Post 17 will face its toughest opponent of the season when the reigning high school state baseball champions invade the island for a four-game set starting Friday.
Wasilla Post 35, fresh off capturing its first high school state title the first week of June, has started the American Legion baseball season on a terror. The Road Warriors are 6-0 in league (8-1 overall) and sit in second place in the National Division with 24 points — one point behind Chugiak Post 33 (6-1 league, 9-1 overall).
“This is going to say a lot about our program,” Kodiak catcher Nathan James said. “If we don’t come out and play, we are going to get killed. If we come out and play, we will get a lot of eyes on our program ... we believe in ourselves.”
Wasilla boasts a roster that features the Southcentral Conference most valuable player Jakob Gilbert and two college players. They have a bevy of pitchers who throw in the mid-80s. Wasilla’s high school team defeated Kodiak, 10-0, in five innings, but this Bears’ team includes a few key players that were not involved in that game,
“As a team, everybody is ready,” James said. “We play good when we play loose and that is how we are going to beat this team.”
Post 17 is coming off a weekend where it swept East Anchorage in a league doubleheader by a combined score of 33-3. That evened the Bears record to 2-2 in league (2-5 overall). Kodiak is tied for fourth with Kenai in the American Division with 10 points.
‘It was a really big bounce-back,” James said.
Friday’s nonleague game begins at 6:30 p.m. at Baranof Field. Saturday’s league doubleheader starts at noon, while Sunday’s nonleague game begins at 1 p.m.