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South wins State Tournament title game, bound for Oregon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The NWCART is held in Alaska every seven years.

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

Fairbanks Post 30 Wild claim Horizon Lines Invitational

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dimond wins, moves into State Tournament title game vs. South

Starting pitcher Jordan Clevenger twirled a two-hit gem Wednesday afternoon as Dimond Post 21 beat up Juneau Post 25 11-1 in the second semifinal of the Alaska Legion State Baseball Tournament.

Dimond battled back through the consolation bracket to reach the state championship game against unbeaten South Post 4. The teams will play at 2 p.m., with the if-necessary game at 6 p.m. It all goes down at Mulcahy Stadium.

Dimond must win the first game to force the second game.

Clevenger pitched all six innings, striking out six and walking two. He proved to handle a bat too, driving in two runs with a base hit.

Mahlon Cleveland finished with three RBIs and Kyle Bremont and Tony Hillman added two RBIs apiece. 

The Lynx benefited from 11 walks, eight hits and five stolen bases.

Grant Ainsworth and Jacob Thibodeau had Juneau’s hits.

Dimond and South have played twice this season, with South winning 7-1 on June 29 and Dimond winning 1-0 on July 6.

The state champion will represent Alaska at the Northwest Regional in Eugene, Oregon. The runner-up will play in the NWCART Championsips, a different regional tournament that features teams from Oregon, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana plus three Alaska teams [including Juneau Post 25 and Fairbanks Post 30]. The NWCART is held in Alaska every seven years.

Legion State Tournament, Mulcahy Stadium

Thursday’s Games

2 PM #8 South [18-12] vs. #6 Dimond [21-11]

6 PM If-Necessary Game 

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

Bats come alive for South, Juneau on Day 5 of State

The South Post 4 baseball factory keeps spitting out players and the Wolverines keep winning.

South jumped all over Dimond Post 21 Tuesday afternoon, winning 14-1 in five innings in the first semifinal of the Alaska Legion State Baseball Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium.

South [18-12] advanced to the Legion state championship game for the second consecutive season and the fifth time since 2007.

Max Micks went 2-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs to lead a Wolverines attack that banged out nine base hits and drew 11 walks.

Parker Johnson had two hits, two walks and two stolen bases. He also scored three runs. Alec Valdez also had two hits and scored three times. 

South’s Sage Dudick had two RBIs and pitched 3.2 innings of scoreless relief.

Dimond’s Payton Lauwers and Jordan Clevenger had their team’s lone hits. 

The Lynx fell to 20-11 and will play Juneau Post 25 in an elimination game Wednesday morning.

Juneau beat Chugiak Post 33 by a 14-9 score in a consolation game earlier in the day to advance in the state tournament. The Midnight Suns collected 15 hits and 13 walks and got a strong start from Robert Markovich.

Markovich struck out seven batters over seven innings before Jacob Thibodeau and Nathan Klein finished things up out of the bullpen.

Steven Baseden had quite the day, going 4-for-5 with two RBIs and four runs. Teammate Michael Dale was 2-for-5 with three RBIs.

Chugiak’s Sam Hansen went 3-for-4 with a triple, RBI and a pair of runs. Jimmy Lanier pitched five innings of one-run relief.

Legion State Tournament, Mulcahy Stadium

Wednesday’s Game

11 AM #7 Juneau [20-10] vs. #6 Dimond [20-11]

Thursday Games

2 PM Championship Game: #8 South [18-12] vs. TBD

6 PM If-Necessary Game

Golden Heart City rivals to meet for Horizon Lines title

A Fairbanks team is guaranteed to win the inaugural Horizon Lines Invitational.

That’s because two teams from the Golden Heart City are in the championship game.

The Fairbanks Post 11 49ers won back-to-back games Tuesday at Bartlett High School, beating Bartlett Post 29 15-0 in the first game and Ketchikan Post 3 7-4 in the second game.

The 49ers needed both wins to advance to the title game against the Fairbanks Post 30 Wild.

In the first game, Taylor Geil tossed a three-hitter and the 49ers put the game away with an eight-run second inning and four-run fifth inning.

Derrick Overbay’s four RBIs led an offense that rapped out 11 base hits. Casey Lewandowski, Trent Chiu and Eric Grove all finished with two RBIs. Ryan Perdue had two hits, three runs and three stolen bases.

In the second game, Travis Wicken homered and finished with two RBIs for the winners. Jacob Kriebel and Lewandowski combined to pitch nine strong innings. Chui continued his hot bat with two more RBIs.

Ketchikan’s Austin Erickson went the distance on the mound and Shawn Sande went 2-for-4 with an RBI.

Horizon Lines Invitational, Bartlett High School

Wednesday’s Games

2 PM #6 Fbx 11 49ers vs. #2 Fbx 30 Wild

6 PM If-Necessary Game

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

Fairbanks 30 rolls into Horizon Lines championship game

The Fairbanks Post 30 Wild banged out 12 hits and got hitless relief from Terrell Ford en route to an 8-3 victory Monday night over Ketchikan Post 3 in the Horizon Lines Invitational at Bartlett High School.

Ford entered the game in the fifth inning with his team down 3-2. He didn’t allow a hit while walking three and striking out eight.

Seven of nine starters had base hits, including three apiece from Tyler Christmann and Camron Walker. Christmann drove in two runs and Michael Fitzpatrick scored twice and swiped two bags. Fairbanks took over with a six-run seventh inning.

Ketchikan’s Shawn Sande, Austin Erickson and Jackson Pool collected RBIs.

Earlier on Monday, Fairbanks Post 11 upset No. 1 seed Kodiak Post 15 by an 8-4 score and Bartlett Post 29 outlasted East Post 34 in 11 innings, 7-6.

Casey Lewandowski twirled a complete-game gem with 13 strikeouts for Fairbanks 11. He allowed only four hits and two walks in nine innings.

Jacob Kriebel and Derrick Overby each had two RBIs for the 49ers.

Kodiak’s Sam Bennett drove in two runs for the Islanders.

Bartlett’s victory was highlighted by a two-run 11th inning and a remarkable relief appearance by Dustin Mueller. 

The Golden Bears scored two runs after East had taken a 6-5 lead in the top of the 11th. 

Muller pitched 9.2 innings, scattering four hits and six walks. He allowed only one run, and it was unearned. He struck out five.

East starter Matthew Schnellbaecher had 10 Ks for the T-birds. Teammate Scott Campos had a heckuva day, stealing four bases, scoring three runs and throwing six innings of relief in which he gave up only one earned run.

Horizon Lines Invitational, Bartlett High School

Tuesday’s Games

12 PM Fairbanks 11 vs. Bartlett

3 PM Ketchikan vs. Fbx 11/Bartlett winner

Wednesday’s Games

2 PM Championship Game: Fairbanks 30 vs. TBD

6 PM If-Necessary Game

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

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Current Standings

Alaska Legion AA American Division
Team Points League Overall
Wasilla Post 35 63 15-3 24-7
Service Post 28 57 13-5 20-8-1
y-Dimond Post 21 54 12-6 21-12
y-Juneau Post 25 51 11-7 20-11
x-South Post 4 48 10-8 19-12-1
Ketchikan Post 3 39 7-11 10-20
East Post 34 33 5-13 11-19
West Post 1 06 0-18 2-26


Alaska Legion AA National Division
Team Points League Overall
Chugiak Post 33 57 13-5 20-13
Eagle River 57 13-5 18-10
Kenai Post 20 54 12-6 17-12
Kodiak Post 17 48 10-8 14-14
y-Fairbanks Post 30 45 9-9 17-12
Bartlett Post 29 42 8-10 15-18-1
Fairbanks Post 11 32 5-13 11-20
Palmer Post 15 21 1-17 1-25-1


x-clinched Northwest Regional berth in Eugene [OR]

y-clinched NWCART berth in Anchorage

Thursday's Score

South 6, Dimond 0 - State Tournament title game


Calendar (print)