CIC Tournament Second Round: Chugiak 9, Dimond 3

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Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 24, 2023

Preston Rau pitched a complete game and brother Hunter drove in a pair of runs as the Mustangs scored in five of their six at-bats in a CIC Tournament second round win at Mulcahy Stadium.

A pitch-to-contact hurler, Rau scattered six hits, induced four 1-2-3 innings and got two double plays behind him. Twice, he retired six straight batters.

This was Rau's second complete-game effort in as many starts at the CIC Tournament.

Fisher Sims walked twice, stole second base twice and scored twice. He also ripped an RBI double in the fourth to make it 5-2. Michael Boudreau and Andrew Gruszynski each went 2-for-3 with an RBI and Tyler Cage scores twice.

Chugiak's nine runs were more than the Mustangs scored in four previous tournament games combined (8) in 2021 and 2022.

Boudreau gave Chugiak a 1-0 lead in the first inning after poking an RBI base hit to right field.

Dimond rapped out three hits against Rau in the third inning and took a 1-2 on consecutive RBIs from Pama Brito and Shane Stephan. Michael Bretzke got the party started with a leadoff single and went to third on Aiden Ray's double, the fifth for the Lynx in two tournament games.

Ray started at pitcher and went 4.1 innings, striking out four for the Lynx (10-8). He finished the season with a CIC-best 50 Ks in a CIC-high 31.1 innings.

Sims scored on a balk to tie the game and two Lynx throwing errors helped Chugiak (12-6) take the lead for good.

Dimond freshman Carson Engstrom went 2-for-3 and delivered a two-out RBI single that pulled his team within 6-3 in the sixth inning.

Hunter Rau's two-run double and Landon Luebke's RBI groundout came in the seventh inning off Ryan Swanstrom, who had given up two runs in his previous 18 innings before giving up two runs in the seventh.

With the win, Chugiak avenged an 8-6 loss last week to the Dimond and took a 31-30 edge in the all-time series dating back to 2019.

The fourth-seeded Mustangs advanced to the CIC Tournament semifinals and will face No. 1 seed Eagle River (12-5) on Thursday night at 7:30. The teams split their previous four meetings in the regular season, with the Wolves winning the coveted league game.