Chugiak Post 33 finishes second at state
Kenai beats Mustangs twice to claim title
Conner Cimmiyotti, right, watches Justin Schneider tag out Kenai's A.J. Hull as he dives for first base after being caught in a rundown in Game 1 of the American Legion AA State Tournament championship Saturday at Mulcahy Stadium.
Star photo by Mike Nesper
Kenai Post 20 defeated Chugiak Post 33 twice Saturday to win the American Legion AA State Tournament championship at Mulcahy Stadium.
In the first game, the Twins overcame a 6-3 deficit and scored five runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to edge out an 8-7 win and force a second game.
Chase Wilson went 3-for-5 with 4 RBIs and scored a run to lead Chugiak in Game 1. Conner Cimmiyotti, Deven Ferriss, Justin Schneider and Alex Bozzo each had two hits for the Mustangs.
Schneider pitched seven innings, giving up nine hits and three runs — one earned — and four strikeouts. Cameron Fritz got the loss, giving up three hits and five runs — four of them earned — in one inning.
Kenai won the second game 11-4.
Chugiak managed just three hits to Kenai's 14.
"They were hitting everything," Cimmiyotti said.
Fritz couldn't pinpoint a reason for the lack of offense.
"I don't know why we couldn't get anything going," he said.
Chugiak held a 2-0 lead until the Twins erupted for six runs in the bottom of the fifth. Kenai added two more runs in the sixth and seventh innings and one in the eighth.
Kenai only committed one error between the two games whereas Chugiak committed seven. That was the difference, Cimmiyotti said.
"They played two perfect games," he said. "That's what you have to do to win ball games."
Despite the loss, Chugiak, which entered the tournament as the sixth seed, showed how good the Mustangs are, Fritz said.
"We exceeded most people's expectations," he said. "We showed our program is still one of the top programs."
Chugiak will end its season at the American Legion NWCART tournament in Burley, Idaho. The Mustangs' first game is set for Friday, Aug. 10 against Utah.
"I think it will be good for our guys," head coach Bill Lierman said. "We'll get after it."
Two local players received two of the tournament's top honors. Cimmiyotti won the Gold Glove award, and Eagle River's David Fuller was named Outstanding Pitcher.
Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727 or firstname.lastname@example.org