Koen Leaders

Colony's Koen Leaders reaches to make a catch during a win over Chugiak in the Division I state quarterfinals Thursday in Anchorage.

Evan Walker pitched a 2-hitter and went the distance and the Knights put up crooked numbers in the second and third inning to score a 6-2 win over Chugiak in the first-round game of the ASAA Division I State Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium.

Walker also drove in the first two runs of the game in the second inning with a double, one of three extra-base hits in the game for the Mid-Alaska Conference champions.

With the win, Colony (13-2) advanced to the final four for the fourth time in nine years under coach Jordan Chadwell. The Knights will face Eagle River Friday at 4 p.m. in the semifinals at Mulcahy.

In the third inning, bash brothers Kaden Ketchum and Ben Alley ripped back-to-back extra-base hits over the center fielder's head. Ketchum hammered one far and Alley crushed one even farther on a bomb that would have been a home run in a lot of other ballparks in Alaska.

But Mulcahy is the big house, with the newly painted green center-field wall standing 410 feet away from home plate.

Ketchum and Alley scored two runs in the game and Bryant Marks had an RBI single.

Walker struck out seven batters in seven innings and didn't allow a base hit until a leadoff single in the fifth inning.

His pitching and hitting were exceptional, but his play of the game came on defense. In the third inning, he fielded a bunt and lost his balance turning to throw to first base, yet still got out the runner after throwing the ball from his backside.

Everything was working for Walker and the Knights.

Chugiak (7-8) finally got on the scoreboard in the sixth inning after Camden Costanios walked and Andrew Gruszynski got hit before Austin Bull smoked a two-run single to pull the Mustangs within 6-2.

This is the third time these two teams have met in the first round of the state tournament, with Colony winning 9-8 in 2018 and Chugiak winning 7-3 in 2009.

South 10, Wasilla 0

Isaac Johnson pushed his personal scoreless streak to 21.1 innings with four shutout innings as the undefeated Wolverines banged out 12 hits and won in six innings, beating Wasilla for the third time this season.

The South starter threw just 52 pitches before he was taken out to keep him eligible to pitch again Saturday. Johnson improved to 5-0 on the season and lowered his ERA to 0.23 in 30 innings.

Johnson used a mid-80s fastball to attack hitters. The only baserunner he allowed was a two-out, 10-pitch walk to Nolan Murphy in the fourth inning.

Brothers Reece and Luke Ivanoff combined to throw the final two innings of relief, completing the team shutout.

South's potent first-inning attack continued as the Wolverines jumped out to a 2-0 lead just five batters into the game. Kellen Curtis walked, Curtis Hebert doubled, Dylan Maltby hit a sac fly, Oliver Brown was hit by a pitch and Lucas Wilkins singled.

Just like that South was off to the races.

The Wolverines (15-0) added three more runs in the second inning kickstarted by consecutive singles from Andrew Buckendorf, Sean Giffen and Curtis to load the bases. From there, Hebert, Maltby and Brown picked up RBIs and it was 5-0.

South's Maddux Soland went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles, giving him four doubles in his last 10 at-bats dating back to the CIC Tournament.

Wasilla's Pedro Camacho ripped a two-out double in the sixth inning to break up South's no-hit bid.

Camacho also threw out two base runners and relief pitcher Evan Dahlen picked off a runner as defense kept Wasilla (16-6) in the game.

In the fifth inning, Wasilla left fielder Will Plowman caught a deep flyball with his back against the wall to end the frame. For Brown, who crushed the ball, it was as close to hitting a home run without hitting a home run.

Wasilla will now face Dimond Friday at 1 p.m. in the consolation semifinals.

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