The American Legion AA state tournament begins today (July 25) at Mulcahy Stadium — and it’s anyone’s title to claim, said Chugiak Post 33 head coach Bill Lierman. “There’s a slew of teams that have an opportunity to win the state championship,” he said. “It comes down to who’s playing the best baseball.”
Eight Chugiak-Eagle River Chinooks earned a spot on the Alaska Baseball League All-Star team. Those included outfielders Collin Radack and Griffin Gum, infielders Tyler Krahn and Drew Turbrin, catcher Daniel Salters and pitchers Mike Jeffreys, Asa Johnson and Devin Stanton.
Four Chinooks — Tyler Krahn, Daniel Salters, Ryan Shackelford and Drew Turbin — have a perfect fielding percentage through a combined 78 Alaska Baseball League games. Mike Jeffreys’ 30 strikeouts have him tied for second among ABL pitchers as of Monday, July 15.
Chugiak Post 33 (13-5-1) is currently in third place heading into its final four games of the season. Chugiak hosts Juneau today (July 18) at 6:30 p.m. before traveling to Kenai the following day for a doubleheader starting at 12:30 p.m. at Coral Seymour Memorial Park. The Mustangs end their regular season against Juneau on Saturday, July 20 at 5 p.m. at Oberg Field.
Tom Tomsich’s bib number was a good omen. Wearing No. 1, the Anchorage man won the 5K Bear Paw Classic in 15 minutes, 22 seconds on a hot Saturday, July 13. Robert Walgren edged Tomsich at the finish line last year — both men finished in 15:11.
Former Knik Little League umpire Cliff Gilmore stepped onto a baseball field in Alaska for perhaps the last time Sunday, July 7. His days of calling balls and strikes behind him, Cliff and his wife, Dorothy, were honored prior to the Chinooks’ game for their years of service to the community.
Juneau fielded an American Legion AA team this year for the first time in more than a decade. The league is hoping that trend will continue. Last week, the league announced it is seeking to add AA teams for the 2014 season. New teams are being considered in Palmer, Kodiak, Ketchikan and a second squad in Fairbanks.
Eagle River picked up a pair of American Legion wins over Kenai to improve to 5-7 in league play and 8-10 overall. The Wolves earned a 6-5, come-from-behind win in extra innings Saturday, June 29 at Coral Seymour Memorial Park. Trailing by two in a league game scheduled for seven innings, Eagle River’s Ricky Ayala hit a two-run single in the seventh to tie the game at 3-3.
Chugiak-Eagle River didn’t just snap its nine-game Alaska Baseball League losing streak — they obliterated it. The entire lineup scored at least once and eight different Chinooks had multiple hits and drove in at least one run in a 17-2 rout of the Anchorage Glacier Pilots on June 27 at Mulcahy Stadium.