ANCHORAGE — The Colony Knights took second place at the ASAA/First National Bank state baseball tournament after a 19-0 five-inning loss to South Anchorage in the championship game.
South culminated their undefeated season with a no-hitter from starting pitcher Isaac Johnson, who struck out nine in five innings of work. Colony failed to record a hit, but reached the state title game for the first time in school history.
“They worked all season long and I felt like they earned getting to the championship, so it’s great to see kids that work so hard and see it pay off,” said head coach Jordan Chadwell. “It’s a bad day to have a bad day.”
South batted around the order in the top of the first inning, scoring six runs in the opening frame. Lucas Wilkins singled and scored Oliver Brown for the first run of the game. South’s offensive barrage chased Colony starting pitcher Brayden Methven from the game in the second inning. Avry Antonio finished out the game on the mound for Colony.
“You don’t get what you want in baseball all the time. That’s the beautiful and frustrating part about baseball is you can do everything right and it doesn’t work,” Chadwell said.
The Knights came into the championship after defeating Chugiak in the opening round and Eagle River in the semifinal. There were four Knights that were able to reach base. Coen Leaders and Karsen Spradling walked in the third inning and Colton Haase was hit by a pitch to load the bases, but Colony was unable to manufacture any runs against South.
“They put in hard work all season and they’re not going to let it go to waste. Obviously things didn’t go the way that they wanted, balls didn’t drop and a couple of them didn’t get calls that they wanted but it’s baseball and they know that,” said Chadwell.
Senior shortstop Kaden Ketchum and senior pitcher Ben Alley were named to the All-Tournament team. The Knights became the second Valley team in a row to make an appearance in the high school state title game after Wasilla won the championship in 2019. South added eight runs in the second inning and tacked on a pair in the third inning. In the fourth inning, Maddux Soland hit a home run that drove in Thomas Pease and Curtis Hebert to bring the score to 19-0. Johnson struck out nine Colony batters with three walks and one hit by pitch in five inning of work to win the complete game no-hit win. Despite the lopsided loss, Chadwell was hopeful about the future of Valley baseball. While Colony lost in the Division I title game, Palmer won the Division II state title at Wasilla High School.
“It definitely is growing in the Valley and the numbers are up. You see it in Little League, I think Palmer had over 600 almost 700 kids maybe. Wasilla, they’re bouncing back and their youth baseball is good and we have a lot of kids where baseball is their number one sport,” said Chadwell. “Now there’s a lot more. We don’t have the depth that we see in Anchorage with South and on days like this it shows but the future is bright.”