Held largely in check early in the baseball game, Fairbanks Post 11 erupted for eight runs in the last three innings Friday night to bag an 11-6 victory over Dimond Post 21 to close the first day of the American Legion state tournament.
In a see-saw game at Mulcahy Stadium -- Dimond led 4-0 early, Fairbanks went ahead 6-4 in the top of the eighth and Dimond forged a 6-6 deadlock in the bottom of the inning -- Fairbanks seized victory with a five-run ninth inning.
Fairbanks parlayed a walk, four singles and a triple into that big inning against Dimond reliever Payton Lauwers. That barrage included a two-run double from Jace Lovell, RBI singles from Cameron Hendrix and L.J. Sotelo, and a run-scoring fielder's choice from Rodney Purdue II.
Lovell went 4 for 6 and drove in three runs, and Chris Gavora went 4 for 5, scored twice and drove in three runs. Hendrix went 3 for 4 with two RBIs and Sotelo drove in two runs. Jonathan Lovell went 2 for 3 and scored twice.
In other opening games in the week-long, double-elimination tournament, Eagle River beat East, 7-2, Chugiak dispatched West, 12-2 in seven innings, and Service topped Bartlett, 3-1.
Fairbanks pounded 15 hits in its victory.
Dimond's Sagan Osborne accounted for nearly half his team's seven hits, going 3 for 5 with two runs scored and an RBI.
Fairbanks starter Mekiah Stansel gave up four runs and struck out seven in six innings for a no-decision. The win went to Tim Ballard, who surrendered two runs in the last three innings and struck out five.
The winner of the state tournament will represent Alaska at the Northwest Regional in Billings, Mont., Aug. 9-13.
Service 3, Bartlett 1
Brandon Sakumoto and Jacob Ridley combined on a three-hitter to propel Service to its win over Bartlett.
Sakumoto allowed two hits in seven innings and struck out four. Ridley allowed one hit in two scoreless innings to earn the save.
Service jumped to a 1-0 lead when Aaron Miller led off the bottom of the first with a walk, stole second base, advanced to third on a throwing error and scored on Matt Yandell's ground-out. Service boosted its lead to 3-0 in the fifth, when Yandell and Ridley furnished RBI singles.
Bartlett starter Darryle Wilson Jr., generated a strong performance, permitting five hits and two earned runs in eight innings. He scored his club's only run in the sixth when he reached on a fielder's choice, moved to third base on Logan Williams' double and scored on Sakumoto's wild pitch.
Chugiak 12, West 2
The top half of Chugiak's batting order erupted for a huge afternoon and delivered seven hits, 10 runs and nine RBIs.
Cameron Fritz, Chase Wilson and Conner Cimmiyotti all rapped two hits. Fritz and Cimmiyotti each drove in two runs, as did Deven Ferriss, and Justin Schneider drove in three runs.
Chugiak, leading 4-2 in the bottom of the fourth, cemented its seven-inning win with six runs in the inning.
Chase Gall threw a complete-game four-hitter for Chugiak.
West's Connor Clearly went 2 for 3 and drove in a run.
Eagle River 7, East 2
Starter Kyle Frost pitched two-hit, shutout ball for six innings and Eagle River broke open a scoreless game with three fourth-inning runs and four fifth-inning runs to beat East.
Colby LeBlanc, Zachary Weller and Gregory Long all rapped two hits for Eagle River. Long drove in two runs, and LeBlanc and David Fuller each scored two runs.
Bradley Hudson and Matt Schnellbaecher drove in runs for East.
All-State team named
Bryan Baker of South and Sagan Osborne of Dimond both were honored at two positions in the Team of Excellence All-State selections voted by state managers and coaches.
Baker got the nod at infield and relief pitcher. He hit .444 in 20 league games, scored 23 runs and stole 18 bases. He went 2-2 with a 2.49 earned-run average and one save.
Osborne was picked at catcher and starting pitcher. He hit .494 with 12 extra-base hits and 39 RBIs, and went 4-2 with a 2.83 ERA.
South, Fairbanks and Chugiak each placed four players on the All-State team, and league regular-season champion Kenai and Wasilla each landed three players on the team.
2012 Team of Excellence All-State Selections
Voted by Post managers and coaches
Based on league games only (20 games)
Jake Darrow, Kenai, .513 average, 13 extra-base hits, 31 RBIs; Luke Schnellbaecher, East, .528 average, .697 on-base percentage; Bryan Baker, South, .444, 18 stolen bases; L.J. Soltelo, Fairbanks, .414 average, 30 runs; Colby LeBlanc, Eagle River, .451 average, 27 RBIs; Conner Cimmiyotti, Chugiak, .437average, 29 runs, 26 RBIs; Chris Pasquale, Bartlett, .452 average, .607 OBP; Ben Ross, Wasilla, .400 average, 20 RBIs.
Matt Ilalio, South, .389 average, 15 stolen bases; Scooter Bynun, Fairbanks, .353 average, 25 RBIs; Cameron Fritz, .436 average, 27 RBIs; Kyle Frost, Eagle River .463, 26 runs, 24 RBIs; A.J. Hull, Kenai, .357 average, .622 OBP, 29 runs, 23 RBIs, 24 stolen bases; Scott Campos, East, .373 average, 22 runs; Aaron Miller, Service, .352 average, .520 OBP, 14 stolen bases.
Brad Butcher, South, .433 average, .564 OBP; Deven Ferriss, Chugiak, .413 average, 33 runs, 32 RBIs; Jacob Holiwitz, West, .373, .563 OBP, 29 runs.
Chase Wilson, Chugiak, .451 average, 22 runs, 24 RBIs; Sagan Osborne, Dimond, .494 average, 12 extra-base hits, 39 RBIs; Matthew Wixon, Fairbanks, .358 average, .581 OBP, 14 hit by pitches, 18 stolen bases.
Tim Ballard, Fairbanks, 3-2, 3.43 earned-run average; Josh Crapps, South, 4-1, 39 strikeouts in 35.2 innings; Josh Grissom, Wasilla, 4-1, 2.66; Dylan Lauwers, Dimond, 2-2, 2.71; Brandon Mahle, Kenai, 6-1, 3.06; Sagan Osborne, Dimond, 4-2, 2.83, 1 save.
Bryan Baker, South, 2-2, 2.49, 1 save; Mitchell Chauvin, Wasilla, 3-0, 3.66, 1 save.
Coaches of the Year
Gary Oliver, Kenai; Brad Lauwers, Dimond; Ryan Murray, East.
Mitchell Chauvin, Wasilla; Mike Choy, Service; Connor Cleary, West; Jordan Clevenger, Dimond; Josiah Covey, Kenai; Conner Cucullu, South; Dylan Lauwers, Dimond; Payton Lauwers, Dimond; Jake Ridley, Service; Hector Rivera, Kenai; Tanner Shoemaker, Fairbanks; Mitchell Thompson, Kenai; Logan Williams, Bartlett.
Austin Brown, Dimond; Ryan Caron, Service; Bradley Hudson, East; Mitchell McCoy, Dimond; David Newman, Wasilla; Brian Rowe, Kenai; Justin Schneider, Chugiak; Matt Yandell, Service.
David Fuller, Eagle River; Josh Grissom, Wasilla.
Logan Allred, South; Morgan McJimsey, Wasilla.
Bryce Borngraeber, Wasilla; David Fuller, Eagle River; A.J. Hull, Kenai; Payton Lauwers, Dimond; Mekiah Stansel, Fairbanks.
Anchorage Daily News