Mustangs Win State Legion Title in Extra Innings
Alex Hess singled home the winning run in the bottom of the 11th inning to give Chugiak a 4-3 win over South in the longest state championship game in the 60 year history of the American Legion State Baseball Tournament. The victory gave the Mustangs their seventh state title in program history.
Chugiak entered the day as the only unbeaten squad left in the double elimination tournament, meaning South would have to defeat the Mustangs twice in the final round. The Wolverines took care of business in game one, prevailing 7-4 to set up a winner take all showdown for the title. Alec Valdez led the Wolverines with three hits as South scored six runs in the fourth inning.
In the decisive game, Chugiak scored three sixth inning runs to go up 3-1, a rally punctuated by Zach Brueggeman's RBI single. South, however, scraped together two runs in the eighth on a pair of fielder's choice plays to knott the game up.
Prior to Thursday, only one championship game in state legion championship history had gone to extra innings. That was in 2004, when East took down Bartlett in 10 innings.
In the 11th, the Mustangs loaded the bases with one away when Hess stroked a base hit past the drawn-in infield, scoring John Ives form third base. The win capped an emotional turnaround for Chugiak, which lost the title game a year ago to Kenai.
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