Dimond commanded center stage over the weekend by making it all the way to the title game of the BP Invitational Tournament, but for now the teams to watch in American Legion baseball are Kenai and South.
Two of the top teams in the state, Kenai and South meet Wednesday in a doubleheader in Kenai that could go a long way to determining the top seed for the state tournament later this month.
Just five days remain in the regular season, and Kenai and South are among five teams in the separated by two league wins. Kenai owns the best mark at 13-3, Dimond is 12-5, Fairbanks 11-7 and Wasilla 11-5. South was 12-4 going into a Tuesday game against West.
The regular season ends Sunday. The state tournament begins Friday, July 27, at Mulcahy Stadium.
Chugiak 13, Bartlett 3
Chase Gall struck out three and got lots of run support Tuesday in Chugiak's 13-3 American Legion victory over Bartlett.
The win was the second in a row for Chugiak, which downed Eagle River 14-4 Monday. Chase Wilson pitched six innings for the win and drove in four runs; Justin Schneider drove in three runs and Chase Gall drove in two.
Columbia Post 19 of Tennessee reigned in the rain Sunday at Mulcahy Stadium, racing to an early lead in a 7-3 championship game victory over Dimond in the BP Invitational Tournament.
Columbia finished undefeated in five tournament games.
The Tennesseans reached the title game with a walk-off homer in a 6-5 semifinal win over Castroville, Texas. Dimond Post 21 got there by beating South 9-6.
In the title game, starter Heath Slatton, a 2012 eighth-round draft pick, recorded the win by pitching five strong innings to snap Dimond's eight-game winning streak. His teammates helped out by scoring seven runs in the first three innings to build an early lead.
Tennessee's Seth Staggs, who drove in one run in the title game and two in the semifinal game, was named Most Outstanding Player. Teammate Dathan Prewitt took home the Golden Glove award.
Dimond pitcher Dylan Lauwers shut down the Tennessee bats over the final 3 2/3 innings, allowing no runs to drop his tournament ERA below 1.40. That helped him win the tournament's Most Outstanding Pitcher award.
Kaleb Keith of Castroville claimed Big Stick award for his production at the plate. He smacked two home runs in three days, including a grand slam in the first inning against Columbia in Sunday's semifinals.
In Dimond's semifinal win over South Post 4, Austin Brown delivered two hits, two stolen bases and four RBIs and Payton Lauwers had two runs, two RBIs and two stolen bases. South's Logan Allred drove in three runs.