Chinooks Walk-Off With 11th Inning Victory Over Oilers For Back To Back Home Wins

Game Recap Provided By Lee Jordan

With the weather a little better and a win Sunday over the first-place Fairbanks Goldpanners under their belts, the Chinooks refused to give in to the Peninsula Oilers tonight. The Oilers stung the fish last week in a four- game sweep at Kenai. The Chugiak-Eagle River nine just weren’t going to lose at home. It took 11 innings to do it, but they did it.

Drew Turbin was the hero, gaining a two-out walk-off hit with two teammates on base.

Let’s recap the game before getting to the drama of the final inning.

The Oilers drew first blood, scoring two runs in the top of the third. Those were the only two tallies given up by Mike Jeffreys. The strikeout meister who returned from the 2012 Chinooks team where he led the league in Ks, pitched three more scoreless innings before being relieved in the sev- enth.

Andrew Klausmeier took the mound and sat the visitors down without scoring. In the bottom half of the seventh the fish were on again, this time scoring once.

The Oilers also scored once more, in the top of the eighth.

A look at the scoreboard at that point showed the Chinooks were down one run with six outs left in which to get three runs in order to go ahead and avoid another loss. They did it. Unfortunately, the Oilers also looked at the scoreboard and decided they didn’t want to fall to the team they had put into the loss column five times previously. They scored once in the top of the ninth to tie the score at four-all.

Klausmeier was relieved with one out in the ninth, with Bryce Clifton called upon to control the bats of the visitors. He got the needed two outs in the ninth, then held the Oilers scoreless in the top of the tenth, then repeated the feat in the eleventh, giving up just one hit—to the lead-off batter. That runner didn’t even make it to second, being forced by the next man up. The third man up, the nine-hole hitting left-fielder for the Peninsula team who is a prolific hitter, grounded out, Clifford Roark at second to Tyler Krahn at first. Clifton got the fourth man up to ground out, also to Roark, to get his team to the bottom half.

third man up, the nine-hole hitting left-fielder for the Peninsula team who is a prolific hitter, grounded out, Clifford Roark at second to Tyler Krahn at first. Clifton got the fourth man up to ground out, also to Roark, to get his team to the bottom half.

Leading off for the Chinooks in the bottom of the eleventh was shortstop Stephen Ventimilia, batting ninth in the Chugiak-Eagle River lineup. He drew a walk, raising the “fish on” cry from fans on the third base side. Nick Covello, tonight’s designated hitter, sacrificed the lead runner to second. Roark struck out, causing heavy sighs on the home team bleachers. Hopes soared, though, when the Oiler manager decided to intentionally walk Collin Radack, the hard-hitting centerfielder for the fish, to get to Turbin. Ventimil- ia had advanced to third on the succession of plays, runners left at the cor- ners.

Even though the late evening cloudy skies dimmed the natural light, pitching to Turbin turned out to be a mistake for the visitors. It was the best thing that could happen to the Chinooks. Turbin promptly drove one through the infield, bringing Ventimilia scampering home with the winning run. He was mobbed by the entire roster after jumping on the plate.

The team drives to Fairbanks early tomorrow morning to play the first in a three-game series with the Goldpanners. They are off on Friday, then return to Southcentral to visit the Mat-Su Miners on Saturday and Sunday. Follow- ing another off day, they host the Miners on Tuesday, July 16, in a game sponsored by Eagle River Presbyterian Church, and the next day the same two teams square off in a Wednesday game sponsored by Laborers’ Local 341.

Be sure to wear your colors to welcome the team back home on July 16. Let’s hope the win streak continues as the guys show off their great talent. It’s time the close ones come out in their favor instead of the other guys’.

Cover Photo by Al Clemens

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