Wolves and Mustangs pick up their bats
The Chugiak baseball team has the added benefit of playing three games against Kodiak earlier this month, as both Mustangs and Eagle River Wolves baseball teams field scrimmage games against Lathrop this Saturday at Mulcahy Stadium.
Chugiak coach Doug Henie said the team went 1-2 against the Kodiak Bears, enjoying the opportunity to play on the squad’s new turf field, similar to the playing surface at Mulcahy.
After being rained out for their flight there on April 2, the team arrived midday on April 3, getting one game that day, prior to the double-header April 4.
The experience provided an invaluable opportunity for the outfielders, who hadn’t practiced outside prior to the games.
“That was probably our weakness,” Henie said. “We hadn’t seen any fly balls at all while practicing inside.”
Overall, however, he said he was pleasantly surprised with the young Mustang lineup.
Chugiak won the lone contest Friday, before dropping two Saturday.
The coach said the objective was not to win necessarily, but to give all his pitchers some time on the mound in game situation.
Defensively the team did well, but Henie was more pleased with the offense.
“I was really happy with the hitting. We were fairly aggressive at the plate,” he said.
Chugiak plays Fairbanks’ school Lathrop in Saturday’s scrimmage at Mulcahy beginning at 10 a.m.
Eagle River scrimmage
Perhaps the Mustangs will soften up the northern squad, who completes their southern-swing double-header against the Eagle River Wolves varsity club later in the day.
Eagle River varsity coach Gregg Frost said he expects the team to show pretty well in the scrimmage.
“I don’t think we really have a weakness. Unlike previous seasons, we are not always going to be trying to plug a hole, when we pull one of our players onto the mound to pitch,” said Frost, now in his sixth season with the Wolves.
The coach said that pitching could be the team’s strength, with at least seven players with “a lot of experience on the mound.”
Frost said the team is fortunate in that some of the athletes have opted to specialize in the sport, not lured into other winter or spring sports.
“We have some kids who have come a long way over the winter,” he said. “Some have had six months of hitting practice.”
Frost isn’t concerned with a win or loss in the team’s scrimmage.
“My goal is that I just want to make sure I see everyone in a game situation,” he said.