Mustangs fall just short at BP Invitational baseball tournament
Chugiak’s bid to reach the finals of the BP Invitational American Legion Baseball tournament came up agonizingly short against the eventual tournament champions Saturday, June 29 at a smoky Mulcahy Stadium.
The Post 33 Mustangs lost 1-0 on a walk-off RBI single by Dakota Benner of the Napoleon (Ohio) River Bandits, who blasted Auburn (Rhode Island) 12-1 in the championship game Saturday to win their third tournament title.
Chugiak got a standout pitching performance by Garrett Nevells, who allowed just one earned run on four hits in 6 ⅔ innings pitched. The Mustangs also got a key outfield assist from Christian Cambridge to help keep the game scoreless, according to an account of the game by Alaska American Legion Baseball media director Van Williams posted to the league’s website.
Cambridge went 2 for 3 at the plate and Nevells had the only other hit for Chugiak, which fell to 13-3 overall on the season.
Mustangs shortstop Justin Nevells won the tournament’s Gold Glove Award after recording a 1.000 fielding average in 22 chances, racking up 10 assists and helping to turn two double plays.
The tournament was played in persistently hot, smoky conditions as a thick layer of smoke from the Swan Lake fire on the Kenai Peninsula lingered over the Anchorage, which saw record high temperatures Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Red-hot Chugiak stormed into the semifinals with a No. 1 seed after outslugging Service 13-7 on Saturday, getting a three-run homer from Ian Frizelle and 3-for-3, three RBI performances by DJ Davis and Trystan Costanios. Frizelle had four RBIs for Chugiak, which had 14 hits, including doubles by Costanios, Davis, Cambridge and Mason Peace.
On Friday, Chugiak tied West 3-3 and knocked off Auburn 4-1.
Against West, the Mustangs got a 4-for-5 day from Costanios at the plate and a stellar start from Ian Frizelle, who struck out seven batters and gave up three runs in seven innings pitched.
In Friday’s second game, Sam Hall stymied Auburn with a seven-inning complete game four-hitter, striking out three and walking two in his gem.
Cambridge had a two-run homer for Chugiak, which also got a solo blast from Costanios.
National Division Standings (Through June 30) W L
Wasilla 11 0
Juneau 9 0
Chugiak 7 2
West 5 5
East 4 7
Eagle River 3 10
Bartlett 1 10
Fairbanks 1 5