American Legion baseball teams eye postseason play

Tuesday, July 24, 2018 - 12:31
  • Eagle River pitcher Sterling Retzlaff delivers to the plate during the Wolves’ 2-1 loss to West on Monday, July 23, 2018 at Loretta French Field in Chugiak. American Legion teams begin postseason play July 27. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)

Chugiak and Eagle River’s American Legion Baseball teams are heading for the postseason, but they’ll be playing in different tournaments.

The Post 33 Mustangs will participate in the state tournament at Mulcahy Stadium, while the Wolves will play in the consolation Matson Invitational at Bartlett High. Both tournaments will be held July 27-31.

The Mustangs knocked off West on July 20, exploding for eight runs in the top of the seventh inning after the Eagles scored twice in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game at 3-3. The win lifted Chugiak to 14-3 heading into its final regular season game against Wasilla Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in Wasilla.

The outcome of the game will only factor into the standings for playoff seeding purposes, with both the Mustangs and Road Warriors clinching spots out of the league’s National Division. Also earning playoff berths from the division were first-place Juneau and fourth-place West.

Eagle River finished 6-12 in the league and 10-21 overall. The fifth-place Wolves picked up a 13-3 win over Bartlett on July 20. Braden Olmstead and Daniel Bodine had three hits each for the Wolves, who wrapped up the regular season with a 2-1 loss to West July 23 at Loretta French Field in Chugiak. In that game, Sterling Retzlaff took the hard-luck loss for the Wolves after giving up just six hits over two innings. Retzlaff lost a duel with West starter Leland Wilson, who gave up just one hit and struck out 10 batters in six innings for the Eagles.

The American Legion state tournament is July 27-31 at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage. Although the Wolves missed out on the playoffs by one spot in the standings, the team will still participate in the Matson Invitational, which will be held Friday through Tuesday at Bartlett High.

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