League Leading Goldpanners Make It Consecutive Losses For Fish In Fairbanks, Finale 7pm Thursday

The second of a two-game stand in Fairbanks against the Goldpanners lacked the ninth-inning drama of last night’s contest but the outcome was even less satisfying for the Chinooks. It ended 7-1 in favor of the hosts.

It just wasn’t a good night for the visitors from Chugiak-Eagle River. After Nick Covello’s lead-off double to open the game, the only offensive highlight was a solo homerun by Chance Gusbeth with two out in the top of the second. In only three subsequent innings did more than the minimum three fish come to the plate.

The Fairbanks starter, Dingilian, had a good night, striking out 10, his offerings barely nicking the strike zone time after time. He walked none and had one slip out of his hand, pinging Collin Radack as the Chinook center- fielder led off the fourth. The second of three Fairbanks pitchers gave up the only walk allowed by the host pitchers.

The Chinook hurlers, on the other hand, had more trouble finding the mark and sent their missiles deeper into the zone. The ’Panners capitalized, getting 10 hits while earning five walks while two batsmen were nipped and sent to first to rub off any possible bruises.

While the offense was disappointing, the Chugiak-Eagle River nine made some sparkling defensive plays.

In the bottom of the second, first baseman Chance Gusbeth leapt high to knock down a rap sailing over his head, enabling James Scott, the Chinooks starter, to snap up the sphere and make the putout. In the fourth, Jake Murray made a diving catch in left field to get the out and prevent a runner from pos- sibly scoring from first. Unfortunately, there were a couple of official errors and another that could have been scored an E that caused part of the damage.

The Goldpanners scored two in the bottom of the first, four in the third, and one in the fifth.

Lance Phillips relieved Scott in the bottom of the sixth and caused his

teammates to hold their breath when he walked the first three batters he faced. He apparently got the message given in a quick visit to the mound by pitching coach Chris Beck: he got the fourth man up to hit a sharp grounder to Gusbeth, who fired the ball to Daniel Salters behind the plate, then took Salt- ers’ throw to the bag to complete the double play. Phillips then struck out the next batter to end the inning without giving up a run. There was a universal exhaling on the visitor side.

Bryce Clifton came in to put a capper on in the top of the eighth, using only eight pitches to get three fly outs.

Tomorrow night at 7 the Chinooks finish the away string, then go to Palmer, after taking Friday off, for a pair of games against the Miners.

There will be home games July 16 and 17 before entering the Showcase Games and Home Run Derby at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage. They complete the regular season at home with a big week full of activities to delight the hometown fans.

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