CIC Tournament 2nd Round: Chugiak 2, West 1

Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 24, 2022

Chugiak’s brother battery of pitcher Preston Rau and catcher Hunter Rau stole the show.

The No. 3 Mustangs’ twin powers took center stage in their team’s 2-1 victory over No. 6 West in the second round of the CIC Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium, as Preston threw a 70-pitch complete game and Hunter threw out two baserunners.

Preston Rau enjoyed a five-pitch first inning, had three baserunners wiped away on the basepaths, benefited from a 6-4-3 double play and racked up a trio of 1-2-3 frames.

West starter Caden Greenhalgh was just as sharp, holding the Mustangs off the scoreboard with five straight shutout frames.

The pitcher’s duel lasted all of 1 hour and 19 minutes.

Both teams did all of its scoring in the first inning before the pitchers turned Mulcahy into a bagel factory, exchange zeroes on the scoreboard.

West’s Beckett Stolp singled on the first pitch of the game. Cyrus Clendaniel singled on the second pitch of the game. By the third pitch, it was 1-0 on Orion Halliburton’s sac fly. Two pitches later the inning was over on a double play.

Chugiak tied the game after Jayden Steckel doubled down the third-base line and later scored on Hunter Rau’s sac fly. Michael Boudreau, who had walked, eventually scored on a wild pitch to make it 2-1.

From there, Preston Rau was rocking and rolling. He retired eight straight before Clendaniel singled in the fourth inning – and then got erased by Hunter Rau’s rocket right arm.

In the sixth inning Stolp singled and met the same fate on the basepaths as Hunter Rau chopped him down at second base.

Chugiak’s left fielder Carter McCormack made a head-first diving catch to rob Gabe Caternicchio of a base hit in the sixth inning to deny the Eagles a first and third situation, maybe even saved a run.

The next batter bounded a ball to shortstop Gabe Gruszynski, who went to third for the 6-5 putout to wipe away a runner in scoring position.

Preston Rau was loving it. He struck out four and walked zero over his sensational seven-inning performance.

Greenhalgh – who threw a no-hitter earlier this season – suffered a tough-luck loss as he struck out seven over six innings and didn’t allow a run after the first inning.

With the win, Chugiak advanced to tomorrow’s 5 p.m. semifinal against No. 2 Eagle River.