It may not have been the state championship they were hoping for, but the North Pole Patriots ended their season with a win all the same.
Conner Lanser’s RBI single to score Noah Perkins in extra innings resulted in a 4-3 win for North Pole over Soldotna in Saturday’s DII State Baseball Tournament third place game.
Alex Garcia ended his North Pole career in solid fashion as he threw 7.1 innings, giving up just three hits, one earned run, walking four, and striking out 13. He also went 1-for-4 with one run and one RBI at the plate.
Soldotna got their first run on the board in bottom of the second to take a 1-0 lead before stretching it to 2-0 in the bottom of the third.
Opportunity struck for North Pole in the top of the fourth as the Patriots loaded the bases with just one out. Ethan Frollo was caught stealing home, however, and Lanser grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the inning with the score still 2-0.
Soldotna added another run on an error in the bottom of the fourth with two outs to make it a 3-0 game. North Pole finally got on the board in the top of the fifth inning as Garcia’s RBI single scored Colin Drumhiller to make the score 3-1 with one out. Frollo then singled to center field to score Garcia before Brayden Grorud’s RBI single scored Frollo and tie the game at 3-3.
With the game tied 3-3 through seven, the game went to extra innings. It didn’t take long for the Patriots to get the win as Lanser’s RBI single scored Perkins to make the game 4-3, North Pole kept Soldotna from scoring, and NPHS got out with a win.
With that, the Patriots season came to a close as the third place finisher in all of DII.
Contact sports reporter Hart Pisani at 459-7530 or follow him at twitter.com/FDNMSports.