2014 Alaska State Little League® Tournament Results
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Alaska State Tournament
Major Baseball Division

Toward the past

Toward the present

Alaska State Tournament
Championship Game Host - Knik (Eagle River)
At Lions Community Park

Lions Community Park is located at 18344 Eagle River Road in Eagle River.

Participating Teams
District 1 Champions Knik (Eagle River)
District 2 Champions Gastineau Channel (Juneau)

Click here to view 2014 district tournament results for Alaska.

Tournament Results:

Best 3-of-5 Series:
Knik 7, Gastineau Channel 6
Knik 6, Gastineau Channel 5 (7 innings)
Knik 5, Gastineau Channel 3 (7 innings; TITLE)


Homestanding Knik Little League won all three contests in the 2014 Alaska state tournament played at Lions Community Park in Eagle River, and swept past Juneau's Gastineau Channel Little League to win their first state championship in over a quarter-century.

But the sweep was anything but easy.

Knik won Game 1 of the best-of-five series by a single run, and only a game-ending strikeout with the bases loaded preserved their 7-6 victory.

They needed a rally in the bottom of the sixth to force extra innings in Game 2, then used another rally in the seventh to tie and then win that game, 6-5.

And finally, in Game 3, Knik found itself deadlocked 3-3 with Gastineau Channel through six innings, and only clinched the state title after pushing across two runs in the top of the seventh inning to claim a 5-3 victory.

Three wins. Total margin of victory: four runs. And two games extending into extra innings. Knik took all three games in the series, but it was as even as a three-game sweep could be.

"These teams were so close," said Knik manager Luke Sorensen. "I think they may have out-hit us, but we manufactured more runs."

Knik had won the Alaska championship in the 9-10 year old age division in 2012, and in the 10-11 year old division in 2013. But they needed a critical stop in the bottom of the sixth inning to preserve their victory in the series opener.

Knik carried a 7-4 lead into the sixth, thanks in part to a pair of run-scoring hits by Ryan Gray and a two-out, two-run double in the fifth by Christian Cambridge. But Gastineau Channel pressed on. Christian Ludeman singled, and with two outs, Olin Rawson doubled. Tosh Robinson followed with a double that scored both runners, and the Juneau league then loaded the bases when Bryson Echiverri and Brandt Hultberg each drew four-pitch walks. Knik pitcher Sterling Retzlaff then fanned the final Gastineau Channel hitter on a 2-2 pitch to pull his team across the finish line with an opening game victory.

Gray had three hits in the game for Knik, while Riley Fugere added two and scored three runs. Robinson paced Gastineau Channel's ten hit attack with three hits and three runs batted in, while Ludeman and Echiverri each collected two hits. Each team used six pitchers and, with an eye toward later games in the series, sought to maintain eligibility across the board. Just two pitchers exceeded the 20-pitch limit that would necessitate days of rest.

The two teams used the same approach the next day -- this time, they employed a collective thirteen pitchers -- and Knik rallied late for their 6-5 extra inning win.

Knik held a 3-1 lead midway through Game 2, but run-scoring singles by Gabe Storie and Ludeman leveled the score in the fourth. Gastineau Channel moved in front in the sixth when Robinson drew a bases loaded walk, but Knik matched the run in the bottom of the inning to force the contest to extra innings.

Cambridge opened the bottom of the sixth with a walk on a full count pitch, and after a strikeout, he scored on Jacob Kosinski's double to left field.

Gastineau Channel again took the lead in the seventh, as Rawson led off with a single and later scored on a groundout. But Knik pushed across a pair of runs to win it in the bottom of the frame.

William Smith opened the bottom of the seventh with a four-pitch walk, and Ryan Gray followed with a second free pass. After both runners moved up, Ian Frizelle lined a double to the base of the left center field fence to drive in the tying and winning runs.

Frizelle and Kosinski each had two hits for Knik, while Ludeman collected a pair of singles for Gastineau Channel. Seven Knik pitchers combined to strike out 13 hitters in the win.

After a rainout pushed the series' third game back by 24 hours, Knik clinched the series with another extra inning win, this one a 5-3 victory in seven innings.

The two teams were scoreless through three innings, but Knik pulled in front when Retzlaff doubled in Frizelle in the fourth, and extended the lead on Billy Smith's two-run single in the fifth. Gastineau Channel clawed back with three in the bottom of the fifth. Storie walked and Ludeman doubled to left field. Carver singled to center to score Storie, and after a pair of strikeouts, Cody Requa reached safely on an error that scored two runs.

Neither team could produce a run in the sixth as both pitchers struck out the side, but Knik pushed across the deciding runs in the seventh. Fugere lined a single to center to open the inning, and, after a strikeout, Smith drew a walk. Fugere scored when Grey reached on an infield single, and Smith followed by darting home on Braden Olmstead's fielders' choice. Olmstead, pitching in relief for the third time in the series, then struck out the side in the bottom of the inning to close out the tournament.

Storie surrendered just two earned runs and struck out nine hitters in 5-2/3 innings for Gastineau Channel, while Knik again employed a parade of pitchers, with six different hurlers all throwing twenty pitches or less.

Fugere had two hits to pace Knik's nine-hit attack, while Ludeman had a pair of hits for Gastineau Channel.

With its state championship, Knik advanced to the Northwest Region tournament in San Bernardino, California. The Alaska champions won three of their four pool games, and advanced to the semifinal round before dropping a 7-6 decision against Bend North Little League (Oregon).

Follow Knik at the Northwest Region Tournament -- Click here to view results.


  Game 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Knik 1 0 3 0 3 0 7 7 1
Gastineau Channel 0 0 3 0 1 2 6 10 1
  Game 2
Gastineau Channel 1 0 0 2 0 1 1 5 8 1
Knik 0 3 0 0 0 1 2 6 6 1
  Game 3
Knik 0 0 0 1 2 0 2 5 9 2
Gastineau Channel 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 3 5 1

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