The top four American Legion teams in Alaska face off today at the 2013 American Legion State Championship at Anchorage’s Mulcahy Stadium.
After six days of baseball action, the four highest ranked clubs from the double elimination tourney have made it to the final three days.
Number two seed Juneau Post 25 (18-5 league, 24-7 overall) and four-seed Chugiak Post 33 (16-7-1, 22-17-1) bring undefeated tournament records into today’s 1 p.m. semifinal.
“We have a big challenge against Chugiak,” Juneau manager Andy Macaulay said. “They looked very impressive against Wasilla. I think all four teams, for that matter, are playing very hard and you can tell that all of us want to win the state championship.”
An earlier 10 a.m. matchup features pre-tourney number-one Wasilla Post 35 (20-5 26-9), a 3-1 loser to Chugiak on Saturday, against tourney three-seed South Post 4 (18-7, 24-8), an 11-4 loser to Juneau on Saturday, in an elimination game.
The winner would stay alive to play the loser of the Juneau vs. Chugiak matchup in another elimination game on Wednesday at 1 p.m. with the Juneau/Chugiak winner waiting comfortably on Thursday at 2 p.m.
“We are going to have to take advantage of any mistakes if there are any,” Macaulay said. “We are going to have to play some really good defense and hopefully our bats will continue to do what they did all season. We need to make good contact, put runners on base, and put pressure on them.”
Juneau will be without the use of their top two pitchers as Tanner Petrie won on Saturday against South and Dylan Johnson won on Friday against Fairbanks.
“They need more days rest for their arm,” Macaulay said. “The number of pitches they threw I want to give them five days rest. They earned it.”
Both will be eligible to pitch, win or lose, on Wednesday or Thursday.
“The two days off have helped us get prepared,” Macaulay said. “We have rested our arms and we have a good staff waiting in the wings. Hopefully we come out with high energy and are able to execute.”
Juneau beat Chugiak 11-4 and 5-4 during the season. However, teams are playing at a higher level than even the week before.
“I expect a really good came against them,” Macaulay said. “We got a look at them and they got a look at us. Now we go out and let the boys play and determine who is able to come out with the W. For Wasilla and South it is lose and your season is over, it is all hands on deck.”
Tourney scores to date: Thursday - Fairbanks 6 Kenai 4, Bartlett 11 Eagle River 10, Chugiak 14 Dimond 2; Friday - South 3 Service 2, Juneau 4 Fairbanks 3, Wasilla 8 Bartlett 1; Saturday - Eagle River 12 Service 1 (Eliminated), Dimond 6 Kenai 5 (ELM), Juneau 11 South 4, Chugiak 3 Wasilla 1; Sunday Eagle River 8 Fairbanks 6 (ELM), Dimond 10 Bartlett 1 (ELM) Monday Wasilla 11 Eagle River 1 (ELM), South 6 Dimond 5 (ELM).