It took nearly two full calendar years, but the Wasilla Warriors finally had the chance to take the field as the reigning state champions.
“Blessing is not a big enough word to describe it,” Wasilla head coach Ken Ottinger said.
Wasilla won the state title in 2019, but the 2020 high school baseball season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s just really good to be outside with the kids and finally have a chance to defend a state championship,” Ottinger said. “They didn’t get a chance last year, which is heartbreaking. To be outside and try and defend a state championship is a great feeling.”
The Warriors are also off to a 5-0 start. Wasilla swept a three-game series at Kodiak, and picked up home wins over Houston and West Anchorage late last week.
“We’re pretty happy,” Ottinger said. “We were a little nervous, especially after Kodiak. Defensively, we did not play well at all.”
The games in Kodiak marked the first time the Warriors were outdoors at all this spring.
“We kind of anticipated it,” Ottinger said of the struggles on defense. “You can’t duplicate a fly ball or a ground ball in a small gym.”
But the offense has been there for the Warriors. Wasilla has scored at least 12 runs in four straight games.
“We’ve been hitting the lights out of the ball,” Ottinger said. “That’s been a really good thing. Hopefully we can keep that rolling through the season.”
Wasilla’s latest victory was a 12-2 win over West April 23 at Wasilla High. Dayton Greer and Sayer Sanders combined to throw a five-inning no-hitter for the Warriors. Byson Malave was 3 for 3 at the plate, with three runs scored and three RBI. Jacob Hansen and Ty Dudley drove in two runs each. Calvin Stoll scored three times.
Wasilla beat Houston 17-2 the night before. The Warriors plated seven runs in each of the first two innings. Five different Warriors scored two runs each.
Wasilla finished with eight extra-base hits, including a Will Plowman home run. Dudley and Nolan Murphy tripled in the win.
Wasilla beat Kodiak 7-4, 15-7 and 12-6 during the three-game set in mid-April.
Moose beat East, sweep KardsDylan Garrettson drove in four runs and helped lead Palmer to a 17-1 win over East Anchorage Monday night in Anchorage.
Owen Hayes and Landon Guggenmos scored four runs each. Adam Smithers, Gabe Jaime and Chad Landon had two RBI each.
Guggenmos pitched a five-inning complete-game three-hitter. Guggenmos fanned 10 and walked only one.
Palmer blanked Kenai 9-0 on April 24. Landon and Jaime combined to throw the seven-inning shutout. The pair allowed only four hits, and combined to throw 10 strikeouts while walking just one batter.
Smithers collected two hits, two runs and two RBI for the Moose.
Palmer also beat Kenai 13-2 on April 23. Garrettson finished with three hits, three runs and two RBI. Jaime led the Moose with three RBI.
Jason Gunderson pitched a five-inning complete game, and finished with 11 strikeouts.
Colony opens season with win over PalmerColony opened its season with an 18-1 win over Palmer April 22.
Ben Alley and Brayden Methven drove in three runs each. Colton Hasse led the Knights with three runs scored. Eight different Knights scored at least two runs. Eight different Knights drove in at least one run.
Contact Frontiersman managing editor Jeremiah Bartz at firstname.lastname@example.org