Last week of season leaves local American Legion squad "dogged"
Always a big deal, at the BP Invitational Tournament, the Chugiak and Eagle River American Legion team coaches were left to look at the bigger picture in considering their pitching rotations during last weekend’s tournament.
“We had 10 games in 11 days,” said Chugiak manager Doug Henie. “We have big league games on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday this coming week,” he added, noting matchups with Juneau, East, and Fairbanks, respectively.
Despite losses to South Anchorage and eventual BP tournament champ, Columbia (Tenn.), Henie said the team finished strong, defeating Eagle River, 12-2, Saturday, to finish the tourney with a 2-2 record.
“We didn’t let down. Beating Eagle River was a good way to end the tournament for us,” he added.
Chugiak is currently leading the National Legion division with 49 points, with only two of the season’s 18 league games remaining. Eagle River, with six games remaining, is second, with 39 points. Teams are awarded four points for league victories, and only the two three teams from each division advance on state tournament play. Two wild card teams also advanced according to most points amassed.
Henie said he was pleased with the team’s pitching throughout the tournament and was able to spread out the duties, allowing for some of the squad’s stronger arms to be available for upcoming games.
The coach credited Blake Kutch and Sam Hanson for great games on the hill for the Mustangs during the tournament.
Eagle River went 1-3 in the BP tournament, with their lone victory the 7-1 dismantling of Dimond in first-round action July 10.
Despite leading for much of the game, the Wolves suffered a crushing 7-6 loss to the Strathmore (Canada) Reds Friday, initiating the team’s three-game slide with subsequent losses to Colchester (Vermont) and Chugiak Post 33.
After trailing 4-0 against Vermont, Eagle River plated two in the sixth, helped by a RBI-double from Mike Rosenberg, then game up four in the top of the seventh en route to the 8-2 loss.
Eagle River was held to only three hits, two from Rosenberg and one from Cameron Fabacher, with Dirscherl collecting three steals and a run scored.
In action Sunday between Chugiak and Eagle River, timely hits by the Mustangs resulted in early and frequent runs, leading to the 10-run victory.
Rosenberg, who paced Eagle River in the tournament with four hits in 11 plate appearances, led the Wolves by going 2-3 at the plate, one of which was an RBI double. Fabacher also cracked a hit for Eagle River, and Dirscherl stole three bases.
Dirscherl, Fabacher and Lauren Frost ended the tournament with three hits each.
Deven Ferris scored five of the team’s dozen runs, with doubles from Zach Brueggemann, Brandon Neal and Sam Hanson. Lone hits were provided by Ferris, Jimmy Lanier and Blake Kutch for the Mustangs.