State Tournament: Day 1 preview, stat leaders, trivia

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jun 1, 2022

There are no gimmies in the first round of the ASAA Division I baseball state tournament.

All four first-round matchups pack a punch as the road to the championship begins Thursday at Mulcahy Stadium.

The most intriguing opener pits defending state champion South Anchorage (23-0) against Southeast power Ketchikan (15-6) in a marvelous matchup between title contenders.

The Wolverines feature NCAA Division I signees Curtis Hebert (Portland) and Oliver Brown (Holy Cross) and are riding a state-record 41-game winning streak that dates back to 2019.

Hebert is an elite pitcher, catcher and hitter who was named CIC MVP after rewriting the record book. He pitched the 15th no-hitter in league history and tied the league’s single-game RBI record of 8.

The right-hander hasn’t allowed an earned run in 19 innings on the mound. At the plate, he’s batting .403 on 25-of-62 hitting with 2 home runs and 24 RBIs in 23 games.

Brown is a sharp shortstop and skillful baserunner who is batting .371 on 23-of-62 hitting with 32 runs, 26 RBIs and 14 stolen bases. A closer on the mound, he posted a 1-0 record and two saves with a 0.00 ERA and 11 strikeouts in seven innings.

South pitchers Isaac Johnson (0.41 ERA, 38 IP) and Luke Ivanoff (0.71 ERA, 28.1 IP) have combined to go 13-0 this year. Meanwhile, Ketchikan counters with a terrific trio of Van McGarrigan (2.49 ERA, 50.2 IP), Jesse Loughman (4.14 ERA, 44.0 IP) and Colby Hanchey (2.58 ERA, 35.1 IP).

Ketchikan is hitting .317 as a team to fuel an offense averaging 8.1 runs per game. Big bats Dylan Nedzwecky (.469 BA, 35 RBIs) and Loughman (.348 BA, 31 RBIs) lead the way while table setter Hanchey (.330 BA, 44 runs) has made 124 plate appearances this year – more than some varsity kids get in a career.

South and Ketchikan have met twice previously at the state tournament, with South winning in 2018, Ketchikan in 2012.

 

Schedule Change

ASAA made a slight change to the schedule, flipping time slots of the first two matchups to accommodate Sitka’s late-arriving travel. As a result, Colony/Service was moved to 10 a.m. and Sitka/Eagle River will now play at 1 p.m.

First National Bank Alaska

ASAA Division I State Tournament

At Mulcahy Stadium

10am - Colony (10-5) vs. Service (12-6)

1pm - Sitka (13-7) vs. Eagle River (15-4)

4pm - Wasilla (15-6) vs. Chugiak (13-7)

7pm - Ketchikan (15-6) vs. South (23-0)

 

Other First Round Previews

  • Colony is making its fifth straight appearance at state while Service is back for the first time since 2017. This matchup is a clash of styles as Colony wins with offense and Service wins with defense. The Knights are led by Koen Leaders (.403 BA, 23 RBIs, 1.69 ERA) and Brayden Parrent (.409 BA, 22 RBIs). The Cougars, who received the lone at-large berth, own a .963 team fielding percentage. Owen Hickman (.409 BA) is one of five starters with a .600+ on-base percentage. Colony and Service have never met at the state tournament.
  • Sitka and Eagle River will square off in the first round of state for the second straight year. Eagle River won last year’s meeting 12-1 for the team’s first victory in just its second appearance at the state tournament. This game has serious star power between Sitka’s Nick Calhoun (.471 BA, 32 SB) and Eagle River’s Noah Lower (.365 BA, 0.81 ERA). Sitka, the smallest school in the Division I field, has won 24 of 31 games all-time at state for a .774 winning percentage.
  • Wasilla and Chugiak both finished the season on a tear, ripping off identical 7-2 records over the final nine games. Will Plowman (.455 BA) and Pedro Camacho (24 RBIs) are top hitters for Wasilla, which averages 9.6 runs per game and has four players with 20 RBIs or more. Chugiak’s Jayden Steckel (.444 BA), Michael Boudreau (.342 BA) and Hunter Rau (22 RBIs) spearhead the offense. Steckel also went 4-2 on the mound and a steady third baseman. Wasilla beat Chugiak 13-1 in the semifinals of the 2019 state tournament, their only other postseason meeting.

 

Notable Stat Leaders

BATTING AVERAGE

.471 (32-68) – Nik Calhoun, Sitka

.469 (45-96) – Dylan Nedzwecky, Ketchikan

.455 (20-44) – Will Plowman, Wasilla

.444 (20-45) – Jayden Steckel, Chugiak

.429 (21-49) – Bridger Bird, Sitka

.412 (21-51) – Ben Neuberger, South

.409 (18-33) – Owen Hickman, Service

.409 (27-66) – Brayden Parrent, Colony

.403 (25-62) – Curtis Hebert, South

.403 (25-62) – Koen Leaders, Colony

.381 (16-42) – Drake Gallagher, Colony

.377 (20-53) – Bryant Marks, Colony

.371 (23-62) – Oliver Brown, South

.365 (19-52) – Noah Lower, Eagle River

.364 (12-33) – Jack Molloy, Eagle River

.358 (19-53) – Alex Bond, Wasilla

.351 (13-37) – Connor Lanehart, Eagle River

.349 (15-43) – Connor Johnson, Eagle River

.348 (31-89) – Jesse Loughman, Ketchikan

.343 (24-70) – Kaden Bevegni, South

RBI

35 – Dylan Nedzwecky, Ketchikan

32 – Garren Henning, Sitka

31 – Jesse Loughman, Ketchikan

29 – Nik Calhoun, Sitka

26 – Oliver Brown, South

24 – Kaden Bevegni, South

24 – Pedro Camacho, Wasilla

24 – Jace Crall, Wasilla

24 – Curtis Hebert, South

23 – Koen Leaders, Colony

22 – Brayden Parrent, Colony

21 – Alex Bond, Wasilla

21 – Hunter Rau, Chugiak

20 – Logan Bailey, Wasilla

19 – Bridger Bird, Sitka

19 – Colby Hanchey, Ketchikan

19 – Nate Wilson, Colony

RUNS

44 – Colby Hanchey, Ketchikan

32 – Oliver Brown, South

30 – Colton Haase, Colony

29 – Logan Bailey, Wasilla

27 – Bubba Williams, Ketchikan

26 – Will Plowman, Wasilla

24 – Ben Neuberger, South

24 – Bryant Marks, Colony

23 – Pedro Camacho, Wasilla

23 – Hunter Christian, Service

23 – Van McGarrigan, Ketchikan

23 – Wyatt Walling, Wasilla

STOLEN BASES

32 – Nik Calhoun, Sitka

26 – Garren Henning, Sitka

20 – Logan Bailey, Wasilla

17 – Bubba Williams, Ketchikan

16 – Karsen Spradling, Colony

15 – Colby Hanchey, Ketchikan

14 – Oliver Brown, South

14 – Will Plowman, Wasilla

14 – Syker Sugita, South

13 – Drake Gallagher, Colony

12 – Brayden Parrent, Colony

11 – Hunter Christian, Service

10 – Sean Giffen, South

10 – Jonathan Scoblic, Ketchikan

10 – Jayden Steckel, Chugiak

INNINGS

50.2 – Van McGarrigan, Ketchikan (2-0, 2.49)

44.0 – Jesse Loughman, Ketchikan (1-0, 4.14)

43.0 – Isaac Johnson, South (7-0, 0.41)

35.1 – Colby Hanchey, Ketchikan (2-0, 2.58)

28.1 – Luke Ivanoff, South (6-0, 0.71)

27.2 – Grady Smith, Sitka (1.27)

27.0 – Nik Calhoun, Sitka (0.51)

27.0 – Jayden Steckel, Chugiak (4-2, 4.14)

25.0 – Jace Crall, Wasilla (5-0, 3.76)

25.0 – Preston Rau, Chugiak (3-2, 2.24)

24.1 – Dayton Greer, Wasilla (1-1 2.88)

24.0 – Landon Luebke, Chugiak (3-1, 2.30)

22.0 – Zephon Rhowmin, Colony (1-0, 1.56)

22.1 – Koen Leaders, Colony (1-1, 1.69)

19.0 – Curtis Hebert, South (3-0, 0.00)

19.0 – Jake Rafferty, Service (3-1, 1.84)

17.2 – Noah Lower, Eagle River (2-1, 0.81)

16.1 – Josh Westerman, Chugiak (1-0, 1.71)

15.1 – Bryce Calhoun, Sitka (3.65)

14.0 – Jack Molloy, Eagle River (2-0, 1.50)

13.2 – Dalton Smith, Eagle River (1-0, 2.56)

11.0 – Michael Sculley, Service (1-0, 0.63)

STRIKEOUTS

48 – Isaac Johnson, South

43 – Luke Ivanoff, South

39 – Nik Calhoun, Sitka

38 – Van McGarrigan, Ketchikan

34 – Curtis Hebert, South

34 – Jayden Steckel, Chugiak

25 – Colton Haase, Colony

25 – Grady Smith, Sitk

22 – Colby Hanchey, Ketchikan

21 – Jake Rafferty, Service

21 – Jarem Venie, Colony

20 - Koen Leaders, Colony

20 – Preston Rau, Chugiak

 

Trivia Question

Who was the last player to hit a grand slam and pick up the winning decision at pitcher in the state tournament title game?

The answer will be revealed during Third Inning Trivia in Thursday’s 1 p.m. live stream on nfhs.com with broadcaster Nate Sagan.