Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The 69th Annual Alaska American Legion Baseball League State Tournament beings Thursday at Anchorage’s Mulcahy Stadium with Juneau Post 25 looking to defeat Chugiak Post 33 in their first round robin action of the post season.
“We need to play quality baseball,” Juneau Post 25 co-coach Jeremy Ludeman noted in a message to KINY. “Make the routine plays routine and leave it all on the field. We’ve had many conversations as a team over the last couple months and hope to fulfill some of our team goals and dreams. We need to play how we want to be remembered when everything is said and done.”
The Post 25 boys have already left a legacy of resilience this season, finishing in third place in a regular season that was often overshadowed by the coronavirus aftermath of a year ago that left a financial impact on the community and fund raising efforts.
The team took on the financial portion themselves. The fan base stayed loyal and the quality of baseball remained true to the Adair Kennedy diamond.
Currently Post 25 has been on a road trip in Anchorage since July 7, housing together in a rental, sharing simple chores such as groceries, cooking and cleaning. Things that will serve them well if they continue into college.
“They all have to clean up after themselves,” co-coach Joe Tompkins noted. “And we remind them every day. They take turns with taking out the garbage. Little things, but important. If we play our baseball and minimize errors, I like our chances.”
This Post 25 roster has the talent to move past state and into the regionals and beyond.
They could even add a name to the likes of Chad Bentz, Dylan Baker, Joe Ayers, Toby Staveland and Kellen Moen - all players who have been drafted into professional affiliates.
And they have a legacy to follow as Juneau has won state championships in 2019, 2018 and 2017.
Brock McCormick, Christian Ludeman, Olin Rawson, Garrett Bryant, Oliver Mendoza, Kai Schmidt, Chase Foster, Porter Nelson, Gavin Millard, Isaiah Nelson, Garrison Luben and Austin McCurley are a mix of the old and the young.
This is not your father’s American Legion team… but they will take out the garbage and bring home the bacon.
The qualifying teams for the state tournament have been divided into two divisions, Denali and Alyeska, for the round robin format to determine the final championship matchups.
Deanli will feature #1-seed South Post 4 (22-2), #4-seed Dimond Post 21 (14-9), #5-seed Ketchikan Post 3 (13-10) and #8-seed Palmer Post 15 (14-12). Alyeska features #2-seed Service Post 28 (19-7), #3-seed Juneau Post 25 (17-5), #6-seed Eagle River (18-7) and #7-seed Chugiak Post 33 (13-11).
The State Tournament winner advances to the Northwest Regional at Gillette, Wyoming on August 4-8, and a chance to advance to the American Legion World Series at Shelby, North Carolina, August 12-17. Last season the tournaments were canceled due to COVID-19.
STATE TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
THURSDAY, JULY 22:
GM1 Palmer vs. Dimond 10 am.
GM2 Eagle River vs. Service 1:15 pm.
GM3 Chugiak vs. Juneau 4:30 pm.
GM4 Ketchikan vs. South 7:45pm.
FRIDAY, JULY 23:
GM5 Chugiak vs. Service 11am.
GM6 Ketchikan vs. Dimond 2:15pm.
GM7 Palmer vs. South 5:30pm. (off day for Juneau, Eagle River).
SATURDAY, JULY 24:
GM8 Chugiak vs. Eagle River 11am.
GM9 Palmer vs. Ketchikan 2:15pm.
GM10 Juneau vs. Service 5:30pm. (off day for South, Dimond).
SUNDAY, JULY 25:
GM11 Eagle River vs. Juneau 2pm.
GM12 Dimond vs. South 5:30pm. (off day for Service, Ketchikan, Chugiak, Palmer).
MONDAY, JULY 26:
GM13 Winner Denali vs. Runner-up Alyeska 1:15pm.
GM14 Winner Alyeska vs. Runner-up Denali 4:30pm.
TUESDAY, JULY 27:
GM15 - Winner GM13 vs. Winner GM14.