Kellen Johansen hit a walk-off single scoring Tanner Petrie in the bottom of the ninth inning to give Juneau Post 25 a 4-3 win over Fairbanks Post 11 in the 2013 American Legion Alaska State Baseball Tournament on Friday.
"The kids showed a lot of heart," Juneau manager Andy Macaulay said. "It was a game of few opportunities."
Tied at three apiece in their final at bat, Juneau's Petrie (0-3, 1 run scored) was hit by a pitch leading off. After a fly ball out to centerfield by Patrick Millay (1-4, 1 RS), Tod Baseden (1-3, 1 RS) hit a bloop fly ball that the Fairbanks right fielder couldn't handle. A passed ball moved the runners to second and third and Johansen (1-5, 2 RBI, 1 RS) hit a single between first and second base to score the winning run.
Dylan Johnson went eight innings on the mound, throwing 117 pitches with 72 strikes, striking out eight batters and walking three, and allowing two runs on four hits. RJ Markovich closed the ninth inning (23-10, 1 K, 2 BB, 1 R). Pitchers can throw 12 innings over three days with no more than four appearances in that time.
"Dylan had trouble finding his strike zone and he battled through that," Macaulay said. "He was able to keep us in the game."
Juneau scored in the bottom of the first inning as Baseden walked, advanced on a Johansen ground out, and scored on a Markovich (2-4, 1 RBI) double.
Fairbanks took the lead in the top of the second as Terrell Ford (1-4) singled, Casey Lewandoski (1-3, 2 RS) singled, Benjamin Hall (0-3, 1 RS) reached on an error that put out Ford and Chad Freeman (1-4, 2 RBI) singled in Lowendoski. Adam Norton (0-3) reached on a fielder's choice that scored Hall.
A big defensive play by Juneau in the top of the third saved a run as Markovich got a fly ball in right field with a runner on third, threw to Petrie for the cut off and Petrie gunned to Millay at home to get the double play as the runner had tagged up.
Juneau regained the lead in the bottom of the third as Millay doubled and advanced to third on a Baseden ground out. Johansen singled to score Millay and Tal Norvell (2-4, 1 RBI) singled to score Johansen.
Fairbanks tied the game in the top of the ninth. Lowendoski walked, advanced on a Hall sacrifice and scored on a throwing error.
"Fairbanks is very scrappy," Macaulay said. "They made us pay for any mistakes. That team is definitely a team to be reckoned with. Throw their seeding out the window. That team can play."
Post 25's Christian Gould (1-4), Collin Ludeman (0-4), and Kurt Vandor (0-4) made appearances.
Juneau now advances to play Saturday against tournament three-seed South Post 4, a 3-2 winner over Service Post 28 (6th seed) earlier in the day. Fairbanks (10th) falls into a losers bracket game on Sunday.
Other Saturday games include losers bracket action between Eagle River (8th) and Service (6th), and Kenai (7th) against Dimond (5th), and winners bracket play between Chugiak and the winner of Friday's late game between Wasilla (1) and Bartlett (9).
"We are seeing another level of play from teams that we didn't see in the regular season," Macaulay said. "Everybody is hungry to advance and playing hard. Our kids want to extend the season and we know there are going to be some tight games."
In season play Juneau split with South, losing 4-3 and winning 5-3.