Game two of the Kingsmen’s Alaskan tour was played in front of Chugiak’s scenic mountain view just northeast of Anchorage. The Christian summer team based in Rock Hill, South Carolina squared off against the Chugiak-Eagle River Chinooks, an Athletes in Action team in the Alaska Baseball League.
Right-hander Michael Gracer began the game on the mound for the Kingsmen and was sharp with his command early. The Concord, North Carolina native threw just 26 pitches in his first two innings of work with two punchouts and had a little help from his defense, with right fielder Cam Troyer throwing out a Chinook runner attempting to stretch a single into a double.
For the second straight day, the Kingsmen offense got going in the third inning, plating two in the top of the frame. Following a couple of singles from catcher Jack Austin and second baseman Aidan Rice, Bryce Frederick laced a two-out two-run double down the left field line. Nick Solorzano would fly out to center to end the inning, but the damage was already done as the Kingsmen took a 2-0 lead.
After two quick outs in the bottom of the third, the Chinooks were able to get a run back with an RBI single following a two-out double. Gracer would finish the inning limiting the opposition to just one run.
Following a relatively quiet fourth inning for both offenses, the Kingsmen offense came back alive in the fifth. Once again, the top of the order provided the spark as Rice and Troyer started the inning with singles and Frederick followed with a single of his own to score Rice. A Solorzano sac fly would plate another while Colin Patterson’s RBI single capped the three run inning.
Gracer, who rebounded in his fourth inning of work, provided the Kingsmen with a shutdown fifth that included a strikeout to end his day. The righty’s final line was five innings, four hits, one earned run, no walks, and three punchouts.
Micah Conner took over for Gracer in the sixth and had an easy one-two-three inning of work. Conner would then add some insurance for the Kingsmen in the top of the seventh, scoring Troyer with an infield single.
Entering the final frame with a 6-1 lead, Coach Joe Hudak handed the ball to starting shortstop Ryan Fluharty to finish the game on the bump. The utility man struck out two while blowing a fastball by a Chinook to end the game. With the victory, the Kingsmen moved to 4-0 on the year and will take their winning streak up to Fairbanks for a four game set beginning on Thursday.
Stay tuned for more Kingsmen news and updates from the rest of their Alaskan tour and the summer.
Bryce Frederick Postgame Interview:
Coach Joe Hudak Postgame Interview: