Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Juneau’s Post 25 American Legion baseball team fell 3-2 to Service in their second game at the Alaska state championships at Anchorage’s Mulcahy Stadium on Saturday. Juneau had beaten Chugiak 3-0 on Thursday.
After giving up two runs in the first inning on a home run to Service’s Henry Helgeson with a runner on base Juneau settled into their stellar defense and held their opponents in check until allowing a run in the bottom of the fifth.
Juneau’s Brock McCormick hit a long fly ball down the left field line with Isaiah Nelson on base in the top of the third inning but the ball missed just foul.
Juneau scored their first run in the top of the fourth inning as Christian Ludeman earned a walk and advanced on an Oliver Mendoza single and an Olin Rawson line drive out. Garrison Luben earned a walk to load the bases and Chase Foster hit a fielder’s choice that scored Ludeman to trail 2-1.
Juneau battled into the top of the seventh as leadoff hitter Isaiah Nelson reached on an error and advanced to third on a bunt out by Gavin Millard and a ground out by McCormick. Ludeman earned a walk and was replaced at first by pinch runner Joe Aline. Aline and I. Nelson disrupted the Service pitcher and I. Nelson scored on a wild pitch to cut the lead to 3-2 but Service got the final out.
Mendoza and I. Nelson had one hit apiece. I. Nelson and Ludeman scored one run apiece. Foster had one RBI. Ludeman earned four walks, I. Nelson two, McCormick, Luben and Foster one each.
I. Nelson pitched six innings, allowed five hits and three runs, struck out five and walked two.
Service’s Helgeson had two RBI and Coen Niclai one. Helgeson had two hits and two runs scored. Hunter Christian, Niclai and Nick Coats had one hit each. Carson Malby scored one run. Niclai and Coats earned one walk apiece.
State tournament teams were divided into two divisions, Alyeska and Denali.
Juneau next plays on Sunday against Eagle River. Juneau beat Chugiak 3-0 and is 1-1 in the Alyeska division.
Eagle River is 2-0 with wins over Service 13-1 and Chugiak 10-3.
Service is 2-1 with wins over Chugiak 7-6 and Juneau and a loss to Eagle River 13-1.
Chugiak is 0-3 and out of action.
Ketchikan is 2-1 in the Denali division. The Kings beat Dimond 7-3 and Palmer 9-3 after losing to South 5-1.
South is 2-0, beating Palmer 18-7 and KTN. South plays Sunday against Dimond.
Dimond is 0-2, losing to Palmer 3-2 and KTN.
Palmer is 0-3 and out of action.
The top two teams from each division make the semifinals.
Saturday - Eagle River 10 Chugiak 3; Ketchikan 9 Palmer 3; Service 3 Juneau 2.
Friday - Service 7 Chugiak 6; Ketchikan 7 Dimond 3; South 18 Palmer 7.
Thursday - Palmer 3 Dimond 2 (12 innings); Eagle River 13 Service 1; Juneau 3 Chugiak 0; South 5 Ketchikan 1.
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.
The State Tournament winner advances to Northwest Regionals 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.