Chinooks Break Drought, Nearly Snap Streak, vs Bucs in “Midnight Sun” Double Header at Mulcahy

In a twin bill that didn’t quite last until the midnight hour, Chugiak-Eagle River dropped back to back decisions to the home-standing Anchorage Bucs.

The final scores were 6-4 and 2-1.

The Fish snapped a streak of 37 consecutive scoreless innings in the second inning of the first contest. They led 4-0 in game one before a late Grand Slam turned the tide. The Chinooks also had the tying run in scoring position twice in the night cap, but weren’t quite able to even the score.

The Club will try to carry that momentum into tomorrow’s 7pm start at Mat-su in hopes that they will be able to return to the win column before a long awaited off day on Sunday.

The following is the full recap provided by Lee Jordan

Scoreless streak ends in twin bill

The drought is over! After 37 scoreless innings, the Chinooks were finally able to bring not one but five runs across the plate. Their previous score came last Sunday in the fourteenth inning against the Anchorage Glacier Pilots.

Unfortunately, the five runs were not enough, the Anchorage Bucs coming out on top in tonight’s doubleheader at Mulcahy Stadium, 6-4 and 2-1.

In the first game, Chugiak-Eagle River’s runs all came in the top of the second. Griffin Gum reached on an error at third to lead off the second inning. Drew Turbin walked. Zach Harbison singled and brought Gum across to score the first run, only to be forced out at second when Chance Gusbeth reached on the fielder’s choice. Ryan Shackelford followed that with a single to score Turbin, then Nick Covello singled to score Guspeth. With one out, Griffin Roark knocked in Shackelford for the fourth run.

Bucs starter Brennan Henry then shut down the visitors, with help from Calvin Copping who came in in relief in the sixth with two out. After the floodgate was finally opened, Harbi- son tried to keep it flowing with a two-out double in the third, but was caught attempting to take third, ending the inning.

Mike Jeffreys did a fine job through two frames on the mound for the Chinooks but a lead -off walk and a single both came across before the third out could be recorded. He came back to send the three batters he faced in the fourth back to the bench.

The Bucs roared back in the bottom of the fifth after Jeffreys walked the number nine bat- ter, the number one batter and the number two batter. He got the three-hole hitter on four pitches, then faced the league’s leading hitter, Bucs’ catcher Michael Strentz. Strentz brought Bucs fans to their feet when he lifted a fastball over the left field fence.

The second game was a thriller, ending in a disappointing sudden death event.

The Bucs drew first blood in the bottom of the third. Leadoff hitter Andres doubled, Chi- nooks starter Devin Stanton got the next batter to strike out, the number nine hitter walked and the number one batter singled to drive in both runners. The number two batter was thrown out on a grounder to shortstop. The third out came when a pitch seemingly got away from catcher Daniel Salters, who picked it up and threw the leadoff man out at second.

The Chinooks scored in the top of the fourth on back-to-back doubles by Griffin Roark and Danny Arthur. They went down one, two, three in both the fifth and sixth.

Salters singled with one out in the top of the seventh with one out, raising hopes among Chinooks faithful. Collin Radack was sent in as a pinch runner and took off on a hit-and-run, only to trip on the way to second in what turned out to be a game-ending double play.

Trivial factoid: Home plate is 17 inches wide. The baseball is two and three-quarters in diameter. Effective width of the strike zone, then, is 22.5 inches. The fraction of an inch be- tween the ball and the black border of the plate is tiny when viewed from a distance. How that fraction of an inch was seen by the umpire and others on the field and in the stands often var- ied during the second game.

Chinooks starter Devin Stanton was visibly distressed when he came off the mound at the end of the fifth. As he headed for the dugout, the plate umpire raised the thumb on his right hand and forcefully threw that hand into the air. Bryce Clifton took the mound in unplanned relief for the last two innings.

Billed as the Midnight Sun game, each of the seven-inning contests was completed in just under two hours. Starting at 6 p.m. and with a half hour break between, it was over by 10:20.

Tomorrow night the Chinooks travel to Hermon Brothers Field in Palmer to take on the Mat-Su Miners in the tenth game of a grueling nine-day stretch.