Thursday was a rough day for Alaska baseball, softball teams at regionals

Alaska Dispatch News
Bill Roth

Thursday was a difficult day Outside for two Alaska baseball teams and one Alaska softball team -- two teams were eliminated from regional tournaments and another was shoved to the brink of elimination.

The Knik Little League team of 11-12 year olds rallied from a seven-run deficit and had the potential tying runner at third base in the bottom of the sixth inning, but was eliminated 7-6 by Bend North of Oregon at the Northwest Regional in San Bernardino, California.

South Post 4, which blew through the American Legion state baseball tournament with four straight wins and outscored opponents 35-7, felt the other side of that equation Thursday. South got rocked, 24-3, in six and a half innings by Medford, Oregon, in its opener at the double-elimination Western Regional in Eugene, Oregon.

South plays Boise, Idaho, on Friday in an elimination game.

Also, the combined team from Nunaka Valley, City View and Polar Little Leagues was eliminated from the Western Regional in Tucson, Arizona, when its comeback fell short in a 6-5 loss to Fontana of Southern California. That level of softball is for girls 12-14.

The Alaskans won their first two games in Tucson before dropping a pair of one-run decisions.

The Knik baseball team trailed 7-0 in the middle of the third inning before scoring single runs in the bottom of the third, fourth and fifth innings, and plating three runs in the sixth. Ian Frizelle went 2 for 3 for the Alaskans, scored one run and drove in a run. William Smith also went 2 for 3 with a run and an RBI, Jeffrey Harris homered and Justin Nevells drove in a run.

In American Legion baseball for players 19 and under, four South pitchers were strafed for 22 hits, including a homer, seven doubles and a triple. They walked eight batters and hit seven, and threw a combined 169 pitches.

Tyler Kile and Nick Lopertone each drove in a run for South. Medford’s Christian Gillis went 4 for 6 and drove in five runs, and Micah Brown also drove in five runs. Medford generated 22 hits in 39 at bats (.564 batting average).