Wasilla rallies to beat Fairbanks for A/Open Tournament title

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Aug 5, 2012

Jaden Sears ripped a two-run single in the bottom of the seventh inning to highlight the Wasilla A team’s 5-4 victory over Fairbanks in Sunday’s championship game of the Alliance A/Open Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium.

The walkoff win was a perfect way to end a stellar 24-6 season for the top-seeded Road Warriors.

"This was their state championship," said Wasilla coach Gary Skan.

Trailing 4-3 with one out in the seventh, Wasilla loaded the bases on an error, infield single and intentional walk.

Next up was Sears, who lined the first pitch he saw to score Layne Cottingham and Lauren Massie with the winning runs.

Four pitchers threw for Wasilla, with the standouts being Sam Loyer and Mitchell Ruta.

"It was an amazing win for these guys," Skan said. "They were down the entire game. Fairbanks got off to a great start. They were patient at the plate. They waited for their pitches against my starter and they hit him.

"But for them to hang in there and battle the whole way … it was probably their best performance as a team all year as far as keeping their heads in the game and believing they could come back and win."

Playing at Mulcahy Stadium made all the difference.

"It really sunk in for the boys that they were playing for the championship," Skan said. "They like the big stage. It makes them feel like they deserve to be there."

In other action Sunday, Eagle River beat Kenai 19-12 after scoring 11 runs in the seventh inning.