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South wins longest baseball game in state tournament history

Mike Nesper
Spencer Floyd of South Anchorage makes it home in the fifteenth inning as Juneau-Douglas Catcher Alex Muir tries to pick up the throw Thursday, June 5, 2014, at Moller Field in the state high school baseball tournament in Sitka.
JAMES POULSON
Jacob Thibodeau of Juneau-Douglas gets a late throw as Jalito Fazzini of South Anchorage makes it to first base in the state high school baseball tournament Thursday, June 5, 2014, in Sitka.
JAMES POULSON
Nick Jensen of South Anchorage slides under a throw to Nathan Klein of Juneau-Douglas on second base during the state high school baseball tournament Thursday, June 5, 2014, on Moller Field in Sitka. The game went 15 innings.
JAMES POULSON
Spencer Floyd of South Anchorage makes it home in the fifteenth inning as Juneau-Douglas Catcher Alex Muir tries to pick up the throw Thursday, June 5, 2014, at Moller Field in the state championship tournament in Sitka.
JAMES POULSON
South Anchorage pitcher Jacob Crapps tosses his mitt after striking out the last Juneau-Douglas batter in the 15th inning of a state high school tournament game at Moller Field on Thursday, June 5, 2014, in Sitka.
JAMES POULSON
Spencer Floyd of South Anchorage makes it home in the fifteenth inning as Juneau-Douglas Catcher Alex Muir tries to pick up the throw Thursday, June 5, 2014, at Moller Field in the state high school baseball tournament in Sitka.
JAMES POULSON
Jacob Thibodeau of Juneau-Douglas gets a late throw as Jalito Fazzini of South Anchorage makes it to first base in the state high school baseball tournament Thursday, June 5, 2014, in Sitka.
JAMES POULSON
Nick Jensen of South Anchorage slides under a throw to Nathan Klein of Juneau-Douglas on second base during the state high school baseball tournament Thursday, June 5, 2014, on Moller Field in Sitka. The game went 15 innings.
JAMES POULSON
Spencer Floyd of South Anchorage makes it home in the fifteenth inning as Juneau-Douglas Catcher Alex Muir tries to pick up the throw Thursday, June 5, 2014, at Moller Field in the state championship tournament in Sitka.
JAMES POULSON
South Anchorage pitcher Jacob Crapps tosses his mitt after striking out the last Juneau-Douglas batter in the 15th inning of a state high school tournament game at Moller Field on Thursday, June 5, 2014, in Sitka.
JAMES POULSON
Spencer Floyd of South Anchorage makes it home in the fifteenth inning as Juneau-Douglas Catcher Alex Muir tries to pick up the throw Thursday, June 5, 2014, at Moller Field in the state high school baseball tournament in Sitka.
JAMES POULSON
Jacob Thibodeau of Juneau-Douglas gets a late throw as Jalito Fazzini of South Anchorage makes it to first base in the state high school baseball tournament Thursday, June 5, 2014, in Sitka.
JAMES POULSON
Nick Jensen of South Anchorage slides under a throw to Nathan Klein of Juneau-Douglas on second base during the state high school baseball tournament Thursday, June 5, 2014, on Moller Field in Sitka. The game went 15 innings.
JAMES POULSON
Spencer Floyd of South Anchorage makes it home in the fifteenth inning as Juneau-Douglas Catcher Alex Muir tries to pick up the throw Thursday, June 5, 2014, at Moller Field in the state championship tournament in Sitka.
JAMES POULSON
South Anchorage pitcher Jacob Crapps tosses his mitt after striking out the last Juneau-Douglas batter in the 15th inning of a state high school tournament game at Moller Field on Thursday, June 5, 2014, in Sitka.
JAMES POULSON

South eked out a 7-6 win over Juneau in a nearly five-hour game at the state baseball tournament Thursday in Sitka. The 15-inning game is the longest since the tournament started in 2000. 

“We’re thrilled and exhausted,” South coach Cliff Butcher said via cellphone. 

South, the defending champion, scored four runs in the top of the 15th to take a 7-3 lead and survived a push from Juneau in the bottom of the inning. 

With two out and the tying run on third base, South’s Jacob Crapps struck out Juneau’s Jack Withington to end the game. 

Remarkably, South made it through the equivalent of two games — high school games are seven innings — with just two pitchers. Crapps, who earned the win, went six innings in relief of starter Nick Jensen, who went nine. Juneau used three pitchers. 

Butcher said Thursday’s record-setting game shouldn't affect the Wolverines’ rotation.

“We’ve got enough pitchers we can survive something like that,” he said.  

Alec Valdez was another hero for South. He forced extra innings by smacking a solo home run to left center in the top of the seventh to tie the game.

“That saved our season,” Butcher said. 

After five scoreless innings, South scored a run in the top of the 13th to take a 3-2 lead. Juneau’s Grant Ainsworth responded with a home run to tie the game 3-3, sending the game to the 14th inning. 

The Crimson Bears won’t get much rest  — they play Lathrop in an elimination game Friday just 13 hours after their marathon contest ended. 

Eagle River made its state debut against Sitka in Thursday’s late game, which was delayed more than two hours due to the South-Juneau game.

In earlier games, Colony and Wasilla earned one-run victories over Lathrop and West Valley, respectively. 

Colony 7, Lathrop 6

Ryan Judd provided the game-winning hit in the bottom of the seventh inning to propel Colony to a 7-6 come-from-behind win over Lathrop. 

Judd’s walk-off hit scored Matt Palmer, who smacked a three-run double in the fifth inning to help Colony wipe out a four-run deficit. 

Wasilla 5, West Valley 4

Blake Marks scored on an error in the sixth inning to lift Wasilla to a 5-4 win over West Valley. 

Wasilla led early before allowing three Wolfpack runs in the fourth. Wasilla came back and tied it at 4-4, before getting the game-winner in the sixth.

Tyler Hansen earned the win after relieving Wasilla starter Mitchell Chauvin. Tyler Boensch pitched a scoreless seventh inning for the save.

Reach Mike Nesper at mnesper@adn.com or 257-4335.

State baseball

ASAA/First National Bank

Moller Park, Sitka

Thursday's results

Wasilla 5, West Valley 4

Colony 7, Lathrop 6

South 7, Juneau 6, 15 inn.

Eagle River vs. Sitka, late

Friday's games

Loser out

10 a.m. -- Lathrop vs. Juneau

1 p.m. -- West Valley vs. Sitka-Eagle River loser

Semifinals

4 p.m. -- Colony vs. South

7 p.m. -- Wasilla vs. Sitka-Eagle River winner

 


Mike Nesper
mnesper@adn.com