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Story Last modified at 6:26 p.m. on Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Local nines swap luck as season comes to a close
Chugiak takes last three games, including shutout against Eagle River

Alaska Star staff

Hope you didn't blink.


Chugiak's Cameron Fritz delivers a pitch to Eagle River's Colby Leblanc during the Mustangs' 6-0 win on May 14 at Mulcahy Stadium. Fritz struck out eight Eagle River batters in the win.

Chugiak and Eagle River wrapped up their brief regular high school baseball seasons over the past week in very different fashions.

After getting off to a slow start this season, Chugiak finished with three straight wins to finish the year 3-4. The Mustangs took care of Bartlett 13-8 on May 12, blanked Eagle River 6-0 on May 14 and got past East 10-7 in the season finale on May 16 at Oberg Field.

The Wolves, meanwhile, limped to the finish line with losses to Service (20-3 on May 11), the Mustangs and South (16-4 on May 16). Eagle River finished 2-5.

Unfortunately for both local nines, only the top four teams during the regular season are eligible for the top half of the CIC tournament, from which state teams qualify. Instead, they'll both play in consolation playoffs that begin today.

Chugiak earned bragging rights with its 6-0 win over the Wolves on May 14. Cameron Fritz was the star of that one, striking out eight Wolves in the shutout.

Mustangs coach Bill Lierman said Fritz, who pounded the strike zone against the Wolves, has a chance to be one of the team's top pitchers once the summer American Legion season rolls around.

"He has the ability to do a lot of good things on the mound," Lierman said.

Fritz showed he can do a little at the plate, too, when he cracked a home run in Chugiak's 10-7 win over East.

Both teams will play three games in the upcoming playoffs. No. 5 seed Chugiak opens with Bartlett today at Mulcahy Stadium, plays East on May 21 at Mulcahy and wraps up the round-robin tourney with a showdown against Eagle River on May 23 at Oberg Field.

The No. 6 Wolves will face East today at Chad Bax Field in Anchorage, Bartlett on Saturday at Mulcahy and finish with the Mustangs.

Following the final high school games, players from both teams are likely to make up the majority of the area's American Legion team lineups. Lierman, who also coaches the Chugiak Legion team, said tryouts for that squad will be May 22 at Oberg Field. Players 15-19 are welcome to try out.

This article published in The Alaska Star on Wednesday, May 18, 2011.