Defending state champion Chugiak erupted for three runs in the eighth inning Monday and top-seeded Wasilla plated the decisive run in the eighth, lifting those clubs to victories that kept them alive in the American Legion baseball state tournament at Mulcahy Stadium.
Chugiak eliminated Kenai, 11-8, and Wasilla knocked out Juneau, 2-1.
Chugiak and Wasilla are scheduled to play a 10 a.m. elimination game Tuesday, when South and Dimond, both unbeaten in the tournament, play a semifinal game at 1 p.m.
After Kenai rallied for four runs in the top of the seventh inning to forge an 8-8 tie with Chugiak, Chugiak countered with a three-run eighth that reliever Deven Ferriss made stand. Chugiak right fielder Zac Brueggeman, who went 3 for 5 and drove in four runs, contributed a run-scoring fielder’s choice in the eighth, and Sam Hanson furnished an RBI single.
Ferriss recorded the final five outs for the win.
Kenai first baseman Thomas Bowe went 3 for 5, drove in three runs and scored one run.
With Juneau and Wasilla tied 1-1 in the bottom of the eighth, Wasilla leadoff hitter Matt Palmer reached on a two-base error, moved to third on Tyler Hansen’s sacrifice bunt and scored the winning run on a passed ball.
Wasilla reliever Eric McEnnis earned the win with three innings of one-hit, scoreless work. He came on for Jacob Butcher, who scattered six hits and allowed just one run in six innings.
Hansen went 2 for 3 with an RBI single for Wasilla.
Juneau starter Tanner Petrie went eight innings, allowing just six hits and one earned run in throwing 93 pitches. Juneau’s Nathan Klein went 3 for 4 and delivered an RBI double in the sixth inning.