Alaska 20, the No. 7 seed, got off to a rough start Friday and Saturday at the Alliance State Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage.
Alaska 20 lost to No. 3 Eagle River 5-1 on Friday and lost to No. 2 South 15-1 on Saturday. Alaska 20 plays the last of its group games today at 11 a.m. against No. 6 Chugiak. Alaska 20 needs to win that game to have a chance of reaching Tuesday’s semifinals.
“It really comes down to, this is the best Alaska has to offer,” Twins coach Robb Quelland said. “No one is throwing their two, three or four pitchers. We’re seeing their best pitching and it’s exposing our youth and inexperience.”
Friday, Mose Hayes allowed just one earned run over six innings, but it was not enough to carry Alaska 20 to the victory.
Hayes gave up six hits and five runs, but just one was earned. He walked three and struck out four.
Eagle River took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, but Alaska 20 came back to tie the game in the top of the fifth. Hayes was hit by a pitch and eventually scored on a single by Tanner Ussing.
“Some untimely and unexpected errors occurred,” Quelland said. “They seemed minute at the time, but Eagle River capitalized on them.”
Eagle River came back with three runs in the bottom of the fifth and another in the sixth to take the victory.
Braden Olmstead and Josh Thompson combined to limit Alaska 20 to just five hits in the game.
Sam Berry was 2 for 3, while Harrison Metz was 1 for 4, Hayes was 1 for 2 and Ussing was 1 for 4.
Thompson had two hits and two runs for Eagle River, while Orazio Ramos had two RBIs and Sterling Retlaff had two hits.
Saturday, South was dominant in invoking the mercy rule after five innings. South’s Josh McGovern and Ben Neuberger combined to limit Alaska 20 to a run on three hits.
“They have a very mature team,” Quelland said of South. “They’ve played multiple years together and they play well together.”
Alaska 20 pitchers Nick Wehrstein, Tanner Ussing and Harrison Metz all had trouble keeping South off the board. Davey Belger was able to record an out without allowing a run.
Quelland said South was able to hit the ball hard.
“We’re seeing what real baseball looks like when it comes tournament time,” Quelland said. “We’re not there now, but we could get there in the future.”
Dylan Maltby led South’s 12-hit attack by going 3 for 4 with a run and three RBIs.
For Alaska 20, Hayes had a hit and a run, Ussing had a hit and an RBI, and Metz had a hit.
“So many players have developed from where they were six weeks ago to where they are today,” Quelland said. “They’re just not experienced with this type of pitching and that’s the biggest weakness.”