Chugiak-Eagle River swept a home-and-home series against Mat-Su to start the 2013 Alaska Baseball League season. After earning a 6-4 win in extra innings at Hermon Brothers Field on Sunday, June 9, the Chinooks defeated the Miners 3-1 the following night at Loretta French Park. Pitching keyed the home opening victory, head coach Jon Groth said. The Chinooks five pitchers allowed just four hits and only one walk.
In a sure sign the team’s support is growing, many fans showed up to this year’s Chugiak-Eagle River Chinooks home opener already wearing their team’s red, white and blue gear. One of those fans was little 3-year-old Theodore Manolas IV, who toddled into Loretta French Park wearing a proud grin and a blue Chinooks t-shirt.
Chugiak Post 33 swept a three-game series against Fairbanks on Saturday and Sunday, June 8-9 at Marlin Field. The Mustangs won two league games and a nonleague contest to improve to 6-1 overall and 4-1 in the conference. Chugiak won 9-3 on Saturday then followed with 5-2 and 14-7 (nonleague) victories Sunday.
Chugiak Soccer Club Tsunami defended its Alaska Airlines Cup title with a 1-0 win over Cook Inlet Velocity in the U-13 girls division June 2 at Kincaid Park. Nicole Bedwell scored the game-winning goal and was given the Ina K award — which is presented in honor of the tournament’s original namesake Ina Kristiansen.
A light rain and cool temperatures didn’t dampen the spirits of current and past players, parents and coaches who gathered on the infield at Lions Park on Saturday, June 1 to celebrate Knik Little League’s 50th anniversary.
Two local ballplayers earned top honors following the 2013 high school season. With a .528 batting average and 10 RBI’s in 10 games, Chugiak’s Chase Wilson won the Big Stick award. Eagle River’s David Fuller earned the Gold Glove award with a perfect fielding percentage on 45 attempts and 32 assists in seven games, five at shortstop and two at third base.
The Chugiak-Eagle River Chinooks’ second Alaska Baseball League season is just three days away. The Chinooks play at Mat-Su on Sunday, June 9 at 4 p.m. before hosting the Miners for their home opener the following day at Loretta French Park at 7 p.m. Prior to the start, Mayor Dan Sullivan will throw out the first pitch and a brief welcoming ceremony will be held.
Chugiak’s state softball tournament ended the same way as the conference tournament — a two-run loss to West High. The last three games between the Mustangs and Eagles have been two-run contests, with West coming out ahead twice. “Every game we’ve had with West has been a nail biter,” Chugiak head coach Jim Huber said.
To finish as the best high school softball team in the state, pitching is essential. “It always begins and ends in the circle,” Chugiak head coach Jim Huber said. For the Mustangs, who finished third at state last year, that puts the pressure on Carly Metcalf and Katy Bakker.
Chugiak High is losing more than six decades of coaching experience. Three longtime coaches, Jon Schroeder, Kevin Fullmer and Top Dill, stepped down following the 2012-13 school year.