State: Juneau wins 2nd consecutive championship
Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 31, 2018
Title Game: Juneau 7, Dimond 0
Phil Wall threw a 3-hit shutout and started a game-ending 1-6-3 double play as the Post 25 Midnight Suns ended the tournament with 26 consecutive scoreless innings en route to beating the Post 21 Lynx at Mulcahy Stadium and becoming the first repeat Legion state champion since 2011.
Wall was masterful as he struck out the side in the fourth inning and didn’t issue a walk until the sixth. He ran into a little trouble in the seventh but eliminated the threat by inducing a game-ending double play to give Juneau its state-best 28th win of the season.
Wall had five strikeouts and six comebackers and was named tournament MVP after earning his second win of the tournament and lowering his ERA to 0.58.
The Midnight Suns needed his shutout pitching early because they led only 1-0 on an unearned run and Dimond pitcher Luke Coplin – who also was gunning for his second tournament win – showed courage under stress as Juneau went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position in the first four innings.
Things changed in the fifth and sixth innings when Juneau plated three runs in each frame to pull away to win the program’s second straight state championship under the coaching duo of Joe Tompkins and Jeremy Ludeman, who were among Alaska Legion’s coaches of the year.
Tournament Big Stick Award winner Kasey Watts got the rally started in the fifth with a two-run single to give him eight RBIs, the most in the tournament. Owen Mendoza, who batted .500 for the tournament on 9-of-18 hitting, also drove in a run in the fifth.
The Midnight Suns put the game away with three more runs in the sixth as Gabe Storie, Donavin McCurley and Michael Cesar all scored runs.
They are Alaska’s first back-to-back state title since Dimond won in 2011 and 2010.
Juneau will represent the 907 at the Northwest Regional Tournament, which starts Aug. 8 in Missoula, Montana.
Dimond (24-9) advanced to the program’s 10th appearance all-time in the Legion state title game.
And although the Lynx didn’t win the title, they will receive a consolation prize in the form of a Outside trip to the Northwest Class A Regional Tournament, which begins Aug. 10 in Lewiston, Idaho.
Dimond 000 000 0 - 0 3 3
Juneau 010 033 x - 7 10 0
Dimond - Coplin, Roettger (5), Boyce (6) and Dolan. Juneau - Wall and Cesar. W - Wall. L - Coplin. 2B - None. 3B - None. HR - None.
State Tournament Awards
Jake Andresen, Dimond Post 21
His presence alone was enough to inject his team with instant confidence, so much so he was used very tactically to maximize his pitch count. This right-hander made two starts and his team won both times as he struck out 10 batters and sported a zero ERA in eight innings of work.
Declan Dammeyer, West Post 1
Whether he was behind the plate or roaming center field, this durable dual threat was a terrific defensive player who showed love for the glove. As a catcher, he threw out two baserunners and allowed only one stolen base. In the outfield, he was steady and did not make an error on 18 total chances.
Kasey Watts, Juneau Post 25
A combination of precision and power, the left-handed cleanup hitter ripped the ball virtually every time he stepped in the box. The first baseman led the tournament with eight RBIs and two triples. He had three RBIs against South and Chugiak. He added two RBIs in the title game and hit .300 in six games.
Most Valuable Player
Phil Wall, Juneau Post 25
He came back from college to help his team win another state championship, and as fate would have it, he got the ball for the big game. He didn't disappoint, throwing a 3-hit shutout for his second win at state. For the tournament, the righty threw 12 innings and finished with a tidy 0.58 ERA and 11 strikeouts.