Fish break out lumber, lead late at Mat-su, before dropping final battle of brutal early season stretch

Game Recap by Lee Jordan

A roster that was almost full and healthy raised hopes when the Chinooks see- sawed back and forth with the Mat-Su Miners at Palmer tonight.

The Miners got on the board in the first when number two batter John Williams singled. Christin Stewart came up next and drove a two-one pitch from starter Caleb Dirks over the right field wall to put his team ahead by two.

Determined to reverse their fortunes with starters back in almost every position, Catcher Daniel Salters tripled to lead off the second inning. Griffin Gum got on via an error, was sacrificed to second when Drew Turbin laid down a perfect bunt, then ad- vanced to third on a balk by Mat-Su starting pitcher Gavin Gantz. Gum then was driven in on shortstop Nick Covello’s single.

Allowing only one Miner to reach in the second, the ‘Nooks took the lead in the third, 3-2, when Jake Murray walked to lead off, was sacrificed to second by Collin Radack, then scored on a single by first-sacker Tyler Krahn.

The Miners put two runs together in the bottom of the third to regain the lead, 4-3.

Turbin tied the score to lead off the fourth when he was hit by a pitch, was sacri- ficed to second and scored on the fielder’s choice when Covello grounded out to sec- ond.

The Miners retaliated with two in the fifth to once again take the lead, 5-4.

It stayed that way until the bottom of the seventh, when reliever Kenny Knudsen was tagged for a single and gave up a couple of walks, ending up seeing four runs come across to give Mat-Su a three-run lead that stood up after their entire lineup had come to bat. The Chinooks were able to get a runner on in the top of the eighth but were unable to capitalize.

An encouraging note was seen in the top of the eighth when reliever Lance Phil- lips took the mound and sat the middle of the Miners’ order down in three straight strikeouts.

While the Chinooks could not reverse the losing trend, their performance with most of the players back in action and an aggressive offensive plan in place gave hope that things will turn around in a hurry. After playing ten games in a nine-day stretch, the three days off scattered over next week’s schedule will give some needed rest.

The next game will be Monday at Loretta French Park when the Peninsula Oilers come to town for a 7 p.m. game.

That game is sponsored by the Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce and Eagle River Area Rotary courtesy of Jim Palmer of the Palmer Group. Those two organizations played a major role in getting the Chinooks to relocate to their new home


Volume II, Game 14 June 23, 2013