The 60th American Legion state baseball tournament opens Thursday at Mulcahy Stadium, where the top two seeds will look to snap long state-tournament droughts that have lasted decades.
Top-seeded Wasilla Post 35 topped the regular-season standings with an 18-4 league mark that gave it a one-half game edge on Juneau Post 25 (17-5) and a two-game cushion on South Post 4 (16-6).
Wasilla's lone state championship came in 1990.
The dry spell has lasted even longer for second-seeded Juneau, which has to reach back three decades to the two state titles it won -- Juneau went back-to-back in 1984 and 1984.
Third-seeded South won state in 2007 and 2009.
This year's tournament features 10 teams, is played in a double-elimination format and extends through Aug. 1.
The tournament drops Thursday with defending champion and seventh-seeded Kenai Post 20 (11-11) playing 10th-seeded Fairbanks Post 11 (8-14) at 11 a.m. Eighth-seeded Eagle River (10-12) plays ninth-seeded Bartlett Post 29 (8-14) at 2:30 p.m. and fourth-seeded Chugiak (14-7-1) plays fifth-seeded Dimond Post 21 (12-9-1) at 6 p.m.
Service Post 28 (11-11) is seeded sixth.
Kenai last season stormed back from an opening-round loss to Eagle River to win seven consecutive games, take the title and represent Alaska at the Northwest Regional.
This year's winner will represent the state at the Northwest Regional in Eugene, Ore., Aug. 8-12.
For a full state-tournament bracket, go to alaskalegion.com
Anchorage Daily News