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Chugiak Wood Bat Tournament heats up heading into weekend

The annual Legion A Chugiak Wood Bat Tournament is getting down to business after the field was trimmed down to four teams Friday night.

South and Service are the only two teams remaining in the winner's backet and will face off in the tournament's first semifinal game Saturday at 11 .m. at Oberg Field.

In the loser's bracket, Chugiak and Eagle River will play an elimination game Saturday at 1:45 p.m. at Oberg. The winner will advance to the second semifinal against the South-Service loser at 4:30 p.m.

The tournament's title game is scheduled for 11 a.m. Sunday, with the if-necessary game at 1:30. Both games at Oberg.

Legion A Chugiak Wood Bat Tournament Scores

Chugiak 11, Fairbanks 11 6

Eagle River 12, Fairbanks 30 8

Service 6, Fairbanks 11 5

South 18, Eagle River 8

Chugiak 4, Dimond 2

Eagle River 10, Fairbanks 30 3

South 14, Dimond 4

Service 4, Chugiak 0

Columbia [TN] beats South 5-0 for BP Invitational championship

After playing to a tie in their first meeting, Columbia Post 19 of Tennessee and South Post 4 had unfinished business in Sunday’s championship game.

The rematch was one sided

Charter Helton threw a five-hit shutout and tournament MVP Carter Bair drove in two runs as Columbia beat South 5-0 at Mulcahy Stadium in the 20th annual BP Invitational.

It was the second BP championship for Columbia since 2012, improving Mickey McKeel’s team to 9-0-1 in Anchorage.

Helton was lights out for seven innings, walking just one and striking out five. He was really never in any danger.

Bair and Taylor Gilbert each had 2 RBIs. Jake Usher also drove in a run. Five different players scored for Post 19.

South’s Parker Johnson had two hits for the Wolverines, who were looking to become the first Alaska team to win the BP championship since Dimond in 2010.

South and Columbia played to a 4-4 tie on Saturday, playing 10 innings before the 2-hour, 15-minute time limit. Tonight’s game was played in fewer than 90 minutes. 

“I’m really proud of the way they pulled together and hung in there against a very good team from the Lower 48,” South manager Cliff Butcher told me. “We had a blast.”

Bair was named tournament MVP after batting .375 in five tournament games, including .428 in two games against South. He drove in four runs, including two of the first three runs in the title tilt.

Columbia shortstop Peyton Sockwell won the Gold Glove award with a 1.000 fielding percentage – zero errors on 21 fielding attempts [13 putouts, 8 assists]. He also helped turn three double plays.

The top pitcher was Chris Crosby of Team Avenue. Crosby threw a no-hitter against South and didn’t allow a hit or a walk in 9.2 innings. He struck out 13.

The Big Stick award went to Canadian Jared Kennedy from the Strathmore Reds of Alberta. He went 8-for-14 for a .571 batting average. He also had four RBIs in four games.

Earlier in the day, Team Avenue beat Dimond 9-7 and Chugiak knocked off Eagle River 12-2. In the semifinals, Columbia beat Strathmore 2-0 and South beat Colchester, Vermont, 8-2 behind the trio of Nick Lopetrone, Max Micks and Spencer Floyd, who combined for seven RBIs.

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

South to represent Alaska in final four at BP Invitational

It was the longest game in 20 years of the BP Invitational, and one of the greatest too.

South Post 4 and Columbia Post 19 of Tennessee played to a 4-4 tie Saturday at Mulcahy Stadium, packing 10 innings into the 2-hour, 15-minute time limit. Tournament games are seven innings, except the championship game.

South led 1-0. Columbia led 2-1. South led 3-2. Tennessee tied it with two outs in the bottom of the ninth and in the tenth had a player thrown out at the plate trying to score from third on a wild pitch.

Columbia’s Will Norwood went 3-for-5 and clubbed a solo home run. Teammate Taylor Gilbert also was 3-for-5. Starter Ben Wright pitched nine innings with seven Ks.

Five of South’s 13 hits went for extra bases and four players had two hits apiece [Nick Jensen, Spencer Floyd, Jake Crapps and Max Micks.]

South’s victory – coupled with Chugiak Post 33’s 9-0 victory over Team Avenue Academy – vaulted the Wolverines into Sunday’s semifinals of the BP Invitational, the marquee event of the Alaska Airlines Tournament Tour.

South will face the Colchester Cannons of Vermont in the second semifinal at 2:15 p.m. Columbia will face the Strathmore Reds of Alberta, Canada, in the first semifinal at 11:45 a.m.

Sunday’s championship game is at 7:30 p.m.

Colchester was the lone team to win all three games in pool play, culminating with an 8-2 win over Eagle River in the morning game.

Nick Lamphere went 3-for-4, Jared Rylant tripled and had two RBIs, and Brett McAllister drove in three runs.

Eagle River’s runs were batted in by Mike Rosenberg and Cameron Fabacher. RJ Dirscherl swiped three bags.

Columbia played twice Saturday; Post 19 also beat Team Avenue 6-1 after its game against South.

The team from Tennessee scored three runs in each of the fourth and sixth innings to secure a spot in the semifinals and run its unbeaten streak at the BP Invitational to eight games [7-0-1].

Columbia won the 2012 BP trophy under manager Mickey McKeel.

In Chugiak’s win, starting pitching Jimmy Lanier tossed a four-hit shutout against the team that won last week’s Todd Ryan Memorial Tournament in Wasilla as part of the Alaska Airlines Tournament Tour.

Lanier walked one and struck out four. His teammates managed five hits, with three of them being doubles. Deven Ferriss and Matthew Hess each had 2 RBIs.

In the nightcap, the Strathmore Reds hung on to beat a hard-charging Dimond Post 21 squad by a 5-4 score. The Lynx scored all four runs over the sixth and seventh innings and ended the game with the tying run at third base.

Dustin Caplett collected three RBIs for the winners. Starter Quentin Kopjar got the win and Aaron McCarty earned a four-out save.

Here is Sunday's BP Invitational schedule at Mulcahy Stadium:

9:15 AM Dimond Post 21 vs. Team Avenue [CA]

11:45 AM Strathmore [CAN] vs. Columbia Post 19 [TN]

2:15 PM Colchester [VT] vs. South Post 4

5 PM Eagle River vs. Chugiak Post 33

**7:30 PM Championship game [winners of 11:45 a.m. & 2:15 p.m. semifinals]

 **93.7-FM radio

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

Outside teams dominate Day 2 of BP Invitational; no-no thrown

All four visiting teams flexed their muscles on Day 2 of the 20th annual BP Invitational, with Team Avenue pitcher Chris Crosby throwing a no-hitter to highlight Friday’s five-game schedule at Mulcahy Stadium.

Crosby flirted with a perfect game had it not been for errors before settling for a no-no [no hits, no walks] in a 4-0 win over South Post 4. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound right hander from Mississippi struck out eight.

Team Avenue, which is based out of California but features players from several different states, banged out nine hits, including two apiece from Zach Fernandez and Skyler Waltrip. Four different players collected RBIs.

South starter Bryce Schwartz pitched six innings.

The annual American Legion baseball tournament also features Columbia Post 19 of Tennessee, the Colchester Cannons of Vermont and the Strathmore Reds from Alberta, Canada.

Columbia – the champions of the 2012 BP Invitational – also blanked an Alaska team, with a 6-0 win over Chugiak Post 33 behind Dylan Stewart’s complete-game effort.

Stewart struck out nine and walked two.

Columbia outhit Chugiak 9-4 and took command with a five-spot in the second inning. William Pilkinton and Jake Usher had two hits apiece, and Peyton Sockwell drove in two runs.

Chugiak’s Devin Ferriss reached base all three hits with two singles and a walk. Sam Hanson pitched six innings.

The Colchester Cannons of Vermont won both games, beating Dimond Post 21 6-4 and the Strathmore Reds of Alberta 7-4.

In the first game, Colchester rallied from an early 4-1 deficit with a five-run third inning keyed by patience at the plate [six walks] and eagerness on the base paths [eight stolen bases].

Dimond starter Grant Remmer struck out 11 and settled down nicely with three shutout innings in the fourth, fifth and sixth.

In the second game, Colchester scored three runs in the top of the seventh inning to break a 4-4 tie. Jared Rylant delivered four RBIs.

Strathmore’s loss overshadowed Jared Kennedy’s 4-for-4 performance.

The Canadians also beat Eagle River 7-6 on the day, but the scoring system on the iPad crashed so we don’t have stats.

Here is Saturday's BP Invitational schedule at Mulcahy Stadium:

9:15 AM Colchester [VT] vs. Eagle River

11:45 AM Columbia [TN] vs. South 

2:15 PM Columbia [TN] vs. Team Avenue [CA]

**5 PM Chugiak vs. Team Avenue [CA]

**7:30 PM Dimond vs. Strathmore [CAN]

**93.7-FM radio

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

Eagle River, South win on Day 1 of 20th annual BP Invitational

Eagle River and South Post 4 both picked up comfortable wins today on the first day of the 20th annual BP Invitational at Mulcahy Stadium. 

Eagle River beat Dimond 6-3 and South defeated Chugiak Post 33 14-5.

The American Legion baseball tournament continues Friday with five games, starting at 9:15 a.m.

Eagle River scored five runs in the bottom of the second inning to pave the way to victory in pool play. All tournament games are seven innings.

RJ Dirscherl went 3-for-3 and Lauren Frost had two hits to lead an 8-hit attack. Both players drove in runs as six different Eagle River batters had an RBI. Dirscherl also scored three runs.

Cameron Fabacher started and pitched well, holding Dimond to four hits and a run over four innings. Guido Gerali and Dirscherl combined for three shutout innings out of the pen.

Dimond, which won the Midnight Sun Tournament in Fairbanks last month in the first stop of the Alaska Airlines Tournament Tour, managed its only run in the first inning.

Preston Micheletto had two hits and scored the lone run.

South benefitted from nine hits and 12 walks to reach double figures in the run column.

Jonah Costello went 3-for-4 and Max Micks was 2-for-4, with both players picking up a pair of RBIs.

The Wolverines also had seven stolen bases, including two apiece from Alec Valdez and Parker Johnson.

South starter Brendon Hayhurst picked up the win. He gave up five hits and three runs, although none were earned. He also didn’t walk anybody.

The BP Invitational continues Friday with action involving the four Outside teams – Columbia Post 19 of Tennessee; Team Avenue Baseball Academy of California, the Colchester Cannons from Vermont and the Strathmore Reds of Alberta, Canada.

Here is Friday’s BP Invitational schedule at Mulcahy Stadium:

9:15 AM Dimond vs. Colchester [VT]

11:45 AM Strathmore [CAN] vs. Colchester [VT]

**2:15 PM Strathmore [CAN] vs. Eagle River

**5 PM South vs. Team Avenue [CA]

7:30 PM Columbia [TN] vs. Chugiak

**93.7-FM radio

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
x-Wasilla Post 35 63 15-3 23-5
x-Service Post 28 57 13-5 20-6-1
x-Dimond Post 21 54 12-6 18-10
x-Juneau Post 25 51 11-7 17-9
x-South Post 4 48 10-8 15-12-1
Ketchikan Post 3 39 7-11 8-18
East Post 34 33 5-13 10-17
West Post 1 06 0-18 2-24


Alaska Legion AA National Division
Team Points League Overall
x-Chugiak Post 33 57 13-5 18-11
x-Eagle River 57 13-5 18-8
x-Kenai Post 20 54 12-6 16-10
Kodiak Post 17 48 10-8 13-12
Fairbanks Post 30 45 9-9 13-12
Bartlett Post 29 42 8-10 13-16-1
Fairbanks Post 11 32 5-13 7-18
Palmer Post 15 21 1-17 1-23-1


x-clinched state playoff berth

Each team plays 18 league games

Scoring system: 4 win, 2 tie, 1 loss, 0 forfeit


Calendar (print)