Key returner bolsters Chugiak Post 33 lineup
Fritz expected to add leadership, versatility
Chase Gall delivers a pitch against East on Friday, June 1 at Oberg Field. The Mustangs won 10-1.
Manager Bill Lierman is happy to have Cameron Fritz back on Chugiak Post 33.
Fritz, a 2011 Chugiak High graduate, won last year’s “Big Stick” award during the high school season. He also led the American Legion team with a .387 batting average, 18 RBIs and finished second in the state with 15 stolen bases.
But Fritz — who also pitches — brings a lot more than offense to the team, Lierman said.
“A lot of kids look up to him,” he said. “He’s a great kid.”
Nearly everyone on the high school team is playing Legion, Lierman said. Fritz is the only player Chugiak added for the summer.
“The addition of him will help us a lot,” Lierman said. “He’ll come in and do a good job for us.”
The Mustangs had success in May, Lierman said, and he wants to continue that progress this summer.
“During the high school season, we improved every week,” he said. “Especially the last week.”
Chugiak earned the No. 3 seed in the Cook Inlet Conference playoffs, but lost every postseason game to finish 4-6 overall. However, Lierman said, the team benefited from the CIC tourney.
“Even though our record didn’t show it, we played some much cleaner games,” he said. “There’s a lot of things to be excited about going into this summer.”
Chugiak opened the Legion season with a 3-1 win over South on May 26 at Mulcahy Stadium. Chugiak then cruised past East 10-1 on Friday, June 1 at Oberg Field.
Fritz, Chase Wilson and Morgan Spohn had two RBIs apiece for Chugiak. Chase Gall struck out seven through six innings pitched.
Chugiak improved to 3-0 with a 9-5 win over Dimond on Tuesday, June 5 at Chad Bax Field.
Chugiak has a busy week with five games in six days. Chugiak hosts Bartlett today (Thursday, June 7) at 6:30 p.m. and East on Friday, June 8 the same time at Oberg Field. Chugiak then travels to Kenai for a doubleheader Sunday, June 10 at noon then hosts Eagle River on Tuesday, June 12 at 6:30 p.m. at Oberg Field.
Chugiak’s roster is full of solid ball players, Lierman said, and they can play with anyone.
“We’ll compete,” he said. “It doesn’t matter who’s in the lineup.”
Lierman said he doesn’t have specific goals set for the season. His only concern is helping his players improve throughout the year.
“Once we start getting into a rotation, it doesn’t matter who we play,” he said. “That’s always been my philosophy.
“Let’s just focus on the process and let the results speak for themselves,” Lierman said. “If we have a good process, we’re gonna be OK.”
Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727 or email@example.com