CIC Semifinal: Eagle River survives and advances to final
Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 26, 2021
Eagle River 5, Dimond 2
It wasn't always pretty, but the 3rd-seeded Wolves survived and advanced with a 5-2 win over the 2nd-seeded Lynx in the semifinals of the CIC Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium.
Eagle River overcame a half dozen errors thanks to pinpoint pitching of Noah Lower and Josh Thompson. Lower started and picked up the winning decision after allowing just two runs (one earned) in 5.1 innings. Thompson picked up a five-out save.
With the win, the Wolves punched their ticket to Thursday's CIC championship game and earned on of the league's three automatic berths to next week's state tournament. Eagle River last qualified for state in 2014.
In the fourth inning, Eagle River (10-3) scratched a run against dominating Dimond starter Garrett Lick to tie the game at 1-1. Josh Thompson led off the fourth with a single and later scored on Connor Johnson's RBI single, snapping Lick's scoreless streak of 18.2 innings.
In the fifth inning, Eagle River loaded the bases after Cam Witte walked, Lower singled and Thompson walked. All three scored after back-to-back fielding errors by the usually sure-handed Lynx, who came into the game ranked No. 2 in the CIC in team fielding percentage.
Dimond's Alex Bruce came to play. He scored his team's first run in the sescond inning and he drove in his team's second run with a sac fly in the sixth inning.
But he wasn't finished. Bruce also pitched 1.2 innings and registered back-to-back strikeouts with the bases loaded to get out of the seventh inning.
Lick deserved better. The rocket right-hander struck out seven batters in five innings. He scattered two hits and five walks, but only one of his four runs was earned.
Lick leapfrogged Chugiak's Camden Costanios for the CIC strikeout lead with 36, two more than the Chugiak ace. South's Isaac Johnson is fifth with 22 and he will pitch later.
The CIC title game is at 6:45 p.m. at the Stadium between Eagle River and the winner of the late semifinal between No. 1 South and No. 4 Chugiak.
Dimond (11-2) will play in Thursday's CIC third-place game against the South/Chugiak loser at 4:15 p.m. at Mulcahy.