Wolves' win sets up storybook semifinal


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Eagle River's Chris Parker reacts after the Wolves defeated Fairbanks on Sunday to earn a spot in the American Legion AA State Tournament semifinal Wednesday at Mulcahy Stadium against Chugiak.

Star photo by Mike Nesper

Eagle River beat Fairbanks Post 11 9-8 on Sunday, July 29 at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage. The Wolves' win sets up a showdown Wednesday against Chugiak with an automatic berth in the state championship on the line. The two squads are the only undeafeated teams remaining in the tournament, and each is guaranteed to finish no worse than third overall.

Eagle River shortstop Wesley Bennice turned an unassisted double play to end the game with Fairbanks threatening in the ninth.

Chugiak and Eagle River will play at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 1 at Mulcahy.

Bennice went 5 and 1/3 innings on the mound to get the win for Eagle River. Chris Parker pitched the final 3 and 2/3 innings in relief.

Fuller went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and drove in four runs. Parker, Ricky Ayala and Collin Metzel each had two hits for Eagle River (12-19), the tournament's No. 8 seed. Fifth-seeded Fairbanks fell to 19-10 on the season.

The upstart Wolves, which earlier this season endured a 10-game losing streak, have never advanced to the semifinal round of the state tournament.

Eagle River is peaking at the right time, Bennice said. 

"We've just gotten hot," he said. "We picked a really good time to start playing baseball." 

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