Zeb Storie

Zeb Storie

American Legion team braces for western competition

There was no pizzazz at the Juneau International Airport to welcome home the state champion Juneau Post 25 baseball team.

That’s because they never came home. After winning the state championship Saturday evening in Anchorage, the team remained there for two days, waiting to fly out to Missoula, Montana, the site of this year’s Northwest Regional.

The veterans service organization and sponsor of the baseball league already purchased airline tickets for the winning team out of Anchorage. After all, it had been 33 years since a team outside of Southcentral Alaska won the tournament — Juneau in 1984.

“These kids understand how big it is,” Post 25 manager Joe Tompkins said via cellphone from the SeaTac airport. “And for them to actually take that on their shoulders and enjoy it is huge. These boys, they work hard, they deserve it. It wasn’t handed to them, we came through the loser’s bracket which was a lot tougher.”

The team arrived in Missoula on Tuesday afternoon, and plays its opening round game of the tournament on Wednesday at 4 p.m. MST. The team plays the Missoula Mavericks, winners of the Montana/Alberta state championship and hosts of the tournament. All games will be played at Ogren Park.

Six other teams from the Northwest also qualified for the tournament: Yakima Pepsi Pak (Washington), Lewis-Clark Twins (Idaho), Medford Mustangs (Oregon), Cheyenne Post 6 (Wyoming), Mid-Pacific 19 (Hawaii) and the Bozeman Bucks (Montana).

The tournament is double elimination and the championship game is Sunday.

“They actually think that these teams down South here don’t think much of Alaska,” Tompkins said. “So they’re using that as fuel to get themselves motivated more than they already are.”

Six players from the Juneau Post 25 baseball club were named to the 2017 American Legion Team of Excellence team prior to the state tournament in Anchorage. Coach Joe Tompkins was one of the three “coaches of the year.” Zeb Storie, Bryce Swofford, Donavin McCurley, Kasey Watts, Alex Muir and Bobby Cox were voted on by coaches from the 16 Legion AA clubs in Alaska.

Alaska Legion Baseball Team of Excellence

Infield

Zeb Storie, Juneau, .519 batting average, 11 RBIs

Bryce Swofford, Juneau, .408, 23 RBIs

Dylan Montagna, Dimond, .379, 13 RBIs

Chris Crespo, West, .422, 21 RBIs

Paul Steffensen, Kenai, .433, 12 RBIs

Jake Andresen, Dimond, .312, 8 RBIs

Raleigh Pigg, Service, .364, 13 RBIs

Ben Werner, Wasilla, .492, 27 RBIs

Anthony Maldonado, South, .314, 18 RBIs

Cooper Bailey-Parsons, Service, .353, 8 RBIs

Outfield

Kasey Watts, Juneau, .429, 26 RBIs

Ronan Klancher, Service, .403, 11 RBIs

Vonche Wood, Fairbanks (Post 30), .452, 5 RBIs

Derek McGinnis, South, .377, 24 RBIs

Scott Larionoff, Kodiak, .395, 12 RBIs

Cody Leslie, South, .350, 19 RBIs

Starting Pitcher

Zeb Storie, Juneau, 4-0, 1.48 ERA, 21 K

Jake Andresen, Dimond, 3-0, 2.33 ERA, 25 K

Hank Boyer, Wasilla, 2-0, 3.33 ERA, 46 K

Leland Wilson, West, 3-2, 1.81 ERA, 54 K

Jaren Childs, Service, 1-0, 1.98 ERA, 10K

Gaten Davis, East, 5-0, 3.03 ERA, 45 K

Gage Webster, South, 2-1, 2.73 ERA, 46 K

Isaac Roehl Fairbanks (Post 11)

Relief Pitcher

Kaden Roetteger, Dimond, 1.17 ERA

Luis Nunez, West, 3-1, 3.82 ERA, 21 K

Cobey Cupp, Service, 4-0, 1.20 ERA, 9 K

Catcher

Alex Muir, Juneau, .447, 18 RBIs

Jeffrey Forster, Wasilla, .750 caught stealing percentage .950 fielding percentage

Cody Quelland, Kenai, .398, 18 RBIs

Kyle Henrickson, Dimond, .543, 17 RBIs

Utility

Donavin McCurley, Juneau, .371, 10 RBIs, 2-1, 0.39 ERA

Kyle Graham, Wasilla, 16 RBIs

Jaren Childs, Service, .350, 23 RBIs, 1-0, 1.98 ERA

Coaches of the Year

Joe Tompkins, Juneau

Willie Paul, Service

Ken Ottinger, Wasilla


• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or nolin.ainsworth@juneauempire.com.


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