State: Dimond gets by West in battle of unbeatens

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 29, 2018

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.