PREP BASEBALL: Olmstead tosses no-no, Mustangs clinch playoff spot
Eagle River lefthander Braden Olmstead pitched the first true no-hitter of the Cook Inlet Conference baseball season, a tidy, 70-pitch performance in a 1-0 victory over Dimond.
“He was clearly on his game,” said Wolves coach Harlie Bodine, whose team improved to 3-3 after dropping its first three games of the season.
The win was made possible by Brendan Miles’ walkoff single in the bottom of the seventh inning Saturday at Mulcahy Stadium. The hit by Miles drove in Sterling Retzlaff, who ripped a leadoff triple.
Olmstead, who struck out four, is the first pitcher this season to go a full seven innings without giving up a hit. He faced the minimum of 21 batters, although two Dimond batters reached base. The first was erased by a highlight-reel double play, and the other was caught stealing.
Bodine said the sophomore was able to geat ahead in the count and had firm command of the strike zone.
“He works ahead and then when he is ahead very rarely will he make a mistake,” Bodine said.
When Dimond hit the ball hard, Olmstead’s teammates had his back.
“We had some amazing defense played behind him,” Bodine said.
Bodine said center fielder Able Davis made a spectacular diving play on a Dimond hit-and-run, snaring a line drive then throwing to first base to double up the runner.
“It was a whole team effort,” Bodine said.
Miles went 3-for-3 for the Wolves, who got two hits from Olmstead and one each from Retzlaff and Ryan Gray.
The Wolves are still in contention for one of the top four seeds in the CIC playoffs — which is key, because only the top four teams can advance to state. Eagle River finishes the seven-game regular season at 6 p.m. Monday against West at Mulcahy Stadium.
Although his team “started out behind the eight-ball,” with three early losses Bodine said he’s exicted to see the Wolves still in contention.
“It’s a tournament mentality,” Bodine said.
Mustangs knock off Eagles
In the first of four CIC games Saturday at Mulcahy, Chugiak improved to 5-1 in the rapid-fire conference season with a 4-2 win over West.
With the win, the Mustangs clinched a spot in the top-four playoff with one conference game remaining. Chugiak concludes the CIC season Monday at 6:30 p.m. against Dimond at Bartlett High.
The opportunistic Mustangs had just three hits but took advantage of four West errors Saturday. West had six hits and walked six times but left 12 runners on base.
Justin Nevells went 2-for-3 with an RBI for Chugiak, which got a hit, run and RBI from Christian Cambridge.
Garrett Nevells gave up three hits in 3 2/3 innings of relief of starter Ian Frizelle, and Justin Nevells retired the final four batters to earn the save.