Blowouts and shutouts dominated the first three games at the state high school baseball tournament Thursday, leaving it up to Colony and Chugiak to deliver drama in the late game at Mulcahy Stadium.
The Knights scored six runs in the final two innings to rally past Chugiak 9-8. Colony's Kolten Ketchum capped the comeback in the seventh innings with a one-out, two-run walk-off double.
Earlier, the South Wolverines and Ketchikan Kings both blanked their opponents while winning big, and Juneau blew open a close game in the third inning to breeze past North Pole.
Chugiak got off to a hot start, scoring four runs in the first inning en route to an 8-3 lead after five.
Colony closed the gap to 8-6 with four runs in the sixth inning against reliever Sam Hall. Hall gave way to Christian Cambridge in the seventh inning, but after retiring the first batter, Cambridge walked two batters and allowed a third to reach on an infield single before giving up Ketchum's game-winning blast.
Cambridge and Mason Peace each drove in two runs for Chugiak, and Ketchum had a four-RBI day for the Knights.
In its 14-0 win over Palmer, South got contributions up and down the lineup, from leadoff batter Lian Lincoln (3 for 5 with four runs and one RBI) to No. 9 hitter Luke Giffen (3 for 3 with three runs).
Josh Costello and Jacob Woodall each drove in three runs for the Wolverines, with Costello enjoying a 4-for-4 batting performance and scoring four times. Woodall was 2 for 3.
That was more than enough support for pitcher Terren Sugita, who limited Palmer to two hits in six innings. He walked six and struck out six.
Both of Palmer's hits were for extra bases – James Nelson touched Sugita for a triple and Owen Hayes stroked a double.
Ketchikan pitcher Michael Starr pitched five hitless innings to lead the Kings past West Valley 11-0. He struck out four and walked three and aided his cause at the plate with an RBI triple.
Brock King drove in three runs and was 3 for 3 to help Ketchikan outslug West Valley 11-0.
Juneau routed North Pole 16-4, using seven runs in the third inning to break open a close game. The teams were tied 2-2 after the first inning, and Juneau took a 4-2 lead in the second inning.
Michael Cesar, the Gatorade Player of the Year, and Jacob Dale powered the Crimson Bears. Cesar furnished three hits, three RBIs and two runs and Dale had three hits, four RBIs and two runs.
Action continues through Saturday, when a new champion will be crowned in a 3 p.m. title game. Last year's champion, Sitka, didn't qualify for this year's tournament.
ASAA/First National Bank state baseball tournament
South 14, Palmer 0
Juneau 16, North Pole 4
Ketchikan 11, West Valley 0
Colony 9, Chugiak 8
10 a.m. North Pole vs. Chugiak (loser out)
1 p.m. – Palmer vs. West Valley (loser out)
4 p.m. — Juneau vs. Colony (semifinal)
7 p.m. – South vs. Ketchikan (semifinal)