A passed ball carried the Wasilla Road Warriors to victory and a barrage of home runs sent them to defeat on a roller-coaster opening day Tuesday at the Bill Miller Big Fish baseball tournament in Kenai.
Jacob Butcher scored on a walk-off passed ball in the ninth inning to help Wasilla grab a 3-2 win over the Napoleon River Bandits of Ohio -- the same team that beat the Road Warriors by 15 runs last week in the Valley.
"They spanked us a couple years ago and then they spanked us hard a couple days ago, so yeah, it's a good feeling knowing you can compete," Wasilla Post 35 manager Boone Thompson said in a press release. "You know how baseball is. Any day, you can have a good one or you can have a bad one; we had a good one today."
And then they had a bad one. A couple of hours after the win over Napoleon, Wasilla suffered through a 10-3 loss to the East Texas Canes of Texarkana, which blasted four home runs..
The Texarkana team posted another win Tuesday by topping Napoleon 7-3.
In other action Tuesday, West absorbed a pair of losses, falling 11-2 to host Kenai and 11-2 to Woodinville, Wash.
Kenai wrapped up the day by giving Alaska another win over an out-of-state team. The Twins beat Woodinville 3-2.
The six-team tournament continues through Thursday, the same day the eight-team BP Exploration tournament begins in Anchorage. Texarkana, Napoleon and Woodinville will also play in that tournament.
Along with last week's Todd Ryan Memorial tournament in Wasilla, the three American Legion tournaments make up the Alaska Airlines Tournament Tour.
Dimond sweeps Bartlett
Dimond scored four runs in the eighth inning Tuesday to rally past Bartlett 9-8 and sweep a doubleheader at Chad Bax Field.
Bartlett threatened in the ninth, putting runners at first and second with no outs. With the hit-and-run on, the Golden Bears hit a fly ball to the outfield that Dimond turned into a double play.
Dimond jumped to an early lead with five runs in the first inning, three of them coming on a Grant Remmer double.
Bartlett stayed in the game by working Jordan Clevenger for 15 hits, three from Daray Alex and two from Sean Breslin.
In the other game, Remmer and Payton Lauwers combined for a three-hitter as Dimond cruised to an 11-3 win. Remmer helped his cause with three hits, three runs and three RBIs.