Eagle River, Wasilla, Chugiak win on Day 3 of State

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | Jul 26, 2020

Eagle River 8, South 4

 

Eagle River used a five-run first inning and five innings of solid relief from Ryan Gray to power an 8-4 victory over previously undefeated South on Day 3 of the Alliance State Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

The Wolves moved to 2-0 in the Alyeska pool and positioned themselves to control their own destiny with one game left in pool play.

 

Orazio Ramos and Stefan Retzlaff each delivered two-run base hits in the first inning to get the party started for Eagle River. Braden Olmstead beat out a double-play relay to produce a run and extend the inning, which led to Retzlaff’s hit and a 5-0 lead.

 

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Olmstead also played a key role in Eagle River’s two-run fifth inning that pushed the lead to 8-3. With runners on first and second, the Wolves called for a hit-and-run and Olmstead executed perfectly as his single scored Sterling Retzlaff from second base and sent Noah Lower from first to third base.

 

Lower started the game and pitched two innings before leaving because of pitch count, saving him for later. Exit Lower. Enter Gray, who immediately induced a double play before South struck for a couple of runs, keyed by Josh McGovern’s RBI double that pulled the Wolverines within 6-3.

 

We had a game now.

 

Neither team scored in the fourth inning. But Eagle River struck for a pair of runs in the fifth inning keyed by the hit-and-run and South got one back in the bottom half of the fifth on Brandt Hultberg’s second RBI of the night.

 

Credit Gray for getting it done out of the bullpen, scattering five hits and four walks and getting some nice defensive plays from Sterling Retzlaff at second base.

 

Eagle River and South have split their four games this season.

 

South reliever Gavin Partch (Class of 2023) was brought into the game in the first inning with his team trailing 5-0. Hardly ideal, but the young fella held his own and threw 4.1 innings of effective relief.

 

Catcher Josh Costello had a day, going 3-for-3 with a double, walk, stolen base, two runs and RBI. He also threw out a base runner trying to steal a bag.

 

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McGovern reached base all four times on a double and three walks. 

 

South is off Monday as the Wolverines will have to watch the final game of the Alyeska pool between Eagle River and Chugiak.

 

Wasilla 3, Juneau 0

 

Bryce Frazier pitched a masterful 3-hit complete-game shutout to help Wasilla beat Juneau 3-0 and secure a spot in Tuesday’s semifinals of the Alliance State Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

It was an economical effort for the right-hander, who needed just 80 pitches and allowed the Midnight Suns only two runners to reach second base.

 

Wasilla finished 3-0 to win the the Denali Pool and will enjoy a previously scheduled day off Monday before getting back to work Tuesday.

 

This was the second meeting of the season between these teams, with Wasilla winning both games by shutout. Juneau beat Wasilla 13-8 in last year’s state title game.

 

There would be no slugfest this time around. Frazier mixed up locations and had his breaking ball dancing all over the strike zone.

 

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He threw off-speed and off-off-speed, shifting gears like nicely.

 

Ten of his 18 outs came on fly balls, with outfielders Jacob Hansen, Jacob Gilbert and Nolan Murphy staying busy.

 

Hansen made two fine catches, one near the wall in the first inning and another against the fence in the sixth inning.

 

All three of Wasilla’s runs came after the leadoff batter reached base. In the third inning, it was Logan Bailey. In the fourth inning, it was Waylon Payne. In the sixth inning it was Ty Dudley.

 

Gilbert’s RBI double made it 1-0. Hansen’s sac fly pushed the lead to 2-0. Max Wanser drove in the final run to make it 3-0.

 

Juneau starter Brock McCormick was strong during his five innings of work. He struck out five and allowed four hits and two runs before the bullpen coughed up another.

 

Reliever Isaiah Nelson cleaned up a bases-loaded no-out mess by allowing only one of the three inherited three runs to score.

 

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Juneau managed only three hits by Porter Nelson, Luis Mojica and Christian Ludeman.

 

The Midnight Suns slipped to 1-2 at the state tournament will rely on tiebreakers to advance.

 

Chugiak 4, Kenai 3

 

Connor Lanehart smacked a sharp single to score Justin Nevells from third base with the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning, lifting Chugiak to a 4-3 win over Kenai on Day 3 of the Alliance State Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium.

 

Nevells reached base to lead off the inning and stole second base before moving to third base on Riley Rugere’s single. That brought up Lanehart, who walked it off.

 

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Nevells also picked up the win in relief of starter Zach Cole, who carried a 1-hit shutout into the seventh inning before settling for a no decision after Kenai scored three runs to tie the game at 3-3.

 

Cole’s only hiccup came in the seventh when he walked the first two batters he faced. Exit Cole. Enter Nevells, who didn’t pitch poorly, but credit the Twins for coming up clutch to tie the game.

 

Kenai came into this game with an 0-2 tournament record and trailed 3-0 going into its last at-bats. Rather than sulk, the Twins rose to the occasion.

 

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Daltyn Deborski and Karl Wikstrom drew walks. Jacob Belger’s infield since scored Deborski. A sac fly by Mose Hayes scored Wikstrom to make it 3-2. And With two outs, Tanner Ussing laced a since to score Belger and tie the game.

 

Kenai looked to take the lead after Harrison Metz’s double put Ussing on third. Ussing had no chance to score because Chugiak did well to get the ball in quickly.

 

Nevells ended the threat with a strikeout, putting the Mustangs in position to win in the home half of the seventh.

 

This was the first time these teams have met at state since 2015 when Chugiak beat Kenai in the championship game.