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Tennessee team blanks South for Legion baseball crown

Alaska Dispatch News

A team from Tennessee blanked South Post 4 in the championship game of the BP Exploration Invitational baseball tournament Sunday at Mulcahy Stadium.

Columbia pitch Charter Helton pitched a gem to lead his team to a 5-0 victory. He struck out five and walked one while scattering five hits in a seven-inning, complete-game performance.

None of South's five hits were timely -- the Alaskans stranded eight runners.

The title was the second in three years for Columbia, the 2012 tournament champion. The Tennesseans were undefeated in six games in the eight-team tournament, which featured four Anchorage squads and four Outside teams.

Taylor Gilbert led Columbia at the plate with two RBIs.

Earlier Sunday, South earned a spot in the title game by rolling to an 8-2 semifinal win over previously undefeated Colchester, Vermont.

South pitchers Jake Crapps, Sage Dudick and Spencer Floyd limited Vermont to five hits. Nick Lopetrone delivered a three-run double in the fifth inning to spark South’s nine-hit attack.

In the other semifinal, Columbia advanced with a 2-0 squeaker over the Strathmore Reds of Canada, a  game that was a pitching duel between Columbia’s Jake Usher and Strathmore’s Jared Kenneday.

Usher allowed four hits and struck out five in a complete-game, six-inning shutout for the winners. He helped himself with two hits, an RBI and a run. Kenneday struck out five, walked four and allowed three hits for the Canadians.

In Sunday's other games, Chugiak stopped Eagle River 12-2 and Team Avenue Academy of California nipped Dimond 9-7.

Chugiak got big games from Deve Farriss and Zac Brueggeman.

Ferriss, the leadoff batter, scored five times and Brueggeman, batting third, drove in five runs and had two hits.

Both pitched one inning, combining with starter Cody Curfman for a three-hitter that featured four strikeouts.

Team Avenue Academy scored two runs in the seventh inning to beat Dimond. Ray Henry and Richard Perry each drove in two runs for the Californians, and winning pitcher Chris Crosby struck out five in 2 2/3 hitless innings.

Toni Bost led Dimond with two RBIs.

BP Exploration Invitational

Mulcahy Stadium

Sunday’s results

Championship

Columbia (Tenn.) 5,  South 0

Semifinals

Columbia (Tenn.) 2, Strathmore (Canada) 0

South 8, Colchester (Vt.) 2

Other games

Chugiak 12, Eagle River 2

Team Academy (Calif.) 9, Dimond 7