Chugiak has grand slam, triple play in win over Patriots

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Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 30, 2019

Chugiak 13, North Pole 3

Led by Trystan Costanios, the Mustangs did a little bit of everything with a grand slam, inside-the-park home run and triple play in a dominating victory in five innings at the ASAA/First National Bank State Baseball Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium.

Costanios finished 2-for-2 with two home runs and six RBIs as Chugiak moved into the state semifinals for the third time since 2015.

The senior catcher hit a grand slam over the left-field wall in the first inning and then shot the left-center gap in the third inning and scored after the two outfields collided.

Costanios has three home runs on his last five at-bats, dating to last week’s CIC playoff game against West Anchorage. He also has nine RBIs.

Chugiak’s Ian Frizelle, Billy Smith and Christian Cambridge each ripped 2-RBI base hits to help the Mustangs (16-2) score all their runs in the first three innings.

The Cook Inlet Conference champions ended the game with a triple play, thanks to left fielder Camden Costanios, who chased down a laser near the warning track to make an over-the-shoulder catch before doubling up the base runners.

Coming to the plate with runners at first and second, North Pole’s Alex Garcia crushed one to left that looked like an easy extra-base hit before Costanios jumped on his horse and tracked it down, much to the surprise of the Patriots.

North Pole (9-6) bounced back from a tough start to create some momentum in the fourth inning. It’s never easy to fight back from a 13-run deficit, but credit the Mid-Alaska Conference runner-ups for doing just that.

Gavin Fischer doubled, drove in an RBI and scored a run to highlight a three-run top half. Alex Kazense and Alex Garcia each 1-for-3. Mathias Allen-Huisma collected his team’s first hit of the night.

And North Pole pitcher Brock Weatherspoon keyed the bottom half after he wiggled out of a bases-loaded jam to keep Mustangs off the scoreboard for the first time in the game.

Chugiak has now defeated North Pole in each of the last two state tournaments.

Wasilla 10, Juneau-Douglas 3

Clancey O’Donnell drilled a bases-clearing double in the first inning that set up the Warriors and Nolan Murphy made it stick with six strong innings in the first-round game of the ASAA/First National Bank State Baseball Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium.

The first three Wasilla batters of the game walked to bring up O’Donnell, who smacked the first of his two extra-base hits on the day. He finished 3-for-4 and batted in four runs, giving him 21 RBIs in 21 games this year.

Wasilla (20-2) moved into the state semifinals for the third time since 2014 and improved to 2-0 all-time against Juneau in the state tournament. The first meeting saw the Warriors win 3-2 in a 2001 semifinal matchup.

Murphy allowed four hits, three walks and a pair of runs to lower his ERA to 2.57 in 19 innings this year. He improved his record to 4-0 in a half dozen appearances for the Southcentral Conference champions.

He stranded a runner in scoring position in the first, third, fourth and sixth innings.

Wasilla took advantage of nine hits, nine walks and a hit batsman.

Clayton Boyett continued his sensational season with two hits, two walks, three runs and two stolen bases to run his streak to 30 consecutive stolen bases without getting caught. His 36 runs are among the state leaders.

This was Juneau’s record 39th all-time game at the state tournament, with Sitka (28) and South Anchorage (27) the next closest. The Crimson Bears are also No. 1 with 26 wins and six state titles.

Christian Ludeman doubled twice and joined Brock McCormick and Riley Griffin in the RBI Club for the Crimson Bears (7-10) of the Southeast Conference.

McCormick was 2-for-3 with a run and Luis Mojica just missed a home run with a double off the wall in left field.

Juneau’s Olin Rawson pitched 6.2 innings of relief after entering the game under the most difficult of circumstances – bases loaded, no outs, first inning. He did well to keep his team in the hunt, but the Warriors proved too tough in the end.

West Anchorage 10, West Valley 0

Ivan Tillman pitcher a 1-hitter over five innings to extend his scoreless streak to 23 innings and catcher Luke Langnes drove in four runs as the Eagles ended the first-round victory in six innings at the ASAA/First National Bank State Baseball Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium.

With the win, West marched into the state semifinals for the first time in school history.

Tillman has racked up four winning decisions in his last five appearances. His strikeout-to-walk ratio is 23-7. He’s surrendered only eight hits during that scoreless streak.

His battery mate provided an early cushion after Langnes smacked a two-run single in the first inning and a two-run double in the third inning. Langnes finished 3-for-3, raising his average to .286 in 11 games.

West (11-6) scored in each of the six innings. Bubba Mendoza and Sam Lebo had RBI singles. Quinn Bates-Janigo went 2-for-2 and scored three runs, including one after earning a two-out walk and later scoring on a wild pitch.

In the seventh, Shawn Jones ripped his fourth double of the season and later scored to end the game by the mercy rule. West had 12 hits, with Nicko Opinsky and Mendoza chipping in two hits apiece.

This is the second time these two teams have met in the state tournament, with West Valley winning 5-4 in a 2010 first-round game.

West Valley ran into a buzz saw on the mound, but never stopped playing hard.

Take the fifth inning when the Mid-Alaska Conference champions from Fairbanks flashed some glove love by turning a 4-6-3 double play and ending the inning with catcher Isaac Coon throwing out a base runner at second.

Coon also had one of his team's two base hits. Jacob Angaiak also singled.

Graydon Lesneski, Shaun Conwell and Gus Jensen handled the pitching for the Wolfpack.

Ketchikan 10, Colony 3

The 1-2 combo of Wyatt Barajas and Liam Kiffer continues to pack a punch as the two heavyweights helped the Kings pound out a first-round victory at the ASAA/First National Bank State Baseball Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium.

Barajas pitched five innings to earn his fifth straight winning decision in eight appearances this season. He allowed four hits and four walks with four strikeouts.

Barajas now has 51 strikeouts and a 1.75 ERA in 47 innings. He threw scoreless frames in the second, third and fourth innings against Colony as his offense found its rhythm.

Kiffer went 3-for-5 with a triple, run and two RBIs. The shortstop now has 31 RBIs in 23 games and raised his batting average to .472 (34-for-72).

Ketchikan (14-1) had 12 base hits by eight players – including a Brock King double and Kiffer triple to begin the game and set the tone.

Gavin Salazar and CJ Paule each had two hits, a run an RBI. Paule also banged out his frist triple of the season. Hayden McGarrigan scored two runs, stole a base and drove in a run for the Southeast Conference champions.

Ketchikan improved to 3-0 all-time against Colony at the state tournament. The Kings also won 7-1 in the 2018 third-place game and 4-2 in the 2013 fourth-place game.

Colony (11-7) fought back twice to cut the deficit in half – pulling within 2-1 in the first inning and 6-3 in the fifth inning.

Ben Alley went 2-for-4 and drove in a run to give him 18 RBIs in 18 games. Bryant Marks was 1-for-3 and scored his 19th run of the season.

Colony’s Brayden Methven delivered a double – his first of the season and his team's lone extra-base hit. He also recorded the final eight outs with two Ks – nothing new there, given he came in with a sparking 2.14 ERA.

Trace Severson pitched the first 4.1 innings and then ended the fifth inning after he threw out a base runner at the plate from his new position in left field.