Lierman’s MVP selection headlines All-CIC awards
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
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
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
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
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
Coen Niclai, Service 17GM .326 (14-43) 6XBH(2HR) 27RBI 12BB
Hunter Rau, Chugiak 20GM .373 (19-51) 5XBH 17RBI 11R 13BB
Gavin Alexander, South 16GM .290 (9-31) 2XBH 9RBI 5R 7BB
Liam Lierman Eagle River 15GM .395 (15-38) 7RBI 18R 10SB 21BB
Jake Rafferty Service 19GM .370 (17-46) 4XBH 15RBI 15R 22BB
Tyler Cage, Chugiak; Ben Neuberger, South
Rilen Niclai, Service 19GM .326 (15-46) 6XBH 16RBI 11R 8BB
Shane Stephan, Dimond 14GM .447 (21-47) 6XBH 19R 19SB
Hunter Christian, Service 19GM .392 (20-51) 3XBH 12RBI 21R 17B
Jude Doniere, West; Chase Mascelli, South; Edison Polanco, East; Wyatt Rust, Bartlett
Landon Luebke, Chugiak 20GM .288 (17-59) 9XBH(HR) 21RBI 12R
Kaden Bevegni South 18GM .288 (15-52) 7XBH 9RBI 14R 7BB
Gideon Lesslie, Dimond
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
Gunner Mountcastle Eagle River 19GM .395 (15-38) 13RBI 18R 23SB 16BB
Eli Lipinski Dimond 15GM .308 (12-39) 5XBH 11RBI 15R
Blake Peterson, South; Blake Yawitt, East
Owen Hickman, Service 10GM .373 (22-59) 4XBH 9RBI 20R 13SB
Peyton Montagna Dimond 15GM .310 (13-42) 1XBH 10RBI 19R 16SB
Jack Boots, West
Michael Boudreau Chugiak 19GM .509 (29-57) 5XBH 9RBI 21R 5BB
Connor Lanehart Eagle River 17GM .396 (19-48) 23RBI 17R 17BB
Michael Bretzke, Dimond; Gavin Partch, South