A grand slam by Kyle Frazier got South off to a good start Thursday in the state baseball tournament at Hermon Brothers Field in Palmer, and the Wolverines ousted Juneau-Douglas from title contention with an 8-3 win.
Frazier’s big blast was the difference maker, South manager Chris Williams said, in the Wolverines’ upset of the defending state champions.
Also getting first-round wins were Lathrop and West Valley. The Malemutes knocked off Kodiak 4-2, and the Wolfpack downed Soldotna 4-1. Dimond met Sitka in the late game, and the Lynx held on for a 2-1 win.
Williams said the Wolverines started attacking top-seeded JDHS with small ball, trying to scratch out runs where they could. They led 3-0 in the bottom of the fifth inning when Frazier stepped to the plate with the bases loaded.
“Their pitcher got a little wild,” said Williams. “He laid kind of a flat curveball and (Frazier) just torched it to left.”
South’s Josh Crapps pitched a complete game for the win, giving up five hits and striking out two in seven innings. Josh Magnuson drove in two runs for the Crimson Bears.
JDHS faces Kodiak at 10 a.m. today for a spot in the fourth-place game.
In Lathrop’s win, pitcher Torgen Soderlund struck out 10 batters and walked one in seven innings. Soderlund also was one of three Malemutes to notch two hits, with Cameron Hendrix and Colton Wolter being the other two.
Lathrop scored two runs in the fourth inning to build a 3-0 lead, but Kodiak narrowed the margin to one when Dylan Kavanagh and Josh Bezona each drove in runs in the bottom of the fifth inning.
West Valley’s win featured another strong pitching performance, with Trey Chiu allowing five hits over seven innings in a complete-game win. Leadoff hitter Tanner Shoemaker doubled and scored twice for the Wolfpack.
Soldotna’s Luke Michael got two hits, including a double, and Tyler Fritz got the Stars’ only RBI.
In a Cook Inlet Conference consolation game Wednesday, Chugiak’s Cameron Fritz drove in four runs and Gareth Sexton drove in three, helping the Mustangs to a 10-4 win over Eagle River at Loretta French Field.
Pitcher Justin Schneider got the win for the Mustangs and Sexton earned a save.
Eagle River rallied for four runs in the fifth inning, highlighted by a Zach Weller double, but Chugiak pulled away with a six-run sixth.