Post 25 storms to top seed in state tourney

On their way to the top seed in Alaska’s American Legion Baseball league, Juneau’s Post 25 closed out their last four regular season games with style. A no-hitter from pitcher Bryce Swofford, a shutout from Phillip Wall and a grand slam by Finn Collins gave Juneau all the confidence they need heading into the July 26 state tournament in Anchorage.

In their first three games this weekend, Post 25 notched 15-0 and 12-0 wins against Kodiak Post 17 behind Swofford and Wall’s pitching and an 18-1 rout of Bartlett Post 29.

Collins hit his grand slam off a 1-1 count in the fourth inning of their second game against Kodiak.

In contrast to those struts, a desperate Eagle River team kept Post 25 honest in the final game of the season, a Saturday afternoon tilt which tested Juneau’s will in a back and forth game.

Eagle River came into that game needing a win to tie East Post 34 for the fourth spot in the National Division. Juneau had already secured the number one seed and had little to play for beyond pride and the momentum of their 14-game win streak.

In the end Post 25 extinguished Eagle River 10-7. Though Juneau had nothing on the line, coach Joe Tompkins was happy to see his team fight.

“Our team knew and felt that they can win,” Tompkins said in a phone interview after the game. “(It was) good for us to get in that predicament to see what’s in their tank.”

Juneau streaked to a 4-0 lead by the third inning — with RBIs coming from Michael Cesar, Kasey Watts and Swofford — before Eagle River struck back with a five-run third inning. Post 25 countered with three runs in the fourth, retaking the lead, but Eagle River refused to let Juneau get comfortable, threatening Post 25 in the fifth inning by closing the gap 8-7 with two frames to go.

In the sixth, Jake Tanner scored after tagging up on a fly out and Collins added an RBI off a double to center field to bring in Donavin McCurley and close scoring 10-7.

What does Post 25 need to transfer their regular-season momentum into Tuesday’s state tournament? Short memories, if you ask Tompkins.

”We told them you can’t take anybody lightly. This is a tournament; everybody is starting at 0-0. We (the coaches) can’t play it for them them and everybody is shooting for us as the number one seed,” Tompkins said.

The American Legion Alaska State Tournament is an eight team, true double elimination tournament. Any team with one loss drops to the losers bracket with an opportunity to play their way to the championship. Losers and winners bracket champions will face off in the state championship Saturday, July 30 at 3 p.m. If a team suffers their first loss in that game, a second, 6:30 p.m. championship game will be necessary to decide a winner.

• Contact Kevin Gullufsen at or call (907) 523-2228.

More in Sports

Photos by Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire
Sitka junior Grady Smith slides safely into home plate during the Wolves 13-7 win over the Ketchikan Kings for the Region V Baseball Championship on Saturday at Adair Kennedy Field.
Sitka baseball boys win regions

Wolves defeat Kayhi for title, JDHS still state bound

This combination image shows Juneau-Douglas High School: Kalé junior Etta Eller, Thunder Mountain High School senior Mallory Welling and Ketchikan High School senior Jason Lorig competing during the Region V Track & Field Championships Saturday May 20. All three fared well at the state championships. (Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire)
Southeast Division I track stars battle at state

Ketchikan’s Lorig, JD’s Eller and TM’s Welling place high

The JDHS Crimson Bears pose with their Region V Championship on Saturday at Sitka's Moller Field. (Courtesy Photo)
JDHS wins Region V softball Tournament

Crimson Bears defeat home field host Sitka Lady Wolves.

The Juneau-Douglas High School: Kalé Crimson Bears boys soccer team pose with their championship trophy after defeating Soldotna 4-0 for the ASAA DII Boys Soccer State Championship, Saturday, at West Anchorage High School (Courtesy Photo / JDHS Soccer)
JDHS boys win state soccer crown

Crimson Bears own pitch against Soldotna

The TMHS Falcons pose with their Sportsmanship Award at the Region V Softball Tournament on Saturday in Sitka. (Courtesy Photo)
Falcons fall from softball region tourney

TMHS leaves bases loaded for next season.

The Juneau-Douglas High School: Kalé Crimson Bears girls soccer team line up before their third/fifth place game against North Pole in the ASAA DII Girls Soccer State Championships, Saturday, at West Anchorage High School. (Courtesy Photo / JDHS Soccer)
Crimson Bears soccer girls finish fifth at state

Juneau-Douglas High School: Kalé falls to North Pole.

Juneau-Douglas High School: Kalé base runner Finn Kesey steals second base as Sitka’s Brett Ross awaits the throw and base umpire Keith Perkins watches the action during the Wolves 9-2 win over the Crimson Bears during the Region V Baseball Tournament, Friday, at Adair Kennedy Field. (Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire)
JDHS falls to Sitka in region baseball semifinal

TMHS eliminated from tournament by Ketchikan

This file photo shows Juneau-Douglas High School: Kalé Crimson Bears senior softball players Amira Andrews, Carlynn Casperson, Anna Dale, Gloria Bixby, Mariah Schauwecker, Zoey Billings and Bailey Hansen. JDHS plays in a semifinal against Sitka at 6 p.m. Friday in the Region V Tournament on Sitka’s Moller Field. (Courtesy Photo / JDHS Softball)
TMHS softball stays alive, at regions, JDHS stays undefeated

Lady Falcons eliminates Kayhi from Region V tournament, Crimson Bears top Wolves.

In this file photo from last week Juneau Douglas’s Peyton Wheeler (5) runs downfield with the ball during Juneau-Douglas and Kayhi’s 1-1 tie at Fawn Mountain. JDHS fell to Kenai in the state semifinals 2-0 on Friday. (Courtesy Photo / Christopher Mullen, Ketchikan Daily News)
JDHS soccer girls tumble in state semifinals

Crimson Bears fall to Kenai Kardinals

Most Read