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Baseball Factory national tour comes to Anchorage on July 11

The Under Armour Baseball Factory national tour will be in Anchorage on July 11 at the Kosinski Fields.

Since its inception in 1994, the Baseball Factory has been a national leader in college recruiting.

Players in attendance will be evaluated by the Factory’s professional coaching staff, helping to reveal strengths and build on areas of improvement with proven tools, expert guidance and life-changing experiences to prepare for success on and off the field. 

This year’s College World Series features 92 former Factory alums. In the June Major League Baseball Draft, teams selected over 300 Factory alumni, including 38 former Under Armour All-Americans.

Developing their skill set further once in professional baseball, more than 400 Baseball Factory alumni have made their debuts in the big leagues since 1994. 

Baseball Factory holds a strong and committed relationship with American Legion, providing amateur players with new opportunities to develop their baseball skills and fulfill their dream of playing collegiate baseball. 

Read more about Baseball Factory’s partnership with American Legion at www.baseballfactory.com.

With 17 teams, Alaska Legion touches every corner of state

The Alaska Legion Baseball season is in full swing and this weekend’s busy schedule was a good indicator as 16 of 17 AA teams were in action.

Eight fields were used in Juneau, Ketchikan, Kodiak, Wasilla and Anchorage.

Everybody played Saturday except Delta Post 22, the only team in the league that plays a mix of AA [varsity] and A [junior varsity] teams.

The 16 AA programs are vying for the chance to win the 63rd annual Alaska American Legion Baseball State Tournament at the end of July.

They are split into eight-team divisions and play an 18-game league schedule, after which the top eight advance to the state tournament at iconic Mulcahy Stadium and the bottom eight play in the Matson Invitational at Bartlett High.

For 50 years, Mulcahy Stadium has hosted the biggest games in Alaska.

The top three teams from each division after the regular season automatically qualify for the state tournament, as well as two wildcard teams based on the most points. 

The AA standings are based on a point system; 4 for a win, 2 for a tie, 1 for a loss and 0 for a forfeit.

The Alaska AA state champion advances to the Northwest Regional in Cheyenne, Wyoming. The regional runs Aug. 3-7 and includes state champions from Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Wyoming and Washington.

Chugiak Post 33 is the defending state champion from Alaska.

The Legion World Series is Aug. 11-16 in Shelby, North Carolina.

As of last week, 3,786 Legion teams nationwide will take the field in 2016, according to legion.org.

This year’s national registration numbers showed an increase from the previous years.

Alaska has been part of the growth.

In the last few years, the ALB has expanded in Fairbanks and the Mat-Su Valley while adding teams in Kodiak, Ketchikan and Delta.

This story was written by Van Williams, a freelance writer in Anchorage and the ALB Media Director.

College Coaches Camp expands to include more kids in Alaska

Since 1994, college coaches from all over the country have come to The Last Frontier to teach the game of baseball to Alaska.

The annual camp was always held at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage.

But now it's expanding to include the Interior players.

The College Coaches Camp will be in Fairbanks on June 14-15 and then in Palmer June 16-17 before wrapping up in Anchorage June 20-23.

The camp in Anchorage is open only to American Legion Baseball players.

There are youth opportunities in Fairbanks and Palmer.

All abilities are invited to attend and learn. 

Camp lead instructor Levi Lacey of Everett Community College in Washington has made more than dozen trips to Alaska in past several years and is a great instructor and teacher of young baseball players. 

Lacey's Everett CC teams have finished at or near the top of the prestigious NWAC, one of the toughest junior college leagues in the country.

Other instructors include Rob Strickland of College of Idaho, Kevin Davis of Pierce CC, Shawn Hamberger of College of Idaho, Patrick Perry of Dixie State University, Greg Goetz of Seattle University, Aaron Sutton of Treasure Valley CC and Gabe Boruff of Columbia Basin CC. 

Former longtime Chugiak Post 33 manager Bill Lierman Sr. helped create this annual event in 1994 before his passing.

In 2005, Alaska Legion Baseball named this clinic in his honor for his tireless dedication to young baseball players of Alaska.

This story was written by Van Williams, a freelance writer in Anchorage and the ALB Media Director.

Jonny Baseball: Homza does it all in leading South to state title

ASAA/First National Bank Alaska State Tournament

Saturday's Scores

At Mulcahy Stadium, Anchorage

Day 3

Championship Game, South 3, Chugiak 1

Third-Place Game Sitka 6, Ketchikan 5

Fourth-Place Game Wasilla 15, Lathrop 5

Championship Game

South 3, Chugiak 1

The bullpen was hot and South starter Jonny Homza had thrown 100 pitches when the tying run came to the plate in the seventh inning.

This was the state championship game and Chugiak was knocking at the door with a runner on and one out. Maybe it was time to pull him, but South coach Taylor Nerland stuck with Homza.

“I was stoked, for sure,” Homza told me. “My arm was feeling good and Nerland said ‘Hey man, if you can do it, do it.”

He did it.

The reigning Gatorade Alaska Player of the Year got the next batter to ground out before ending the game with a strikeout, putting his signature on a 3-1 win over the Cook Inlet Conference champions at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage.

“When it came down to it, Jonny was still pitching well,” Nerland told me of his decision. “He’s a phenomenal competitor and he plays with a lot of emotion. When he got that last out you could tell the adrenaline was going through him. If his arm was hurting, he probably wouldn’t have told me.”

Homza, a junior right-hander, allowed four hits and two walks while striking out 10. He finished with 106 pitches.

“Jonny looked amazing,” fellow South pitcher Tommy Koloski told me. “That’s one of the best outings I’ve ever seen him have.”

It came against a Chugiak team that 11 days ago beat Homza in the CIC championship game. It also came against a Chugiak team that beat South in last year’s state championship game.

Many players from both years were on the field Saturday. It’s become a Yankees-Red Sox type rivalry. It’s special when they square off.

“We’ve been back and forth with them,” Homza said. “I think we just wanted it more because we knew what it felt like to lose to them.”

South took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning when Max Costello’s fielder’s choice scored Julito Fazzini from third base with one out.

Chugiak tied it at 1-1 in the bottom half when Brady Lindberg delivered a two-out single and scored on Hunter Register’s double.

With two outs in the third inning, Homza jumped on a first-pitch fastball and knocked it out of the ballpark for his first home run in his South career. He picked a fine time, providing the Wolverines with the go-ahead run and the lead for good.

“It was pretty sweet,” he said. “You just go up there to the plate with the same approach. I’ve done it so many times in my life that this time it felt like any other time. I saw the pitch and hit the ball. There’s not much I can really say about it. It was really no different than any other at-bat. It just happened to go out, which was nice.”

Koloski called it a monster shot.

“I knew that home run was out as soon as it left the bat,” he said.

South added an insurance run in the sixth inning when Matt Kley scored from third base on a Chugiak fielding error.

With Homza on the mound, it may have not mattered. He allowed only nine hits and had a 1.47 ERA over his last 19 innings in May and June.

This was South’s fourth consecutive appearance in the state title game. The Wolverines won the 2013 championship before getting second the next two years.

If anything, though, South exercised some demons this year.

“We lost to Sitka two years ago and we beat them. We lost to Chugiak last year and we beat them,” Nerland said. “It feels really good, I’ll tell you that much.”

Third-Place Game

Sitka 6, Ketchikan 5

Sitka built an early lead and survived one bad inning to prevail in a third-place game between Southeast Conference rivals.

Ky Stockel and Branden Case each drove in a pair of runs and Trevor Dalton and Kyle Fitzsimmons each had one RBI.

Case homered and Fitzsimmons tripled as Sitka took a 6-1 lead after the top of the fifth inning.

Nathan Bonck and Co. made things interesting in the bottom half of the frame with a four-spot that made it a one-run game.

Bonck, the ace pitcher headed to Seattle University this fall, finished off his high school career in style with a 2-for-3 effort at the plate that included a three-run home run.

"The ball I hit was a splitter that might've hit me if I didn't swing," Bonck told me. "Totally hooked it and kept it just inside the foul pole."

For his career, the 2015 Gatorade Alaska Player of the Year threw two no-hitters, including a perfect game, and three one-hitters. He also slugged 14 home runs – more than any other player in the state over that time.

“Ketchikan has given me all I could’ve asked for out of a high school baseball experience. Baseball in Southeast Alaska too,” Bonck said. “Traveling and housing out has blessed me with some lifelong friends out of the great town of Sitka.

“I’m happy with how it went and I know I’ve gotten better every year, as a person as well as a ballplayer.”

Fourth-Place Game

Wasilla 15, Lathrop 5

The Warriors broke out the bats in a big way, collecting 14 hits and scoring runs in six of the seven innings to win the fourth-place game at state.

Wasilla's Cyruss Lovell was the game's only player with three hits while teammates Ben Werner, Ryan Perkins, Nolan Monaghan and Kyle Graham each banged out two hits.

Wasilla's Jeffery Forster drove in three runs and Perkins, Monaghan, Jimmy Arend and Graham each had 2 RBIs.

Starter Hank Boyer got the win and reliever Austin Robertson pitched three perfect innings to collect the save.

Lathrop's bats weren't silent. Colin King homered and Mason Wilken tripled. Wyatt Berg went 2-for-4 with an RBI.

This story was written by Van Williams, a freelance writer in Anchorage and the ALB Media Director.

Run it back: Chugiak, South meet in rematch of 2015 final

ASAA/First National Bank Alaska State Tournament

Friday's Schedule / Scores

At Mulcahy Stadium, Anchorage

Day 2

Loser's Bracket

Lathrop 11, Soldotna 9

Wasilla 4, Monroe Catholic 3

Semifinals

South 4, Sitka 0

Chugiak 4, Ketchikan 3

GAME RECAPS

Chugiak 4, Ketchikan 3

Even though baseball comes down to individual matchups, the game is a team sport all the way.

Just ask the Mustangs.

With ace Cody Curfman not pitching his best early on, Chugiak closer Matt Hess stepped in to throw a season-high 4.1 innings to preserve a slim lead in the state semifinal.

“Matt was great tonight,” Curfman told me. “I just didn’t have it tonight and for Matt to come up big in that situation is huge.”

Hess allowed only one run and wiggled out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth inning with a fly out.

“I misplaced a couple pitches and they capitalized because they are a great hitting team,” Hess told me. “But my team stayed positive and always has my back. They are a great defense and they made the plays they needed to get me out of the jam.”

Chugiak advanced to the state championship game for a rematch of last year’s title matchup with Cook Inlet Conference rival South.

Chugiak beat South 10 days ago for the CIC title. Hess finished off that game, too.

“I love closing games,” said Hess, who has two saves. “It’s an awesome feeling coming into a close game and being the one that gets to finish it on the mound.”

Jake Kindred went 3-for-3 and scored twice. Brady Lindberg drove in two runs and Charlie Bucolo and Curfman each added RBIs.

This was the second straight game the Mustangs put up a crooked number on the scoreboard. Last night it was a five-run first inning against Monroe Catholic. Tonight was it a three-run third.

“We always love to come out hitting first [as visitor],” Curfman said. “When we get a few runs early it really propels us through the rest of the game; and knocks down the confidence of the other team’s pitcher.”

In the seventh inning, Ketchikan gunned down an insurance run on a beautiful relay from left fielder Jackson Pool to shortstop Jacob Shay to catcher Nate Fousel, who tagged out Hess at the plate.

The throw home needed to be perfect to get him.

“It was a good throw and a good tag,” Hess said. “I don’t know if I was out, but it was a tough call and could have gone either way for sure. Very clutch play by them.”

Ketchikan's Nathan Bonck went 2-for-4 with 2 RBIs. Teammates Spencer Erickson and Mo Bullock each had two hits.

South 4, Sitka 0

Even though he stood alone on the mound for South in Friday’s state tournament semifinals, starting pitcher Parker Johnson never felt like he was on an island.

He pitches to contact and relies on his defense to make plays behind him.

“I’m not able to overpower hitters,” Johnson told me. “I just try to keep them off balance to get my fielders plays and they always have my back, which is nice.”

The junior right-hander shut out the Southeast Conference champions by scattering six hits and three walks over seven innings of work.

He got the big outs when he needed as Sitka stranded eight runners on base.

“It definitely helps having the best fielders in the state behind me,” Johnson said. “I relied on my changeup, trying to keep hitters off balance and give my team a chance to make plays in the field. They made some big plays for me today, as they always do.”

It’s not just the defense, though. Johnson ended the season with a 15-inning scoreless streak. And his win helped South advance to the state championship game for the fourth consecutive year, looking for first title since 2013. 

“It’s exciting,” he said. “I can’t wait.”

The Wolverines got base hits from eight of nine starters and major contributions from the bottom of the lineup as Sladen Mohl, Anthony Maldonado, Max Costello and Trevor McGinnis combined to score three runs and drive in another.

Sitka starter Kyle Fitzsimmons went the distance and had only one bad inning, throwing goose eggs in four frames. He gave up eight hits and three earned runs in six innings.

Sitka coach Matt Way - a 2009 fifth-round draft pick of the Philadelphia Phillies - knows a thing or two about pitching and he liked what he saw from both starting pitchers.

"Both had good control of their offspeed and both worked out of some big jams," Way told me. "It was a fun game. In the end, it came down to defensive execution. We got outplayed today."

Wasilla 4, Monroe Catholic 3

Hank Boyer bunted home Jeffery Forster from third base to allow the Warriors to walk off with an extra-inning game to avoid elimination.

The Southcentral Conference champions scored single runs in the fifth, sixth and eighth innings to advance to the fourth-place game of the state tournament.

Koby Burns hit the tying home run in the sixth, which ultimately forced an extra inning of play.

Nolan Monaghan, Jimmy Arend and Boyer also had RBIs for Wasilla.

Monroe Catholic led 3-1 through four innings, thanks to runs scored by Izak Lohrke, Miachael Richter and Dyland Steele.

Starter Gavin Jackson didn't get the decision. He pitched well, though, scattering four runs over seven innings. 

Burns started for Wasilla and struck out 10 batters over six innings.

Reliever Austin Robertson pitched two scorless frame for the win.

Lathrop 11, Soldotna 9

Mason Wilken's two-run triple capped a five-run fifth inning rally and proved to be the difference for the Malemutes of Fairbanks in an elimination game.

Wilken, the No. 9 hitter, finished 2-for-3 with four RBIs as the Mid Alaska Conference champions survived to play another day.

Vonche Wood, James Kardash, Evan Wilken and Sam Greenburg also drove in runs for Lathrop.

The Malemutes won despite issuing a combined 13 walks by four pitchers. The offense also had a lot of base runners and scored in five different innings.

Soldotna pitcher Chase Reed came out of the bullpen and threw three innings to get the win and help Lathrop move on to Saturday’s fourth-place game.

Soldotna's Joe Becher doubled, drove in two runs and scored twice. Teammate Kolten Wilson also had two RBIs.

This story was written by Van Williams, a freelance writer in Anchorage and the ALB Media Director.

Southeast, Cook Inlet dominate on first day at State

ASAA/First National Bank Alaska State Tournament

Thursday's Schedule / Scores

At Mulcahy Stadium, Anchorage

Day 1, First Round

Sitka 12, Soldotna 2

Ketchikan 11, Wasilla 1

South 11, Lathrop 1

Chugiak 11, Monroe Catholic 0

GAME RECAPS

Chugiak 11, Monroe Catholic 0

The defending state champion Mustangs didn’t waste any time as the first seven batters of the game reached base to ignite a five-run first inning.

Charlie Bucolo drove in four runs and Cook Inlet Conference MVP Cody Curfman had three hits and two RBIs for Chugiak.

“Our leaders stepped up today,” Chugiak’s Brady Lindberg told me. “The first rally definitely takes a lot of pressure at the start. It feels good having a strong offense to back my pitching.”

Lindberg threw three scoreless innings on the mound and at the plate he knocked in two runs to help his own cause.

The right-hander allowed one hit and two walks. He struck out four.

“I started to get in my head a lot,” Lindberg said. “I struggled, but I had my defense to back me after I settled down.”

Brian Wing pitched the final two innings to close the door for the CIC champions.

Monroe Catholic is making just its second appearance at the state tournament in school history.

The Rams of Fairbanks have one of the youngest teams in the state and their future looks bright.

Chugiak has now won four straight games at the state tournament, dating back to last season.

South 11, Lathrop 1

After losing the Cook Inlet Conference championship game nine days ago, the Wolverines had plenty of time to prepare for the state tournament. They also had a ton of time to hit.

“We have been hitting a lot during the break between the CIC championship game and today,” South’s Tommy Koloski told me. “We came into the game wanting to get back to playing how we know we can.”

The Wolverines banged out 11 hits in just four frames of work. The game was called after the top of the fifth inning.

“We don’t want another second place and we need to come out swinging with authority these next few games,” said Koloski, the winning pitcher.

South's Matt Kley and Sladen Mohl each had two hits and two RBIs. Teammates Lian Lincoln and Julito Fazzini also drove in two runs apiece.

The Wolverines took a 3-0 lead in the first inning, thanks in part to a pair of bases-loaded walks. They put the Mid-Alaska Conference champions away with a six-run second inning.

“We were hitting for so long, by the time I went back out I felt that I needed to warm up all over again,” said Koloski, who has a 0.95 ERA over his last 22 innings. “I’m glad that I only went three innings so I can come back for another game and do what I do best.”

Lathrop's Colin King had two base hits and Evan Wilken drove in his team's lone run.

Ketchikan 11, Wasilla 1

The Kings jumped all over the Southcentral Conference champion Warriors with four runs in the first inning - all with two outs - to propel them in the first round.

Ketchikan added another run in the second inning and three more in the third inning before Wasilla got on the scoreboard.

Last year's Gatorade Alaska Player of the Year Nathan Bonk pitched beautifully, scattering four hits over seven innings with 11 strikeouts. The only run he allowed was unearned.

"Pretty solid game," Bonck told me. "I kept the pitch count down and threw all my offspeed for strikes."

Wasilla was the only team in the state to go undefeated in league play.

But Ketchikan wasn't going to be denied.

Mo Bullock and Jackson Pool each collected four RBIs as the Kings outhit Wasilla 12-4.

"Out bats came alive," said Bonck, who went 2-for-4.

Wasilla pitcher Nolan Monaghan struck out a dozen batters in six innings of relief.

Sitka 12, Soldotna 2

Vaughn Blankenship pitched a complete game and Ky Stockel delivered RBIs in the third, fifth and sixth innings as the Southeast Conference champion Wolves rolled in the first round.

Blankenship allowed two runs and four hits [two triples] in the first inning, then settled down nicely. He allowed only one hit over the final six frames.

He struck out 11 batters.

"This win was huge for us," Sitka coach Matt Way told me. "Blankenship is always super tough on the mound, but unfortunately he doesn't get tough until he gives up a run or two.

"He battles, though, and that's what all great pitchers have in common."

Stockel, Dayton Cropper and Josh Young each had two hits as Sitka pounded out 11 against Soldotna ace Joe Becher.

Becher threw two of the team's three no-hitters during the regular season.

Eight Sitka players scored runs and seven drove in runs. Trevor Dalton and Cropper each had two RBIs.

"The offense is one of our biggest weapons this year," Way said. "Where we used to rely on pitching and defense, this year we have worked a ton on our hitters' approach at the plate and it's great to see the guys having success."

This was the first state tournament win for Way, a former hometown hero who pitched at Washington State and the professional ranks.

Way took over last year after longtime coach Ed Conway retired after leading the Wolves to the 2014 state championship.

This story was written by Van Williams, a freelance writer in Anchorage and the ALB Media Director. 

Coaches vote Curfman winner of Don Rabung CIC MVP Award

Whether he was pitching, hitting or catching, Cody Curfman of Chugiak was a game changer.

The senior all-star won a league-best four games on the mound; he drove in nine runs in 11 games, including a pair in the league championship game; and he caught a no-hitter and erased 10 runners on the base paths this year.

Yeah, just give him the player-of-the-year award.

That’s exactly what the Cook Inlet Conferences coaches did in honoring Curfman with the 2016 Don Rabung CIC MVP Award at a league meeting Friday.

Curfman is 4-0 with a 1.93 ERA at pitcher. He pitched six innings in the CIC title game as Chugiak beat South 6-4 at Mulcahy Stadium to secure the league’s No. 1 seed at state.

He was the catcher on Chugiak’s combined no-hitter by Brady Lindberg and Matt Hess against East. He gunned out a league-high six runners trying to steal bases.

Curfman was one of four players to make the all-conference first team at two positions. Another was his teammate, Hess, who made it at relief pitcher and second baseman.

The other two were from Service – Ronan Klancher [SP, OF] and Raleigh Pigg [RP, SS]. 

Hess also has do-it-all talent for the Mustangs.

In addition to being a two-time first team selection, he was awarded for with the CIC Big Stick Award. He led the league with a .464 batting average and seven doubles.

The league’s Gold Glove Award went to slick South third baseman Matthew Kley, who made only one error on 19 defensive chances and flashed a .950 fielding percentage.

All-conference voting was done by league head coaches or their designee. Coaches couldn’t vote for their own players. The number of nominations per team was based on league standings.

This story was written by Van Williams, a freelance writer in Anchorage and the ALB Media Director.

Cook Inlet Conference Baseball Awards

Don Rabung CIC MVP Award

Cody Curfman, Chugiak, Sr., SP/C, league-best 4-W, 0-L, 1.93 ERA, 16 K, 29 IP, .323 BA, 9 RBI, 3 2B, 7 SB, league-best 6 CS, 4 PK

Big Stick Award

Matt Hess, Chugiak, Jr., league-best .464 BA, 8 RBI, league-best 7 2B, 12 R, .714 SLG

Gold Glove Award

Matthew Kley, South, Jr., 3B, .950 FLD, made only one error on 19 defensive chances, 1 DP

All-Conference

FIRST TEAM

Starting Pitcher 

Cody Curfman, Chugiak, league-best 4-W, 0-L, 1.93 ERA, 16 K, 29 IP

Jonny Homza, South, 1-W, 1-L, 1.75 ERA, No-Hitter, 12 IP

Sean Duffy, West, 1-W 1-L, 3.50 ERA, league-best 35 K, 16 IP

Ronan Klancher, Service, 2-W, 0-L, 2.10 ERA, 13.1 IP

Relief Pitcher

Raleigh Pigg, Service, 1-W, 1-L, league-best 0.58 ERA, 17 K, 12 IP 

Matt Hess, Chugiak, 1-W, 1-L, league-best 2 SV, 8.2 IP

Harry Weigel, West, 2-W, 2-L, 1 SV, 28 K, 19.1 IP

Catcher

Cody Curfman, Chugiak, .323 BA, caught no-hitter, erased 10 baserunners (league-best 6 CS, 4 PK)

First Baseman

Brady Lindberg, Chugiak, .417 BA, league-best 12 RBI, 6 SB, .985 FLD

Second Baseman

Matt Hess, Chugiak, league-best .464 BA, 8 RBI, 12 R, league-best 7 2B, .953 FLD, 20 A

Shortstop

Raleigh Pigg, Service, .364 BA, 11 RBI, league-best 2 3B, .939 FLD, league-best 29 A

Third Baseman

Matthew Kley, South, .424 BA, 11 RBI, .950 FLD

Charlie Bucolo, Chugiak, .257 BA, 1 HR, 10 R, league-best 2 3B, .903 FLD

Outfield

Max Costello, South, .435 BA, 1 HR, 9 RBI, 8 R, 

Brian Wing, Chugiak, .355 BA, 13 R, league-best 15 SB, league-best 11 BB

Ronan Klancher, Service, .378 BA, 10 R, 3 2B, 5 RBI, 6 SB

Utility  

Jake Andresen, Dimond, .346 BA, 1 HR, 7 BB, 6 R, 5 SB

Ryan Solberg, East, .692 BA, 7 SB, 2 2B, 5 R, 1.000 FLD

Designated Hitter

Anthony Maldonado, South, .357 BA, 5 RBI, 

SECOND TEAM

SP- Jake Andresen (Dimond), Gaton Davis (East), Brady Lindberg (Chugiak), Tommy Koloski (South)

RP- Parker Johnson (South), Julito Fazzini (South), Sean Gardeline (Dimond)

C- Julito Fazzini (South)

1B- Dylan Montagna (Dimond)

SS- Jonny Homza (South)

OF- Parker Johnson (South), Nick Hall (Service), Noah Alexander (Dimond)

UT- Tyler Borschnack (Bartlett), Sladen Mohl (South)

HONORABLE MENTION

RP- Kaden Roettger (Dimond) 

C- Carl Gatter (East), Declan Dammeyer (West), Kyle Bremont (Dimond), Josh Linn (Eagle River)

1B- Derek Scoggins (Service)

2B- Jalen John (East), Aaron Davis (Eagle River)

SS- Jake Kindred (Chugiak), Kyle Henrickson (Dimond)

3B- Dylan Oberly (West), David Lundell (East), Christian Fredrick (Eagle River)

OF- Tristen Woods (Service), Logan Herman (East)

UT- Jared Froslie (Eagle River)

Recent Winners of Don Rabung CIC MVP Award

2015 tie, Lucas Thorp, Dimond, 1B/RP, .414 BA, 2 HR, 9 RBI, .759 SLG, 1-W, 1-L, 2 SV, 2.69 ERA, 13 IP

Willy Homza, South, SS, .518 BA, 10 RBI, 7 XBH, .556 OBP, .938 FLD

2014 Dalton Chapman, West, P/1B, 4-W, 0-L, 0.96 ERA, 1 SV, 77 Ks, 36 IP, .456 BA, 15 RBI, 4 3B, .711 SLG

2013 Max Karnos, South, P/1B, 1-W, 1-L, 0.33 ERA, 35Ks, 20 IP, 17 Ks 1 GM, .429 BA, 6 2B, 2 3B, 8 BB, 11 RBI

2012 Zach Ferntheil, Service, P/1B, 3-W, 0-L, 2 SV, 1.12 ERA, 25 K, 18 IP, .423 BA

Soldotna, Ketchikan round out 8-team state tournament field

The Soldotna pitching staff has been team known this year as the team that throws a lot of no-hitters - three to be precise.

But today they showed they could hit a little too.

The Stars beat up Colony 17-2 in the second-place game of the Southcentral Conference regional tournament in Kenai.

With the win, Soldotna secured the league's second berth to next week's ASAA State Tournament in Anchorage.

Cody Quelland went 2-for-4 with 3 RBIs and Calvin Hills went 2-for-3 and scored three runs for Soldotna.

In Petersburg, the Ketchikan Kings snagged a state playoff berth with a 2-1 win over Juneau-Douglas in the Southeast Conference.

Ketchikan pitcher Nate Fousel pitched a complete game to grab the win in the team's biggest game of the year.

Sitka captured the regional title with a 10-2 over Ketchikan in the Southeast title game.

The state tournament runs next weekend at Mulcahy Stadium, starting with the first round on Thursday, June 2.

According to asaa.org, here are the first-round matchups:

Southeast #1 [Sitka] vs. Southcentral #2 [Soldotna]

Mid Alaska #1 [Lathrop] vs. Cook Inlet #2 [South]

Southcentral #1 [Wasilla] vs. Southeast #2 [Ketchikan]

Cook Inlet #1 [Chugiak] vs. Mid Alaska #2 [Monroe Catholic]

This story was written by Van Williams, a freelance writer in Anchorage and the ALB Media Director. 

Wasilla, Sitka, Monroe Catholic secure berths to state Friday

In the Southcentral Conference, Wasilla shut out Soldotna 5-0 in a battle of No. 1 seeds. Wasilla clinched the league title and a state tournament berth.

Soldotna will face the Colony-Kenai winner on Saturday, with the winner punching their ticket to state.

Sitka knocked off Juneau-Douglas 7-1 to advance to Saturday's Southeast Conference title game. The Wolves will face the winner of Juneau-Douglas and Ketchikan.

Ketchikan's Nathan Bonck threw his second no-hitter of the season in a 6-0 win over Thunder Mountain. He struck out 15 batters over seven innings. The Kings won twice today.

Monroe Catholic also won two games, including a 6-3 win over West Valley to grab the program's second berth to state.

Monroe will face Lathrop in the Mid Alaska championship game Saturday.

Each of the four conferences receive two berths to state.

Earlier in the week, Chugiak beat South Anchorage 6-4 for the Cook Inlet Conference championship.

So far, Chugiak, Wasilla, South, Sitka, Lathrop and Monroe Catholic have booked their seats to the big dance.

Two spots remain; one from of the Southcentral and another out of the Southeast.

This story was written by Van Williams, a freelance writer in Anchorage and the ALB Media Director.

Final CIC leaders:Hess high average .464, Pigg low ERA 0.58

Cook Inlet Conference Leaders

FINAL - LEAGUE GAMES ONLY

OFFENSE

Batting Average [minimun 25 PA]

.464 Hess Chugiak

.435 Costello South

.424 Kley South

.417 Lindberg Chugiak

.391 Dammeyer West

.385 Gatter East

.378 Klancher Service

.367 Montagna Dimond

.364 Pigg Service

.360 Johnson South

Runs Batted In

12 Lindberg Chugiak

11 Pigg Service

11 Kley South

11 Davis East

10 Woods Service

9 Curfman Chugiak

9 Bucolo Chugiak

9 Costello South

9 Mohl South

8 Four tied

Runs

18 Homza South

12 Hess Chugiak

12 Kindred Chugiak

12 McInnis South

11 Henrickson Dimond

11 Oberly West

10 Five tied

Home Runs

1 Mohl South

1 Costello South

1 Bucolo Chugiak

1 Andresen Dimond

1 Koloski South

Doubles

7 Hess Chugiak

4 Woods Service

3 Seven tied

Triples

2 Bucolo Chugiak

2 Pigg Service

2 Wanamaker West

1 Ten tied

Stolen Bases

15 Wing Chugiak

10 Franklin Bartlett

10 Froslie Eagle River

9 Tevasu Bartlett

9 Lewis

8 Malo Bartlett

8 John East

8 Pope East

7 Four tied

Base On Balls

11 Wing Chugiak

10 Pope East

9 Opinsky West

9 Henrickson Dimond

8 Kindred Chugiak

8 Malagodi Service

8 Foslie Eagle RIver

7 Four tied

PITCHING

Earned Run Average [minimun 11 IP]

0.58 Pigg Service

1.05 Koloski South

1.11 Lindberg Chugiak

1.15 Davis East

1.17 Fazzini South

1.26 Gardeline Dimond

1.40 O'Brien Dimond

1.68 Zettler West

1.75 Homza South

1.93 Curfman Chugiak

Innings Pitched

30.1 Davis East

29 Curfman Chugiak

24.1 Fredrick Eagle River

24 Jarvis East

20.1 Sanford Bartlett

19.1 Weigel West

18 Fazzini South

16.2 Zettler West

16 Duffy West

Wins

4 Curfman Chugiak

3 Davis East

3 Gardeline Dimond

2 Seven tied

Saves

2 Hess Chugiak

1 Cooper Eagle River

1 Weigel West

Strikeouts

43 Davis East

35 Duffy West

28 Weigel West

27 Jarvis East

26 Koloski South

23 Fazzini South

17 Two tied

DEFENSE

Assists

26 Franklin Bartlett

26 Pigg Service

23 Kindred Chugiak

23 Henrickson Dimond

23 Froslie Eagle River

21 Homza South

20 Hess Chugiak

Chugiak, South face off Monday in what could decide CIC title

Both teams have already qualified for the state tournament, but there’s the business of a Cook Inlet Conference championship to sort out.

First-place Chugiak [8-1] plays second-place South [7-2] on Monday night at 7 p.m. at Mulcahy Stadium.

A Chugiak victory would give the Mustangs the title outright.

But if South wins the teams would be tied at 8-2 and force an if-necessary game Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at Mulcahy Stadium.

The conference champion receives the CIC’s No. 1 at the ASAA State Tournament, June 2-3-4 in Anchorage.

The runnerup gets the No. 2 seed.

Chugiak beat South 2-0 on May 14 in their only meeting this year.

The other three leagues - the Mid Alaska, Southcentral and Southeast - have conference tournaments this week that will decide which two teams will punch their ticket to state.

This story was written by Van Williams, a freelance writer in Anchorage and the ALB Media Director. 

Thompson, Brown named NCAA D3 West Regional all-tourney

Seniors Tyler Thompson and Garrett Brown of Anchorage were each selected to the NCAA D3 West Regional all-tournament team after helping Pacific Lutheran University reach the championship game.

PLU lost to Trinity of Texas 12-7 to fall one win shy of advancing to the World Series.

The Northwest Conference champion Lutes of Tacoma, Washington, finished the season 29-19.

In the regional title game Saturday, Thompson extended his hitting streak to 25 games in his final college game. That’s the longest streak by any Alaska player this year.

He also finished his career with 19 home runs, which is the most by any active player.

Thompson led PLU with a .339 batting average, nine home runs, 38 RBIs, 106 total bases and a .561 slugging percentage.

Yeah, dude crushed it this year.

So did Brown, a former catcher turned relief pitcher.

Brown emerged as the team’s closer and most reliable option out of the bullpen – no matter the situation.

The right-hander had 12 saves on the season, including two during the regional tournament. He also pitched seven innings of one-run relief at regionals to earn the team’s first of three postseason wins there.

He appeared in a team-high 29 games and finished with a 2.09 ERA in 56 innings.

Together, Thompson and Brown helped PLU win a combined 61 games over the last two seasons and advance to the NCAA D3 West Regional both years. 

This story was written by Van Williams, a freelance writer in Anchorage and the ALB Media Director. 

From South to WNC to Sac State, Karnos remains the go-to guy

When he graduated high school Max Karnos of Anchorage was probably the best pitcher in the state.

Then he went to Western Nevada College and became arguably the most durable pitcher over his two years there.

Now he’s at Sacramento State in California, and it’s the same as it ever was.

Karnos, of South Post 4 fame, is the ace of the staff and ranks among the Western Athletic Conference leaders in the three most critical categories for a pitcher.

The 6-foot-4 starter has the second-best ERA [2.77] in the WAC while his 84.1 innings and seven wins both rank fourth.

In three years of college ball he has thrown 250.2 career innings and ranked first or second on his team each season.

Karnos improved his record to 7-3 after Sac State beat Seattle University 6-3.

He allowed two runs over six innings, overcoming six base on balls and escaping a two-on, one-out jam in the fourth inning with a strikeout and groundout. He threw clean frames in the fifth and sixth innings.

Karnos is 5-1 in his last six decisions.

His next start will come in next weekend’s WAC Tournament in Mesa, Arizona.

This story was written by Van Williams, a freelance writer in Anchorage and the ALB Media Director. 

Thompson, Brown have PLU one win away from D3 World Series

Tyler Thompson and Garrett Brown of Anchorage are playing the best baseball of their lives for Pacific Lutheran University.

They need to keep it going for one more game to reach the NCAA D3 College World Series.

PLU has roared back from a first-round loss at the NCAA West Regional in Spokane, Washington, with three consecutive victories – including two on Friday – to advance to the regional championship game.

PLU will face Trinity of Texas on Saturday in a rematch of the opening round when Trinity prevailed 7-3. The winner of Saturday’s game advances to the World Series.

Thompson, of Dimond Post 21 fame, extended his personal-best hitting streak to 24 games with a 4-for-4 performance in a 3-2 win over Texas-Tyler that pushed PLU into the regional title game.

Brown, of Service Post 28 fame, earned the save – his second save of the day and his 12th of the season, which ties the senior right-hander for the second most in the country.

Earlier in the day, PLU beat Whitworth 8-5 with Thompson delivering an RBI single to open the scoring in the first inning.

It was the 93rd RBI of his college career.

On Thursday, PLU beat Cal Lutheran 8-6 in the first of its three straight wins in elimination games.

Thompson hit his ninth home run of the season and Brown pitched seven innings of one-run relief to earn the win – the fourth time this season that in the same game Thompson has homered and Brown has either earned a save or win.

This story was written by Van Williams, a freelance writer in Anchorage and the ALB Media Director. 

Cook Inlet Conference JV Invitational begins Wednesday

JV Invitational

Wednesday, May 25

First Round

G1: 1] South-Black vs. 8] Service     K4 6:30 PM

G2: 2] Chugiak vs. 7] East     OB 6:30 PM

G3: 3] West vs. 6] Eagle River          LF 6:30 PM

G4: 4] South-Gold vs. 5] Dimond K3 6:30 PM

Thursday, May 26

G5: Loser’s Bracket: LG1 vs. LG4 LF 4:30 PM

G6: Loser’s Bracket: LG2 vs. LG3 LF 7:00 PM

G7: Winner’s Bracket: WG2 vs. WG3 OB 4:30 PM

G8: Winner’s Bracket: WG1 vs. WG4 OB 7:00 PM

Friday, May 27

G9: Third-Place: LG7 vs. LG8           K3 6:30 PM

G10: Championship: WG7 vs. WG8           K4 6:30 PM

 K4/K3 Kosinski Fields

OB Oberg Field

LF Loretta French Field

Chugiak, South sit in powerful position for CIC playoffs

The Cook Inlet Conference this week will split in half for the final three games of the high school baseball season.

The top four teams with the best record after seven games advanced to the championship round robin, where records carry over as a reward for taking care of business in the regular season.

After the round robin the top two teams advance to the ASAA state tournament at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage.

Defending state champion Chugiak [7-0] and South [6-1] are in the driver's seat.

Third-seeded Dimond [4-3] and fourth-seeded Service [4-3] must win two of three to have any chance.

If needed, an if-necessary game is May 24 just in case 10 games wasn't enough to determine state berths.

The bottom four teams will play in a consolation round robin.

Thursday, May 19

[8] Bartlett vs. [6] Eagle River 4:30 PM Mulcahy

[7] West vs. [5] East 7:00 PM Mulcahy

Friday, May 20 

[3] Dimond vs. [2] South 4:30 PM Mulcahy

[4] Service vs. [1] Chugiak 7:00 PM Mulcahy

Saturday, May 21 

[8] Bartlett vs. [7] West 10:00 AM Mulcahy

[3] Dimond vs. [1] Chugiak 1:00 PM Mulcahy

[4] Service vs. [2] South 4:00 PM Mulcahy

[6] Eagle River vs. [5] East 7:00 Mulcahy

Monday, May 23 

[4] Service vs. [3] Dimond 4:30 PM Mulcahy

[2] South vs. [1] Chugiak 7:00 PM Mulcahy

[8] Bartlett vs. [5] East 6:30 PM Bartlett 

[7] West vs. [6] Eagle River 6:30 PM K4

Tuesday, May 24

If-necessary game 6:30 PM Mulcahy

This story was written by Van Williams, a freelance writer in Anchorage and the ALB Media Director. 

Cook Inlet Conference individual leaders after half dozen games

Cook Inlet Conference Leaders

LEAGUE GAMES ONLY

Through May 14 

OFFENSE

Batting Average [min 16 PA]

.563 Maldonado South

.474 Costello South

.462 Lindberg Chugiak

.458 Klancher Service

.438 Wanamaker West

.421 Andresen Dimond

.412 Kley South

.400 Dammeyer West

.400 Kindred Chugiak

.389 Woods Service

Runs Batted In

11 Pigg Service

10 Lindberg Chugiak

8 Costello South

8 Bucolo Chugiak

7 Mohl South

7 Woods Service

Home Runs

1 Mohl South

1 Costello South

1 Bucolo Chugiak

1 Andresen Dimond

Doubles

4 Hess Chugiak

3 Klancher Service

3 Woods Service

2 Eleven tied

Triples

2 Pigg Service

1 Five tied

Stolen Bases

8 Wing Chugiak

7 Solberg East

7 Tevasu Bartlett

6 Franklin Bartlett

6 John East

Base On Balls

7 Henrickson Dimond

7 Wing Chugiak

6 Duffy West

5 Nine tied

PITCHING

Earned Run Average [7 IP]

0.00 Homza South

0.78 Lindberg Chugiak

0.88 O'Brien Dimond

0.91 Davis East

1.00 Dooley Service

1.17 Pigg Service

1.17 Koloski South

1.27 Duffy West

1.31 Curfman Chugiak

1.91 Fazzini South

Innings Pitched

16 Curfman Chugiak

15.1 Davis East

14 Fredrick Eagle River

12 Koloski South

12 Jarvis East

11 Duffy West

11 Fazzini South

Wins

3 Curfman Chugiak

2 Fredrick Eagle River

2 Lindberg Chugiak

Saves

1 Hess Chugiak

1 Cooper Eagle River

Strikeouts

25 Duffy West

24 Davis East

17 Koloski South

12 Jarvis East

12 Weigel West

12 Fazzini South

Pickoffs

3 Lindberg Chugiak

1 Eight tied

DEFENSE

Assists

16 Pigg Service

15 Dammeyer West

15 Kindred Chugiak

13 Oberly West

12 Fredrick Eagle River

12 Franklin Bartlett

12 Hess Chugiak

11 Davis East

11 Henrickson Dimond

Legion season only weeks away, here is team tryout information

The Alaska Legion Baseball season is right around the corner.

Here is contact and tryout information for all 17 teams to get your player registered for the 2016 season.

East Post 34

Open Tryout: May 27, 6 pm, Davenport Field

Manager: Kurt Solberg

242-7406

babymoose97@hotmail.com

Dimond Post 21

Open Tryout: Sunday, 3 p.m., Kosinski Fields

Manager: Telon Bremont

360-9384

telon@gci.net

Eagle River

Open Tryout: May 22, 1:30 p.m., Loretta French Field

Manager: Gregg Frost

632-3342

gregg@kodiakbreakers.com

Service Post 28

Open Tryout: Wednesday, 6 p.m., Kosinski Fields

Manager: Willie Paul

280-8439 

williepaul1@live.com

Chugiak Post 33

Open Tryout: May 22, 5 p.m., Loretta French Field

Manager: Mark Bohrer

854-9397

mpbohrer@gci.net

West Post 1

Open Tryout: Wednesday, 4:30 p.m., Romig Middle School Football Field

Manager: Matt Kays

529-9289

matthewkays@gmail.com

South Post 4

Open Tryout: Sunday, 2 p.m., Taylar Young Field

Manager: Eric Holland

306-5520

ewholland@outlook.com

Bartlett Post 29

Open Tryout: Sunday, 4 p.m., Bartlett High School

Manager: Bernardo Ortero

717-9311

bernardo.otero@alaska.gov

Wasilla Post 35

Open Tryout: Sunday, & May 21, 1 p.m. McManus Field

Manager: Ken Ottinger

301-4084

ottworksales@gmail.com

Fairbanks Post 11

Open Tryout: Sunday & May 22 & May 29, 1 p.m., Marlin Field

Manager: Rod Perdue

978-1995

rod.perdue@bannerhealth.com

Fairbanks Post 30

Open Tryout: May 22 & May 29, 12 p.m., Arco Field

Manager: Tyler Hollister

590-0454

tchollister@alaska.edu

Kenai Post 20

Open Tryout: Contact coach

Manager: Lance Coz

398-9077

lancecoz@hotmail.com

Juneau Post 25

Open Tryout: Contact coach

Manager: Joe Tompkins

321-0001

josephtompkins@hotmail.com

Ketchikan Post 3

Open Tryout: Contact coach

Manager: John Milner

220-7453

redmilner@gmail.com

Kodiak Post 17

Open Tryout: TBD

Manager: Leonard Pickett

539-2600

lwpickett@acsalaska.net

Palmer Post 15

Open Tryout: TBD

Manager: Tim Rockey

982-8939

timothy.rockey@gmail.com

Delta Post 22

Open Tryout: TBD

Manager: Sonny Zarecki

804-994-4200

zareckiconstruction@hotmail.com

Karnos first Alaskan since 2009 to pitch all 9 innings at D1 level

Sacramento State pitcher Max Karnos of Anchorage didn’t just throw his first 9-inning complete game over the weekend.

It was the first time in seven years that an Alaskan went all nine innings in a NCAA D1 game.

The junior right-hander pitched a 3-hit shutout in an 8-0 win over Utah Valley, facing just one batter over the minimum. 

“I was getting ahead of a lot of batters and they were a really aggressive team, so early in counts they were getting out,” Karnos told me. 

He walked one and allowed three singles, each of which was erased on double plays the following batter.

He got the job done on just 94 pitches.

“I wasn’t tired at all. I could have thrown a couple more innings,” Karnos said with a laugh.

“It felt awesome. It’s always nice to be able to finish the games I started.”

It was his second complete game of the season, although the first one April 16 was cut short after eight innings by the mercy rule in a 10-0 win over Chicago State.  

Plus, he said, the coaching staff had planned to pull him in the ninth inning anyway.

Karnos is the first Alaska pitcher since Matt Way with Washington State in 2009 to throw a 9-inning complete game. Way fired a 5-hitter in a 7-2 win over UCLA.

Karnos [5-3] is tied for the most wins on his team. He also has the most innings [70.1] and lowest ERA [2.94]. 

In fact, his ERA is a full run better than the team average [4.24]. 

“Compared to the first day this season I am way better,” Karnos said. “I think it's a combination of getting on the same page as my pitching coach who calls pitches and just settling down and pitching to my strengths.”

This story was written by Van Williams, a freelance writer in Anchorage and the ALB Media Director. 

Cook Inlet Conference individual leaders after week one

Cook Inlet Conference Leaders

LEAGUE GAMES ONLY

Through May 7 

OFFENSE [min 9 PA]

Batting Average

.727 Solberg East

.556 Maldonado South

.500 Mohl South

.500 Woods Service

.444 Kley South

.417 Costello South

.400 Pigg Service

.400 Curfman Chugiak

.400 Bailey-Parsons Service

.385 Klancher Service

Home Runs

1 Mohl South

1 Costello South

1 Bucolo Chugiak

1 Andresen Dimond

Runs Batted In

8 Pigg Servce

7 Mohl South

5 Costello South

5 Davis East

4 Andresen Dimond

4 Woods Service

4 Lindberg Chugiak

4 Bucolo Chugiak

4 Gatter East

Stolen Bases

6 Solberg East

4 John East

4 Lewis East

4 Malo Bartlett

4 Franklin Bartlett

4 Frosie Eagle River

4 Wing Chugiak

Base On Balls

4 Opinsky West

4 Bautista West

4 Scoggins Service

3 Ten players tied

PITCHING [min 4 IP]

Innings Pitched

8.1 Davis East 

8 Fredrick Eagle RIver

7.2 Jarvis East

7 Homza South

7 Koloski South

7 Oberly West

7 Weigel West

Earned Run Average

0.00 Homza South

0.00 Koloski South

0.00 Lindberg Chugiak

0.84 Davis East

1.17 Duffy West

1.40 Hess Chugiak

1.75 Jaidinger Service

Strikeouts

15 Davis East

14 Duffy West

10 Koloski South

9 Jarvis East

8 Homza South

8 Weigel South

7 Henrickson Dimond 

Pickoffs

1 Malo Bartlett

1 Jaidinger Service

1 Lindberg Chugiak

1 Curfman Chugiak

1 Miles Eagle River

DEFENSE

Assists

10 Pigg Service

10 Oberly West

9 Andresen Dimond

9 Fredrick Eagle River

7 Franklin Bartlett

7 Kindred Chugiak

6 Three players tied

 

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