WASILLA — Wasilla’s wild state tournament continued with a walk-off win over South Anchorage during the second day of the Alaska Legion Baseball State Tournament Saturday night at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage.
Jacob Gilbert drove in the go-ahead run in the bottom of the ninth to give the top-seeded Road Warriors the 6-5 extra-innings win over fifth-seeded South Anchorage. It was the exclamation point on an epic rally in a game in which Wasilla was one out from a loss.
The Road Warriors trailed 3-0 in the seventh, but found a way to tie the game and force extra innings. After South took the lead with two in the top of the ninth, Wasilla answered with three in the bottom of the inning. With South holding the 5-3 lead in the ninth, Balau Buckmaster walked and scored on a Kyle Graham single to cut the deficit to one. Graham later scored on a wild pitch to tie the game at 5. Ty Dudley, a pinch-runner, scored on the Gilbert single to give Wasilla the win.
The Warriors will now face third-seeded Chugiak, which ripped second-seeded Juneau 13-5 earlier in the day. The Alaska rivals will meet Sunday at 6 p.m. in winner’s bracket play.
Wasilla was on life support in the seventh, trailing 3-0. South walked four batters at hit two others, and the Warriors were able to tie the game at 3. Gilbert, Taylon Ottinger and Clayton Boyett each scored in the seventh to force extras.
According to Alaska Legion Baseball, the victory marked Wasilla’s first win over South in state tournament play. It was the fifth meeting between the two teams at the tournament.
Austin Robertson pitched eight innings for the Warriors, scattering seven hits, three earned runs and five strikeouts.
Friday, the Dimond Lynx gave top-seeded Wasilla a scare, but the Road Warriors found a way to move forward.
Wasilla scored twice in the sixth, and posted a 7-5 win over eighth-seeded Dimond during the first day of the state tournament.
With the game locked at 5 late, Gilbert scored on an error to provide the go-ahead run. Jacob Hansen gave the Warriors a bit of insurance, scoring on another error to give Wasilla the 7-5 lead.
Dimond jumped on Wasilla immediately, scoring four in the top of the first. The Warriors were able to produce a quick answer with five runs in the bottom of the inning. Dimond tied the score at 5 in the third.
Gilbert also came through for the Warriors on the mound, earning the win after pitching six innings of relief. Clayton Boyett notched the one-out save.
Ottinger was one of five different Warriors with a hit, and had an RBI. Gilbert scored two runs for Wasilla.
The Warriors will now move forward and face fifth-seeded South Anchorage Saturday at 6:15 p.m. during the second day of the tournament. South upset fourth-seeded Kenai 8-5.
Sixth-seeded Palmer opened the day with a 10-0 loss to third-seeded Chugiak. West Anchorage eliminated the Pioneers with a 9-4 win over Palmer on Friday.
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