An upset and a thriller kept Chugiak and Wasilla undefeated in the American Legion state baseball tournament Saturday at Mulcahy Stadium.
Chugiak came back from a four-run deficit to surprise two-time defending champion Juneau 13-5, and a ninth-inning, walkoff single by Jacob Gilbert lifted top-seeded Wasilla past South 6-5 in extra innings.
Top-seeded Wasilla (28-6) was held scoreless through six innings by South pitcher Terren Sugita, who struck out 10 before leaving after six with a 3-0 lead.
The Road Warriors cashed in against a shaky South bullpen to fashion comebacks in the seventh and ninth innings, scoring a combined six runs despite just two hits.
Wasilla tied the game 3-3 in the bottom of the seventh by pushing three runs across the plate on four walks, two hit batsmen and zero hits. In the ninth, Wasilla scored three runs on three walks, three wild pitches, a sacrifice bunt and singles by Gilbert and Ryan Graham.
Fifth-seeded South (18-11) grabbed a 5-3 lead in the top of the ninth. Ryan Bailey and Ricky Gatter both singled and stole bases, with Bailey scoring on Gatter’s hit and Gatter scoring on an error. Gatter finished 2-for-4 with a walk, three runs, two RBIs and two stolen bases.
In day’s other winners-bracket game, third-seeded Chugiak sent the two-time defending champion Juneau Midnight Suns to the losers bracket.
Down 4-0 after two innings, the Mustangs came back with a vengeance, scoring five runs in the third inning, two runs in both the fourth and fifth innings and four more in the sixth. Ian Frizelle sparked the big third inning with a two-run homer and Sam Hall fueled the sixth with a two-run double.
But it was a team effort by the Mustangs (25-5) — four pitchers allowed a combined five hits, nine players had hits, eight scored runs and seven drove in runs.
Kasey Watts drove in three runs for second-seeded Juneau (24-5), which won the 2018 and 2017 state championships.
In loser-out games earlier in the day, Kenai sent Dimond home 11-0 and West eliminated Palmer 9-4.
Kenai pitchers Mose Hayes and Chris Jamie combined on a two-hitter and Kenai hitters outslugged Dimond 11-2. Hayes had three hits and Davey Belger and Logan Smith each drove in two runs.
Kenai improved to 21-12. Dimond, which was guilty of four errors, finished the season with a 15-16 record.
In West’s victory over Palmer, the teams combined for 20 hits — West had 11, and Palmer had nine — but Palmer stranded 15 runners.
Jack Opinsky, Quinn Bates-Janigo and Leland Wilson each furnished two hits, two runs and one RBI for the Eagles (17-12), who survived three errors.
Palmer (17-13), which was making its first state-tournament appearance since 1993, was led by Luke Guggenmos, who was 3-for-5 with an RBI.
Juneau 2, West
Chugiak 10, Palmer 0
South 8, Kenai 5
Wasilla 7, Dimond 5
West 9. Palmer 4 (loser out)
Kenai 11, Dimond 0 (loser out)
Chugiak 13, Juneau 5 (winners bracket)
Wasilla 6, South 5 (9 innings)
Sunday’s games at Mulcahy Stadium
Noon – West vs. South (loser out)
3 p.m. – Kenai vs. Juneau (loser out)
6 p.m. – Chugiak vs. Wasilla