D1 Semifinals: Colony, South to battle for championship

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jun 4, 2021

D1 State Tournament

South 11, Juneau-Douglas 7 

Curtis Hebert went 4-for-4, made all five assists at shortstop and pitched the final 1.2 innings to collect the save in a do-it-all performance that powered South to the title game for the first time since 2018. 

South stayed unbeaten with its 16th consecutive win, rallying from an early 5-1 deficit by scoring six unanswered runs and taking the lead for good on Maddux Soland's two-run triple in the fifth inning.

The Cook Inlet Conference champion Wolverines moved into Saturday's title game against Colony, the Mid-Alaska Conference champs. The title tilt is set for 3 p.m. at Mulcahy Stadium.

If the South coaches moved Hebert down in the batting order to get him going. It worked.

Hebert drove in the game's first run in the second inning with a RBI single. He doubled and scored in the fourth inning. He singled and scored in the fifth inning. And he singled and scored in the seventh inning. 

Hebert may have stayed after the game to mow the field, too.

Dude did everything. He made all three assists in the third inning and was summoned from the bullpen in the sixth inning, closing it out for Oliver Brown's winning decision. 

South improved to 5-1 against Juneau all-time at the state tournament, with all the games coming in the last ten years.

Juneau (14-3) got a huge game from No. 9 hitter Porter Nelson, who bought home 4 RBIs, three of them on a bases-clearing double to the gap in left center field. That extra-base hit gave Juneau a 5-1 lead.

Olin Rawson went 2-for-3 with two runs and Kai Schmidt had a hit, run and RBI for the Crimson Bears, who left 11 on base and brought the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Juneau will play Eagle River in Saturday's third-place game.

Colony 9, Eagle River 6

Everybody was eating for the Knights, who had four different players with two RBIs and put 22 runners on base en route to securing the team's first trip to the state championship game.

Carson McLaughlin, Kaden Ketchum, Bryant Marks and Evan Walker each drove in two runs to help Colony storm out to a 7-3 lead through three innings.

Credit the Eagle River Wolves for clawing back and pecking away at the lead, but the Knights sealed the deal with Ketchum collecting the saves with two innings of work.

Colony will play in Saturday's state title game at 3 o'clock against the winner of the late semifinal between South and Juneau-Douglas.

Ben Alley started and pitched five innings to earn the winning decision for the Knights (14-2). He fell behind 2-0 early but settled down to retire seven of ten over the second, third and fourth innings.

The Knights sent 10 men to the plate in the second inning, thanks to three hit by pitch, three walks and a single. It was kind of a theme of the night for the Knights, who banged out 10 hits, drew seven walks and got hit by pitch five times.

Ketchum's RBI single made it 7-3 in the third and McLaughlin's RBI single in the fourth made it 8-4.

Eagle River (11-5) scored in four of the seven innings, kickstarted by Josh Thompson's opposite-field double to give the Wolves a 2-0 lead in the first inning. 

Later, they pulled within 6-3 in the third and 7-4 in the fourth. Stefan Retzlaff and Noah Lower added RBIs and Gavin Henning went 3-for-3. Cam Witte finished 2-for-3 with a double and two runs.

Eagle River will play in Saturday's third-place game.