Alaska finished pool play of the Western Regional Tournament on Sunday with a 2-3 record, dropping its final game 5-2 to host Laguna Niquel Little League in Irvine, Calif.
Alaska, Juneau’s Gastineau Channel Little League Junior All-Stars, led 2-0 after three innings but were shut out the rest of the way as Laguna scored twice in the fourth and three more times in the sixth.
Nathan Klein went 2-for-2 with a walk and a run scored, and Jared and RJ Markovich had an RBI and a hit each, including a triple for RJ. Michael Dale drew a walk and scored Alaska’s other run.
Klein gave up five runs, two earned, on eight hits with five strikeouts and one walk. Three errors in the field came back to bite Alaska.
On Saturday, Alaska rallied to walk off with a 5-4 win over Hawaii after scoring twice in the bottom of the seventh inning. Hawaii’s team made it to the Little League World Series final in the Majors division last season.
Down 4-3 in the seventh, Matt Cunningham led off with a single and then stole second base. Jared Markovich moved him over with a groundout, and Klein hit a sharp grounder at the shortstop with the infield playing in. The shortstop bobbled the ball and threw home but it was too late as Cunningham made slid under the glove of the catcher to tie the game at 4-4.
RJ Markovich roped a single to right to advance Klein, and Jack Withington flied out to deep left field as Klein tried to take third. The second baseman made a wild throw and Klein was able to score the walk-off, winning run for Alaska.
“Joe (Tompkins), Jeremy and myself are so proud of how hard this team played against such a strong team from Hawaii,” manager Andy Macaulay said. “It came down to the end but they rose up and were successful in a very intense game. They played great.”
Cunningham went 2-for-3 with a run scored, Jared Markovich went 2-for-4 with a run scored, Klein was 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored.
RJ Markovich went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored, and Withington added a hit. Alaska pounded out 10 hits as a team to Hawaii’s nine.
Jared Markovich got the start on the mound, pitching 5 2-3 innings and giving up three runs, one earned, on seven hits with a walk and a strikeout.
Collin Ludeman got the win for Alaska after pitching the final inning and a third, giving up a run on two hits with a walk.
Alaska’s bid for the semifinals came up just short, as Arizona was 4-0 and Idaho 3-1 before Sunday’s games, with Laguna finishing 3-2. Sunday’s games were not reported on the Little League website as of Sunday night.