allowed just one extra-base hit over the last 6.2 innings.

 

Last year, Chapman carved up the NWAC with a 1.91 ERA in 14 starts.

Bynum bangs out 200th base hit of college career

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Mar 19, 2018

Northern Illinois outfielder Scooter Bynum of Fairbanks became the third Alaskan since 2001 to collect 200 career base hits at the college level.

After winning Gatorade state player-of-the-year honors in basketball and baseball as a senior in high school, Scooter Bynum of Fairbanks had his choice of what sport to play in college.

 

He picked baseball and never looked back.

 

Bynum was drafted in the MLB in 2014 but instead went to school, where he has enjoyed historic success by becoming the just the third Alaskan since 2001 to collect 200 career base hits at the college level.

 

He joined an exclusive club that already included a pair of hitters from Juneau in Lance Ibesate, who collected his 200th hit with Jamestown in 2014, and Rob Conway, who did it with Iowa State in 2001.

 

“I always thought basketball was my thing and what would help me pay for college. When I chose baseball, I didn’t realize how hard the game was mentally not only physically,” Bynum told me.

 

“You can hit all day and it still may not click when the lights come on. It’s all about attitude and confidence.”

 

Bynum, of Fairbanks Legion Post 30 fame, has banged out 75 hits in 72 games at Northern Illinois, a NCAA D1 school in the Mid-American Conference. Before that he had 125 hits in 105 games at Arizona Western.

 

The outfielder is hitting .313 in 177 career games.

 

Conway reached the 200-hit milestone at Mendocino College and Iowa State. Afterwards he played three seasons of independent pro ball.

 

Bynum hopes to go pro after college as well.

 

“I’m not done yet,” he said. “I’m just trying to elongate my career as long as possible. I’ve always just wanted to be the best player I can be. I’m just happy I’ve had good people in my life that support me.

 

“We need more people in my city and state taking the game serious. I would love to be a guy who makes it and actually comes back to Alaska.”

Wall throws CG in first start for Northwestern Eagles

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Mar 12, 2018

Philip Wall of Juneau needed just 81 pitches to complete a 4-1 victory in seven innings in his first start with the University of Northwestern in St. Paul, Minnesota.

University of Northwestern-St. Paul’s Philip Wall of Juneau threw everything he had at Bethany College and it proved to be more than enough.

 

The freshman right-hander needed just 81 pitches to complete a 4-1 victory in seven innings in Florida, where the NCAA D3 school from Minnesota is currently taking part in a 10-game tour through the sunshine state.

 

Wall, of Juneau Legion Post 25 fame, struck out only one batter while allowing five hits and one walk. He pitched to contact and trusted his defense to make plays behind him.

 

“I relied on my two-seam fastball but threw a generous amount of off-speed pitches to keep the hitters off balance,” he told me. “My slurve was breaking sharper than normal due to a moderate wind out to left field. Along with the slurve, my circle change and knuckleball were breaking nicely and I was able to utilize them in various counts.”

 

Wall played an instrumental part in helping Juneau win last summer’s Alaska Legion State Tournament championship.

 

This was his first start with Northwestern-St. Paul.

 

“I just kept telling myself that I had a job to do and to make the most of the opportunity I had been given,” he said. “To settle my nerves throughout the game, I try to not think of games as 7 or 9 segments with increasing pressure and intensity, but one continuous flow of energy and concentration.”

Steffensen extends hitting streak to 26 games for Mesa

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Mar 11, 2018

Mesa Community College freshman outfielder Paul Steffensen of Kenai extended his hitting streak to 26 games and leads the league in triples and ranks second with a .450 batting average.

Kenai’s Paul Steffensen is piecing together one of the finest hitting performances among college players from Alaska.

 

Like. Ever.

 

The freshman outfielder with Mesa Community College extended his hitting streak to 26 games with a solid 3-for-8 effort in a doubleheader split against Cochise College in Arizona.

 

Official records are not kept for hitting streaks, but my research revealed that Steffensen's current stretch is the longest in recent memory among Alaskans at the college level.

 

Steffensen, of Kenai Legion Post 20 fame, leads the league in triples and ranks second with a .450 batting average in 100 at-bats.

 

He has played in 27 games – one more than his streak – because he entered one game as a pinch runner in the seventh inning but did not get a plate appearance.

 

The former Alaska Legion State Tournament MVP has compiled 29 runs, 22 RBIs and 10 extra-base hits, including five triples.

 

He’s also 12-for-12 on stolen bases.

 

Steffensen doesn’t go to the plate just looking to take his hacks. He’s patient and precise in what pitches he selects to swing his bat.

 

The 5-foot-9 speedster has walked [8] more than he’s struck out [6] and owns a .495 on-base percentage.

Johnson makes the most of limited at-bats in college

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Mar 4, 2018

Freshman outfielder Parker Johnson of Anchorage is finding different ways to be productive despite batting near the bottom of the order.

Anchorage’s Parker Johnson enjoyed a productive weekend at the plate for Indiana Wesleyan during a weekend road series against Cumberland in Tennessee.

 

The starting left fielder had two hits in the opener, a 5-3 loss that snapped the team’s five-game winning streak.

 

Later in the series, Johnson laid down a squeeze bunt in the fourth inning to give Indiana Wesleyan a 4-3 lead in an eventual 6-4 loss.

 

The freshman is hitting near the bottom of the batting order, so he has seen only 19 at-bats in his first eight college games.

 

Yet the South Post 4 all-star has still managed to find ways to contribute with four base hits, four walks and two sacrifice bunts.

Ross has hit safely in 13 of last 15 games for Corban

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Mar 1, 2018

Corban University senior Ben Ross of Wasilla has hit safely in 13 of the last 15 games and finished the month of February with a .300 batting average.

The weather is warming up and Ben Ross’ bat is heating up for Corban University in Salem, Oregon.

 

The senior outfielder from Wasilla finished the month of February with a .300 batting average after going 15-for-50 at the plate.

 

He has hit safely in 13 of the last 15 games, a hot streak that helped the Alaskan raise his batting average 64 points to .275.

 

Ross, of Wasilla Post 35 fame, just had his 9-game hitting streak snapped and is currently riding a 4-game streak.

 

He ranks third on his team with five doubles and is one of six players at Corban to reach double figures in RBIs [10].

 

Ross has one home run, giving him six for his career.

 

Two years ago, he hit five bombs at Blue Mountain Community College en route to earning All-NWAC honors and winning the team MVP award. He did not play last season.

 

Monaghan mows down batters for Feather River

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Feb 22, 2018

Wasilla's Nolan Monaghan has won three of his first four starts on the mound for Feather River College and recently had his scoreless streak snapped at 17.2 innings.

Wasilla's Nolan Monaghan has won three of his first four starts on the mound for Feather River College of the California Community College Athletic Association.

 

The left-handed pitcher also owns a sparkling 1.85 earned-run average with 23 strikeouts in 24.1 innings.

 

The former Wasilla Post 35 all-star recently had his scoreless streak snapped at 17.2 innings.

 

Monaghan started the season with an 11-K performance before back-to-back effort without giving up a run.

 

He’s getting it done with pinpoint control, having issued only five walks on the year.

 

Look for Monaghan to earn another start in the Shasta series this weekend.

Steffenson starts college career w/ 9-game hit streak

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Feb 15, 2018

Kenai's Paul Steffenson is playing like a MVP early into his career with Mesa Community College in Arizona.

Nine games into his freshman season at Mesa Community College and Kenai's Paul Steffenson is playing like a MVP.

 

The speedy outfielder leads the Arizona team in hits, total bases, stolen bases and on-base percentage.

 

He is hitting .517 and owns a nine-game hitting streak.

 

Steffenson, of Kenai Post 20 fame, has swiped seven bags and ranks second with nine RBIs.

 

He has struck out only once in 32 plate appearances.

 

Mesa is 8-1 in his nine appearances.

 

Pigg picks up first win for No. 1 Lewis-Clark State

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Feb 10, 2018

Lewis-Clark State freshman reliever Raleigh Pigg of Anchorage made a dynamic debut with two shutout innings and was rewarded with his first college win.

Lewis-Clark State freshman reliever Raleigh Pigg of Anchorage made a dynamic debut with two shutout innings and was rewarded with his first college win.

 

The 6-foot-3 right-hander struck out four of nine batters he faced and got two more hitters to ground out in a 5-4 walkoff win over Concordia in Lewiston, Idaho.

 

“It's a pretty great feeling,” Pigg told me about getting the win in his first appearance.

 

Lewis-Clark State – the No. 1-ranked NAIA team – scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning.

 

“I knew there was a chance I could be coming in at any time during any game, so when coach told me to get ready I was ready for it,” he said. “Once I took the mound my adrenaline was definitely pumping, though, and there were some nerves, but I settled down after a batter.”

 

Pigg, of Service Post 28 fame, worked around two hits and a walk, thanks to his command with his fastball and slider.

 

“I was really confident with both pitches and I spotted them both up well,” he said. “My confidence I really high right now. Leading up to the games this weekend and throughout the spring I have thrown well in intrasquads, so I was confident I would be able to throw good when I got the chance in a game.”

 

New Legion AA divisions released for '18, '19 seasons

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jan 31, 2018

Each Legion AA team plays 18 league games – 14 divisional games and 4 crossover games with the other division. The top eight teams advance to the State Tournament and the bottom eight play in the Mats…

The Alaska Legion Baseball standings will have a new-look the next few summers.

 

Every two years the league switches up the two 8-team divisions in an attempt to mix it up and give teams the opportunity to play new teams.

 

Each Legion AA team plays 18 league games – 14 divisional games and 4 crossover games with the other division.

 

The top eight teams advance to the State Tournament and the bottom eight play in the Matson Invitational. Both tournaments are July 26-31 in Anchorage.

 

The ALB season begins the last Saturday in May.

 

National Division

Bartlett Post 28

Chugiak Post 33

Eagle River

East Post 34

Fairbanks Post 11

Juneau Post 25

Wasilla Post 35

West Post 1

American Division

Dimond Post 21

Kenai Post 20

Ketchikan Post 3

Kodiak Post 17

Palmer Post 15

North Pole Post 30

Service Post 28

South Post 4

Raffle ticket sales designed to help teams offset costs

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jan 21, 2018

The Alliance for Support of American Legion Baseball in Alaska provided 4 Alaska Airlines tickets for the raffle. There is no charge to the teams that participate in the raffle for the prize.

American Legion Baseball Raffle Information/Guidelines

 

·         The Alliance for Support of American Legion Baseball in Alaska will provide the 4 Alaska Airlines tickets for the raffle. There will be no charge to the teams that participate in the raffle for the prize.

·         The Dimond Alumni will administrate the raffle using their permit. Dimond Alumni receives 5% of the gross sales for the use and administration of the raffle.

·         The cost to print the raffle tickets will be divided evenly between the teams that participate in the raffle.

·         Tickets will sell for $10.00. Teams net proceeds will be $9.45 - $9.48 per ticket (depending on the cost of the raffle ticket).

·         All monies collected will be deposited in the Dimond Alumni Gaming Account (State requirement).  Deposit slips will be mailed out to the Dimond Alumni Gaming Account. Each team will be making their own deposits and notify Don Winchester via email (donwinchester@yahoo.com) of the amount and date of the deposit.

·         All stubs of tickets sold must be turned in (for drawing)

·         All unsold tickets must be turned in

·         Lost tickets are sellers responsibility.

·         Drawing will be July 8th at the BP Tournament

·         Any question call Don Winchester 529-8550 cell

 

Money raised will go toward the following in this order:

1. Team Fee CIC teams and Legion AA and A Teams.

2. Individual players fees for CIC teams and player fee for Legion teams 2018. Once these figures are reached.

3. Legion team travel via airlines in - state, i.e. travel to and from Southeast Alaska and Kodiak. Once these figures are reached.

4. Legion team ground or other in-state travel up to $3,000.00 per team based on submitted receipts. This should apply to bus travel, ground and water transportation, hotels, dorms and other travel items with receipts. This is done after expenses directly paid by Legion teams with receipts provided  to the alliance for documentation of costs. The limit is $3,000.00 per team.

 

Ground Rules:

1. Teams must opt in and Post Managers/designee is responsible for all raffle tickets and money turned in.

2. Tickets will be issued in mid December. Teams can choose how many raffle tickets they want to sell.

3. All CIC team and player monies must be turned in no later than April 23, 2018.

4. All Legion Team fees monies must be turned in no later than May 25.

5. All Legion player fees monies must be turned in no later than June 8, 2018.

All other monies and tickets sold and unsold must be turned in no later than June 21. Drawing will take place on July 8, 2018 at the BP Invitational.

Legion team travel is to be paid by individual teams on their own and then they will be reimbursed depending on amount of raffle monies turned in toward Legion air travel.

Winter camp sees successful stops in Anchorage, Juneau

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jan 19, 2018

More than 100 campers turned out for the annual Winter College Coaches Camp, which featured a stop in Juneau for the first time.

More than 100 campers turned out for the annual Winter College Coaches Camp, which featured a stop in Juneau for the first time.

 

Everett Community College head coach John ‘JoJo’ Howie and his staff headlined the four-day event that took place for three days in Anchorage and one day in the capital city.

 

This was the 10th year the Winter College Coaches Camp was put on by the Alliance for Support of American Legion Baseball in Alaska.

Winter College Coaches Camp back for 10th year

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Dec 20, 2017

Join Everett Community College head coach John ‘JoJo’ Howie and his staff for this high-paced, informative, can’t-miss camp open to all players ages 9-18.

Join Everett Community College head coach John ‘JoJo’ Howie and his staff for this high-paced, informative, can’t-miss camp open to all players ages 9-18.

 

The Winter College Coaches Camp is coming back to Anchorage for the tenth time for three days from Jan. 12 to 14 at Service High School and to Juneau for the first time for one day on Jan. 15 at the Dimond Park Field House.

 

Everett is one of the premier programs in the NWAC, playing in the championship game 3 of the last 5 years while carving out a sparking .677 winning percentage.

 

The Trojans also have a history of helping Alaskans advance to the next level.

 

Save money with early registration.

 

Receive in-depth instruction in all aspects of the game, detailed practice lesson plans and important information for youth coaches and parents.

 

Get a jump on the 2018 season with early spring training and learn what it takes to play baseball at the next level from guys that sit in a college dugout.

 

This camp is sponsored by the Alliance for Support of American Legion Baseball in Alaska, BP, Matson and Alaska Airlines.

 

With limited slots per group, register now.

 

Get a jump on the season with early spring training

 

It's never too early to think about spring. And it's never too early to think about the upcoming season.

 

Your swing will thank you later.

 

Learn what it takes to play college at next level

 

Join the Everett coaches for an honest discussion about what it takes to play college baseball.

MLB coaches coming back to work with Alaska kids

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Oct 18, 2017

Professional baseball coaches Brent Strom and Ralph Dickenson of the Houston Astros are coming back to Alaska. This is your chance to receive 1-on-1 instruction from Major League Baseball coaches.

Professional baseball coaches Brent Strom and Ralph Dickenson of the Houston Astros are coming back to Alaska.

 

This is your chance to receive 1-on-1 instruction from Major League Baseball coaches.

 

The eighth annual Professional Baseball Clinic is open to kids ages 9 to 18 of all skill level.

 

The camp will be held one day in Wasilla on Nov. 10 at the Menard Memorial Center and three days in Anchorage on Nov. 10-12 at South Anchorage High School.

 

Save with early registration through Nov. 5

 

Learn proper technique and training methods from two coaches that have worked with hundreds of professional players since the 1990s.

 

Get your opportunity to work with the best. Register today.

 

This event is brought to you by the Alliance of Support of American Legion Baseball in Alaska.

 

Pitchers will work with Strom, who is in his fifth season as the chief pitching coach with the Astros.

 

He will emphasis mechanics, repetition, training and pitch development.

 

Strom has been a champion at every level, winning a College World Series title as a player with Southern Cal in 1970 and a World Series title as a coach with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2011.

 

Dickenson will show hitters proper ways to attack the baseball. He will help create bat speed, talk about launch angles and the importance of balance.

 

After winning the 1969 College World Series as a player at Arizona State, he played five years of minor league ball before becoming a coach.

 

He joined the MLB ranks in 1990 and worked with Seattle, Milwaukee, Montreal, Los Angeles, Texas, New York and Washington before going to Houston in 2014.

 

 Players, coaches and parents are encouraged to attend. Next season starts now.

ABA Sockeyes wrap up trip to Arizona Fall Classic

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Oct 17, 2017

The Sockeyes were led in hitting at the showcase event by Chugiak Post 33 slugger Christian Cambridge, who batted .467 in five games. He also stole six bases.

The best local Legion players from around the state helped the Alaska Baseball Academy to a strong showing to close out the Arizona Senior Fall Classic.

 

The Sockeyes were led in hitting at the showcase event by Chugiak Post 33 slugger Christian Cambridge, who batted .467 in five games. He also stole six bases.

 

Cambridge, Jake Andresen of Dimond Post 21 and Cooper Bailey-Parsons of Service Post 28 had the best showing and piqued the interest of several college coaches, said ABA manager Tony Wylie.

 

In a 5-3 loss to Team California, Cambridge went 3-for-3 at the plate with an RBI double. Shawn Jones of West Post 1 and Bailey-Parsons each had two stolen bases. Billy Smith of Chugiak and Lian Lincoln of South Post 4 each had base hits.

 

Trosky Baseball blasted a home run in the first inning and never looked back en route to an 11-0 win. The Sockeyes managed just two hits a double from James Arend of Wasilla Post 35 and a single by Lincoln.

 

“Trosky Baseball is another California all-star squad and without doubt in the top two or three teams in the 70-team field,” Wylie said.

 

In the final game, NorCal Baseball scored the go-ahead run in the eighth inning to pull out a 3-2 win. Kasey Watts of Juneau Post 25 gave the Sockeyes a 2-0 lead in the first inning with a two-run single. Pitching kept the Alaskans in the game, including stellar relief from Andresen, Cambridge, West’s Leland Wilson and South’s Chase Subitch.

New-look ABA Sockeyes showcase new era in Arizona

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Oct 14, 2017

After dropping the first game, the Alaskans edged a team from southern California 3-2 behind the batting of Service’s Cooper Bailey-Parsons and pitching of West’s Chris Crespo.

Most of the names are different, but representing the Alaska Baseball Academy Sockeyes still brings out the best in these local ballplayers.

 

Some of the best Alaska Legion players from the state are part of the travel team participating in the Arizona Senior Fall Classic, a 70-team event that draws hundreds of college recruiters and dozens of MLB scouts.

 

After dropping the first game, the Alaskans edged a team from southern California 3-2 behind the batting of Service’s Cooper Bailey-Parsons and pitching of West’s Chris Crespo.

 

Bailey-Parsons celebrated his 18th birthday with a 3-for-3 showing at the plate with two double and two runs scored.

 

Crespo pitched a two-hitter of six innings of work.

 

“Crespo had pinpoint command and used his off-speed pitches to induce lots of ground balls,” ABA manager Tony Wylie said. 

 

Christian Cambridge of Chugiak collected three hits and stole 2 bases and South’s Lian Lincoln and Luke Giffen also had base hits.

 

In the first game, Alaska lost to the D’backs from Canada despite a quality start by Dimond’s Jake Andresen, who struck out seven in 4.2 innings.

 

“It was nice to see three colleges waiting to talk with Jake after the game. I believe he received two on-the-spot offers,” Wylie said.

 

Cambridge and West’s Shawn Jones each had two stolen bases while Kasey Watts and Michael Cesar of Juneau were part of the hit parade.

 

MLB coaches headline clinics in Anchorage, Wasilla

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Oct 3, 2017

The eighth annual Professional Baseball Clinic is open to kids ages 9 to 18 of all skill level. The camp will be held one day in Wasilla on Nov. 10 at the Menard Memorial Center and three days in Anch…

Professional baseball coaches Brent Strom and Ralph Dickenson of the Houston Astros are coming back to Alaska.

 

This is your chance to receive 1-on-1 instruction from Major League Baseball coaches.

The eighth annual Professional Baseball Clinic is open to kids ages 9 to 18 of all skill level. The camp will be held one day in Wasilla on Nov. 10 at the Menard Memorial Center and three days in Anchorage on Nov. 10-12 at South Anchorage High School.

 

Learn proper technique and training methods from two coaches that have worked with hundreds of professional players since the 1990s.

 

Get your opportunity to work with the best. Register today.

 

This event is brought to you by the Alliance of Support of American Legion Baseball in Alaska.

 

Pitchers will work with Strom, who is in his fifth season as the chief pitching coach with the Astros.

 

He will emphasis mechanics, repetition, training and pitch development.

 

Strom has been a champion at every level, winning a College World Series title as a player with Southern Cal in 1970 and a World Series title as a coach with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2011.

 

Dickenson will show hitters proper ways to attack the baseball. He will help create bat speed, talk about launch angles and the importance of balance.

After winning the 1969 College World Series as a player at Arizona State, he played five years of minor league ball before becoming a coach.

 

He joined the MLB ranks in 1990 and worked with Seattle, Milwaukee, Montreal, Los Angeles, Texas, New York and Washington before going to Houston in 2014.

 

Players, coaches and parents are encouraged to attend. Next season starts now.

Homza ends successful season with Padres rookie team

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Sep 24, 2017

The Anchorage 18-year-old played a team-high 52 games and finished among the leaders in batting average, runs, doubles and total bases.

Jonny Homza’s first season of professional baseball was a hit.

 

The Anchorage 18-year-old handled himself well at the plate and in the field for the San Diego Padres rookie ball team in the Arizona League.

 

The fifth-round draft pick played a team-high 52 games and finished among the Padres leaders in batting average, runs, doubles and total bases.

 

He also showed off his versatility on defense, playing third base, catcher, shortstop and second base.

 

Homza, of South Post 4 fame, turned pro just a few weeks after playing in the high school state tournament. He was drafted with the 138th pick - the second-highest selection by an Alaskan.

 

The 6-foot, 190-pounder collected two hits and three RBIs in his pro debut.

 

He was at his best in the middle of July during a career-high seven-game hitting streak when he batted .414 with six doubles.

 

In early August, he was hitting .288 and settling into a groove.

 

But fatigue caught up with Homza, who slowed down the last month of the season. He played more than 75 games this summer for the South Wolverines, Anchorage Bucs and Padres rookie team.

 

Most of his games in Arizona were played in 100-degree temperature.

 

Yet he still finished as one of the team’s most reliable hitters, batting in the No. 2 spot most of the season.

 

Defensively, Homza played 24 games at third base, 19 at catcher, four at shortstop and two at second base. Three times he was a designated hitter.

 

Even though they moved him around, the Padres see him as a catcher.

 

He held his own behind the plate despite not really playing the position much over his career. He finished with a .992 fielding percentage and threw out 7-of-32 base runners.

Montana ends Service's season with 12-1 win at NWCART

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Aug 5, 2017

The Red Sox benefited from four Service errors, with 9 of the 12 runs coming unearned against pitchers Jaren Childs, Cobey Cupp and Andrew Jaidinger.

The Bitterroot Red Sox of Montana scored early and often en route to a 12-1 victory in seven innings over Service Post 28 in an elimination game at the Northwest Class A Regional Tournament in Eugene, Oregon.

 

Montana led 1-0 after the first inning, 4-0 after the second and 10-0 after the third.

 

The Red Sox benefited from four Service errors, with 9 of the 12 runs coming unearned against pitchers Jaren Childs, Cobey Cupp and Andrew Jaidinger.

 

The Cougars got an RBI double from Ronan Klancher. Nathan Cole and Carsen Sandau delivered Service's other two base hits.

 

Service, the state runner-up, finished the season 22-11.

 

Last year, the Cougars won a game at the NWCART. Alaska teams have racked up five victories at the tournament since 2013.

 

NWCART host Oregon buries Service 16-2 on Day 1

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Aug 4, 2017

Too much pitching and too much hitting proved too much to overcome for Service Post 28 during a 16-2 loss to tournament host North Willamette Valley in Eugene, Oregon.

Too much pitching and too much hitting proved too much to overcome for Service Post 28 during a 16-2 loss to tournament host North Willamette Valley in Eugene, Oregon.

 

Day 1 of the Northwest Class A Regional Tournament was not kind to the Cougars, who made six errors and got outhit 12-3.

 

Three Oregon pitchers combined to strike out 10 batters.

 

Service's Cooper Bailey-Parsons went 2-for-4 and Raleigh Pigg and Chris Maladogi each reached base three times.

 

Ronan Klancher and Antonio Perez scores runs for the Alaska state runner-up, which fell to 22-10 on the summer.

 

Service will face Bitterroot, Montana, in an elimination game Saturday at 10:30 a.m. ADT.

 

Alaska teams have won five times at the NWCART since 2013.

McCurley's gem can't save Juneau from elimination

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Aug 3, 2017

The pitching gem will go down as one of the finest postseason performances by an Alaska Legion player and allowed Juneau to flirt with Alaska’s first victory at Northwest Regionals since 2009.

Donavin McCurley gave Juneau Post 25 every chance to win and give Alaska its first victory at the American Legion Baseball Northwest Regional in almost 10 years.

 

The right-hander pitched scoreless frames in six of eight innings but was doomed by unearned runs in 3-1 loss to Lewiston, Idaho, in a regional elimination game in Missoula, Montana.

 

McCurley threw only 89 pitches in his complete-game effort, only to suffer the loss. He deserved better.

 

He allowed eight hits and walked just one batter. He did not register a strikeout.

 

McCurley’s gem will go down as one of the finest postseason performances by an Alaska Legion pitcher. It allowed Juneau to flirt with Alaska’s first victory at Northwest Regionals since South Post 4 beat Cheyenne, Wyoming, 5-4 in 2009.

 

Juneau slugger Bobby Cox lined a two-out RBI single up the middle in the sixth inning to score Bryce Swofford from second base and deliver the lone run for the state champion Midnight Suns.

 

Cox was the only Juneau player to have run-scoring base hits in both games at regionals. He finished the tournament 4-for-7 at the plate.

 

Trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the sixth, Juneau committed two errors that doubled the deficit. Both runs Lewiston scored in the second inning were unearned as well.

 

Lewiston improved to 36-11 on the year and advanced in regional play while Juneau's championship season ended at 27-5.

 

Led by McCurley, Juneau’s pitching staff gave up a total of 16 runs in two games – the fewest by an Alaska team at regionals in at least the last 10 years.

 

Fewest Runs Allowed at Northwest Regionals

**Since 2008

16 Juneau 2017

26 Chugiak 2008

26 South 2009

26 Chugiak 2013

27 Kenai 2016

Most Runs Scored at Northwest Regionals

**Since 2008

11 South 2014

10 Kenai 2012

9 South 2009

7 Chugiak 2015

6 Three tied

Juneau suffers 13-2 loss to host Montana at NW Regionals

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Aug 2, 2017

The fifth inning proved pivotal as Missoula, Montana, scored two runs in the top half and Juneau lined into a double play to thwart a two-on, one-out threat in the bottom half.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Juneau Post 25 Midnight Suns were right there. They trailed Missoula, Montana, 4-1 but had two runners on base. A base hit could have changed the game.

 

But it never came.

 

Missed opportunities cost Juneau as the Montana state champions took advantage of their chances and prevailed 13-2 in eight innings on Day 1 of the American Legion Northwest Regional in Missoula, Montana.

 

The tournament home team banged out 18 hits and scored two or more runs four times, including three in the sixth and four in the eighth.

 

The 13 runs were the most the Midnight Suns have given up in 31 games this season. Juneau starter Phillip Wall gave up more earned runs in 4.2 innings today than he did in 25 innings in Alaska.

 

Many Alaska state champions have suffered a similar fate at the Northwest Regional, where our Double-A teams square off against larger Triple-A teams that play twice as many games.

 

Missoula improved to 53-25 this season, while Juneau dropped to 27-4.

 

The Midnight Suns were in the game at the midway point before things got out of hand.

 

The fifth inning proved pivotal as Montana scored two runs in the top half and Juneau lined into a double play to thwart a two-on, one-out threat in the bottom half.

 

Juneau’s Donavin McCurley went 3-for-4 with a run and Zeb Storie and Bobby Cox each went 2-for-4 with an RBI.

 

Other highlights included Bryce Swofford’s double, Finn Collins’ 10-pitch at-bat that led to a walk and Quin Gist’s pinch-hit single.

 

Juneau slipped into the loser's bracket, where the Midnight Suns will  face Idaho in an elimination game on Thursday morning.

Juneau, Service highlight ALB Team of Excellence picks

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 31, 2017

State champion Juneau Post 25 and state runner-up Service Post 28 each had five players and a coach voted to the Alaska Legion Baseball Team of Excellence.

State champion Juneau Post 25 and state runner-up Service Post 28 each had five players and a coach voted to the Alaska Legion Baseball Team of Excellence.

 

Together, the two teams accounted for 38 percent of the all-state selections.

 

Juneau’s Zeb Storie, Bryce Swofford, Kasey Watts, Alex Muir and Donavin McCurley joined head coach Joe Tompkins on the Team of Excellence.

 

The Service selections were Raleigh Pigg, Cooper Bailey-Parsons, Ronan Klancher, Cobey Cupp, Jaren Childs and head coach Willie Paul.

 

The Team of Excellence was voted on by coaches from the 16 Legion AA clubs in Alaska before the postseason started.

 

Alaska Legion Baseball Team of Excellence

**Stats based on 18 league games

Infield

Dylan Montagna Dimond .379AVG 13RBI 10XBH .621SLG

Chris Crespo West .422AVG 21RBI 13R 7XBH .600SLG

Zeb Storie Juneau .519AVG 31R 11RBI 6XBH

Paul Steffensen Kenai .433AVG 12RBI 29R 1HR .552SLG

Jake Andresen Dimond .312AVG 11R 8RBI 1HR .625SLG

Raleigh Pigg Service .364AVG 20R 13RBI 4XBH

Ben Werner Wasilla .492AVG 27RBI 23R 9XBH .632SLG

Anthony Maldonado South .314AVG 18RBI 16R 9XBH .632SLG

Cooper Bailey-Parsons Service .353AVG 8RBI 12R

Bryce Swofford Juneau .408AVG 23RBI 16R 7XBH

Outfield

Ronan Klancher Service .403AVG 11RBI 23R 1HR 9XBH

Vonche Wood Fairbanks[30] .452AVG 12R 5RBI 1.000FLD

Derek McGinnis South .377AVG 24RBI 19R 9XBH

Scott Larionoff Kodiak .395AVG 12R 6R 3XBH

Kasey Watts Juneau .429AVG 26RBI 21R 9XBH

Cody Leslie South .350AVG 19RBI 21R 3XBH

Starting Pitcher

Jake Andresen Dimond 3-0W/L 2.33ERA 25K 17.1IP

Hank Boyer Wasilla 2-0W/L 3.33ERA 46K 3SV 33IP

Leland Wilson West 3-2W/L 1.81ERA 54K 31IP

Jaren Childs Service 1-0 1.98ERA 10K 13.2IP

Gaten Davis East 5-0W/L 3.03ERA 45K 35.2IP

Gage Webster South 2-1W/L 2.73ERA 46K 34IP

Isaac Roehl Fairbanks[11]

Zeb Storie Juneau 4-0W/L 1.48ERA 21K 24.1IP

Relief Pitcher

Kaden Roetteger Dimond 1.17ERA 20IP

Luis Nunez West 3-1W/L 3.82ERA 3SV 21K 22IP

Cobey Cupp Service 4-0W/L 1.20ERA 9K 15IP

Catcher

Jeffrey Forster Wasilla 11XBH .750CS% .950FLD

Cody Quelland Kenai .398AVG 18RBI 18R 3XBH .463SLG

Kyle Henrickson Dimond .543AVG 17RBI 11R 8XBH .829SLG

Alex Muir Juneau .447AVG 18RBI 9R 1HR 8XBH

Utility

Donavin McCurley Juneau .371AVG 10RBI 22R 2-1W/L 0.39ERA

Kyle Graham Wasilla 16RBI

Jaren Childs Service .350AVG 23RBI 15R 1-0W/L 1.98ERA

Coaches of the Year

Willie Paul Service

Joe Tompkins Juneau

Ken Ottinger Wasilla

HONORABLE MENTION

Infield

Samuel Hall Chugiak

Chase Reed Fairbanks 30

Michael Star Ketchikan

Isaac Roehl Fairbanks 11

Cobey Cupp Service

Ryan Wood Bartlett

Kendall Ruta Wasilla

Sterling Retzlaff Eagle River

Damian Mohl South

Outfield

Ian Frizelle Chugiak

Cameron Butler Chugiak

Robert Cox Juneau

Shawn Jones West

Michael Richter Fairbanks 11

Ian Byrd Bartlett

Kam Williams Eagle River

Starting Pitcher

Mose Hayes Kenai

Sean Gardeline Dimond

Ian Frizelle Chugiak

Shaun Walton Kodiak

Wyatt Brajas Ketchikan

Ronan Klancher Service

Ryan Wood Bartlett

Braden Olmstead Eagle River

Relief Pitcher

Samuel Hall Chugiak

Catcher

Luke Langnes West

Chris Malagodi Service

Utility

Seth Adkins Kenai

Mose Hayes Kenai

DJ Davis Chugiak

Shaun Walton Kodiak

Luis Nunez West

Juneau beats Service 3-1 for first state title since 1984

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 29, 2017

Tournament MVP Zeb Storie hit the go-ahead single in the fifth inning and scored an insurance run in the eighth inning to highlight the victory at Mulcahy Stadium.

The best team in the regular season doesn't always translate to the postseason.

 

But the Juneau Post 25 Midnight Suns were the real deal from beginning to end.

 

Fueled by exception speed, Juneau's fine-tuned machine was clicking on all cylinders as the Southeast power beat a pair of Anchorage powers in Service Post 28 and South Post 4 in back-to-back ALB state tournament games at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Top-seeded Juneau claimed the title with a 3-1 win over No. 2 seed Service to claim the Post's first state championship since 1984 and third overall.

 

Coach Joe Tompkins' team won 27 of 30 games this summer and will represent Alaska at next month's Legion AAA Northwest Regional in Missoula, Montana.

 

Tournament MVP Zeb Storie hit the go-ahead single in the fifth inning and scored an insurance run in the eighth inning to highlight the victory over Service.

 

Juneau's Finn Collins came out of the bullpen to throw 6.2 innings of scoreless relief to earn the win.

 

Service starter Jaren Childs allowed five hits over seven innings of work to take a hard-luck loss.

 

The Cougars [22-9] and coach Willie Paul will represent Alaska at the Northwest Class A Regional Tournament next month in Eugene, Oregon.

 

Juneau and Service have been neck-and-neck all season and it was no surprise this one came down to the wire.

 

Three of their previous meetings this season resulted in 4-3 decisions, with two of them coming in walkoff fashion.

 

They finished 2-2 against each other in leauge and tournament games, the series separated by a single run.

 

Earlier in the day, Juneau came from behind to shock South 6-5 in 11 innings.

 

It was shocking in the sense that South led 5-1 going into the bottom of the eighth with ace Parker Johnson on the mound.

 

Juneau tied the game with only one base hit leaving the infield. They manufactored runs with bunts, stolen bases, walks and errors.

 

The Midnight Suns run the bases better than any team in Alaska and their willingness to take an extra base at every chance constantly keeps pressure on a pitcher and the defense.

 

In the 11th, Storie singled with one out to start the winning rally. That was followed by a single from Donavin McCurley and then an intentional walk to Kasey Watts.

 

That brought up clean up hitter Bryce Swofford, who bounced one to third base, where the ball was mishandled and allowed Storie to score the winning run.

 

Storie was involved in all of the defining plays today, leading to his MVP recognition. He led the tournament with 11 hits, scored seven runs and reached base at a .652 clip.

 

Service's Cooper Bailey-Parsons was named Big Stick after batting .455 with five RBIs in five games. Half of his hits went for extra bases and he delivered a number of big hits for the Cougars during tournament play.

 

South's Terren Sugita was named Top Pitcher after flirting with a no-hitter for 8.2 innings before coming up just short at making history. Nonetheless, the right-hander was remarkable. He had a 1.74 ERA over 10.1 innings at state.

 

West center fielder Shawn Jones won the tournament's Gold Glove Award for his speedy coverage and rocket right arm.

 

Ketchikan beats Eagle River 7-2 for Matson championship

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 29, 2017

Liam Kiffer drove in the winning run in the first game and then struck out 11 batters in the second game to help Post 3 knock off previously undefeated Eagle River.

Liam Kiffer was a two-way terror for the Ketchikan Post 3 Kings, driving in the winning run in the first game and pitching a complete game in the second meeting with previously undefeated Eagle River in the Matson Invitational at Bartlett High School.

 

Kiffer's bunt single scored Justin Albecker to cap an thrilling 5-4 win in 11 innings that forced the if-necessary game, which Ketchikan won 7-2 behind Kiffer's 11 strikeouts.

 

Coach John Milner's team won nine of its final 10 games this season and finished 15-14 overall.

 

The Kings also avenged an 11-4 loss to Eagle River earlier in the double-elimination tournament.

 

In the first game, Eagle River took a 4-2 lead in the top of the 11th on RBIs from Kam Williams and Josh Agron.

 

They were three outs away from winning the championship.

 

But Ketchikan answered with three runs in the bottom half of the inning, to force the if-necessary game.

 

There, Kiffer tossed a six-hitter with double-digit strikeouts and Ketchikan broke the game open with a five-spot in the second inning.

South doubles up Service 6-3 to stay alive at State

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 28, 2017

Post 4 leadoff hitter Damian Mohl collected a game-high three hits and two RBIs and Cody Leslie came out of the bullpen to earn the win as the Wolverines survived elimination to beat Post 28 in the st…

65th ALB State Tournament

Day 3

 

South 6, Service 3

 

Post 4 leadoff hitter Damian Mohl collected a game-high three hits and two RBIs and Cody Leslie came out of the bullpen to earn the win as the Wolverines survived elimination to beat Post 28 in the state tournament at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Anthony Maldonado reached base five times, including a double. He also earned four of his team’s 16 walks in the game.

 

Four Service pitchers worked around trouble the entire evening, and for the most part kept the game from getting out of hand as South stranded 20 runners on base.

 

Parker Johnson, Terren Sugita, Maldonado and Leslie added RBIs for the Wolverines [19-12].

 

Leslie pitched 6.2 innings and scattered six hits and seven walks while giving up all three runs.

 

Austin DeLesline got the final five outs to record the save. He wiggled out of a jam in the ninth after allowing back-to-back singles to open the inning.

 

It was the first loss in four tournament games for second-seeded Service [22-8], which had already guaranteed itself a spot in the championship game before taking the field.

 

Service’s Raleigh Pigg, Cooper Bailey-Parsons and Cobey Cupp each banged out two hits. Ronan Klancher had a single, run, RBI and two of the game's three stolen bases.

 

South scored two runs in each of the first, fourth and sixth innings and outhit the Cougars 10-8.

 

Fourth-seeded South will face No. 1 Juneau at 3 p.m. Saturday, with the winner advancing to face Service in the state championship game at 6:30 p.m. at Mulcahy Stadium.

Dimond hits a Wall as Juneau pitcher highlights 4-2 win

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 28, 2017

Juneau's Phillip Wall pitched a complete game and the speedy Post 25 Midnight Suns showcased their savvy base-running to avoid elimination at the state tournament at Mulcahy Stadium.

65th ALB State Tournament

Day 3

 

Juneau 4, Dimond 2 - elimination game

 

Phillip Wall went the distance and pitched the top-seeded Post 25 Midnight Suns to a season-saving victory over the Post 21 Lynx in an elimination game at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

The right-hander carried a shutout into the eighth inning and walked only one in a complete game effort. He allowed eight hits and two runs, getting a ground out with two runners on to end the game.

 

Dimond starter Kyler Maisey was just as sharp on the mound as the righty held hard-hitting Juneau to just one hit over five-plus frames.

 

He gave up all four runs, but two were unearned and he never gave up more than one run per inning.

 

Juneau’s speed was too much to overcome. The Midnight Suns [25-3] are probably the most lethal team on the bases and that element played to pivotal in each of their four runs.

 

Zeb Storie was a key component in helping Juneau manufacture runs in each of the first and third innings. Both times he led off with a walk.

 

The first time he stole second, moved to third on a ground out and scored on a ground out. The second time he went first to third on a base hit and scored on a wild pitch.

 

In the fourth, Finn Collins reached second base on an error, stole third and scored on a ground out.

 

Bobby Cox and Alex Muir combined to give Juneau a 4-0 lead in the seventh inning after Cox reached on an error, stole second and scored on Muir’s double.

 

Even trailing 4-0, and playing shorthanded, fifth-seeded Dimond didn’t quit.

 

In the eighth, the Lynx loaded the bases and scored runs on Sean Carey’s single – one of his three hits – and Jesse Boese’s fielder’s choice.

 

Dimond’s Kaden Roettger delivered base hits in both the eighth and ninth innings, including a two-out double in the last frame to put two runners in scoring position and give his team a chance to tie the game in its final at-bat.

 

In the end, the Lynx hit a Wall.

 

Dimond saw its season end at 23-18. Juneau advanced to Saturday’s 3 p.m. game against South, a 6-3 winner in the late game.

Deja vu: Service edges Juneau 4-3 in battle of unbeatens

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 27, 2017

Service first baseman Nathan Cole’s defensive gem on the game's final out robbed Bryce Swofford of a base hit and was inches from delivering Juneau a sure-thing walkoff win.

65th ALB State Tournament

Day 3

 

Service 4, Juneau 3 - winner's bracket

 

Post 28 pitchers Raleigh Pigg and Andrew Jaidinger shut out the potent Post 25 offense over the final seven innings to lead the Cougars in the matchup between unbeatens on Day 3 at the state tournament at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Pigg started and earned the win after dancing around trouble all night with seven strong innings. Jaidinger got the final six outs to earn the save, highlighted by a web gem from first baseman Nathan Cole on the final out to end a bases-loaded threat.

 

It was the third time in two weeks that Service and Juneau played to a 4-3 decision, with the clubs exchanging walkoff wins two weeks ago in the capital city.

 

The win guaranteed Service a spot in the state championship game Saturday.

 

More on that later.

 

Service [22-7] took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Pigg clubbed a solo home run. The lead didn’t last, however, as Juneau tied it in the bottom half of the inning and then took a 3-1 lead in the second on base knocks by Owen Mendoza and Alex Muir.

 

Service pulled within a run in the fourth on Sam Bourdon's sacrifice fly and then tied it in the fifth, thanks in part to Pigg's sac bunt that led to Cooper Bailey-Parsons' RBI ground out.

 

That's right, the same guy that homered in his first at-bat laid down a bunt in his third at-bat to move baserunners.

 

Pigg and Juneau starter Bobby Cox were locked in a 3-3 tie after six innings. It was anybody’s game.

 

In the seventh, Ronan Klancher singled and Pigg walked to put runners on first and second. Klancher stole third and came around to score on Cobey Cupp’s sac fly.

 

Cupp finished 2-for-3 with the game winning RBI. He also filled in nicely at shortstop with Pigg on the mound.

 

Jaidinger entered the game in the eighth and had a 1-2-3 inning. In the ninth, though, he would load the bases with one out before striking out No. 3 hitter Kasey Watts.

 

That set up a tough matchup with cleanup hitter Bryce Swofford, a 6-foot-7 slugger. Swofford scorched a Jaidinger pitch down the first-base line that Cole snagged for the final out, with the ball nearly taking the glove off his hand.

 

Cole’s defensive gem robbed Swofford of a base hit and was inches from delivering Juneau a sure-thing walkoff win.

 

It was just Juneau’s third loss in 27 games this summer.

 

Friday’s schedule features just two games and could see two more teams eliminated.

 

Juneau faces Dimond at 3 p.m. in an elimination game and Service plays South at 6:30 p.m. As the last unbeaten, Service could still lose a game and not be eliminated while another loss would end South’s season.

Dimond outlasts West 5-4 in 13-inning elimination game

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 27, 2017

Dimond's Kyle Henrickson played a huge role as he picked up the win as a relief pitcher and drove in the winning run with a sacrifice fly to help the Lynx [23-17] stay alive in the state tournament.

65th ALB State Tournament

Day 3

 

Dimond 5, West 4 - elimination game

 

In an epic battle that featured big plays, five lead changes and tons of drama the Post 21 Lynx outlasted the Post 1 Eagles in a 13-inning elimination game at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Dimond's Kyle Henrickson played a huge role as he picked up the win as a relief pitcher and drove in the winning run with a sacrifice fly to help the Lynx [23-17] stay alive in the state tournament.

 

In Dimond's final at-bat, Kobe Vanderwood led off with a walk and went to second after Sean Carey singled. With runners on first and second, Jesse Boese reached on a bunt single - his fifth hit of the game - to load the bases.

 

That brought up Henrickson, who lofted a flyball to center field to score the winning run ahead of Shawn Jones' throw home. Just one inning earlier Jones had thrown out a runner trying to score from third base on a fly ball.

 

The Henrickson brothers - Kyle and younger bro Ryan - pitched the final 5.2 innings for Dimond. Kyle Henrickson also had three RBIs, including the game winner.

 

The teams combined for 26 hits by 16 different players so everybody came to play.

 

West's Tom Zettler had two hits and pitched nine innings, scattering 11 hits and three walks in the no decision.

 

The Eagles led 1-0, 2-1 and 4-3 but couldn't shut the door. Nonetheless, West should be congratulated for making the state tournament for the first time since 2011.

 

Four years ago, this program went 0-18 in league. Today the Eagles stood toe-to-toe with one of the most explosive teams in the state.

 

Dimond is a perennial postseason contender that advanced to the final four for the fourth time since 2010.

South beats Chugiak 2-1 in 10 innings in pitcher's duel

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 27, 2017

Starters Terren Sugita of South and Garrett Nevells of Chugiak both pitched nine innings and matched goose eggs for eight innings as the game was scoreless entering the ninth inning.

65th ALB State Tournament

Day 3

South 2, Chugiak 1 – elimination game

In a game dominated by starting pitching, it was timely hitting in the later stages that actually played the biggest role in the Post 4 Wolverines’ come-from-behind win over the Post 33 Mustangs.

 

Gage Webster singled to lead off the 10th inning and later scored when Josh Costello laced an opposite-field single to knock in the winning run and knock Chugiak out of the state tournament in the elimination game at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Starters Terren Sugita of South and Garrett Nevells of Chugiak both pitched nine innings and matched goose eggs for eight innings as the game was scoreless entering the ninth inning.

 

Sugita threw a no-hitter for 8.2 innings before Mason Peace lined a single up the middle that scored Sam Hall with the game’s first run.

 

Hall reached base after he walked, stole second base and raced home to easily beat the throw to the plate.

 

However, South tied it in the bottom of the ninth after Derek McGinnis led off with a triple and later scored on an error.

 

The game went into extra innings, thus denying both starters a decision although both Sugita and Nevells pitched beautifully to keep their team’s season alive in this loser-bracket game.

 

Both starters also got terrific defense from their catchers to help them along.

 

Chugiak’s Trystan Costanios made a diving grab on a foul ball and a South baserunner at third base with one out in the seventh. And South’s Costello threw out two baserunners in the ninth.

Juneau, Service unscathed after first two days of State

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 26, 2017

The No. 1 Juneau Post 25 Midnight Suns and No. 2 Service Post 28 Cougars both posted victories Wednesday to set up a crucial winner's bracket game Thursday night at 5:30.

The top two seeds in the 65th Alaska Legion Baseball State Tournament are the last two unbeatens after two days of action at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

The No. 1 Juneau Post 25 Midnight Suns and No. 2 Service Post 28 Cougars both posted victories Wednesday to set up a crucial winner's bracket game Thursday night at 5:30.

 

Juneau got there after surviving a wild game with South Post 4, earning an 8-7 win in the bottom of the ninth inning after Alex Muir earned a bases-loaded walk to score Finn Collins with the winning run.

 

It was the second walkoff winner for Muir in the last two weeks. Collins picked up the win with 1.2 innings of relief as Juneau [24-2] extended its winning streak to 9 games.

 

South's Cody Leslie tied the game at 7-7 after he flared a two-out, two-strike single in shallow right centerfield. The hit was especially rewarding for Leslie after he misplayed a base hit in right field that allowed the go-ahead run to score.

 

Parker Johnson and Terren Sugita reached base four times for Wolverines, who dropped into the loser's bracket.

 

Service beat West Post 1 by a 6-1 score thanks to precise pitching and MVP candidate Cooper Bailey-Parsons, who continued his terrific two-way play.

 

Bailey-Parsons went 3-for-3 with a walk, stolen base, two runs and an RBI at the plate. Defensively, the rocket-armed catcher threw out a couple more baserunners.

 

He is now batting 7-for-9 in two games at the state tournament.

 

Pitchers Ronan Klancher, Henry Helgeson, Cam Lautaret and Chris Malagodi combined for a two-hitter for Service [21-7].

 

Service and Juneau have met four times this season, but the only two that really mattered were the back-to-back league games two weeks ago in Juneau when the teams exchanged 4-3 walkoff wins.

 

The two teams have a recent postseason history, with many of the same players still on the field.

 

In 2016, Service beat Juneau 8-6 to deny Juneau a trip to a regional tournament. In 2015, Juneau beat Service 5-1 to cost Service a trip to the Northwest Class A Regional Tournament.

 

In elimination games, Chugiak Post 33 beat Wasilla Post 35 by a 10-3 score and Dimond Post 21 won a slugfest over Kenai Post 20 by a 13-9 count.

 

Chugiak jumped out to a 6-0 lead after two innings and never looked back. Ian Frizelle went 3-for-5 with a double, triple and three RBIs.

 

Cam Butler drove in three runs, Trystan Costanios scored three runs and starting pitcher Braden Schackelford picked up the win.

 

Schackelford scattered seven hits and three hits over 7.2 innings while striking out four.

 

Dimond's McKenzie Montgomery went 4-for-5 and scored three times to highlight an 11-hit attack. Kaden Roettger batted in three runs and Jesse Boesse had two hits, two RBIs and the game's only triple.

 

Kenai had 12 hits, including three by Paul Steffensen and Logan Smith. Smith also had three RBIs and Cody Quelland drove in a pair of runs.

 

The teams combined for 14 runs in the seventh and eighth innings alone.

Juneau, Service, South, West win on Day 1 of State

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 25, 2017

Top seeds flex muscles on Day 1 of state tournament with No. 1 Juneau, No. 2 Service and No. 4 South all winning to join No. 6 West in the winner's bracket. Action continues all week at Mulcahy Stadiu…

Juneau 14, Kenai 0

Bryce Swofford, Kasey Watts and Luke Mallinger combined for 10 RBIs and four Post 25 pitchers combined for a shutout as the Midnight Suns blanked the defending state champion Twins from Post 20.

Eight of nine players got base hits for Juneau [23-2], which outhit Kenai 12-3 and crushed four doubles.

Swofford went 3-for-4 with four RBIs. Watts was 2-for-4 with three RBIs and Mallinger went 1-for-3 with three RBIs.

Donavin McCurley, Zeb Storie, Bob Cox and Finn Collins allowed only six baserunners.

Kenai's Paul Steffensen, Jeremy Kupferschmid and Tanner Ussing each had base hits for Kenai, with Kupferschmid delivering a double.

Service 7, Chugiak 6 [11 innings]

Cooper Bailey-Parsons delivered four hits and scored the winning run in the bottom of the 11 th inning as the second-seeded Post 28 Cougars survived a scare from the upset-minded Post 33 Mustangs.

Bailey-Parsons finished 4-for-6 at the dish with two RBIs and a run scored.

Other RBIs for Service came from Ronan Klancher, Raleigh Pigg, Chris Malagodi and Jaren Childs.

Childs started on the mound and struck out five over 4.3 innings of shutout baseball.

Pigg earned the win with 3.2 innings of one-hit, shutout relief for the Cougars [20-7].

Chugiak's Trystan Costanios and Mason Peace each finished with an RBI and run. Christian Cambridge came off the bench to knock out two hits.

South 10, Dimond 2

Gage Webster carried a shutout into the seventh inning and the Post 4 Wolverines broke open the game with a late scoring surge to knock off the Post 21 Lynx.

The South southpaw starter scattered four hits and six walks over 7.2 innings. He struck out eight batters as South improved to 17-11 on the season.

Webster also helped himself out at the plate, going 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI.

South's Anthony Maldonado drove in two runs and Damian Mohl doubled twice, scored and collected an RBI.

Dimond's Dylan Montagna drove in both of his team's runs in the seventh and ninth innings. Kaden Roettger had his team's lone extra-base hit.

West 5, Wasilla 3

Post 1 struck for four runs in the top of the eighth inning to highlight its first-round victory at Mulcahy Stadium.

West carried a 1-0 lead into the seventh inning as the rain fell from the sky.

Wasilla took advantage of back-to-back walks and back-to-back wild pitches to pull within 1-1 and then Ben Werner's RBI single gave Post 35 the lead at 2-1.

It didn't last.

Luis Nunez and Leland Wilson drove in runs during that eighth inning rally.

West's Shawn Jones went 4-for-5 and scores twice. Werner went 2-for-5 with a pair of RBIs for Wasilla.

West pitcher Tom Zettler earned the win with 2.1 innings of relief.

It was West's first win at state since 2011.

State Tournament @ Mulcahy Stadium

Tuesday’s Scores

[6] West Post 1 defeated [3] Wasilla Post 35, 5-3

[4] South Post 4 defeated [5] Dimond Post 21, 10-2

[2] Service Post 28 defeated [7] Chugiak Post 33, 7-6

[1] Juneau Post 25 defeated [8] Kenai Post 20, 14-0

Wednesday’s Games

9:00AM [7] Chugiak vs. [3] Wasilla Post 35

12:00PM [8] Kenai vs. [5] Dimond Post 21

3:15PM [6] West vs. [2] Service Post 28

6:30PM [4] South vs. [1] Juneau Post 25

Walla Walla beats Dimond 9-4 for BP Invitational title

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 9, 2017

Washington's Post 32 Bruins score all their runs in the first three innings en route to winning the final leg of Alaska Airlines Tournament Tour, capping their 11-2 record in the Last Frontier.

Kyren Morris continued his hit parade at the 23rd annual BP Invitational to help the Walla Walla [WA] Post 32 Bruins run away with the championship.

The left-handed slugger went 3-for-3 to lead an 11-hit attack and was one of four players to drive in two RBIs as Walla Walla won 9-4 over Dimond Post 21 at Mulcahy Stadium.

Mason Knowles, Scott Golden and Taylor Hamada also collected two RBIs as the Bruins banged out 11 base hits and accounted for all of their runs in the first three innings.

Even still the game packed plenty of punch, thanks to Dimond’s Dylan Montagna and Jake Andresen.

Both players crushed no-doubt-about-it home runs well over the 325-foot sign in left field, landing on the football field behind the park.

Montagna hit a majestic shot in the third inning to bring Dimond within 2-1.

Andresen launched a three-run laser in the fourth inning to make it 9-4.

Walla Walla [30-6] finished 11-2 in the Alaska Airlines Tournament Tour, winning tournaments in Wasilla and Anchorage and losing the championship game in Kenai.

Morris was a big reason. The marvelous middle infielder finished 11-for-13 at the plate for an .846 batting average. He drove in eight runs, score five times and doubled three times.

He was voted Most Valuable Player of this year’s BP Invitational.

Teammate Nick Zehner was also in consideration for the award after batting over .600 and pitching his team into the championship game with a 3-hitter in a 3-2 win over Napoleon [OH] Post 300 in the semifinals earlier in the day.

Montagna earned the Big Stick Award after leading the tournament with an amazing on-base percentage that is something out of a video game: 15-for-19.

He went 8-for-12 at the plate and walked eight times, twice intentionally. He also had five RBIs and half of his hits went for extra bases.

Andresen was the next choice after going 8-for-12 with a bomb and team-best eight RBIs.

Dimond’s Kyle Henrickson earned the tournament’s Gold Glove Award and showed off some glove love in the first inning when he reached over the dugout fence to catch a pop up, a beautiful grab worthy of a web gem.

Dimond [15-15] beat East Post 34 by a 7-2 score in the other semifinal earlier in the day in a battle between two Anchorage teams that played spirited, confident baseball that will serve them well over the final two weeks of the regular season.

In that game, Dimond’s McKenzie Montgomery scattered five hits over a complete-game performance.

Homza comes up huge in pro debut in Arizona League

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jun 26, 2017

Known for his clutch performances as an amateur, Anchorage's Jonny Homza began his pro career with the same success as he finished 2-for-5 with three RBIs in his first game with the Arizona League Pad…

The temperature in Phoenix, Arizona, was 111 degrees at game time, but Jonny Homza of Anchorage wasn’t sweating it.

Not even the pressure of his professional debut could get the 18-year-old baseball star hot under the collar.

Known for his ice-cold, clutch performances as an amateur, Homza began his pro career with the same success as he finished 2-for-5 with three RBIs in his first game with the Arizona League Padres in rookie ball.

Batting No. 2 in the lineup and slotted in at designated hitter, the 6-foot, 185-pounder delivered a two-run single for his first hit in just his second at-bat.

Homza later added a run-scoring single in the 10-9 loss to the Arizona White Sox.

He also struck out three times, including his first at-bat against teen phenom pitcher Edinxon Arias, who is already in his third year as a pro at just 19.

Homza, a former Gatorade Alaska Player of the Year, has seen his life drastically change in the last month – in which he went from graduating high school to being drafted in the fifth round of the San Diego Padres to reportedly signing him for $250,000.

A star shortstop and pitcher as a high school player, Homza was drafted by Padres to play catcher, a position he did play sparingly in the past.

It’s probably going to take him some time to adjust to his new position, but his bat is always there, which is why Homza found himself at the top of the lineup on opening night.

San Diego Padres draft South star Homza in 5th round

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jun 13, 2017

The Padres took Homza with the 138th pick – the second-highest selection by a player from Alaska. He’s only the third non-pitcher from here to be selected in the top 20.

The first time Alaska Baseball Academy manager Tony Wylie took South High star Jonny Homza of Anchorage to spring training in Arizona nobody believed Homza was from Alaska.

As a 16-year-old, Homza handled himself well against minor-league professional pitchers and showed off an A-plus arm from third base.

The scouts were incredulous.

“They kept saying, ‘There is no blanking way this kid is from Alaska,’” Wylie told me. “At that point, he was known.”

Today, he was drafted.

Homza, a versatile infielder, catcher and pitcher, was selected by the San Diego Padres in the fifth round of today’s Day 2 of the MLB draft.

On his 18th birthday, no less.

The Padres took Homza with the 138th pick – the second-highest selection by a player from Alaska. He’s only the third non-pitcher from here to be selected in the top 20.

“Jonny Homza is the best all-around player and most competitive player I have ever coached,” South coach Taylor Nerland told me. “He loves the game and wants to get better at it.”

Homza is a two-time Gatorade Alaska Player of the Year and led South to back-to-back appearances in the state championship game, pitching a complete-game win to help the Wolverines win as a junior.

This year the senior slugger batted .549 with 31 runs and 19 RBIs in 17 games. He had 12 extra-base hits, including his only home run in the state semifinals. As a pitcher he was 3-0 with a 0.91 ERA in 23 innings.

But he didn’t get drafted because of what he did in Alaska. And he won’t pitch at the next level. He’s expected to begin his professional career at third base but could move to catcher at some point.

Either way, they are getting the total package in the 6-foot-1, 180-pounder.

“His swing is pretty, his footwork is outstanding,” Wylie said. “You don’t normally get that polish with Alaska players.”

Homza started the summer with the Anchorage Bucs and wanted to play tonight after getting drafted, but general manager Shawn Maltby didn’t want to take any chances.

In the short amount of time Maltby saw Homza practice and play he liked what he saw.

“We wouldn’t have taken a risk on a high school senior if I didn’t think he could compete,” the longtime Alaska Baseball League GM said. “He’s athletic, plays multiple positions, hits everything. He’s got a great baseball IQ.”

Homza delivered a pinch-hit double for the Bucs the other night. He also brings a professional approach to the plate, making the pitcher work for every inch.

“Jonny goes up there the other day and fouls off five or six balls off in a row,” Matlby said. “Some guys get frustrated, but that’s a great at-bat. He understands that. Normally a kid won’t get it or is too selfish to get it.”

Nerland said Homza was always different – from the way he played baseball to his workout habits to his disciplined diet. Whatever he does, he’s it in to win it.

“Even when he hits the ball really hard at somebody and gets out, he thinks he could have hit it a little harder and wants that next at-bat to prove he can do it,” Nerland said. “Whatever the competition, he’s going to easily win it because he wants it that bad.”

 

Top 10 MLB Draft picks from Alaska

2000 SP Brian Montalbo Anchorage 4th Atlanta Braves

2017 INF Jonny Homza Anchorage 5th San Diego Padres

2009 SP Matt Way Sitka 5th Philadelphia Phillies

2012 SP Dylan Baker Juneau 5th Cleveland Indians

1994 INF Trajan Landgon Anchorage 6th San Diego Padres

2001 RP Chad Bentz Juneau 7th Montreal Expos

Sitka wins state with 2-1 extra-innings win over South

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jun 3, 2017

Oliver Moore-Baker scored the winning run on a sacrifice fly in the top of the 9th inning to help Sitka edge South 2-1 in title game of ASAA state baseball tournament at Mulcahy Stadium.

Oliver Moore-Baker scored the winning run on a sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth inning to help Sitka edge South 2-1 in extra innings in the championship game of the ASAA state baseball tournament at Mulcahy Stadium.

Sitka's No. 3 hitter Ky Stockel lofted a flyball to medium center field where South’s Parker Johnson caught it and fired a strike to home plate, but the ball bounced away from the catcher as Moore-Baker slid in with the go-ahead run.

Sitka starter Camden Suarez worked around seven hits over a 94-pitch complete-game effort and retired the Wolverines 1-2-3 in the final inning.

The loss was the first of the season for South [18-1] and snapped the team’s 21-game winning streak dating back to last season when the Wolverines won the state title.

Suarez and South starter and Gatorade Alaska Player of the Year Jonny Homza were locked in a pitcher's duel for the first eight innings, which breezed by in an hour and 45 minutes under a brilliant blue sky.

Homza scattered seven hits and four walks while allowing one run and striking out five.

It might be the last time he pitches - only because he's a college-ready infielder who will likely be picked in this month's MLB draft.

He got delightful defense from Johnson, who played beautifully at shortstop with a couple plays where he showed remarkable range and also saved a run with one diving stop to keep the ball in the infield.

Even at the end, Johnson’s throw was right on the money, but it looked like catcher Sladen Mohl glanced away at the last second with Moore-Baker charging hard. It was a tough-luck play for a one of the better defensive teams in the state.

But credit Sitka.

The Wolves played smart, steady and seamless to give third-year coach Matt Way his first state championship and the program’s fifth overall. Way’s old coach, Ed Conway led Sitka to state titles in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2014. Way played on the '05 team.

Stockel accounted for both runs for Sitka. He scored a run in the fourth inning to tie the game at 1-1 when he scored on the front end of a delayed double steal.

South took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on Homza’s line-drive single to left center, scoring Johnson.

Alaska State Baseball Titles

ASAA tournament began in 2000

Sitka 5 - 2005, 06, 07, 14, 17

Juneau 5 - 2002, 03, 08, 10, 12

South 3 - 2011, 13, 16

East 1 - 2000

Service 1 - 2001

Kodiak 1 - 2004

Dimond 1 - 2009

Chugiak 1 - 2015

Wasilla 5, Lathrop 0

Austin Robertson tossed a two-hit gem as the Warriors claimed the third-place game.

Robertson allowed two walks and struck out 10 batters. He didn't allow a run in 8.2 innings during the state tournament.

Ben Werner had two hits and two RBIs and James Arend, Hank Boyer and Caden Dudley each drove in one run.

Wasilla scored four runs in the third inning.

Lathrop's Colin King and Chase Reed each went 1-for-3.

Juneau-Douglas 7, Service 6

Luke Malinger scored the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning as the Crimson Bears won the fourth-place game.

The back-and-forth game featured four lead changes until things were tied at 6-6.

Bryce Swofford went 2-for-3 with an RBI and three runs. Kona Ogoy had two RBIS and pitcher Luis Mojica earned the win with two shutout innings of relief.

Cobey Cupp went 2-for-3 with three RBIs and Ronan Klancher and Raleigh Pigg each scored twice.

Sitka, South advance to state title game in '14 rematch

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jun 2, 2017

Sitka 3, Wasilla 0

Vaughn Blankenship lived up to his name and blanked the Wasilla Warriors with a two-hit beauty in the state semifnals at Mulcahy Stadium.

He issued two walks and struck out 11 batters, leading the Wolves into the state championship game for the first time since 2014.

Wasilla's Hank Boyer had a great game, pitching 6.2 innings and collecting his team's only two base hits.

He allowed three runs in the top of the first inning and shut it down after that.

Sitka's Dayton Cropper, Ky Stockel and Morgan Simic finished with RBIs.

South 14, Lathrop 8

Jonny Homza and Parker Johnson were the top two players in the Cook Inlet Conference this season and the two senior studs came up big to pad an early lead that carried the Wolverines in the state semifnals at Mulcahy Stadium.

South [18-0] punched its ticket to the state final -- the program's fifth consecutive year.

The win extended the team's winning streak to 21 games.

Homza - a two-time Gatorade Alaska Player of the Year - hit a home run and triple and finished with three RBIs.

Johnson - who is headed to Indiana Wesleyan University in the fall - went 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBIs.

Lathrop's Colin King flexed his muscles with a double, triple and four RBIs.

South and Sitka played in the 2014 state championship game, a 11-10 victory by the Wolves in a game played in Sitka.

Service, Juneau survive

The Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears and Service Cougars each won in the consolation round to survive to play one more day.

Juneau beat Colony 20-16 in a slugfest that featured 36 runs, 27 hits, 25 walks and 19 runners left on base.

Luke Malinger had a day, going 2-for-4 with five RBIs. Bryce Swofford drove in three runs and the top four Juneau batters combined to score 12 runs.

Colony's Joe Ryan, Kolter Ketchem, Cooper Smith and Jeremy Allen each had three RBIs.

Service used a strong pitching performance and an eight-run fourth inning to secure a 15-5 win over West Valley.

Klancher allowed just one earned run over six innings of work.

Cooper Bailey-Parsons went 3-for-5 with five RBIs. Freshman Kyle Andrew went 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI.

Saturday's schedule

@Mulcahy Stadium

10 AM Service vs. Juneau-Douglas

12:30 PM Wasilla vs. Lathrop

3PM CHAMPIONSHIP South vs. Sitka

Lathrop, Sitka, Wasilla, South win on Day 1 of state

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jun 1, 2017

Lathrop 12, Colony 11

For each of the last six years, the Lathrop Malemutes lost in the first round.

Not this time, though.

Not even an 8-0 deficit could deny Lathrop its first trip to the state semifinals since 2011.

Colin King, Chase Reed and Mason Wilken each drove in two runs. King's two-run triple provided a huge spark.

The Malemutes scored the winning run with two outs after a ground ball was misplayed by the Colony defense.

Dane Soderlund scattered eight hits over 3.1 innings of relief to earn the win for the Mid-Alaska Conference champions.

Colony's Zachary Satterly went 3-for-4, doubled and drove in three RBIs.

Sitka 4, Service 3

The bottom of the lineup helped the Sitka Wolves come out on top with a close first-round game.

Nos. 6-9 hitters Morgan Simic, Emmitt Anderson, Oliver Moore-Baker and Gavin Flores accounted for four of the team's five base hits.

Anderson and Flores were the game's only two players to score a run, get a hit and drive in a run.

Sitka led 3-2 after two innings before each team tacked on just one run apiece over the final five. The teams combined to leave 16 runners on base.

Service's Ronan Klancher went 2-for-3 with two RBIs.

Wasilla 10, West Valley 0

Leadoff hitter Balas Buckmaster doubled twice and drove in two runs to highlight a Wasilla lineup that broke open the game with an eight-run fourth inning.

Ben Werner, Cyrus Lovell and Hank Boyer each added two RBIs for the Warriors.

Four Wasilla pitchers combined for a 4-hitter, with starter Jacob Gilbert going the longest at 3.1 innings.

West Valley's Axel Keeton and Brandon Vanlandingham each had two hits, which represented the Wolf Pack's offense.

Wasilla reached the state semifinals since 2014.

South 12, Juneau-Douglas 2

Ace pitcher Parker Johnson went the distance and Derek McGinnis drove in four runs as South made quick work of the Crimson Bears.

With the win, the Wolverines improved to 17-0 this season and extended their 20-game winning streak dating back to last season.

Johnson allowed three hits and two walks while striking out a half dozen in five innings of work.

McGinnis finished 3-for-4 to lead a 14-hit attack. Anthony Maldonado was 3-for-3 with a pair of RBIs.

Juneau pulled within 3-2 in the fourth inning before South erupted for nine unanswered runs over the next frames.

Juneau's Luke Maligner and Niko Hebert drove in runs.

Friday's Schedule

Consolation Bracket

@ Mulcahy Stadium

10 AM Service vs. West Valley

1 PM Colony vs. Juneau 

Winner's Bracket

4 PM Sitka vs. Wasilla

7 PM Lathrop vs. South

South's Homza named Don Rabung CIC MVP

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 26, 2017

The Cook Inlet Conference baseball awards were handed out last night, with the undefeated South Wolverines taking home the majority of the individual honors. Most notably, Wolverine wonder Jonny Ho…

The Cook Inlet Conference baseball awards were handed out last night, with the undefeated South Wolverines taking home the majority of the individual honors.

Most notably, Wolverine wonder Jonny Homza earned the Don Rabung CIC MVP Award in a vote by league coaches.

Dimond's Dylan Montagna and South's Sladen Mohl shared the Big Stick Award.

Parker Johnson of South won the Gold Glove Award.

South is 16-0 and is the CIC's No. 1 seed at next week's state tournament.

In addition to Homza, Mohl and Johnson, South's other first-team selections were Lian Lincoln, Cody Leslie and Anthony Maldonado.

Service [8-4] is the CIC's No. 2 and had six first-team picks in Ronan Klancher, Cooper Bailey-Parsons, Andrew Jaidinger, Raleigh Pigg and Jaren Childs.

Cook Inlet Conference Baseball Awards Don Rabung CIC MVP Award Jonny Homza South SS/SP .577BA 10RBI 15R .703OBP, 3-0W/L 12.2IP 1.16ERA 19SO

Big Stick Award
Sladen Mohl South 9G .458BA 16RBI 5XBH .888SLG
Dylan Montagna Dimond 10G .321BA 1HR 8RBI 4SB

Gold Glove Award
Parker Johnson South 1.000FLD

All-Conference
FIRST TEAM
Starting Pitcher
Parker Johnson South 3G 3-0W/L 16IP 0.00ERA 27SO
Jake Andresen Dimond 5G 2-1W/L 19.0IP 1.11ERA 23SO
Jonny Homza South 3G 3-0W/L 12.2IP 1.16ERA 19SO
Gaten Davis East 6G 2-2W/L 29.1IP 1.67ERA 49SO
Jaren Childs Service 5G 1-0W/L 12.1IP 2.40ERA 13SO

Relief Pitcher
Andrew Jaidinger Service 5G 0-1W/L 13.2IP 2.17ERA 13SO
Garret Nevells Chugiak 5G 1-0W/L 13.2IP 1.97WHIP 8SO
Raleigh Pigg Service 3G 2-0W/L 1SV 6IP 3.50ERA
Sean Gardeline Dimond 4G 2-1W/L 15.2IP 2.23ERA 15SO

Catcher
Sladen Mohl South 9G .458BA 16RBI 5XBH .888SLG

First Baseman
Dylan Montagna Dimond 10G .321BA 1HR 8RBI 4SB

Second Baseman
Kyle Henrickson Dimond 10G .300BA 10R 5RBI 23B

Shortstop
Jonny Homza South 10G .577BA 10RBI 15R .703OBP

Third Baseman
Cooper Bailey-Parsons Service 10G .387BA 9RBI 13R 5SB

Outfield
Ronan Klancher Service 10G .444BA 13R 7RBI .595OBP
Lian Lincoln South 10G .485BA 17R 12RBI 3XBH
Cody Leslie South 5G .333BA 4R 13B 4R
Brian Wing Chugiak 9G .286BA 5R 7BB .545OBP

Utility
Parker Johnson South 10G .469BA 14RBI 16R 8SB
Luis Nunez West 9G .391BA 3RBI 7R .446OBP

Designated Hitter
Anthony Maldonado South 9G .524BA 10R 9RBI .593OPB

SECOND TEAM

 

SP- Braden Olmstead Eagle River; Brian Wing Chugiak; Thomas Zettler West; Chris Crespo West.
RP- Austin Weller South; Ryan Gray Eagle River.
C- McKenzie Montgomery Dimond; Trystan Costanios Chugiak.
1B- Gaten Davis East.
2B- Christian Cambridge Chugiak.
3B- Ryan Wood Bartlett; David Lundell East.
SS- Raleigh Pigg Service.
OF- Tyler Borschnak Bartlett; Declan Dammeyer West.
UTL- Sam Hall Chugiak; Chase Solberg East.
DH- DJ Davis Chugiak.

HONORABLE MENTION
SP-Eric White, East.
2B-Jack Opinsky West; Luke Giffen South; Sterling Retzlaff Eagle River; Ian Byrd Bartlett.
3B-Kaden Roetteger Dimond; Chase Subitch South; Chris Crespo West; Billy Smith Chugiak.
OF-Luis Montilla West.
UTL-Jesse Boese Dimond.
DH-David Kley South.

Recent Winners of Don Rabung CIC MVP Award
2016
Cody Curfman, Chugiak, SP/C, 4-W, 0-L, 1.93 ERA, 16 K, 29 IP, .323 BA, 9 RBI, 3 2B, 7 SB, 6 CS, 4 PK
2015
tie, Lucas Thorp, Dimond, 1B/RP, .414 BA, 2 HR, 9 RBI, .759 SLG, 1-W, 1-L, 2 SV, 2.69 ERA, 13 IP
Willy Homza, South, SS, .518 BA, 10 RBI, 7 XBH, .556 OBP, .938 FLD
2014
Dalton Chapman, West, P/1B, 4-W, 0-L, 0.96 ERA, 1 SV, 77 Ks, 36 IP, .456 BA, 15 RBI, 4 3B, .711 SLG
2013
Max Karnos, South, P/1B, 1-W, 1-L, 0.33 ERA, 35Ks, 20 IP, 17 Ks 1 GM, .429 BA, 6 2B, 8 XBH, 8 BB, 11 RBI
2012
Zach Ferntheil, Service, P/1B, 3-W, 0-L, 2 SV, 1.12 ERA, 25 K, 18 IP, .423 BA

Bynum helps NIU punch ticket to MAC Tournament

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 20, 2017

Scooter Bynum of Fairbanks sparked an 11th inning rally that helped Northern Illinois beat Miami of Ohio 11-7 in extra innings during Mid-American Conference action in Oxford, Ohio. It's fitting si…

Scooter Bynum of Fairbanks sparked an 11th inning rally that helped Northern Illinois beat Miami of Ohio 11-7 in extra innings during Mid-American Conference action in Oxford, Ohio.

It's fitting since the leadoff hitter from Alaska has been on fire for the last month.

Bynum has been scorching at the plate over the last 16 games with a .428 batting average.

The junior transfer a big reason why Northern Illinois is playing in the MAC Tournament for just the second time in the last decade.

Bynum went 2-for-4 with a walk and run scored in tonight’s win over Miami. He led off the 11th with a single and eventually scored the go-ahead run.

He leads the NCAA D1 Huskies in batting average [.307], slugging percentage [.434], stolen bases [13], total bases [82] and runs [35] in 51 games.

Bynum also almost single-handedly carried Northern Illinois into the postseason. Over the last 16 games, the team’s winning percentage is .375 [6-10]. That might not seem like much until you consider the Huskies were 10-26 before Bynum’s hitting spree.

He collected base hits in 14 of those 16 games and raised his season average 51 points.

Boys of Summer: Get into the game w/ Legion Baseball

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 13, 2017

The Alaska Legion Baseball season is right around the corner. Here is contact information for all 17 teams from all over the great state of Alaska to make sure your player gets on the field and into t…

The Alaska Legion Baseball season is right around the corner. Here is contact information for all 17 teams from all over the great state of Alaska to make sure your player gets on the field and into the game. There is a place for everyone.

Bartlett Post 29    

Tryout: May 17 5:30 p.m. Bartlett High School

Post Manager: Bernardo Otero

717-9311   

bro6918@hotmail.com

Chugiak Post 33

Tryout: May 21 12 p.m. Oberg Field

Post Manager: Mark Bohrer

854-9397   

mpbohrer@gci.net

Delta Post 22

Tryout: Contact coach

Post Manager: Sonny Zarecki                         

(804)994-4200

zareckiconstruction@hotmail.com

Dimond Post 21

Tryout: Contact coach

Post Manager: Dan Montagna                      

350-7342   

dmontagna@nsales.com

Eagle River

Tryout: May 25 6 p.m. Loretta French Field

Post Manager: Gregg Frost                                    

632-3342   

gregg@kodiakbreakers.com

East Post 34

Tryout: May 23 3:30 p.m. Davenport Field

Post Manager: Kurt Solberg                                  

242-7406   

babymoose97@hotmail.com

Fairbanks Post 11

Tryout: May 21 2 p.m. Marlin Field

Post Manager: Rodney Perdue                     

978-1995   

rod.perdue@foundationhealth.org

Fairbanks Post 30

Tryout: Contact coach

Post Manager: Tyler Hollister            

590-0454   

tchollister@alaska.edu

Juneau Post 25

Tryout: Contact coach

Post Manager: Joe Tompkins                       

321-0001   

josephtompkins@hotmail.com

Kenai Post 20      

Tryout: Contact coach

Post Manager: Lance Coz                            

398-9077   

lancecoz@hotmail.com

Ketchikan Post 3

Tryout: Contact coach

Post Manager: John Milner                          

220-7453

redmilner@gmail.com

Kodiak Post 17

Tryout: Contact coach

Post Manager: Leonard Pickett          

539-2600   

lwpickett@acsalaska.net

Palmer Post 15

Tryout: May 21 & May 28 3 p.m. Palmer Senior Field

Post Manager: Tim Rockey                         

982-8939   

timothy.rockey@gmail.com

Service Post 28

Tryout: Contact coach

Post Manager: Willie Paul                           

280-8439   

williepaul1@live.com

South Post 4

Tryout: May 21 3 p.m. Taylar Young Field

Post Manager: Eric Holland                                   

306-5520   

ewholland1@gmail.com

Wasilla Post 35

Tryout: May 14 & May 21 1 p.m. Wasilla High School

Post Manager: Ken Ottinger                        

301-4084   

ottworksales@gmail.com

West Post 1

Tryout: May 18 3:30 p.m. Kosinski Fields

Post Manager: Matt Kays                              

529-9289   

matthewkays@gmail.com

CIC baseball celebrates 25 years with all-decade teams

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 4, 2017

From Trajan Landgon to Chad Nading to Max Karnos, the Cook Inlet Conference has produced some of the best high school baseball players from Alaska.

 

What started as an experiment in 1992 is now a sweet science.

 

This week, the CIC honored its biggest names over the last 25 years by creating three all-decade teams for the 1990s, 2000s and 2010s.

 

East’s Langdon was named Player of the Decade of the 1990s, East’s Nading for the 2000s and South’s Karnos for the 2010s.

 

Coaches of the Decade winners were Service’s Tim Rumfelt for the 1990s, East’s Tony Wylie and Chugiak’s Bill Lierman for the 2000s and Chugiak’s Doug Henie for the 2010s.

 

Here’s a breakdown of each decade:

 

1990s CIC All-Decade Team

SP Trajan Langdon, East

SP Joey Clark, Chugiak

SP Brady Lonergan, Service

SP Tom Sterrett, Chugiak

RP Chris Edge, Dimond

C Ra Shipps, East

1B Tyler Hasbrouck, Service

2B Mischa Sorbo, West

3B Levi Robinson, Service

SS Jon Dyson, East

OF Kelly Hood, Service

OF Orlando Caro, East

OF Aaron Sperbeck, Dimond

DH Kyle Madden, East

UTL Joey Inama, Chugiak

Player of the Decade: Trajan Langdon, East

Coach of the Decade: Tim Rumfelt, Service

 

1990s Player of the Decade: Trajan Langdon, East

When he wasn’t making history on the basketball court, East’s Trajan Langdon was making plays on the baseball field in the Cook Inlet Conference.

 

He was the most polished ballplayer of his era – a precise pitcher, marvelous middle infielder and hard-hitting slugger.

 

The long and lanky 6-foot-3 dual-sport stud was voted CIC MVP in 1994 and was one of only two pitchers named to the all-conference team. In 1993, he was the only shortstop named all-CIC.

 

“I really enjoyed the challenge of pitching and trying to dominate games when I could,” he said.

 

Langdon played in an era before The Dome, before FieldTurf – back when Alaska’s winter lingered longer and the seasons were shorter.

 

“I do remember Opening Day one year being in mid-May and they had to shovel the snow off the field for us to play, and we still played in like 35- to 40-degree weather,” he said. “Crazy stories, yet stories that represent our great state.”

 

Langdon was drafted professionally in two sports – in 1994 by the MLB’s San Diego Padres in the sixth round and in 1999 by the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round.

 

He played three seasons in the minors as a third baseman at the Class A level in the summer of 1994, 1995 and 1997 before turning his attention on basketball. He went on to become an All-American at Duke University, a lottery pick in the NBA and All-Decade in the Euroleague.

 

Langdon made a career in basketball, but his days on the diamond molded his life forever.

 

“Baseball was a game that I really enjoyed playing,” he said. “I had great teammates and some great coaches and enjoyed every minute of it, and really, baseball helped to develop my competitive spirit.”

 

1990s Coach of the Decade: Tim Rumfelt, Service

Tim Rumfelt kept his approach simple when he managed the Service Cougars.

 

Just win, baby.

 

“We worked them quite hard,” Rumfelt said. “I expected them to play hard, and they did.”

 

Service was the premier program in the Cook Inlet Conference in the 1990s under Rumfelt, who posted a 45-18 record over six seasons in the decade.

 

He led the Cougars to back-to-back pennants in 1996 and 1997 and his 1999 team was the first CIC team to win 10 games in a season – back before there was a state tournament.

 

“In those days, you could go up to Service and ask people, what’s the sport? It was baseball,” Rumfelt said. “Service baseball was it.”

 

He managed in the original six era when the CIC featured only Bartlett, Chugiak, Dimond, East, Service and West.

 

He coached some of the biggest names in the 1990s, guys like Brady Lonergan, Tyler Hasbrouck, Levi Robinson and Kelly Hood. But there were other players that gave just as much sweat and sacrifice to help Service dominate the diamond.

 

“I had tremendous ballplayers in those days,” he said. “That’s not just because of me. There were other people involved too.”

 

Rumfelt, 70, went on to coach other CIC teams over the years. But his legacy will always be linked to Service.

 

“He shaped us not just into great teammates and ballplayers, but he also shaped me into the person I am today by showing us consistent effort and not giving up on us,” said 2001 all-league outfielder Charlton Ferreira. “It taught me never to give up, no matter what. He pushed us during conditioning and helped us make us mentally strong and physically strong for the season.”

 

2000s CIC All-Decade Team

SP Corey Madden, East

SP Brian Montalbo, Dimond

SP Conor Spink, Chugiak

SP Anton Maxwell, East

SP Ben Rosen, Chugiak

C Keegan Kucko, Chugiak

1B Chad Nading, East

2B Cal McKim South

3B Chuck Rider, Service

SS Nick Ridley, Bartlett

OF Antoine McLeod, East

OF Zach Morse, Chugiak

OF Tim McCollum, Chugiak

DH Jake Plancich, East

UTL Ty Griffith, Chugiak

Player of the Decade: Chad Nading, East

Coaches of the Decade: Tony Wylie, East; Bill Lierman, Chugiak

 

2000s Player of the Decade: Chad Nading, East

In the conversation about the greatest Cook Inlet Conference baseball player of all-time, the discussion has to start, and stop, with East’s Chad Nading.

 

Armed with a rocket right arm and booming bat, the 6-foot-5 pitcher and first baseman stood tall from 2004 to 2006 as the CIC’s most decorated all-star and only two-time MVP in the league’s 25-year history.

 

Nading batted .641 over his final two seasons and he pitched winning decisions in more than half of East’s 19 victories. In all, he earned five all-league honors, two batting titles and two MVP titles.

 

“I think I was so successful in Alaska because Coach Wylie put together a first-class program,” he said. “We would travel to Arizona and Hawaii, where we played very high competition early in the spring that got us early reps before starting CIC. We got all the early mistakes out of the way so once the season started we were ready to go.”

 

Nading was twice drafted by MLB teams – first in 2006 in the 36th round by Detroit out of high school and then again in 2009 in the 37th round by Texas out of UNLV.

 

From 2010 to 2016 he bounced around pro leagues and even pitched in Japan. In 2017, he made his MLB spring training debut with San Diego and a month later he picked up his first career save with Double-A San Antonio.

 

“I have been a part of a lot of great baseball teams and championships, but I can never close the yearbook when it comes to those four years of East High baseball,” Nading said. “Those years taught me to love competition and gave me opportunities to be a leader and relied on in huge situations.”

 

2000s Coaches of the Decade: Tony Wylie, East; Bill Lierman, Chugiak

When you think of East baseball in the 2000s, you think of Tony Wylie.

 

He was the architect behind a T-birds team that dominated the Cook Inlet Conference between 2000 and 2006, when they posted 65 victories, won three pennants and captured the inaugural ASAA state tournament championship in 2000.

 

“I firmly believe that teams take on the personality of their head coach,” Wylie said. “So if a coach is organized and knowledgeable about game preparation and he possesses some degree of gamesmanship with class, then it’s highly likely his players will exude the same classy persona and wins will take care of themselves.”

 

Coaching baseball wasn’t a job for Wylie. It was his career. He went on to create the Alaska Baseball Academy and currently serves as a MLB scout.

 

At East, his 2000 squad was the first CIC team to win 12 games in a season. He coached the most decorated player in CIC history in Chad Nading as well as other all-decade selections in Corey Madden, Anton Maxwell, Antoine McLeod and Jake Plancich.

 

“I was very blessed to have a ton of exceptional athletes coming through East in the late 1990s and 2000s. All I needed to do was place them in situations to be successful and they did all the work.” Wylie said. “I was also smart enough to surround myself with quality assistant coaches who believed in my style of teaching and motivation.”

 

Bill Lierman was a hard-nosed competitor when he played for Chugiak and he was no different when he became the school’s coach.

 

Blunt, brainy and bullish, Lierman guided the Mustangs to a decade-best 76 wins from 2000 to 2009 on his way to becoming the Cook Inlet Conference’s all-time leader in coaching victories [95]. Chugiak reached the state championship game in 2004, 2006 and 2009.

 

“High school baseball changed throughout the 2000s and I think we adapted to certain things,” he said. “We had great players, assistant coaches and parent support.”

 

Lierman said the key to his success was trust between him and his players and him and their parents.

 

“When the parents trust you to coach their kids, that’s when you can really mold teams because you don’t have outside influence,” he said.

 

In 2004, the Mustangs made a worst-to-first type jump by going from 2-8 to 9-1 in the CIC. In 2006, Chugiak became the first CIC team to win 13 games in one season.

 

Lierman never judged himself by victories, but rather by the life lessons he could teach to prepare his players for winning in life.

 

“Most people want instant gratification and that instant gratification is built on wins. They think wins and losses are a direct reflection of you as a coach,” he said. “But really, it’s about four or five years down the road, when a player calls you and thanks for you something you said that had nothing to do with wins and losses.”

 

2010s CIC All-Decade Team

SP Max Karnos, South

SP Zach Ferntheil, Service

SP Dalton Chapman, West

SP Jonny Homza, South

RP Lucas Thorp, Dimond

C Chase Wilson, Chugiak

1B Michael Rosenberg, Eagle River

2B Cory Clevenger, Dimond

3B Tyler Thompson, Dimond

SS Willy Homza, South

OF Matt Illalio, Service

OF Sagan Osborne, Dimond

OF Parker Johnson, South

DH Garrett Brown, Service

UTL Adam Manzer, West

Player of the Decade: Max Karnos, South

Coach of the Decade: Doug Henie, Chugiak

 

2010s Player of the Decade: Max Karnos, South

South’s Max Karnos was one of the best pitchers in Cook Inlet Conference history with three all-league recognitions from 2011 to 2013 and a MVP award as a senior.

 

The 6-foot-4 right-hander dominated the 2013 season with a 0.33 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 20 innings. He went 1-1 with his lone loss coming in a game where he had 17 strikeouts.

 

“Max was tough to hit because he could spot up. He could paint the corners. His changeup and 2-seam were the toughest to hit,” said Service’s Jake Ridley, the 2012 CIC Gold Glove winner. “I had a lot of respect for him.”

 

Karnos batted .429 with 11 RBIs in 10 games. In South's biggest game of the year, with a state playoff berth at stake, he sparked a 7-5 win over Chugiak by going 2 for 3 with three RBIs.

 

The Wolverines went on to win state, the team's second title in three years.

 

“What I remember most were all the late nights at the school and Dome, grinding and getting ready for the season,” Karnos said. “Those were absolutely some of the best years of my life. I have tons of close friends because of those four years and memories I will never forget.”

 

Karnos went on to pitch at Western Nevada and then Sacramento State, where in 2016 he threw a 3-hit shutout against Utah Valley to become just the second Alaskan to throw a 9-inning complete game at the NCAA D1 level.

 

“Playing at South prepared me for the rest of my career because I never took anything for granted,” he said. “It also helped that I had big dreams and what I wanted most in the world was to accomplish them.”

 

2010s Coach of the Decade: Doug Henie, Chugiak

He was around for only three seasons, but Chugiak’s Doug Henie enjoyed one of the most successful and shortest tenures in the Cook Inlet Conference.

 

Yet his achievements were undeniable.

 

The Mustangs became the first CIC team in 2015 to win 15 games in a season and they did it again in 2016.

 

“It really was the players. We just stressed to them, ‘do your job, focus on you, not worry about what other people are doing.’” Henie said. “We kind of took that to heart.”

 

Henie led Chugiak to the school’s first ASAA state championship in 2015 and a second-place showing in 2016.

 

He won 36 games – the most so far in the 2010s and two more than Dimond’s Brad Lauwers, who won 34 in four seasons and received strong consideration for coach of the decade.

 

“I’m no brain child,” Henie cracked. “I tried to keep it simple and fun and keep concentration levels up.”

 

You could argue Henie did more with less. Chugiak had only one player selected all-decade in Chase Wilson; whereas, for example, Dimond had four guys picked to the team.

 

“You could say we didn’t have all the big names, but we had a lot of depth and played with a chip on our shoulder,” Henie said.

 

He preferred to stay in the dugout, behind the scenes. It had been like that since 2004 when he joined the coaching staff. But that all changed after he was promoted to head coach in 2013. It didn’t change him.

 

“I’m not a real intense guy,” Henie said. “I just tried to keep the guys tuned into the game, especially the bench kids, because if they aren’t into the game it can disrupt the concentration of the players on the field.”

Monaghan collects first win with Feather River College

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Apr 17, 2017

Wasilla’s Nolan Monaghan got a pitching promotion with the Feather River College baseball team and he knocked the opportunity out of the park.

 

The freshman left-hander tossed a season-high 5.2 innings and earned his first win as Feather River beat Butte 6-4 in the California Community College Athletic Association.

 

Monaghan, of Wasilla Post 35 fame, fought off nerves by simplifying his approach on the mound.

 

“I just had to focus and compete,” he told me. “I felt comfortable; just kind of slowing my heart rate down by breathing and just slowing the game down to what I wanted it to be.”

 

Making just his second start in 11 appearances this season, the southpaw allowed six hits and two earned runs while matching his season high with four strikeouts.

 

“My curveball and changeup were my pitches today,” he said. “I was able to land them for strikes consistently when I needed them to.”

 

Monaghan was chased from the game with two outs in the sixth inning after allowing a bunt single. He watched the rest of the game from the dugout as his win hung on the hopes of the bullpen.

 

“I was kind of anxious because the conference is close right now and beating Butte was a big win for us,” he said.

 

Monaghan [1-2] lowered his season ERA to 5.40 in 18.1 innings.

 

However, he’s cut that number in half [2.16] over his last 8.1 innings.

 

“I’ve learned how to pitch instead of just throwing,” he said. “I like it here a lot. It’s a great environment to get better with great support from the town and my teammates. It’s a huge family.”

Butcher throws shutout, named NSIC Pitcher of the Week

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Apr 11, 2017

As a transfer to the University of Minnesota-Crookston, Palmer’s Jacob Butcher felt pressure to perform every time he took the mound.

 

It didn’t help when he started slowly. That made him only press more.

 

Finally, he stopped trying so hard and went back to being himself.

 

“At some point,” he told me, “you just have to trust your stuff.”

 

Amen, bro.

 

Butcher, of Wasilla Post 35 fame, tossed a 3-hit shutout with 102 pitches over seven innings in a 6-0 win against the University of Mary in Crookston, Minnesota.

 

“It felt really good to get a game like that in. Especially in the NSIC, which is definitely for hitters more than it is for pitchers I would say,” he told me. “I've been working on a lot of things this last fall and winter and fell into an early slump to start off but finding consistent outings now that I've gotten more comfortable in my role on the team.”

 

The junior right-hander walked only one batter and struck out five en route to lowering his earned-run average to 5.40, two runs lower than it was before the game.

 

A few days later, Butcher was named Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Pitcher of the Week for his masterpiece pitching performance.

 

Butcher has pitched a total of 26.2 innings for Minnesota-Crookston in eight appearances, including five starts. He doesn’t care if he starts or comes in relief.

 

“I have been both in my career and both are just as exciting when you get your chance to be on the bump,” he said. “The main focus for every pitcher, whether starting or relieving, is to get in there and fill up the [strike] zone and give your team a chance to win.”

 

Off the field, he enjoys life in Minnesota but admitted that he’s a little home sick.

 

“I like it here but I miss it a lot back home on the west coast and especially Alaska,” he said. “I hope to move back there because I don't see here as a permanent option for me. But the school and the degrees offered here are great.”

 

Butcher is currently seeking a degree in Golf and Turfgrass Management.

 

“Just a fancy name for landscaping,” he said. “And I couldn't be happier to be doing this degree. It ranges in a wide variety of sports fields to golf courses to parks and home lawns.”

Lost teeth can’t slow down Kley for Wenatchee Valley

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Apr 6, 2017

He lost parts of his front teeth and his team lost both games of a doubleheader, but Matthew Kley of Anchorage still had a smile on his face.

 

The Wenatchee Valley College third baseman took a shot to the face from the helmet of a Yakima Valley baserunner attempting to steal a base in Game 2 of the NWAC doubleheader in Yakima, Washington.

 

“My catcher threw the ball a little to the left of the bag and the runner slid head first right into my mouth,” Kley told me. “But still got the runner out.”

 

He laughed it off and stayed in the game.

 

After all, he’s from Alaska.

 

“I told my coach not to laugh when I got up and showed him, although the team thought it was pretty funny when I lost the teeth,” he said.

 

Kley, of South Post 4 fame, finished 3-for-7 in the doubleheader to raise his batting average to .265 in 11 games.

 

“I thought I played well after it because I figured I lost my teeth so I had nothing else to lose,” he said. “And probably played better because of that.”

 

Kley has base hits in six of his next eight games, including the last four.   

 

Take away the 0-of-9 start in his first three college games, and the freshman is batting .440 on the year.

Chapman learns how to pitch all over again at Everett

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Apr 2, 2017

When Anchorage’s Dalton Chapman arrived at Everett Community College in Washington two years ago he threw a baseball.

 

Now he pitches.

 

“I’ve learned a ton,” he told me. “You can throw a ball 100 mph but have no pitching ability and be known as a guy who just throws hard or be a pitcher known as the guy who gets the job done and knows how to get outs.”

 

Back from a redshirt season, the right-hander has started his sophomore season beautifully with a 1.87 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 24 innings.

 

Chapman, of West Post 1 fame, sat out last season to get his academics in order.

 

“The reason why I couldn’t play last year was because I took 30 credits that didn’t transfer, so I had two options: redshirt or play and only be able to go to NAIA schools, which isn’t bad but I have dreams to play D1.”

 

Turns out taking a year off was the best thing that ever happened.

 

“It gave me a year to get better and mature and now I am in contact with about 15 schools and pro scouts as well,” Chapman said.

 

He throws a 4-seam fastball, a 2-seamer, changeup and slider.

 

“My slider is my out pitcher for sure,” Chapman said.

 

He’s also throwing his fastball in the 92-mph range, quite the jump from when he threw in the mid-80s in Alaska.

 

The 6-foot-5 pitcher has allowed 10 hits and 14 walks in his five starts.

 

Dancing around so many base runners is a sign of growth with improved mental makeup because he no longer gets rattled under pressure.

 

“Every time I face a batter I just tell myself over and over ‘one pitch at a time,’” he said. “As a freshman, I struggled because I would only care about the end result. You have to get two strikes on a guy before punching him out with strike three.”

Nading makes MLB spring appearance with San Diego

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Mar 29, 2017

After years of bouncing around small towns in the minor leagues, Chad Nading of Anchorage finally got a taste of the big time.

 

The 28-year-old relief pitcher today made his first appearance with the San Diego Padres in the eighth inning of a 3-1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers in Glendale, Arizona.

 

Nading - a former Alaska Legion state tournament MVP with East Post 34 - entered the MLB exhibition game with the bases loaded and promptly hit Omar Estevez with the second pitch after getting ahead 0-1 to allow a run to score.

 

The 6-foot-6 rocket right-hander then struck out O’Koyea Dickson to end the threat.

 

Nading is the second Alaska pitcher to appear in a spring training game this month after Juneau’s Dylan Baker of the Cleveland Indians threw an inning on March 9.

 

In 2013, Nading participated in extended spring training with the Boston Red Sox.

 

Before and after that he bounced around independent leagues all over the country and even spent time in Japan with the Ishikawa Million Stars.

 

By 2015, however, he was out of the game altogether.

 

Last year, he returned to the game with the Wichita Wingnuts of the American Association. He had incredible success out of the bullpen with a 1.70 ERA in 43 games to help Wichita reach the championship series.

 

Nading was twice drafted by MLB teams, first in 2006 in the 36th round by the Detroit Tigers out of high school and then again in 2009 in the 37th round by the Texas Rangers out of UNLV.

 

Osborne having career year w/ long ball at Dickinson St

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Mar 18, 2017

Anchorage’s Sagan Osborne smoked the ball twice to the outfield wall in his first two plate appearances, but the Dickinson State baseball player had no hits to show for it.

 

But he didn’t hang his head.

 

Instead, he waited for the pitcher to hang a pitch.

 

That’s exactly what happened when Osborne went yard in his next at-bat for his career-high fifth home run of the season for the NAIA Blue Hawks of Dickinson, North Dakota.

 

“My home run was a bit of a relief in that game,” he told me. “I was 0-2 and felt like I had been chasing pitches I shouldn't, but my coach told me to go in aggressive and look for something up. The pitcher hung a curveball and I got ahold of it.”

 

Osborne, of Dimond Post 21 fame, is enjoying another big year at the plate this year on the heels of a strong junior season.

 

The third baseman has posted career highs in home runs, batting average [.411], on-base percentage [.463], slugging percentage [.726] and stolen bases [7] in 19 games.

 

With just two walks in 75 plate appearances, he goes to the plate to hit.

 

“Early in the year I feel like I don't walk much because not much scouting happens and I get a lot of first-pitch fastballs,” he said. “Most of the time I'm going to put that ball in play. Once conference season comes around and pitchers are more familiar with me it'll lead to longer at bats and more walks.”

 

Osborne has been incredibly effective, driving in 21 runs on 30 hits and scoring 24 runs in 19 games. The decline in his game is doubles total, dropping from 21 to four, in part because he’s hitting more balls out of the park.

 

“I'd like to get at least 10 [home runs] on the year and feel like I am capable of doing that,” he said. “I worked a lot on my power this summer and it is showing. I think that has contributed to my lower doubles number because those balls are leaving the yard this year. Also pretty much everyone we play plays me extra deep so balls hit in the gap haven't been able to fall as often this year.”

Homza’s hot bat a bright spot for struggling Brown U.

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Mar 13, 2017

His team isn’t winning, but Anchorage’s Willy Homza has been winning the one-on-one battle in the box.

 

The sophomore third baseman has more base hits than strikeouts and owns a .360 on-base percentage for a Brown University team that has started the NCAA D1 season 0-6 after getting swept by Nichols State and Texas A&M in back-to-back weekend series.

 

In today’s finale against Texas A&M, Homza collected his first career 3-hit game and set the table for his team’s lone run in a 5-1 loss in College Station, Texas.

 

The No. 2 hitter doubled and later scored to put Brown up 1-0 in the third inning. It was his second straight hit off Aggies starter Mitchell Kilkenny, a former Texas Class 5A Pitcher of the Year from Houston.

 

“He threw me two changeups and I sat on the second one,” Homza told me. “My first at-bat I got a fastball and got a barrel to it.

 

“I felt like I was recognizing pitches well right out of the hand.”

 

He lined out his third at-bat to end the fifth.

 

In the eighth inning, he singled off a different pitcher to raise his batting average to a career-high .273.

 

Homza, of South Post 4 fame, has banged out base hits in four of the first six games and is second on the team with nine total bases. He’s the only Brown player to hit a double and a triple this year.

 

“Extra-base hits are a combination of being stronger and a more aggressive approach,” he said.

 

Coaches tend to put their best contact hitter in the No. 2 spot, so it’s a role Homza earned behind the scenes. It’s now carrying over to the field.

 

“I think it’s easier to settle in when I’m consistently playing every game and getting quality ABs,” he said. “I feel like we have a good offensive plan this season.”

Bynum finds his grove, hitting stroke at Northern Illinois

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Mar 6, 2017

Back-to-back two-hit games helped Scooter Bynum of Fairbanks raise his batting average 56 points in one day for the Northern Illinois University baseball team.

 

The junior transfer went a combined 4-for-9 at the plate in a doubleheader loss to Southern Illinois during NCAA D1 play in Edwardsville, Illinois.

 

Three of his four hits went for extra bases, including his first double and triple, in this his ninth and tenth game with the Huskies.

 

Bynum, of Monroe Catholic High fame, raised his season average to .278 and extended his hitting streak to five games.

 

The starting centerfielder has reached base in all 10 games this season.

 

Bynum leads Northern Illinois in runs [7], walks [7] and triples [1] while ranking second in total bases [14] and on-base percentage [.422].

 

A former Gatorade Alaska Player of the Year in both baseball and basketball his senior year of high school, he was drafted in the MLB when the Cincinnati Reds picked him in the 16th round.

 

Bynum is one of only two non-pitchers from Alaska to be drafted in the first 20 rounds.

 

Last season at Arizona Western College, he set career highs in batting average [.351], slugging percentage [.551], doubles [12], triples [5] and home runs [5] in 51 games.

Winter College Coaches Clinic, Jan. 13-16 @ The Dome

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Dec 16, 2016

Join Everett Community College head coach Levi Lacey and staff for the ninth annual Winter College Coaches Clinic.

The 4-day youth camp runs Jan. 13-16 at The Dome in Anchorage.

Get in-depth instruction in all aspects of the game, detailed practice lesson plans and important information for youth coaches and parents.

This high-paced, informative camp now features extended times for more instruction.

We're not talking just hitting and pitching - it's infield practice, base-stealing strategy, outfield positioning, conditioning and more.

Save 20% to 30% with early registration. Sign up now, save now.

Register here.

Under Lacey’s management, Everett CC has won 154 games since 2012 and the team captured the NWAC title in 2013 and placed second in 2016.

"We will challenge our campers to become better players." Lacey said. "The delivery of our information is what sets us apart from other camps. We want the athlete to understand information as well as execute the information physically."

As a bonus, a special parent & coaches session will be held Saturday, Jan. 14, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. and also Sunday, Jan. 15, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Learn what college coaches are looking for and how to get your player to the next level.

ABA all-stars race to 4-0 record at Arizona Fall Classic

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Oct 18, 2016

Pitching and defense, hitting and base running, the Alaska Baseball Academy all-stars controlled all aspects of the game at the Arizona Fall Classic.

“I am sure [this performance] will lead to more Alaskan ball players finding college opportunities,” he said.

On Day 1, the ABA all-stars opened with a 13-3 win over a D’backs scout team from Canada in the first of two games. The Alaskans banged out 15 hits and got a wonder start from Bryce Swofford of Juneau.

With a 90 mph fastball in his arsenal, the lanky righty struck out seven over four innings. Alaska’s hit parade was keyed by Anchorage’s Jonny Homza and Raleigh Pigg, and Paul Steffensen of Kenai.

In the second game, Alaska edged a Padres scout team 1-0 behind a strong pitching performance by Pigg, who struck out eight, and Steffensen, who singled home the lone run.

On Day 2, the ABA all-stars kept it going with a 3-2 win over a team from southern California. Anchorage pitchers Jake Andresen and Parker Johnson combined for 10 Ks over eight innings of work.

Defensively, catchers Sladen Mohl of Anchorage and Juneau’s Michael Cesar of Juneau threw out three baserunners apiece.

On Day 3, the Alaskans ended the tournament with an 8-1 victory over MVP Baseball, a national select team with players from 20 states.

Homza – last year's Alaska Gatorade Player of the Year who has committed to the University of Hawaii – remained hot at the plate with a triple and double while also contributing on the mound with a pair of scoreless innings.

Houston Astros coaches headline 3-day baseball camp

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Oct 7, 2016

Houston Astros coaches Brent Strom and Jeff Albert will be in Alaska next month for the 7th annual Professional Coaches Clinic.

This is your chance to receive 1-on-1 instruction from a pair of Major League Baseball coaches.

Strom is the pitching coach for the Houston Astros and Jeff Albert is one of the organization's hitting instructors.

Strom has been a winner at every level, winning a College World Series title as a player with Southern Cal in 1970 and a World Series title as a coach with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2011.

He also pitched five years in the bigs, throwing a complete game at old Yankee Stadium. This guy tossed 16 CGs in 75 career starts.

Strom is in his fourth season as pitching coach for the Astros.

Last year, he led the Astros pitching staff to a 3.57 ERA, the best team ERA in the American League and the second-lowest produced by an Astros team since the club moved to Minute Maid Park in 2000.

This is his seventh season as the headliner at the Professional Baseball Clinic.

Albert is also an Anchorage camp veteran and just completed his his third season as Houston’s hitting coordinator after joining the organization in 2013 as roving hitting instructor.

He is a professional hitting coach with a background in Exercise Science. Blending the disciplines of exercise physiology, biomechanics, motor learning and sports psychology enables Albert to optimize and accelerate the development process for baseball and softball hitters.

Prior to joining the Astros, Albert spent five seasons as a coach in the Cardinals minor league system. A graduate of Butler University, he played professionally in the independent leagues and also received his Master’s degree in Exercise Science at Louisiana Tech University.

Osborne swings fast, plays fast, starts fast for Dickinson

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Sep 14, 2016

Anchorage’s Sagan Osborne swings fast and plays fast so it’s no surprise he started fast for the Dickinson State University baseball team last weekend.

The senior shortstop went 5-for-8 with a home run, triple and three RBIs in a two-game series against Mayville State to open the NAIA fall ball season in North Dakota.

“It doesn’t take me too long to get into a rhythm generally,” he told me. “I’m the type of hitter who doesn’t need to spend hours and hours in a cage to get ready. I like to take 15 to 20 swings and feel a rhythm, and then I’m good to go.”

Osborne, of Dimond Legion Post 21 fame, is coming off an all-conference junior season when he hit .353 and drove in 42 runs in 52 games in his first year at Dickinson State.

He has stayed locked in from one year to the next because he doesn’t make any at-bat any bigger from one to the next. Not putting pressure on himself – among other things – allows him to stay relaxed.

“I even sing to myself sometimes at the plate to stay loose,” he said. “It’s just little things that you pick up over the years that allow you to be able to roll into a season on the right foot instead of starting slowly and not helping your team.”

A gap hitter with good speed, Osborne bagged 24 extra-base hits last season with 21 doubles, two triples and a home run. He already has a triple and dinger this fall.

With only 11 base on balls in 200 career plate appearances, it’s obvious he goes to the plate looking to take a hack. But he’s not just swinging to swing.

He reads the pitcher, the defense and even the weather.

“My triple was on a low inside curveball but there was a strong wind blowing across left field so I knew that trying to pull it in the air would only result in a fly out, so I tried to stay inside it more and drive it to the right side and I put a good swing on it and drove it to the right-center gap,” he said.

Nading, Wichita move to American Association title series

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Sep 14, 2016

Anchorage’s Chad Nading inched closer to winning his first championship as a professional as the right-handed relief pitcher helped the Wichita Wingnuts advance to the American Association Championshi…

Wichita defeated Sioux City 3-1 in the best-of-5 semifinal series to advance to the championship series, which starts Wednesday against the Winnipeg Goldeyes.

Nading, of East Legion Post 34 fame, made three appearances during the semifinal series, throwing a total of three innings to extend his scoreless streak to 16 innings.

The 6-foot-6 setup man has a 1.70 ERA in 43 games this season. He is 0-1 with two saves and a bunch of holds as one of the top options coming out of the bullpen.

Nading played college ball at UNLV and was twice drafted by MLB clubs before embarking on a pro career in the minor leagues. He bounced around for three years and then went to Japan before coming back to the States.

He was out of the game a year ago.

Now he’s back, better than ever, and close to capturing his first championship since his high school days.

Nading hasn’t allowed a run since Aug. 5, a stretch of 17 games over five weeks.

The American Association Championship Series begins in Canada with Games 1 and 2 at Winnipeg before going to Wichita, Kansas, for the remainder of the best-of-5.

After years of hard knocks, Nading finally finds success

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Aug 11, 2016

Chad Nading of Anchorage hasn’t been involved in a playoff race in years.

The 28-year-old relief pitcher now finds himself right in the middle of one in the American Association, an independent professional baseball league that plays 100 games in the regular season.

With 24 to play, the Wichita Wingnuts lead the Laredo Lemurs by 5.5 games.

“This is the best group of guys I've played with in professional baseball and manager Pete Rose Jr. is the ultimate player's coach and makes baseball free and easy every day,” he told me.

Nading, of East Post 34 fame, has pitched six times in the last eight days. No more evidence is needed to prove how valuable this guy is to Wichita’s bullpen.

The 6-foot-6 flamethrower has pitched in each of the last three days, including tonight’s one-out hold to end the eighth inning in a 9-7 win over the Winnipeg Goldeyes.

“My velocity has been 93-97 mph with slider, curveball and changeup,” he said.

Nading has appeared in a career-high 30 games on the year, carding a 2.45 ERA in 29.1 innings.

Few people would have stuck with a sport like Nading did with baseball, which hasn’t always treated the Alaska ace well.

Early on, though, the game came easy.

At East High, he was a two-time Cook Inlet Conference MVP in 2006 and 2005. With East Legion Post 34 he won a state title all four years he played and was named the State Tournament MVP and Top Pitcher award winner in 2006.

He was drafted in the 36th round by the Detroit Tigers in 2006, but opted to play college baseball. He signed with Oregon State but wound up pitching at Skagit Valley Community College. After one season he transferred to UNLV, where he pitched for two years and then was drafted in the 37th round by the Texas Rangers in 2009.

In 2010, he started his pro career in rookie ball with the San Diego Padres organization.

He bounced around independent leagues in 2011 and 2012.

In 2013, Nading participated in extended spring training with the Boston Red Sox.

In 2014, he went to Japan and played with the Ishikawa Million Stars.

He didn’t play last year.

“I have to tell you the last two years have been a real test for me as a baseball player and a person,” Nading said. “After leaving Japan I sat down and thought about what I really wanted to accomplish with the rest of my career.”

Meanwhile, he changed his pitching motion more than area codes. He was all over the place, searching for the right delivery. He found the right formula in Wichita.

“I have been through just about every arm slot and style since leaving high school in 2006, but lack of success has left me determined to find the real me and chase that success I've been desperate to feel,” Nading said.

Service eliminated from NWCART after loss to Idaho

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Aug 7, 2016

Service Post 28 twice jumped out to an early lead before fading down the stretch in a 10-4 loss to the Hailey Post 24 Wood River Wranglers of Idaho.

It happened in an elimination game on Day 3 of the Northwest Class A Regional Tournament in Laurel, Montana.

Service finished 1-2 in the tournament – the fourth straight year a team from Alaska won a game at the NWCART.

“As a coaching staff we can't be prouder of the way the team rose to the challenges we put before them and the compliments we received from opposing coaches and fans regarding the class, character and competitiveness that these kids played with,” Service manager Willie Post told me.

“Winning and losing can be determined by a lot of things but respect is earned and these kids made sure to leave everything they had on the field to earn it. As a coaching staff we can ask for anything more than that.”

Service led 2-0 after the top of the first inning and 3-2 after the top of the third inning. However, each time the Wood River Wranglers answered in the bottom half and took the lead for good with a three-run third inning that made it 5-3.

Service had scoring chances in the fourth and fifth inning, but grounded into double plays in both frames.

The Wood River Wranglers took a 6-3 lead in the fourth and then the game was scoreless in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings.

In the eighth, Idaho put the game away with a four-run frame.

Service finished 24-13 on the season, winning five games in state and regional competition.

“It’s not what you do in June but how you finish in July and August,” Paul said. “I think our guys took that to heart and when crunch time came they buckled down and grinded through every pitch never giving in. They proved they had the drive and determination with each of those postseason games.”

Laurel [MT] blanks Service 10-0 in winner's bracket at NWCART

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Aug 6, 2016

The Laurel Post 123 Dodgers took advantage of home field and starting pitcher Carson West on Saturday.

West pitched all seven innings as host team beat the Service Post 28 Cougars 10-0 on Day 2 of the Northwest Class A Regional Tournament in Montana.

West threw a 3-hitter with nine strikeouts. Seven days ago, he threw 120 pitches over nine innings in a 5-4 win that moved Laurel into the state championship game.

Service [24-12] drops into the loser's bracket and will play an elimination game Sunday.

Chugiak Legion A wins state title over No. 1 Kenai

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Aug 6, 2016

Slugger Billy Smith and pitcher Christian Cambridge led Chugiak Post 33 to the ALB Legion A state tournament title.

Chugiak delivered a 12-3 victory over Kenai Post 20 in the championship game at Bartlett High School.

The teams came into the title game as the top two seeds - Kenai No. 1, Chugiak No. 2.

Smith had the hot bat, going 2-for-4 with a walk, two doubles and six RBIs.

Cambridge flirted with a complete game, going 6.1 innings and giving up only one earned run. 

“The win was a great team victory, with contributions by all,” Chugiak coach Bill Smith told me.

Chugiak finished 17-7 and was the only team in Alaska to beat Kenai this year. The Twins won 28 of 30 games, with both losses coming to Chugiak.

The Mustangs also won 5-2 in the title game of the Chugiak Wood Bat Invitational in early July.

“Coaches Mike Gullett, Steve Hall and I are really proud of the way the boys fought all season,” Smith said.

Service beats Grantsville [UT] in 11th inning on Day 1 of NWCART

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Aug 5, 2016

Not even a ninth-inning nightmare could derail the Service Post 28 Cougars on Friday.

Service blew a five-run lead in the bottom of the ninth only to get things back on track and eventually score in the 11th inning to beat Grantsville, Utah, 11-10 on Day 1 of the Northwest Class A Regional Tournament in Laurel, Montana.

It was the sixth consecutive game decided by two runs or fewer for the Cougars, who are 5-1 during that stretch.

“I think as a team we have bonded a lot later in the year,” Service’s Nick Hall told me. “At the beginning of the season when we’d get down we’d get our heads down, but we definitely kept our heads up today and things continue to go well.”

Michael Yandell scored the winning run after he singled with two outs, stole second and raced home when Ronan Klancher’s grounder went through the legs of the Grantsville second baseman.

Service pitcher Cobey Cupp threw the final three innings to earn the win, improving the ALB state tournament runner-up Cougars to 24-11 on the season.

Grantsville first baseman Riley Jensen earned player-of-the-game honors after hitting two home runs and driving in six runs. He clubbed a grand slam to tie the game in the ninth inning.

Service starter Nick Hall pitched the first eight innings and entered the ninth with a 10-5 lead, but he was removed after issuing a leadoff walk.

Enter ace reliever Raleigh Pigg, who was lights out during last week’s state tournament but struggled on this day to find his rhythm. He walked two batters and hit another, helping Grantsville pull closer at 10-6.

Cupp replaced Pigg and immediately faced Jensen, who crushed a grand slam to tie the game 10-10. However, Cupp bounced back to get out of the inning and force extra innings.

“Giving up that home run, it did suck – a lot – but I just kept pitching. I didn’t think about it,” Cupp told me. “I either pitch and win or pitch and lose, but I gotta pitch either way. I tried to focus on that.”

Cupp faced Jensen again in the 11th inning, nursing a one-run lead. This time he struck him out on a four-pitch sequence of nothing but curveballs.

“It was nasty,” Cupp said of his curve. “I surprised myself honestly. My arm felt good.”

Service banged out 16 hits, with Pigg getting five of them. Cupp reached base four times on a single, double and two walks. Pigg and Hall combined for five RBIs.

Kenai outhits Cheyenne [WY] in 11-4 loss on Day 2 of Regionals

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Aug 5, 2016

The Kenai Post 20 Twins outhit the Cheyenne Post 6 Sixers but it wasn't enough to prevent an 11-4 loss in an elimination game at the Legion AAA Northwest Regional Tournament in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

The host team scored in each inning it batted, taking advantage of 10 walks.

Kenai outhit the Sixers 9-6, with Josh Darrow and Kenny Griffin each going 2-for-5.

Griffin's two-out RBI single in the top of the first inning gave the Twins an early 1-0 lead.

Mathew Daugherty gave Kenai a 2-1 lead when he singled, stole second base, went to third on a passed ball and scored on an error.

In the sixth inning, Gavin Petterson had an RBI single to score Calvin Hills.

Kenai's fourth run came in the ninth inning when Cody Quelland singled and later scored on an error.

The ALB Legion AA state champion Twins finished the season 32-10.

“What a great season and pleasure to be part of such fine young men,” Kenai coach Robb Quelland told me. “Many individual accolades but definitely a team game and a concept from the beginning.”

In addition to Kenai's sucess in Legion AA, the Twins also made the Legion A state tournament championship game.

“Ready for next year and building on the future and progress of the program,” Quelland said.

The coach also credited longtime Post manager Lance Coz, who has been with the Twins program for 40 years.

“He’s the backbone of the program,” Quelland said.

Kennewick [WA] beats Kenai 16-2 on Day 1 at NW Regionals

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Aug 4, 2016

The Kennewick Outlaws of Washington scored early and often en route to a 16-2 victory over the Kenai Post 20 Twins on Wednesday.

The game came in the first round of the American Legion AAA Northwest Regional Tournament in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Kennewick banged out 16 hits but Kenai didn't help itself with seven errors.

Twins starter Joe Becher scattered seven hits and three walks over four innings of work. Only five of the 11 runs surrendered were earned.

Kennewick led 5-0 after three innings and then plated three more in the fourth and five in the fifth. It was 13-0 before Kenai got on the board.

The Twins won the Alaska Legion AA state championship, beating Service Post 28 in the title game thriller only four days ago.

Kenai had six base hits - Josh Darrow, Paul Steffenson, Kenny Griffin, Becher, Cody Quelland and J.J. Sonnen.

Sonnen had the team's only extra-base hit with a double.

Calvin Hills and Quelland - coach's kid - delivered the only RBIs for the Twins.

Kenai will face the Idaho/Wyoming loser Thursday at 10:30 ADT in an elimination game.

2016 Alaska Legion AA Team of Excellence All-State Team

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Aug 2, 2016

Legion coaches voted, stats from 18-game league season

FIRST TEAM

Starting Pitcher   

Philip Wall Juneau Post 25 4-0 0.69 26 IP 26 K 0.65 WHIP

Nolan Monaghan Wasilla Post 35 3.06 ERA 17.2 IP .194 BBA

Bryce Swafford Juneau Post 25 5-0 0.90 30 IP 38 K 0.63

Sam Hanson Chugiak Post 33 4-0 W/L 1.29 ERA 25.1 IP 25 K .223 BAA

Cody Curfman Chugiak Post 33 2-2 W/L 3.37 ERA 29 IP 25 K .204 BAA

Mathew Daugherty Kenai Post 20  4-0 W/L 1.61 ERA 31/1 IP 30 K .211 BAA

Joe Becher Kenai Post 20 5-1 2.88 ERA 34.1 IP 48 K .123 BAA

Parker Johnson South Post 4 5-0 W/L 1.76 ERA 1 SV 43.2 IP 34 K

Jake Andresen Dimond Post 21 4-1 W/L 3.93 ERA 26 IP 32 K 1.98 WHIP

Relief Pitcher   

Nick Hall Service Post 28 4-1 W/L 1.38 ERA 26 IP 16 K 1.04 WHIP

Kaden Roettger Dimond Post 21 12 G 2.93 ERA 2 SV 16 IP 1.93 WHIP

Calvin Hills Kenai Post 20 1-0 W/L 1 SV 2.19 ERA 11.2 IP 12 K 1.80 WHIP

Infield   

Colin King Fairbanks Post 30 

Raleigh Pigg Service Post 28 .375 BA 10 R 10 RBI 9 BB .479 OBP

Matt Hess Chugiak Post 33 .394 BA 1 3B 23 R 13 RBI .650 OBP

Charlie Bucolo Chugiak Post 33 .358 BA 1 HR 22 RBI 20 R .460 OBP

Josh Darrow Kenai Post 20 .522 BA 1 HR 5 3B 31 R 21 RBI .783 SLG

Dylan Montagna Dimond Post 21 .373 BA 18 RBI 12 R 10 BB .602 OBP

Parker Johnson South Post 4 .485 BA 1 HR 26 R 23 RBI .563 OBP

Outfield 

Nolan Monaghan Wasilla Post 35 .333 BA 9 RBI .500 SLG 1.000 FLD 

Finn Collins Juneau Post 25 .396 BA 1 HR 18 RBI 26 R 16 SB

Kasey Watts Juneau Post 25 .286 BA 2 HR 22 RBI 7 2B 15 R

Nick Hall Service Post 28 .421 BA 1 3B 23 R 16 RB 10 SB 

Vander LeKites Chugiak Post 33 .364 BA 16 R 13 RBI 9 SB .571 OBP

Paul Steffenson Kenai Post 20 .446 1 HR 6 3B 33 R 26 RBI .708 SLG

Calvin Hills Kenai Post 20 .400 BA 4 2B 20 R 16 RBI .520 OBP

Utility 

Mike Cesar Juneau Post 25 .375 BA 3 3B 17 RBI 23 R .594 OBP

Cody Curfman Chugiak Post 33 .426 BA 1 HR 2 3B 15 RBI 13 R

Julito Fazzini South Post 4 .420 BA 9 2B 16 R 13 RB 13 SB

Catcher  

Jeffrey Forster Wasilla Post 35 .314 BA 2 HR 22 RBI 18 BB .510 SLG

Wyatt Berg Fairbanks Post 30

Cooper Bailey Parsons Service Post 28 .360 BA 12 R 9 RBI .397 OBP

Sladen Mohl South Post 4 .426 BA 1 HR 23 RBI 29 R 10 SB

HONORALE MENTION

Starting Pitcher - Koby Burns Wasilla Post 35; Hank Boyer Wasilla Post 35; Shaun Walton Kodiak Post 17; Seth Hinson Bartlett Post 28; Gavin Petterson Kenai Post 20; Jack Carson Ketchikan Post 3; Cooper McLaughlin Palmer Post 15.

Relief Pitcher  - Matt Hess Chugiak Post 33; Cody Leslie South Post 4.

Infield  - Matt Palmer Wasilla Post 35; Ben Werner Wasilla Post 35; Boyer Wasilla Post 35; Ben Hall Fairbanks Post 30; Bryce Swafford Juneau Post 25; Zeb Storie Juneau Post 25; Sam Hanson Chugiak Post 33; Matthew Daugherty Kenai Post 20; Joe Becher Kenai Post 20; Gavin Petterson Kenai Post 20; Noah King Ketchikan Post 3; Aaron Davis Eagle River; Jared Froslie Eagle River; Seth Hinson Bartlett Post 28; Anthony Maldonado South Post 4; Derek McGinnis South Post 4; Luis Nunez West Post 1; Stanley Nolberto East Post 34; Jake Andresen Dimond Post 21; Kaden Roettger Dimond Post 21; Kyle Henrickson Dimond Post 21; Derek Scoggins Service Post 28; Carl Gatter East Post 34.

Outfield - Koby Burns Wasilla Post 35; Seth Rockenbach Kodiak Post 17; Ronan Klancher Service Post 28;  Wyatt Shults Palmer Post 15; Tyler Borschnack Bartlett Post 28.

Utility - Shaun Walton Kodiak Post 17; Bela Armstrong Fairbanks Post 11; London Emerson Fairbanks Post 11; Lauuli Tosi East Post 34.

Catcher - Shawn Sande Ketchikan Post 3.

COACHES OF THE YEAR

Joe Tompkins Juneau Post 25

Rob Quelland Kenai Post 20

Willie Paul Service Post 28

Dan Montagna Dimond Post 21

Kenai scores go-ahead run in 8th to hold off Service for title

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 31, 2016

ALB STATE TOURNAMENT

The Kenai Post 20 Twins scored the go-ahead run in the eighth inning to secure an 8-7 win over giant killer Service Post 28 on Saturday night at Mulcahy Stadium.

Calvin Hills' wheels provided the winning difference as his speed and heads-up base running set up the winning run.

After he singled with one out, Hills raced from first base to third base on a wild pitch and later scored on a grounder to shortstop in which Service all-star Raleigh Pigg looked Hills back to third before he fired a strike to first baseman Derek Scoggins for the out before Scoggins went home with a throw that was just late.

It was just one of many big plays on the night.

There were others moments like Kenai's Mason Prior making a head-first diving catch and then doubling up the runner on first base and closer Gavin Petterson working around a leadoff walk in the ninth inning before striking out the side to earn the save.

And then there was Scoggins, who drove in a runner from third on a comebacker in which he hustled down the line to beat the throw and tie the game at 7-7.

The No. 2 seeded Twins beat Service twice in the state tournament, including 17-1 on Day 2.

This was the fourth all-time Legion championship for Kenai, the first for head coach Robb Quelland. The team also won in 2012.

In winning the tournament, Kenai will represent the Alaska Legion Baseball at the Northwest Regional Tournament from Aug. 3-7 in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Kenai centerfielder Paul Steffenson was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player. He batted .444 in five games and led the tournament with nine RBIs. Half of his eight hits went for extra bases, including an inside-the-park home run.

Service, the No. 6 seed, upset No. 3 South, No. 4 Chugiak, No. 5 Wasilla and No. 1 Juneau on the way to the title game.

Cougars manager Willie Paul guided his program to its first appearance in the state championship game since 2001.

For making the title title, Service earned the right to represent the ALB at the Northwest Class A Regional Tournament [NWCART] on Aug. 4-9 in Laurel, Montana.

In addition to Steffensen being named MVP, other awards included:

Service pitcher Raleigh Pigg won the Top Pitcher Award after going 1-0 and earning a save in his only two appearances. He pitched 10 innings, struck out seven and fashioned a 0.90 ERA.

Wasilla shortstop Matt Palmer had an RBI in all three games while batting .562 with seven total RBIs en route to winning the tournament's Big Stick Award.

Juneau shortstop Zeb Storie gobbled up groundballs like a vacuum, converting all 29 total defensive chances over the tournament, to win the Gold Glove Award.

Service 8, Juneau 6

Earlier in the day, the Cougars platd four runs over the eighth and ninth innings to knock out the Juneau Post 25 Midnight Suns in a knockout game.

It was Service's third consecutive win in an elimination game.

Cooper Bailey Parsons drove in three runs, Nick Hall had three hits and Carsen Sandau had two RBIs.

Relief pitchers Hall and Pigg combined to pitch the winal 6.2 innings.

Juneau's Bryce Swofford went 3=for-5 and Finn Collins and Stories each had two RBIs.

MATSON INVITATIONAL

Fairbanks Wild 6, East 4

Evan Wilken and Ben Hall combined on a four-hitter to lift Fairbanks Post 30 over the Post 34 T-birds in the tournament championship game.

Wilken pitched the first five innings to college the win and Hall shut the door with two innings of scoreless relief for the save.

Axel Keeton scored two of his team's six runs. The Wild won despite having fewer hits than the T-birds.

East's Brian Sosa pitched all six innings for East. Standley Nolberto went 2-for-4 and scored a run.

Service v Juneau will face off for right to play Kenai for state title

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 29, 2016

ALB STATE TOURNAMENT

Juneau 7, Kenai 1

Philip Wall carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning en route to pitching a complete game as the Post 25 Midnight Suns handed the Post 20 Twins their first loss at the state tournament.

Top-seeded Juneau scored twice in the first, second and fourth innings to take control. 

It was plenty of support for Wall. He tossed a three-hitter with four walks and six strikeouts.

Juneau banged out 13 hits, two each from Donavin McCurley, Zeb Storie, Quin Gist, Kasey Watts and Hall.

Storie had two RBIs and McCurley scored twice.

Kenai's Tyler Covey broke up Hall's no-no with a infield single to leadoff the eighth inning. Paul Steffensen's run-scoring base hit broke up the shutout in the ninth inning.

No. 2 seed Kenai entered the game as the lone tournament unbeaten, assuring itself in Saturday's title game.

Juneau will play Service Post 28 - a 5-4 winner over Wasilla Post 35 - at 3 p.m., with the winner facing Kenai at 6:30 for the state championship.

The Alaska state champion qualifies for the Northwest Regional Tournament on Aug. 3-7 in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

The second place team travels to Laurel, Montana, for the Northwest Class A Regional Tournament [NWCART] on Aug. 4-9.

Service 5, Wasilla 4

Derek Scoggins laced a double to score Cooper Bailey Parsons with the winning run in the 10th inning in an elimination game.

Scoggins finished with three hits and three RBIs on the day as the No. 6-seeded Cougars won their second loser-out game bya 5-4 score in as many days.

Nick Hall had two hits, including a double, and scored twice. Ronan Klancher doubled and had an RBI.

Hall picked up the win in relief of Ben Clayton and Cobey Cupp.

Wasilla rallied from deficits of 3-0 and 4-3.

Ben Werner drove in two runs and Matt Palmer tripled and added an RBI.

Wasilla's Sam Loyer pitched eight innings in earning a no-decision.

MATSON INVITATIONAL

Fairbanks Wild 14, Eagle River 6

Wyatt Berg and Colin King tripled to highlight a 10-hit attack as Post 30 scored in all six innings the team batted.

Ben Hall had two hits and drove in three runs. Hunter Andrews scored three times, had two hits and added an RBI.

Eagle River's Ryan Gray went 2-for-4 with an RBI.

East 10, Palmer 7

Gaten Davis went 4-for-4 at the plate and pitched the final two innings to earn the save to headline Post 34's win.

Carl Gatter went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs. Other East runs were driven in by Laauli Tosi, Davis, Logan Herman and Brian Sosa.

Palmer's Francisco had three RBIs for the Pioneers.

Kenai, Juneau, Service win on Day 3 of State Tournament

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 28, 2016

ALB STATE TOURNAMENT

Kenai 4, Wasilla 3

Paul Steffensen and Kenneth Griffin drove in runs in a pivotal seventh-inning rally that carried the Post 20 Twins to a close win over the Post 35 Road Warriors in the winner's bracket.

Gavin Petterson went eight innings and picked up the win. He struck out seven batters and worked around six hits and three walks.

Calvin Hills pitched the ninth for the save.

Jacob Sonnen led off the seventh with a single and later scored. He finished 2-for-3.

Wasilla led 3-1 after an inning and a half.

Benjamin Werner went 3-for-5 with a run and RBI. Matthew Palmer and Koby Burns each went 2-for-4 with an RBI.

William Boyer allowed just two runs over six innings of relief for Wasilla.

Juneau 5, Dimond 4

The Post 25 Midnight Suns scored in the bottom of the ninth inning to walk off over the Post 21 Lynx in a loser-out game.

Juneau ace Bryce Swofford pitched a complete game, scattering six hits and three walks over nine innings. Only two runs were unearned.

Michael Cesar went 3-for-3 with two RBIs to lead an 11-hit attack.

Donavin McCurley also got three hits. James Collins scored twice and Zeb Storie added an RBI.

Dimond's Dylan Montagna doubled and homered for the game's only two extra-base hits.

Service 5, Chugiak 4

Raleigh Pigg came out of the bullpen to throw eight innings of three-hit relief to lift the Post 28 Cougars over the Post 33 Mustangs.

Pigg entered the game with Service trailing 3-0. The only run he allowed was unearned.

He struck out seven to keep the Cougars alive in the double-elimination state tournament.

Service scored the go-ahead run in the eighth inning after Michael Yandell beat the throw on a swinging but with two outs and a runner on third.

Ronan Klancher, Nick Hall, Cooper Bailey Parson and Yandell each had two hits. Bailey Parson drove in three runs and Hall and Yandell each had one RBI.

Chugiak - the defending state champion - got RBIs from Charlie Bucolo, Matt Hess and Cody Curfman.

MATSON INVITATIONAL

Fairbanks30 4, East 2

Axel Keeton threw all seven innings and was backed by just enough offense as the Post 30 Wild beat the Post 34 T-birds in the winner's bracket.

Wyatt Berg and Colin King each finished with RBIs. Berg also scored a run.

East's Stanley Nolberto doubled twice, scored a run and drove in a run.

Eagle River 7, Kodiak 0

Christian Fredrick and Brendan Miles combined on a five-hitter as Eagle River avoided elimination against the Post 17 Islanders.

Fredrick pitched the first five innings and Miles cleaned up the final two frames.

Eagle River's Aaron Davis went 4-for-4 and scored three runs.

Palmer 5, Fairbanks11 3

The Post 15 Pioneers scored four times in the top of the seventh inning to key a come-from-behind win over the Post 11 49ers in the loser bracket.

Kolten Ketchum pitched 2.1 innings of one-hit relief and earned the win.

Jason Erdman drove in two runs and Izak Lohrke pitched all seven innings for Fairbanks.

Kenai storms, Wasilla surges in winner's bracket play on Day 2

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 28, 2016

ALB STATE TOURNAMENT

Wasilla 5, Juneau 3

Matthew Palmer delivered time and time again to help the fifth-seeded Post 35 Road Warriors upset the top-seeded Midnight Suns in the winner's bracket.

The shortstop slugger lined a two-out, two-run, two bagger in the top of the ninth inning to provide the winning difference.

In the seventh inning, he also came through with a two-run single to tie the game at 3-3.

In the bottom of the ninth, Palmer made a nice catch for the second out and then ended the game by bare-handing a chopper and firing to first.

Koby Burns pitched all nine innings for Wasilla. He gave up six hits and walked just one.

Juneau scored single runs in the first, second and third innings.

James Collins collected two hits and scored twice. Zeb Storie and Philip Wall each had RBIs.

It was Juneau's first loss since June 11, when South beat the Midnight Suns 6-5 in the Capital City.

Kenai 17, Service 1

Paul Steffensen is a speedy slugger as his inside-the-park grand slam capped Kenai Post 20's blowout win over Service Post 28 in the winner's bracket action.

Steffensen finished the game 3-for-4 and collected seven RBIs on the day.

The Twins banged out 12 hits in seven innings and scored seven times in the fourth inning and five times in the sixth inning.

Joshua Darrow and Mason Prior each had two hits and combined to score seven times.

Starting pitcher Matthew Daugherty allowed three hits and three walks over five innings of work to earn the win.

Service's Bailey Cooper Parson drove in his team's lone run.

Chugiak 15, Ketchikan 1

The Post 33 Mustangs didn't tear the cover off the ball, but they didn't necessarily have to either.

Buoyed by 15 base on balls, Chugiak scored 15 runs on just five base hits to avoid elimination in the loser's bracket.

Jack Straub doubled twice and finished with five RBIs. Cody Curfman - who yesterday took line-drive deflection from glove to head - went 2-for-2 and also had five RBIs.

Charlie Bucolo - a two-time state tournament MVP - was walked four times and scored three times.

Brock King had the only RBI for the Post 3 Kings.

Dimond 3, South 1

Jacob Andresen and Parker Johnson were tangled in a pitching duel, with Andresen's Post 21 Lynx team coming out on top in a loser-out game.

He allowed just four hits and struck out nine. He allowed a run in the first inning and then threw goose eggs over the next seven.

Kaden Roettger pitched a perfect ninth for the save.

Johnson threw well enough to win for Post 4. He gave up seven hits, two earned runs and struck out a half dozen.

Dimond's RBIs came from Jesse Boese, Conor Bates-Janigo and Sean Carey. Derek McGinnss has the only RBI for South.

MATSON INVITATIONAL

Fairbanks30 11, Fairbanks11 1

Colin King threw a one-hitter over five innings and contributed to his own cause with two RBIs as the Post 30 Wild advanced in the winner's bracket.

Hunter Andrews also drove in two runs. Benjamin Hall went 2-for-2 and scored four times.

Credit Gavin Jackson with the only base hit for Post 11 49ers.

East 7, Eagle River 2

Gaten Davis pitched a four-hitter with 10 strikeouts and Post 34 took control with a five-run sixth inning in the winner's bracket.

Stanley Nolberto, Carl Gatter, Kevin Lewis, Ricky Gatter and Joshua Barton drove in runs for East.

Eagle River's Braden Olmstead doubled in a run and later scored.

Palmer 11, Bartlett 1

Cooper McLaughlin pitched all five innings and went 2-for-3 with three RBIs at the plate to highlight Post 15's win in a loser-out game.

Wyatt Shults doubled twice and drove in five runs for the Pioneers.

Zach Satterly hit the game's only triple.

Kodiak 5, West 4

Lars Hanson led off the seventh inning with single and eventually scored on Shaun Walton's single to lift Post 17 in an elimination game.

Walton started and finished the game, scattering eight hits over seven innings of work.

Luis Nunez drove in three RBIs for the Post 1 Eagles.

Service, Kenai, Wasilla, Juneau win on Day 1 of State Tourney

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 26, 2016

Service 8, South 4

Have a day, Ben Clayton. 

The Service player banged out three hits, pitched six innings and drove in two runs as the sixth-seeded Post 28 Cougars upset No. 3 South Post 4.

Clayton started the game and held South to one run over the first six innings. He was chased in the seventh after giving up his second run.

Cobey Cupp pitched the final three innings to collect the save.

Carsen Sandau went 3-for-4 and Michael Yandell finished with three RBIs for Service. The Cougars scored all eight runs from the fifth through the ninth.

South's Julito Fazzini had three of his team's eight hits. Only one run was earned of the four surrendered by starter Tony Maioriello.

Kenai 6, Dimond 3 

The second-seeded Post 20 Twins erupted for four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to rally by an upset-minded Post 21 squad.

Kenai trailed 3-2 entering the second-to-last inning before Joe Becher and Gavin Petterson each walked, then stole a base. Becher came home on a balk and Petterson scored the go-ahead run.

The bottom of the order came up clutch as Mason Prior, Tyler Covey and Cody Qulland combined for four hits, two runs and an RBI.

Calvin Hills went 2-for-5 with two RBIs and picked up the win with 1.1 innings of middle relief. Becher pitched the ninth for the save.

Dimond's Kyle Henrickson went 2-for-4 with a run and RBI. Dylan Montagna drove in the other run for the Lynx.

Wasilla 9, Chugiak 6

In a back and forth game that saw four lead changes in the first seven innings, Wasilla Post 35 capitalized on some miscues in the eighth inning to pull away from Chugiak Post 33.

The Road Warriors plated six runs thanks to RBIs from William Boyer, Samuel Reed and Matthew Palmer.

Wasilla starter Austin Robertson pitched well in a no decision. He allowed just one earned run over six innings.

Boyer picked up the win with three innings of relief.

Chugiak avoided a major scare in the top of the sixth inning when pitching ace Cody Curfman took a line drive off the head - the ball actually carromed into the outfield and was caught in the outfield grass by shortstop Charlie Bucolo.

Curfman came out as pitcher but stayed in the game and actually scored the tying run in the bottom half of the sixth inning.

Matthew Hess had three hits and four teammates had two hits apiece.

Juneau 16, Ketchikan 1

Top-seeded Juneau Post 25 flexed its muscles over Southeast rival Ketchikan Post 3 in seven innings.

Threes were wild for Quin Gist, who went 3-for-3, scored three runs and drove in three runs.

Stefan Beedle also had three RBIs for Juneau and Alexander Muir also scored three times.

Midnight Suns starter Jake Tanner scattered three hits and three walks over seven innings of work.

Ketchikan's Shawn Sande drove in his team's lone run.

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

Homza selected for prestigious Area Code Games in Long Beach

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 18, 2016

For a sport steeped in failure, Jonny Homza of Anchorage is enjoying a lot of success on the baseball field.

Two months after winning Gatorade Alaska Player of the Year honors and leading South High School to the ASAA state championship, the smooth shortstop has been named to the 2016 Area Code Games next month in Long Beach, California.

“I’m working really hard and playing the way I know how and that’s all anybody can really do,” he told me. “Baseball is a very humbling sport. I mean, if you fail 7 out of 10 times you’re considered good, so if you get too cocky you’re just setting yourself up for failure.”

Homza will represent the Pacific Northwest for the Kansas City Royals and Arizona Diamondbacks in the Area Code Games. The national event includes the top 200 players divided into eight regional teams.

“It does feel good to get recognized as a player and it’s very exciting to be able to experience all these cool things,” he said.

Players are typically nominated by a scout and then participate in a tryout. Homza was nominated by Tony Wylie of the Alaska Baseball Academy who also works as a scout for the D’backs.

“It was kind of his coming out party,” Wylie said of the tryout. “I kept hearing guys say ‘No way this kid is from Alaska.’”

Homza is the third Alaska player and first position player to be named to the Area Code Games, which date back to the 1980s. The other Alaskans to earn invitations were pitchers Max Karnos and Johnny Meszaros.

“I do think that baseball in Alaska is getting a lot more credibility and is able to produce a lot more talented baseball players, including more position players,” said Homza, who has committed to the University of Hawaii.

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

Nading having strong season for Wichita Wingnuts w/ 0.58 ERA

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 12, 2016

Chad Nading of Anchorage has played baseball all over the place and switched up his delivery more than once, so he’s paid his dues since turning pro in 2009.

He’s finally enjoying some well deserved success.

Nading is the top option out of the bullpen for the Wichita Wingnuts of the American Association, an independent professional baseball league.

The 6-foot-5 right-hander has a team-best 0.58 ERA in 14 games, and the Wingnuts are 12-1 when he pitches.

Nading, of East Post 34 fame, has 14 strikeouts in 15.1 innings.

He was drafted out of high school and then again after UNLV.

He later signed with the San Diego Padres organization as a free agent and pitched in the Arizona League.

After a season each in the Frontier and North American Baseball League, Nading pitched for the Ishikawa MillionStars in Japan’s BC League in 2014.

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

Columbia [TN] wins BP Invitational for record third time

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 11, 2016

Calton Easterwood pitched beautifully and Columbia Post 19 banged out 11 hits in a 7-1 win over the Kenai Post 20 Twins in the championship game of the BP Invitational at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Easterwood allowed just four hits while striking out a dozen over seven innings of work. The only run the right-hander surrendered was on a balk with two outs in the sixth inning.

 

The game ended on a double play.

 

Columbia won the BP Invitational for a record third time and improved to 14-0-1 in three trips to the tournament under manager Mickey McKeel.

 

The Tennessee team also beat Kenai - the first-place Legion AA team in Alaska - for the title of the Bill Miller Big Fish Wood Bat Tournament in Kenai earlier this week.

 

Columbia struck for four runs in the third inning, another in the fourth and two more in the fifth.

 

Leadoff hitter Bryce Giels was named BP Invitational Most Valuable Player. He batted .545 in five games with nine walks to bouy a .737 on-base percentage. Five of his six hits went for extra bases. The slick shortstop also stole eight bases and boasted a 1.000 fielding percentage.

 

Center fielder Devin Symlar won the Big Stick Award thanks to a tournament-best 12 RBIs. He drove in a tournament record seven RBIs in a Day 3 win over Dimond.

 

Kenai's Joe Becher was named Most Outstanding Pitcher. He didn't allow an earned run in nine total innings, including the final two frames of the championship game against Tennessee. Becher finished with 12 strikeouts and a complete game win over Lanakina Post 11 of Hawaii on Day 2.

 

Service catcher Cooper Bailey-Parsons won the tournament's Gold Glove Award.

Columbia [TN] wins BP Invitational for record third time

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 11, 2016

Calton Easterwood pitched beautifully and Columbia Post 19 banged out 11 hits in a 7-1 win over the Kenai Post 20 Twins in the championship game of the BP Invitational at Mulcahy Stadium.

Easterwood allowed just four hits while striking out a dozen over seven innings of work. The only run the right-hander surrendered was on a balk with two outs in the sixth inning.

The game ended on a double play.

Columbia won the BP Invitational for a record third time and improved to 16-1 in three trips to Alaska under manager Mickey McKeel.

The Tennessee team also beat Kenai - the first-place Legion AA team in Alaska - for the title of the Bill Miller Big Fish Wood Bat Tournament in Kenai earlier this week.

Columbia struck for four runs in the third inning, another in the fourth and two more in the fifth.

Leadoff hitter Bryce Giels was named BP Invitational Most Valuable Player. He batted .545 in five games with nine walks to bouy a .737 on-base percentage. Five of his six hits went for extra bases. The slick shortstop also stole eight bases and boasted a 1.000 fielding percentage.

Center fielder Devin Symlar won the Big Stick Award thanks to a tournament-best 12 RBIs. He drove in a tournament record seven RBIs in a Day 3 win over Dimond.

Kenai's Joe Becher was named Most Outstanding Pitcher. He didn't allow an earned run in nine total innings, including the final two frames of the championship game against Tennessee. Becher finished with 12 strikeouts and a complete game win over Lanakina Post 11 of Hawaii on Day 2.

Service catcher Cooper Bailey-Parsons won the tournament's Gold Glove Award.

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

Legion A Chugiak Wood Bat Tournament begins Friday

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 7, 2016

Legion A Chugiak Wood Bat Tournament

Pool A

Chugiak

Delta

Fairbanks 30

South-Black

Pool B

Kenai

Dimond

South-Gold

Fairbanks 11

OB Oberg / BA Bartlett / LF Loretta French

Friday 7/8

Pool A 

4 PM Black vs. Chugiak, OB

7 PM Delta vs. Fairbanks 30, OB

Pool B  

1 PM Dimond vs. Gold, BA

4 PM Gold vs. Fairbanks 11, BA

7 PM Fairbanks 11 vs. Kenai, BA

Saturday 7/9

Pool A

10 AM Fairbanks 30 vs. Black, OB

1 PM Black vs. Delta, OB

4 PM Delta vs. Chugiak, OB

7 PM Chugiak vs. Fairbanks 30, OB

Pool B

10 AM Kenai vs. Dimond, LF

4 PM Kenai vs. Gold, BA

7 PM Dimond vs. Fairbanks 11, BA

Sunday 7/10

11 AM A4 vs. B4, BA

11 AM A2 vs. B2, OB

2 PM A3 vs. B3, BA

*2 PM A1 vs. B1, OB

*Championship Game

Hawaii, Tennessee here for Alaska Airlines Tournament Tour

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jun 29, 2016

The 2016 Alaska Airlines Tournament Tour kicks into high gear this weekend with the Todd Ryan Memorial Tournament in Wasilla.

It’s the first of three consecutive tournaments over the next two weekends.

After Wasilla comes the Bill Miller Big Fish Wood Bat Tournament in Kenai followed by the granddaddy of them all, the BP Invitational at Mulcahy Stadium.

The two Outside teams participating this year are Lanakila Post 11 from Honolulu, Hawaii, and Columbia Post 19 of Columbia, Tennessee.

This is the first time here for the Hawaiian team. However, Columbia is making its third trip to Alaska and is 9-1 in the land of the midnight sun. Tennessee's only loss came in a 2-0 defeat at the hands ofKenai Post 20 in 2012.

Todd Ryan Memorial Tournament

At Wasilla

All games at McManus Field

Friday 7/1 

12 PM Fairbanks 30 vs Hawaii

3 PM Fairbanks 11 vs Wasilla

6 PM Palmer vs Wasilla

Saturday 7/2

10 AM Fairbanks 11 vs Fairbanks 30

1 PM Palmer vs. Hawaii

4 PM Wasilla vs. Fairbanks 30

7 PM Fairbanks 11 vs. Palmer

Sunday 7/3

12 PM Hawaii vs. Fairbanks 11

3 PM Palmer vs. Fairbanks 30

6 PM Wasilla vs. Hawaii 

Bill Miller Big Fish Wood Bat Tournament

At Kenai

All games at Oiler Park

Tuesday 7/5

10 AM East vs. Tennessee

1 PM Kenai vs. Eagle River

4 PM Eagle River vs. East

7 PM Kenai vs. Tennessee

Wednesday 7/6

12 PM Kenai vs. East

3 PM Tennessee vs. Eagle River

Thursday 7/7

10 AM Consolation

1 PM Championship

BP Invitational

At Anchorage

All games at Mulcahy Stadium

Thursday 7/7

10 AM West vs. Service

1 PM South vs. Chugiak

Friday 7/8

9:15 AM Chugiak vs. Hawaii

11:45 AM Dimond vs. West

2:15 PM Kenai vs. South

5 PM Service vs. Tennessee

7:30 PM Hawaii vs. Kenai

Saturday 7/9

9:15 AM Service vs. Dimond 

11:45 AM Kenai vs. Chugiak

2:15 PM Dimond vs. Tennessee

5 PM Hawaii vs. South

7:30 PM Tennessee vs. West

Sunday 7/10

9:15 AM A4 v B4

11:45 AM A2 vs B1

2:15 PM B2 vs. A1

5 PM B3 vs. A3

7:30 PM Championship

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

Hawaii, Tennessee here for Alaska Airlines Tournament Tour

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jun 29, 2016

The 2016 Alaska Airlines Tournament Tour kicks into high gear this weekend with the Todd Ryan Memorial Tournament in Wasilla.

It’s the first of three consecutive tournaments over the next two weekends.

After Wasilla comes the Bill Miller Big Fish Wood Bat Tournament in Kenai followed by the granddaddy of them all, the BP Invitational at Mulcahy Stadium.

The two Outside teams participating this year are Lanakila Post 11 from Honolulu, Hawaii, and Columbia Post 19 of Columbia, Tennessee.

This is the first time here for the Hawaiian team. However, Columbia is making its third trip to Alaska and is 9-1 in the land of the midnight sun. Tennessee's only loss came in a 2-0 defeat at the hands ofKenai Post 20 in 2012.

Todd Ryan Memorial Tournament

At Wasilla

All games at McManus Field

Friday 7/1 

12 PM Fairbanks 30 vs Hawaii

3 PM Fairbanks 11 vs Wasilla

6 PM Palmer vs Wasilla

Saturday 7/2

10 AM Fairbanks 11 vs Fairbanks 30

1 PM Palmer vs. Hawaii

4 PM Wasilla vs. Fairbanks 30

7 PM Fairbanks 11 vs. Palmer

Sunday 7/3

12 PM Hawaii vs. Fairbanks 11

3 PM Palmer vs. Fairbanks 30

6 PM Wasilla vs. Hawaii 

Bill Miller Big Fish Wood Bat Tournament

At Kenai

All games at Oiler Park

Tuesday 7/5

10 AM East vs. Tennessee

1 PM Kenai vs. Eagle River

4 PM Eagle River vs. East

7 PM Kenai vs. Tennessee

Wednesday 7/6

12 PM Kenai vs. East

3 PM Tennessee vs. Eagle River

Thursday 7/7

10 AM Consolation

1 PM Championship

BP Invitational

At Anchorage

All games at Mulcahy Stadium

Thursday 7/7

10 AM West vs. Service

1 PM South vs. Chugiak

Friday 7/8

9:15 AM Chugiak vs. Hawaii

11:45 AM Dimond vs. West

2:15 PM Kenai vs. South

5 PM Service vs. Tennessee

7:30 PM Hawaii vs. Kenai

Saturday 7/9

9:15 AM Service vs. Dimond 

11:45 AM Kenai vs. Chugiak

2:15 PM Dimond vs. Tennessee

5 PM Hawaii vs. South

7:30 PM Tennessee vs. West

Sunday 7/10

9:15 AM A4 v B4

11:45 AM A2 vs B1

2:15 PM B2 vs. A1

5 PM B3 vs. A3

7:30 PM Championship

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

Baseball Factory national tour comes to Anchorage on July 11

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jun 24, 2016

The Under Armour Baseball Factory national tour will be in Anchorage on July 11 at the Kosinski Fields.

Since its inception in 1994, the Baseball Factory has been a national leader in college recruiting.

Players in attendance will be evaluated by the Factory’s professional coaching staff, helping to reveal strengths and build on areas of improvement with proven tools, expert guidance and life-changing experiences to prepare for success on and off the field. 

This year’s College World Series features 92 former Factory alums. In the June Major League Baseball Draft, teams selected over 300 Factory alumni, including 38 former Under Armour All-Americans.

Developing their skill set further once in professional baseball, more than 400 Baseball Factory alumni have made their debuts in the big leagues since 1994. 

Baseball Factory holds a strong and committed relationship with American Legion, providing amateur players with new opportunities to develop their baseball skills and fulfill their dream of playing collegiate baseball. 

Read more about Baseball Factory’s partnership with American Legion at www.baseballfactory.com.

Baseball Factory national tour comes to Anchorage on July 11

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jun 24, 2016

The Under Armour Baseball Factory national tour will be in Anchorage on July 11 at the Kosinski Fields.

Since its inception in 1994, the Baseball Factory has been a national leader in college recruiting.

Players in attendance will be evaluated by the Factory’s professional coaching staff, helping to reveal strengths and build on areas of improvement with proven tools, expert guidance and life-changing experiences to prepare for success on and off the field. 

This year’s College World Series features 92 former Factory alums. In the June Major League Baseball Draft, teams selected over 300 Factory alumni, including 38 former Under Armour All-Americans.

Developing their skill set further once in professional baseball, more than 400 Baseball Factory alumni have made their debuts in the big leagues since 1994. 

Baseball Factory holds a strong and committed relationship with American Legion, providing amateur players with new opportunities to develop their baseball skills and fulfill their dream of playing collegiate baseball. 

Read more about Baseball Factory’s partnership with American Legion at www.baseballfactory.com.

With 17 teams, Alaska Legion touches every corner of state

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jun 20, 2016

The Alaska Legion Baseball season is in full swing and this weekend’s busy schedule was a good indicator as 16 of 17 AA teams were in action.

Eight fields were used in Juneau, Ketchikan, Kodiak, Wasilla and Anchorage.

Everybody played Saturday except Delta Post 22, the only team in the league that plays a mix of AA [varsity] and A [junior varsity] teams.

The 16 AA programs are vying for the chance to win the 63rd annual Alaska American Legion Baseball State Tournament at the end of July.

They are split into eight-team divisions and play an 18-game league schedule, after which the top eight advance to the state tournament at iconic Mulcahy Stadium and the bottom eight play in the Matson Invitational at Bartlett High.

For 50 years, Mulcahy Stadium has hosted the biggest games in Alaska.

The top three teams from each division after the regular season automatically qualify for the state tournament, as well as two wildcard teams based on the most points. 

The AA standings are based on a point system; 4 for a win, 2 for a tie, 1 for a loss and 0 for a forfeit.

The Alaska AA state champion advances to the Northwest Regional in Cheyenne, Wyoming. The regional runs Aug. 3-7 and includes state champions from Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Wyoming and Washington.

Chugiak Post 33 is the defending state champion from Alaska.

The Legion World Series is Aug. 11-16 in Shelby, North Carolina.

As of last week, 3,786 Legion teams nationwide will take the field in 2016, according to legion.org.

This year’s national registration numbers showed an increase from the previous years.

Alaska has been part of the growth.

In the last few years, the ALB has expanded in Fairbanks and the Mat-Su Valley while adding teams in Kodiak, Ketchikan and Delta.

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

With 17 teams, Alaska Legion touches every corner of state

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jun 20, 2016

The Alaska Legion Baseball season is in full swing and this weekend’s busy schedule was a good indicator as 16 of 17 AA teams were in action.

Eight fields were used in Juneau, Ketchikan, Kodiak, Wasilla and Anchorage.

Everybody played Saturday except Delta Post 22, the only team in the league that plays a mix of AA [varsity] and A [junior varsity] teams.

The 16 AA programs are vying for the chance to win the 63rd annual Alaska American Legion Baseball State Tournament at the end of July.

They are split into eight-team divisions and play an 18-game league schedule, after which the top eight advance to the state tournament at iconic Mulcahy Stadium and the bottom eight play in the Matson Invitational at Bartlett High.

For 50 years, Mulcahy Stadium has hosted the biggest games in Alaska.

The top three teams from each division after the regular season automatically qualify for the state tournament, as well as two wildcard teams based on the most points. 

The AA standings are based on a point system; 4 for a win, 2 for a tie, 1 for a loss and 0 for a forfeit.

The Alaska AA state champion advances to the Northwest Regional in Cheyenne, Wyoming. The regional runs Aug. 3-7 and includes state champions from Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Wyoming and Washington.

Chugiak Post 33 is the defending state champion from Alaska.

The Legion World Series is Aug. 11-16 in Shelby, North Carolina.

As of last week, 3,786 Legion teams nationwide will take the field in 2016, according to legion.org.

This year’s national registration numbers showed an increase from the previous years.

Alaska has been part of the growth.

In the last few years, the ALB has expanded in Fairbanks and the Mat-Su Valley while adding teams in Kodiak, Ketchikan and Delta.

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

College Coaches Camp expands to include more kids in Alaska

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jun 8, 2016

Since 1994, college coaches from all over the country have come to The Last Frontier to teach the game of baseball to Alaska.

The annual camp was always held at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage.

But now it's expanding to include the Interior players.

The College Coaches Camp will be in Fairbanks on June 14-15 and then in Palmer June 16-17 before wrapping up in Anchorage June 20-23.

The camp in Anchorage is open only to American Legion Baseball players.

There are youth opportunities in Fairbanks and Palmer.

All abilities are invited to attend and learn. 

Camp lead instructor Levi Lacey of Everett Community College in Washington has made more than dozen trips to Alaska in past several years and is a great instructor and teacher of young baseball players. 

Lacey's Everett CC teams have finished at or near the top of the prestigious NWAC, one of the toughest junior college leagues in the country.

Other instructors include Rob Strickland of College of Idaho, Kevin Davis of Pierce CC, Shawn Hamberger of College of Idaho, Patrick Perry of Dixie State University, Greg Goetz of Seattle University, Aaron Sutton of Treasure Valley CC and Gabe Boruff of Columbia Basin CC. 

Former longtime Chugiak Post 33 manager Bill Lierman Sr. helped create this annual event in 1994 before his passing.

In 2005, Alaska Legion Baseball named this clinic in his honor for his tireless dedication to young baseball players of Alaska.

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

College Coaches Camp expands to include more kids in Alaska

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jun 8, 2016

Since 1994, college coaches from all over the country have come to The Last Frontier to teach the game of baseball to Alaska.

The annual camp was always held at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage.

But now it's expanding to include the Interior players.

The College Coaches Camp will be in Fairbanks on June 14-15 and then in Palmer June 16-17 before wrapping up in Anchorage June 20-23.

The camp in Anchorage is open only to American Legion Baseball players.

There are youth opportunities in Fairbanks and Palmer.

All abilities are invited to attend and learn. 

Camp lead instructor Levi Lacey of Everett Community College in Washington has made more than dozen trips to Alaska in past several years and is a great instructor and teacher of young baseball players. 

Lacey's Everett CC teams have finished at or near the top of the prestigious NWAC, one of the toughest junior college leagues in the country.

Other instructors include Rob Strickland of College of Idaho, Kevin Davis of Pierce CC, Shawn Hamberger of College of Idaho, Patrick Perry of Dixie State University, Greg Goetz of Seattle University, Aaron Sutton of Treasure Valley CC and Gabe Boruff of Columbia Basin CC. 

Former longtime Chugiak Post 33 manager Bill Lierman Sr. helped create this annual event in 1994 before his passing.

In 2005, Alaska Legion Baseball named this clinic in his honor for his tireless dedication to young baseball players of Alaska.

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

Jonny Baseball: Homza does it all in leading South to state title

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jun 4, 2016

ASAA/First National Bank Alaska State Tournament

Saturday's Scores

At Mulcahy Stadium, Anchorage

Day 3

Championship Game, South 3, Chugiak 1

Third-Place Game Sitka 6, Ketchikan 5

Fourth-Place Game Wasilla 15, Lathrop 5

Championship Game

South 3, Chugiak 1

The bullpen was hot and South starter Jonny Homza had thrown 100 pitches when the tying run came to the plate in the seventh inning.

This was the state championship game and Chugiak was knocking at the door with a runner on and one out. Maybe it was time to pull him, but South coach Taylor Nerland stuck with Homza.

“I was stoked, for sure,” Homza told me. “My arm was feeling good and Nerland said ‘Hey man, if you can do it, do it.”

He did it.

The reigning Gatorade Alaska Player of the Year got the next batter to ground out before ending the game with a strikeout, putting his signature on a 3-1 win over the Cook Inlet Conference champions at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage.

“When it came down to it, Jonny was still pitching well,” Nerland told me of his decision. “He’s a phenomenal competitor and he plays with a lot of emotion. When he got that last out you could tell the adrenaline was going through him. If his arm was hurting, he probably wouldn’t have told me.”

Homza, a junior right-hander, allowed four hits and two walks while striking out 10. He finished with 106 pitches.

“Jonny looked amazing,” fellow South pitcher Tommy Koloski told me. “That’s one of the best outings I’ve ever seen him have.”

It came against a Chugiak team that 11 days ago beat Homza in the CIC championship game. It also came against a Chugiak team that beat South in last year’s state championship game.

Many players from both years were on the field Saturday. It’s become a Yankees-Red Sox type rivalry. It’s special when they square off.

“We’ve been back and forth with them,” Homza said. “I think we just wanted it more because we knew what it felt like to lose to them.”

South took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning when Max Costello’s fielder’s choice scored Julito Fazzini from third base with one out.

Chugiak tied it at 1-1 in the bottom half when Brady Lindberg delivered a two-out single and scored on Hunter Register’s double.

With two outs in the third inning, Homza jumped on a first-pitch fastball and knocked it out of the ballpark for his first home run in his South career. He picked a fine time, providing the Wolverines with the go-ahead run and the lead for good.

“It was pretty sweet,” he said. “You just go up there to the plate with the same approach. I’ve done it so many times in my life that this time it felt like any other time. I saw the pitch and hit the ball. There’s not much I can really say about it. It was really no different than any other at-bat. It just happened to go out, which was nice.”

Koloski called it a monster shot.

“I knew that home run was out as soon as it left the bat,” he said.

South added an insurance run in the sixth inning when Matt Kley scored from third base on a Chugiak fielding error.

With Homza on the mound, it may have not mattered. He allowed only nine hits and had a 1.47 ERA over his last 19 innings in May and June.

This was South’s fourth consecutive appearance in the state title game. The Wolverines won the 2013 championship before getting second the next two years.

If anything, though, South exercised some demons this year.

“We lost to Sitka two years ago and we beat them. We lost to Chugiak last year and we beat them,” Nerland said. “It feels really good, I’ll tell you that much.”

Third-Place Game

Sitka 6, Ketchikan 5

Sitka built an early lead and survived one bad inning to prevail in a third-place game between Southeast Conference rivals.

Ky Stockel and Branden Case each drove in a pair of runs and Trevor Dalton and Kyle Fitzsimmons each had one RBI.

Case homered and Fitzsimmons tripled as Sitka took a 6-1 lead after the top of the fifth inning.

Nathan Bonck and Co. made things interesting in the bottom half of the frame with a four-spot that made it a one-run game.

Bonck, the ace pitcher headed to Seattle University this fall, finished off his high school career in style with a 2-for-3 effort at the plate that included a three-run home run.

"The ball I hit was a splitter that might've hit me if I didn't swing," Bonck told me. "Totally hooked it and kept it just inside the foul pole."

For his career, the 2015 Gatorade Alaska Player of the Year threw two no-hitters, including a perfect game, and three one-hitters. He also slugged 14 home runs – more than any other player in the state over that time.

“Ketchikan has given me all I could’ve asked for out of a high school baseball experience. Baseball in Southeast Alaska too,” Bonck said. “Traveling and housing out has blessed me with some lifelong friends out of the great town of Sitka.

“I’m happy with how it went and I know I’ve gotten better every year, as a person as well as a ballplayer.”

Fourth-Place Game

Wasilla 15, Lathrop 5

The Warriors broke out the bats in a big way, collecting 14 hits and scoring runs in six of the seven innings to win the fourth-place game at state.

Wasilla's Cyruss Lovell was the game's only player with three hits while teammates Ben Werner, Ryan Perkins, Nolan Monaghan and Kyle Graham each banged out two hits.

Wasilla's Jeffery Forster drove in three runs and Perkins, Monaghan, Jimmy Arend and Graham each had 2 RBIs.

Starter Hank Boyer got the win and reliever Austin Robertson pitched three perfect innings to collect the save.

Lathrop's bats weren't silent. Colin King homered and Mason Wilken tripled. Wyatt Berg went 2-for-4 with an RBI.

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

Jonny Baseball: Homza does it all in leading South to state title

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jun 4, 2016