The two teams that played for the Mid Alaska Conference title are playing for survival today in the Alaska School Activities Association/First National Bank Alaska Baseball State Championship in Anchorage.
The MAC champion West Valley Wolfpack and runners-up North Pole Patriots lost first-round games Thursday in the three-day, eight-team state tournament at Mulcahy Stadium.
West Valley fell 10-0 to the West Anchorage Eagles in six innings at Mulcahy and North Pole was later defeated by the Chugiak Mustangs 10 in five innings. Both games ended early because of the mercy rule.
The Wolfpack and Patriots are in elimination games today at Mulcahy. West Valley takes on the Colony Knights at 10 a.m., and North Pole plays at 1 p.m. against the Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears, last year’s state champions.
The winners of the elimination games play for fourth place at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Colony, of Palmer, lost 10-3 to the Ketchikan Kings on Thursday and Juneau-Douglas lost by the same score to the Wasilla Warriors.
Ketchikan and West Anchorage meet in a semifinal at 4 p.m., and Wasilla and Chugiak meet in the other semifinal at 7 p.m.
The third-place game is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Saturday, and the state championship game is set for 3 p.m.
The Wolfpack were limited to two hits by Eagles pitchers Ivan Tillman and Juan Benitez.
Jacob Angaiak provided a two-out infield hit in the top of the second inning and West Valley teammate Isaac Coon contributed a lead-off single in the sixth.
Dylan Swarthout and Brian Renfrew reached bases on walks, respectively, in the Wolfpack’s halves of the fourth and sixth innings.
Graydon Lesneski took the loss on the mound for West Valley. He allowed six hits, six runs and four walks and struck out in a three-inning stint
Shaun Conwell pitched an inning for the Wolfpack, allowing a hit, run and walk. Gus Jensen also worked for an inning and allowed five hits, three runs and a walk.
Luke Langnes batted 3 for 3 with four RBIs and a double for West Anchorage. Eagles teammate Quinn Bates-Janigo went 2 for 2 with three runs scored and Shawn Jones had a double and scored twice.
Tillman threw a one-hitter, struck out five and allowed a hit in innings. Benitez threw an inning of no-hit, one-walk relief.
The Patriots generated three runs off four hits in their second loss to the Mustangs in as many years in the state tournament.
North Pole lost 5-4 to Chugiak in an elimination game in the 2018 tournament.
On Thursday at Mulcahy, the Patriots scored all of their runs against Mustangs reliever Gus Lewis in the top of the fourth inning.
Alex Garcia led off with a single, stole second base and scored on Gavin Fischer’s double.
Alex Staker batted into an error, which also brought him Wyatt Kammer and Fischer.
Hammer had reached base on an error and went to third on Fischer’s double.
Fischer, Garcia, Alex Kazense and Mathias Allen-Huisman accounted for North Pole’s hits Thursday.
Fischer took the loss after working two-thirds innings. He allowed five hits and six runs.
Garcia allowed two hits, four runs and a walk in 1 2/3 innings. Brock Weatherspoon pitched two innings, striking out two while allowing two hits, three runs and five walks.
Trystan Costanios homered twice for Chugiak. He launched a grand slam during a six-run bottom of the first, and he hit a three-run, inside-the-park homer an inning later.
Ian Frizzelle struck out four and gave up a hit in three innings for the win. Lewis allowed three hits, three runs and a walk in two innings.
Contact News-Miner sports editor Danny Martin at 459-7586. Follow him on Twitter:@newsminersports.