State Legion tournament starts today
The American Legion AA state tournament begins today (July 25) at Mulcahy Stadium — and it’s anyone’s title to claim, said Chugiak Post 33 head coach Bill Lierman.
“There’s a slew of teams that have an opportunity to win the state championship,” he said. “It comes down to who’s playing the best baseball.”
Chugiak and Eagle River proved that last year when the sixth-seeded Mustangs finished second and No. 8 Eagle River was third.
Chugiak (14-7-1) is ranked fourth in the 10-team tournament and takes on No. 5 Dimond (12-9-1) today at 6 p.m. East and West aren’t competing at state due to a lack of players, according to Legion media director Van Williams.
Playing nine games Outside in addition to the regular season has kept Chugiak busy this year. The team has handled it well, Lierman said.
“I was really pleased with how my players performed throughout the season,” he said.
When the team finally had a day off, eight players attended an optional hitting practice Sunday, July 21.
“That tells me right there guys are motivated and want to get better,” Lierman said.
Eighth-seed Eagle River (10-12) plays No. 9 Bartlett (8-14) at 2:30 p.m. today. The Wolves downed Bartlett 13-7 on July 18 at Loretta French Park.
Kyle Frost, David Fuller and Colby LeBlanc each had two hits for the Wolves.
Eagle River racked up six runs in the fifth inning to break a 4-4 tie. Lauren Frost hit a three-run double for the Wolves, who got three runs from Ricky Ayala and two from R.J. Dirscherl.
Throwing strikes is key for success at state, Wolves’ head coach Gregg Frost said.
“It will come down to pitching,” he said. “It always does.”
Eagle River has a solid defense, Frost said, and its offense takes care of itself.
“We always seem to manufacture runs,” he said.
Here’s a look at how Chugiak and Eagle River finished the regular season:
Wasilla 12, Eagle River 1
Top-seeded Wasilla (18-4) cruised to a 12-1 win over visiting Eagle River on Saturday, July 20 at McManus Field.
Juneau wins 2 over Chugiak
Visiting Juneau earned a pair of wins over Chugiak at Oberg Field on Thursday and Saturday.
Juneau used a six-run seventh inning to down Chugiak 11-4 on Thursday before edging the Mustangs 5-4 two days later.
On Thursday, Juneau’s Tanner Petrie struck out 16 and held Chugiak to six hits in a complete game effort. Deven Ferriss had two hits for Chugiak.
Chugiak sweeps Kenai
Chugiak swept a doubleheader against the Twins on Friday, July 19 at Coral Seymour Memorial Park.
Alex Hess, Chase Gall and Vander LeKites had two RBI’s apiece to help Chugiak win the first game 9-4. Conner Cimmiyotti had three hits to lead the Mustangs.
Christian Bohrer’s game-winning RBI single in the top of the ninth helped Chugiak to a 5-4 win in the second game, which was scheduled for seven innings.
Zach Brueggemann’s three hits led the Mustangs, who also got a pair of hits from Bohrer and Deven Ferriss and a double from Gall.
Eagle River 10, Dimond 2
Trent Talley and Cameron Fabacher threw a combined three-hitter in Eagle River’s 10-2 win over Dimond on July 17 at Chad Bax Field.
Up by two, Michael Rosenberg put the game out of reach with a three-run triple in the sixth inning. Fuller went 2-for-3 with three RBI’s, and LeBlanc, Fabacher and Dirscherl each scored twice for the Wolves.