Chugiak clinches No. 1 seed for CIC playoffs

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 17, 2019

Billy Smith's home run in the fifth inning served as an explanation point for the Mustangs clinching the No. 1 seed for the upcoming Cook Inlet Conference playoffs.

 

Smith’s dinger put the finishing touches on a 9-6 win over Eagle River that moved Chugiak into a first-place tie with West.

 

But because Chugiak beat West 10-3 earlier this season in their only meeting, the Mustangs rode away with the top seed.

 

This is Chugiak's fifth straight CIC playoff appearance.

 

West beat South 6-4 to earn the No. 2 seed in a close game that came down to the final pitch.

 

This will be West's second straight playoff appearance. South is making its ninth straight trip to the CIC playoffs.

 

Eagle River will round out the top four playoff spots, sneaking in through the backdoor after East lost.

 

South, Eagle River and Dimond each finished 4-3 in CIC league play, but South beat both teams and Eagle River beat Dimond, with those head-to-head meetings serving as tiebreakers.

 

Eagle River is in the CIC dance for the first time since 2014.

 

Here is how it all went down:

 

Chugiak 9, Eagle River 6

Justin Nevells did a little bit of everything as he went 1-for-3 with two runs and stolen bases to go with 3.2 innings of relief to earn the win coming out of the bullpen.

 

Nevells allowed four hits and no walks in providing much-needed relief after Eagle River battled back after falling behind big early on.

 

Trystan Costanios and Christian Cambridge both doubled and drove in two runs for Chugiak, which led 8-0 after two innings. Half of their eight hits went for extra bases, including a solo home run from Smith.

 

Eagle River scored five runs in the third inning and Noah Lower tossed five innings of relief to make a game of it.

 

Ozario Ramos doubled and finished with two RBIs. Chase McGraw batted in two runs. Mason Piper 2-went-3 with an RBI and two runs.

 

Chugiak is now 14-2 versus Eagle River in CIC play since 2007.

 

West 6, South 4

Alex Alvarez earned a one-out save under the most difficult circumstances, ending the game on a strikeout with the bases loaded to end the threat.

 

West extended the lead from 4-2 to 6-2 with a pivotal two-run fifth inning after Shawn Jones doubled and later scored and Luke Langnes scored pinch-runner Max Fink with a sac fly.

 

Quinn Bates Janigo pitched 6.2 innings and scattered eight hits and two walks. He also drove in a run with the bat. Leland Wilson went 2-2 with an RBI and run. Revy Mack added an RBI. Jones and Fink each scored twice.

 

South's Dylan Maltby went 2-for-2 and reached base four times with a pair of walks. Jacob Woodall was 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run.

 

Gage Webster went 1-for-3 with a run and pitched five innings, striking out nine.

 

In the seventh inning, South created a little two-out magic to create a potential rally after Damian Mohl and Maltby singled, and Woodall walked to load the bases.

 

Exit Bates-Janigo. Enter Alvarez, who ended the game with a nasty breaking ball.

 

It was just West’s third win against South in the last 14 meetings dating to 2011.

 

Bartlett 10, Service 2

The Golden Bears broke out the bats and the pencils to update the history book, scoring their first CIC win since 2015 and earning their first victory against Service since 2006.

 

It made for a very special Senior Night.

 

Ryan Wood threw six inspiring innings, limiting the Cougars to two hits. He struck out six, walked nobody and carried a shutout in the fifth inning.

 

Bartlett’s Drake Hughes and Ian Byrd each went 2-for-2 with an RBI and run scored. Hughes doubled for the lone extra-base hit of the game.

 

The Bears stole 10 bases to help turn six hits and nine walks in double-figure runs - the first time that's happened for Bartlett in a league game since 2012.

 

Service's Carsen Sandau and Sam Bourdon recorded their team's only two base hits and combined to pitch all six innings.

 

This is Service’s worst start since 2008.

 

Dimond 7, East 0

Playing the role of spoiler, Dimond knocked East out of the playoff picture thanks to a pinpoint pitching performance from Ryan Henrickson.

 

Henrickson was brilliant with 10 strikeouts over six innings of work. He allowed just one base hit and issued two walks. Jack Dolan closed it out with a two-strikeout seventh inning.

 

Dimond’s Connor Cunningham went 3-for-4 with two doubles, two runs and an RBI.

 

Zach Jenkins had two RBIs and Adam Boyce scored twice. Henrickson and Luke Smith added RBIs.

 

East's Gavin Oakley delivered his team's only base knock; a double, no less.

 

At 5-6 overall, East has equaled its win total from the previous two seasons combined.

 

With three league wins, they have nearly matched their total (4) from the past two seasons.

 

East was gunning for first CIC playoff berth since 2008.