WASILLA — The Alaska Road Warriors wrapped up their Todd Ryan Memorial American Legion baseball tournament on a high note, beating Chugiak 4-3 Sunday after suffering a 3-0 loss to Castroville, Texas, on Saturday at McManus Field in Wasilla
Bryce Borngraeber continued his stellar season on the mound, holding Castroville to seven hits, striking out four, and allowing two walks in seven innings on Saturday. The three earned runs Castroville scored were the lowest they've put up during their road trip in Alaska.
After losing 13-2 to Strongsville, Ohio, partly due to defensive mistakes, the Road Warriors played solid defensive baseball to stay competitive agsint Castroville.
“We just didn't get (Borngraeber) enough run support,” Road Warriors head coach Myrl Thompson said. “He only threw about 90 pitches. He wanted to pitch against them. He's got the right attitude. We played good defense against Castroville, but they have an incredibly talented team.”
Sunday, the team bounced back to beat Chugiak 4-3. Jacob Butcher threw five innings and struck out four. Shane Andrews pitched perfect sixth and seventh innings, striking out three to record the save.
The offensive damage went back and forth early in the game, but the Warriors stayed ahead. The Valley team took the lead 2-0 in the second inning. In the bottom of the fourth, with the game tied 3-3, the Warriors used an unusual offensive attack to take the lead for good. Captain Damon Hammer was hit by a pitch. Hammer then stole second and third base to put the go-ahead run just 90 feet away from home plate.
With injuries to Road Warrior outfielders, Blake Carricaburu was called up from the junior varsity team to the varsity team. On Sunday, Carricaburu came through in the clutch, ripping an RBI single to score Hammer and put the Road Warriors ahead for good.
Carricaburu is just one of a handful of young surprises on the Road Warriors team. Carricaburu also put down a key bunt during this weekend's tournament.
Sophomore Ben Ross has played errorless third base all season and hits .471.
“He's been tearing the cover off the ball,” said Thompson.
Second basemen Mitchell Chauvin has a .404 batting average and has also played excellent defense for the Road Warriors.
After four games in the weekend's tournament, the team was understandably tired, according to Thompson. But they had enough left to execute the victory over a deceptively tough Chugiak squad.
The Road Warriors are now 11-4 in conference and 13-6 overall, good enough to be tied for second place in the state with South, behind only Kenai.
The Road Warriors finished 2-2 in the Todd Ryan Memorial Tournament, beating Service and Chugiak, both by a score of 4-3. Wasilla lost to Castroville 3-0 and Strongsville 13-2.
The Road Warriors next play comes in the 16th annual BP Invitational Tournament July 8-10 at Mulcahy Stadium.
Contact Tim Rockey at firstname.lastname@example.org or 352-2252. Follow @trockeynews on Twitter.