Lierman’s MVP selection headlines All-CIC awards

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Posted by Van Williams, ALB Media Director | May 30, 2023

Eagle River’s Liam Lierman is a chip off the ‘ol block, and now the sophomore all-star has done something his old man accomplished 27 years ago – take home MVP honors.

Lierman was selected by Cook Inlet Conference coaches as the 2023 winner of the Don Rabung MVP Award after a sensational season that saw him throw the league’s 16th no-hitter against South and match the CIC Tournament record with four hits in a game against Chugiak.

His dad, Bill, was MVP of the Alaska Legion state tournament in 1996.

Lierman batted .395 in 15 games for the Wolves with 18 runs, seven RBIs and 10 stolen bases. His .600 on-base percentage in 61 plate appearances was buoyed by 21 walks.

As a pitcher, the left-hander was nearly untouchable with a 0.54 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 26 innings. He went 4-1, with his only blemish coming when he threw a no-hitter in a 1-0 loss to South.

Lierman struck out seven Wolverines in his six-inning, 85-pitch effort. The only run he allowed came in the second inning when he walked Blake Peterson, who came around the score after moving to second on a wild pitch, going to third on a balk and scoring on muffed bunt attempt that resulted in a stolen base. It was a wild play and terrible way to lose for Lierman, who became the first CIC pitcher to throw a no-no in a defeat.

At last week's CIC Tournament, Lierman pitched five shutout innings and racked up nine punchouts in a 4-0 win over Service in the third-place game, punching the Wolves' ticket to the ASAA Division I state tournament in Sitka. A day earlier, he went 4-for-5 to match the tournament record for hits in a game.

Lierman was named All-CIC First Team at pitcher and first base. His dad was an All-CIC First Team pick at second base in 1995 for Chugiak and a former Legion state tournament MVP. Today, Bill is tied with South’s Taylor Nerland for No. 1 among CIC coaching wins at 136.

Lierman is the second Eagle River player to win CIC MVP honors, the first since Cam Witte in 2021.

Don Rabung MVP Award

Past Winners

1992 – Tom Sterrett, Chugiak

1993 – John Watson, Bartlett

1994 – Trajan Langdon, East

1995 – Chris Edge, Dimond

1996 – Kelly Hood, Service

1997 – Brady Lonergan, Service

1998 – Joey Clark, Chugiak

            tie, Tyler Hasbrouck, Service

1999 – Orlando Caro, East

2000 – Todd Hadley, East

2001 – Grant Breager, Service

2002 – Antoine McLeod, East

2003 – Anton Maxwell, East

2004 – Tyler Waldron, East

2005 – Chad Nading, East

2006 – Chad Nading, East

2007 – Zach Sterling, South

2008 – Ty Griffith, Chugiak

2009 – Bryan Beard, Service

2010 – Sagan Osborne, Dimond

2011 – Cory Clevenger, Dimond

2012 – Zach Ferntheil, Service

2013 – Max Karnos, South

2014 – Dalton Chapman, West

2015 – Lucas Thorp, Dimond

            tie, Willy Homza, South

2016 – Cody Curfman, Chugiak

2017 – Jonny Homza, South

2018 – Lian Lincoln, South

2019 – Jacob Woodall, South

2020 – No Season

2021 – Cam Witte, Eagle River

2022 – Curtis Hebert, South

2023 – Liam Lierman, Eagle River

Other big winners included Service’s Coen Niclai (Big Stick), Chugiak’s Preston Rau (Top Pitcher) and East’s Edison Polanco (Gold Glove).

Niclai won Big Stick honors for the second time in three years after he led the league in home runs (2) and RBIs (27) while hitting .326 in 17 games. He hit a grand slam and tied his own CIC Tournament record with five RBIs against West. Earlier this season he had an 8-RBI game to help him break the school record for runs batted in a season set 25 years ago by Tyler Hasbrouck, the 1998 Big Stick Award winner.

Rau became the first Mustangs player to win Wade Blasingame Top Pitcher Award, which dates back to 2012. The crafty right-hander carved up the CIC with a 3-0 record and 1.68 ERA. He racked up 20 strikeouts and showed pinpoint control with just five walks in 33.1 innings. He pitched five innings and earned the winning decision when Chugiak beat South 4-1 to snap the Wolverines’ state-record 51-game winning streak.

A gifted shortstop, Polanco became the first East player to win Gold Glove Award since Rick Santos in 2008. He turned five unassisted double plays, showcased a strong arm and remarkable range and usually made at least one OMG play per game. Other Gold Glove finalists included Landon Martindale of Service, Ben Neuberger of South and Fischer Sims of Chugiak.

All-Cook Inlet Conference

2023 Baseball Awards

Don Rabung MVP Award

Liam Lierman, Eagle River

Wade Blasingame Top Pitcher Award

Preston Rau, Chugiak

Big Stick Award

Coen Niclai, Service

Gold Glove Award

Edison Polanco, East


First Team

Liam Lierman, Eagle River 4-1 0.54ERA 26IP 44K No-Hitter

Owen Hickman, Service 5-1 1.39ERA 20.1IP 32K 7BB

Gavin Partch, South 5-1 1.35 ERA 31IP 26K 16BB

Preston Rau, Chugiak 3-0 1.68ERA 33.1IP 20K 5BB

Second Team

Hunter Christian, Service 1-0 3SV 0.00ERA 12.1IP 19K 8BB

Alex Mullen, Eagle River 4-0 2.03ERA 31IP 31K

Ben Neuberger, South 2-0 15.1IP 1.37 20K 7BB

Aiden Ray, Dimond 3-2 3.27ERA 25.2IP 43K 26BB

Third Team

Andrew Malone, East

Gunner Mountcastle, Eagle River 0-0 3SV 0.00ERA 11.2IP 22K

Jake Rafferty, Service 0-2 3SV 2.48ERA 11.2IP 21K 8BB

Ryan Swanstrom, Dimond 2-0 0.80ERA 17.1IP 29K 11BB

Josh Westerman, Chugiak 1-0 1.81ERA 19.1IP 23K 9BB


First Team

Coen Niclai, Service 17GM .326 (14-43) 6XBH(2HR) 27RBI 12BB

Hunter Rau, Chugiak 20GM .373 (19-51) 5XBH 17RBI 11R 13BB

Second Team

Gavin Alexander, South 16GM .290 (9-31) 2XBH 9RBI 5R 7BB

Honorable Mention



First Team

Liam Lierman Eagle River 15GM .395 (15-38) 7RBI 18R 10SB 21BB

Second Team

Jake Rafferty Service 19GM .370 (17-46) 4XBH 15RBI 15R 22BB

Honorable Mention

Tyler Cage, Chugiak; Ben Neuberger, South


First Team

Rilen Niclai, Service 19GM .326 (15-46) 6XBH 16RBI 11R 8BB

Second Team


Honorable Mention



First Team

Shane Stephan, Dimond 14GM .447 (21-47) 6XBH 19R 19SB

Second Team

Hunter Christian, Service 19GM .392 (20-51) 3XBH 12RBI 21R 17B

Honorable Mention

Jude Doniere, West; Chase Mascelli, South; Edison Polanco, East; Wyatt Rust, Bartlett


First Team

Landon Luebke, Chugiak 20GM .288 (17-59) 9XBH(HR) 21RBI 12R

Second Team

Kaden Bevegni   South 18GM .288 (15-52) 7XBH 9RBI 14R 7BB

Honorable Mention

Gideon Lesslie, Dimond


First Team

Cyrus Clendaniel, West 17GM .333 (15-45) 7RBI .455OBP

Carl Colavecchio, Bartlett 15GM .533 (16-30) 3XBH 11RBI 10R 16SB

JT Thompson, Eagle River 18GM .375 (15-40) 13RBI 17R 9SB 21BB

Second Team

Gunner Mountcastle Eagle River 19GM .395 (15-38) 13RBI 18R 23SB 16BB

Eli Lipinski Dimond 15GM .308 (12-39) 5XBH 11RBI 15R

Honorable Mention

Blake Peterson, South; Blake Yawitt, East


First Team

Owen Hickman, Service 10GM .373 (22-59) 4XBH 9RBI 20R 13SB

Second Team

Peyton Montagna Dimond 15GM .310 (13-42) 1XBH 10RBI 19R 16SB

Honorable Mention

Jack Boots, West


First Team

Michael Boudreau Chugiak 19GM .509 (29-57) 5XBH 9RBI 21R 5BB

Second Team

Connor Lanehart Eagle River 17GM .396 (19-48) 23RBI 17R 17BB

Honorable Mention

Michael Bretzke, Dimond; Gavin Partch, South