It had been more than two years since the Wasilla Warriors prep baseball team lost a game and about nine years since they suffered a loss to Palmer.
Both streaks came to an end Tuesday night.
Palmer used an 8-7 victory over Wasilla to snap the Warriors’ 24-game winning streak and score its first varsity win over WHS since 2012.
“They knew how bad I wanted it,” Palmer head coach Dave Combs said. “It’s huge for my program. It’s taken a while to get to where we can compete with them.”
Wasilla is the defending state champion after winning it all in 2019. The 2020 season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Warriors finished 22-2 overall in 2019, and started the 2021 season 5-0. Wasilla’s last loss came with a 7-2 defeat to Eagle River on April 25, 2019.
“They’ve set the bar. You’ve got to be able to beat those better teams if you want to consider yourself one of the better teams,” Combs said.
Senior Owen Hayes led the Moose at the plate and on the mound. Hayes blasted an early two-run home run and pitched the final 3 ⅓ innings to earn the win on the mound.
“He had a great day. He’s really playing well,” Combs said. “He went in and slammed the door, pitched great, and got us going on the right foot hitting that two-run bomb.”
Hayes was 3 for 3 at the plate with two RBI and three runs scored. The senior gave the Moose and almost immediate lead. After Landon Guggenmos led off the first with a single, Hayes used the dinger to give the Moose the early 2-0 advantage. Palmer scored three in the first, added four in the second and led 7-2 after two.
“I think we caught Wasilla off guard,” Combs said.
Hayes also scored the game-winning run to break a 7-7 tie in the bottom of the fourth.
On the mound, Hayes allowed only one hit over the final 3 ⅓. He also fanned four, and did not allow a walk.
Guggenmos added a hit, two runs and two RBI for Palmer. Jason Gunderson also drove in two runs.
Wasilla battled back after the early deficit, scoring two in the second, three in the third and two in the fourth to force the 7-7 tie.
“Even though Wasilla fought back just about every inning, we didn’t roll over,” Combs said.
Byson Malave and Pedro Camacho led the Warriors with two hits each. Calvin Stoll led Wasilla with two runs scored.
Contact Frontiersman managing editor Jeremiah Bartz at firstname.lastname@example.org.