Mustangs advance to Legion title game
Second straight trip to finals for Post 33
Chugiak's Alex Hess, left and Chase Wilson celebrate after the Mustangs defeated Juneau Post 25 9-3 in the winner's bracket of the American Legion State Tournament on Tuesday, July 30 at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage. The win advanced Chugiak Post 33 to the title game for the second consecutive year.
Star photo by Matt Tunseth
Chugiak is chasing a championship once again.
Starting pitcher Chase Wilson went 8 and 1/3 innings and Chugiak got a 5-run fifth inning to key a 9-3 win over Juneau Post 25 Tuesday, July 30 at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage. The winner's bracket victory advanced Post 33 to the championship for the second consecutive season.
"We're stoked to be back," Wilson said.
Conner Cimmiyotti relieved Wilson with two on and one out in the ninth and promptly induced a game-ending double play.
Alex Hess was named Player of the Game after going 3-for-5 with 3 runs scored and an RBI. Deven Ferriss (2-for-4) and Cimmiyotti (2-for-5) each had 2 RBIs for Chugiak, which also advanced through the winner's bracket in the 2012 season before dropping a pair to Kenai Post 20 in the finals.
Cimmiyotti said the experience of getting so close to a title last season is what kept Chugiak going this time around.
"We want redemption after last year," he said.
Chugiak will face either South or Juneau in the finals at 2 p.m. Thursday. Whichever team comes out of the loser's bracket would have to beat the Mustangs twice Thursday to win the title.
Although they're the tournament's lone undefeated team, Chugiak coach Bill Lierman said the Mustangs can't make the mistake of thinking they've got a cushion heading into Thursday.
"We've got to play clean baseball," Lierman said.
Lierman had high praise for his starting pitcher, who gave up just six hits.
"He's gotten better as the whole season has gone on," Lierman said.
Although Chugiak blew the game open, Lierman said Wilson did a good job of battling through the early part of the game.
"He basically lifted our team through five innings," LIerman said.
First baseman Chase Gall said Chugiak learned last season not to be complacent heading into a championship match-up.
"We know to take these games seriously," he said.
Gall said it's a privilidge to have another shot at the title, and he and the Mustangs plan to make the most of their opportunity at redemption.
"It's great to have a second chance," he said.