South wins State Tournament title game, bound for Oregon

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 31, 2014

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 started 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.