State Tournament Day 2 coverage: All 4 games
Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 27, 2019
Game 8 Wasilla 6, South 5
Jacob Gilbert's walkoff single capped a wild Wasilla comeback that saw the No. 1 seed rally from deficits of 3-0 in the seventh inning and 5-3 in the ninth inning to seize victory in the winner’s bracket game at Mulcahy Stadium.
South's Terren Sugita struck out 10 batters in six shutout innings in a brilliant performance that was overshadowed by a wild, wacky, and sometimes weird, ending in extra innings that propelled the Post 35 Road Warriors to 2-0 in the tournament and 28-6 on the Legion season.
This was Wasilla’s first-ever win over South at the state tournament after losing in 2014, 2012, 2011 and 2007. The victory was as memorable as it was historic.
At one point, the Road Warriors were one strike away from defeat. But destiny seems to be on their side this season.
Down 3-0 in the seventh, Wasilla tied the game against the South bullpen without having to hit the ball as six batters reached base on four walks and two hit by pitch.
Wasilla threatened with one out in the eighth when Gilbert walked and then on a wild pitch raced from first base to third base. He was stranded, thanks to South’s catcher-turned-reliever Josh Costello, who recorded the next two outs.
The ninth inning featured five runs – two from South and then three by Wasilla.
For South, Ryan Bailey singled, stole second and scored on RIcky Gatter's RBI single. Gatter then stole second base and later scored on an error to give the Post 4 Wolverines (18-11) a 5-3 lead. Gatter was one of the stars for South as he finished 2-for-4 with a walk, three runs, two stolen bases and two RBIs.
In the bottom of the ninth, Wasilla’s Balau Buckmaster walked and advanced to third base on two wild pitches. He scored on Kyle Graham's RBI single to make it 5-4.
After Clancey O'Donnell walked, Calvin Stoll put down a sac bunt that put runners at second and third. Graham scored on a wild pitch, Taylon Ottinger walked and Gilbert ripped a single to right field to score pinch runner Ty Dudley with the winning run.
Game 7 Chugiak 13, Juneau 5
Justin Nevells, Christian Cambridge, Ian Frizelle and Billy Smith each had 2 hits and combined to score eight runs as the Post 33 Mustangs snapped Juneau's 7-game postseason winning streak.
Chugiak exploded for 13 hits and 13 runs to erase an early 4-0 deficit and hand Juneau its worst defeat at state since 2015. That year, Chugiak beat Juneau 12-5.
Frizelle homered and had two RBIs. Bryce Collins and Sam Hall also had two RBIs.
Just nine days ago, Juneau swept Chugiak in a doubleheader.
Early on, it looked like it might happen again after the Post 25 Midnight Suns jumped out to a 4-0 lead after the first two innings.
No. 3 Chugiak (25-5) improved to 2-0 in the tournament.
Four pitchers combined on the 5-hitter, with relievers Camden Costanios, Cambridge and Nevells combining to shut out Juneau over the final four innings.
No. 2 Juneau (24-5) dropped into the loser's bracket.
The two-time defending Legion state champion team had won seven straight games at state since last year's first-round upset to Kodiak.
Juneau's Kasey Watts - last year's state tournament Big Stick Award winner - had three RBIs for the Midnight Suns.
Donavin McCurley and Oliver Mendoza also had RBIs.
Game 6 Kenai 11, Dimond 0
Leadoff hitter Jeremy Kupferschmid and No. 3 hitter Mose Hayes set the tone as the Post 20 Twins led 9-0 early and never looked back to win the elimination game in five innings.
Kupferschmid and Hayes each went 3-for-4 to highlight Kenai’s 11-hit attack. They also combined for three stolen bases, three runs, a double and an RBI.
Hayes also started the game on the mound and pitched the first two innings and combined with reliever Chris Jamie on the 2-hit shutout.
Davey Belger went 2-for-2 with two RBIs and a run. Logan Smith went 1-for-3 with a pair of RBIs for No. 4 Kenai (21-12).
The Twins led 2-0 after the first inning and 9-0 after the second inning.
This was the fifth time since 2013 that these two teams squared off in the state tournament – with Dimond winning in 2018 and 2017, Kenai in 2016 and Dimond in 2013.
No. 8 Dimond (15-16) was eliminated from the tournament.
Matt Thompson and Luke Smith delievered the only two base hits for the Post 21 Lynx.
Thompson also pitched 2.1 innings of relief and gave up zero earned runs.
Game 5 West 9, Palmer 4
Jack Opinsky, Quinn Bates-Janigo, Leland Wilson and Luke Langnes each had two hits and an RBI to back Ivan Tillman's solid start as the Post 1 Eagles avoided an early exit by winning the elimination game.
West rapped out 11 hits and twice scored four runs in an inning - in the first and again in the fourth.
Bubba Mendoza had two RBIs and Opinsky, Bates-Janigo and Wilson scored twice.
Tillman pitched four innings, allowing just two hits and one unearned run. He worked around a half dozen walks and struck out four.
No. 7 West (17-12) survived to play another day.
No. 6 Palmer was eliminated from the tournament and finished the season 17-13, having qualified for the Legion state tournament for the first time since 1993.
Luke Guggenmos went 3-for-5 with an RBI. Trace Severson and Brady Shults had had two hits, a run and an RBI.
Palmer left 15 runners on base. The Pioneers also turned a 6-4-3 double play and Shults threw out a runner trying to steal second base.