The Chugiak Mustangs pulled off three of baseball’s most thrilling plays -- a grand slam, an inside-the-park home run and a triple play -- Thursday night at the state high school baseball tournament at Mulcahy Stadium.
The Mustangs sealed a four-inning 13-0 victory over North Pole with a game-ending defensive dazzler by left fielder Camden Costanios. He made an over-the-shoulder catch near the warning track and then made a long throw to the cutoff man to help the Mustangs double-up a pair of North Pole baserunners.
In other other first-round games, the West Eagles soared into the state semifinals for the first time in school history with a 10-0 win over West Valley, Wasilla socked Juneau 10-3 and Ketchikan tripped Colony 10-3.
Action continues Friday at Mulcahy.
Chugiak’s first six batters scored in Thursday’s late game, the first two on a double by Ian Frizelle and the others on a bases-loaded home run by Trystan Costanios.
Costanios added an in-the-park homer in the third inning, a two-run shot to left-center.
The rare triple play came with runners at first and second. The catch by Camden Costanios robbed Alex Garcia of extra bases, and his long throw from near the fence went to the relay man. From there it was easy outs at second and first base, because North Pole’s runners were on the move when Garcia hit the ball.
In West’s win over West Valley, Ivan Tillman pitched five scoreless innings and Luke Langnes drove in four runs to spark the Eagles.
Tillman gave up one hit and struck out five while running his streak of shutout innings to 23. He got tons of offensive support from his teammates, who pounded 12 hits and stole eight bases.
Langnes came through with three hits, including a two-run single in the first inning and a two-run double in the third.
In Wasilla’s win, the Warriors’ first three batters drew walks to set up a bases-clearing double by Clancey O’Donnell. O’Donnell finished with three hits, as did Juneau’s Christian Ludeman.
Nolan Murphy scattered four hits and struck out five in six innings for the winners.
In the day’s first game, Ketchikan used a three-hit, two-RBI contribution from Liam Kiffer to stop Colony.
ASAA/First National Bank state baseball tournament
Ketchikan 10, Colony 3
West 10, West Valley 0
Wasilla 10, Juneau 3
Chugiak 13, North Pole 0
Friday’s games at Mulcahy Stadium
10 a.m. – Colony vs. West Valley, loser out
1 p.m. – Juneau vs. North Pole, loser out
4 p.m. – Ketchikan vs. West, semifinal
7 p.m. – Wasilla vs. Chugiak, semifinal