The first-ever Huskies Summer Fair Classic went off without a hitch Friday and Saturday. The Delta Huskies hosted five teams for two days of nonstop baseball.
Delta ended up losing their four games against the more experienced Fairbanks teams, but the players didn’t quit until the tournament was over.
On Friday afternoon, the Huskies first played the Fairbanks Mets, the team that would end being the tournament champions. Mets poured it on relentlessly in the first couple innings, but Delta fielders settled in to give Husky pitcher Anthony Lancing the support he needed to pitch the rest of that game’s innings. Lansing was chosen as game MVP.
Also playing Friday night was the Fairbanks 10U Allstars, who ended up making it to the championship game and ultimately placing second. Delta played a much more complete game behind pitcher Brady Zachgo, who threw five strong innings. Zachgo was able to strike out batters, plus our fielders made a couple nice plays to keep us in the game.
By the end of the game, Delta had four scoreless innings to end the game, but time expired just short of taking down the Fairbanks team.
Saturday began with a skills competition featuring two players from each team. We set up a Gold Glove award station (best fielder), Speed Demon (fastest base runner), Silver Slugger (longest hit) and Fire Baller (longest throw).
Delta had three players place in the event. Gabe Haas took the Speed Demon award on the base path. Tanner Brant was the runner-up Fire Baller, and Noah Douglas ended up being the runner-up Gold Glove. Douglas and a player from Fairbanks tied at the end of the competition, which led to a tie-breaking head-to-head. Everyone gathered as the two exhibitionists flashed their skills and played it up for the crowd. Douglas fell short, losing the title to a talented Mets player who ended up being the tourney MVP.
Taking a break from baseball, the Huskies and Fairbanks 1-U Allstars hopped on the Delta Hockey/Baseball fair parade float. The float won best in class.
The tourney picked up again at 11 a.m. with Delta facing off with the Yankees out of Fairbanks. Delta played the Yankees earlier in the season and ended up losing by 30 points; the more experienced Fairbanks team smoothly shut down the Huskies for most of the game. Just a month later the two teams met again, and the game went down to the wire with Delta coming short on the win by just five points. Anthony White pitched three great innings and came away as the game MVP.
The Yankees coach from Fairbanks pulled the Huskies team aside and complimented the noticeable skill improvement, stating that Delta didn't look like the same team they’d battled in Fairbanks just weeks before.
Our kids have worked and come so far in this short eight-week summer season. We started the season off with a lot of these kids just learning how to play catch and throw the ball properly.
The Huskies final game came against the Fairbanks Marlins. We jumped out with a 5-0 lead and kept gaining through the first three innings. We went into the last inning up by 2, but the lead slipped away in that inning.
The Huskies just have a few days left of practice and one more game against the 10U Allstars in Fairbanks, and then the season is officially over.
Coaches plan to run gym practice through the winter to keep arms and bats strong for next season
Chris Zachgo expressed his satisfaction of this season and the progress the team made as a whole.
"As the season comes to a close, I reflect on the progress these players have made, and it makes me smile,” Zachgo said. “I consistently watched the enthusiasm with which they play the game and it gives me hope for the future of the program. We have a team that in the face of failure comes to each practice ready to grow from experience and continues to get better every day! The coaching staff is very proud of this team and looks forward to more Husky baseball down the road."