Chugiak beats South 4-3 on walkoff in 11 innings, wins state

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Aug 2, 2013

It wasn't the longest game in the history of the Alaska Legion state tournament. But it might have been the most exciting.

In a championship game that featured plenty of heroes on each team, it was Chugiak’s Alex Hess who delivered the biggest play in the 11th inning at Mulcahy Stadium.

Hess - the tournament's Gold Glove winner for being the top defensive player - drove in the winning run to lift Chugiak Post 33 to a thrilling 4-3 victory over South Post 4 in the state title game.

Hess singled past a drawn-in infield to score pinch-runner John Ives with the winning run.

Pitcher Devin Ferriss earned the win after throwing four innings of scoreless relief.

It was Chugiak's seventh state championship - tying the Mustangs with Dimond for second on the all-time list [East Post 34 is tops with 10].

Chugiak [22-18] will represent Alaska at the Northwest Region 7 Tournament in Eugene, Oregon, from Aug. 8-12.

The Mustangs missed a shot at going to regionals last year, losing to Kenai Post 20 in the championship game. They couldn't let it happen again.

And they didn't, thanks largely to pinch hitter Joe Fugere, who led off the inning with a walk, even after falling behind 0-2 in the count.

Fugere was replaced at first base by Ives, who immediate advanced to second on a passed ball. Vander Lekites singled and Christian Bohrer was hit by a pitch to load the bases.

That brought up Hess, who pulled a sharp ground ball through the hole on the left side.

It was Chugiak's first win against South in four meetings this year.

Chugiak all-star catcher Chase Wilson was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player. He excelled behind the plate [he threw out several base runners], at the plate [he hit .333] and on the bump [he went 2-0 with a 1.26 ERA]. 

South's Bryan Baker earned the Most Outstanding Pitcher award after going 2-0 with two complete games, a 1.00 ERA and 15 strikeouts in 18 innings.

South's Matt Illalio earned the tournament's Big Stick award after hitting .360 and leading the tournament in RBIs, total bases and slugging percentage.

Illialo also had an RBI - his seventh of the tournament - in the eighth inning to help South tie the game at 3-3.

South [25-8] will represent Alaska at the NWCART Tournament in Wheatland, Wyoming, from Aug. 9-12.