With Governor Sean Parnell On Hand, Fish Rally Late But Come Up Short vs Miners in ABL Action

Game Recap by Lee Jordan

The next-to-last regular season game with the Mat-Su Miners tonight had the hometown fans on the edges of their seats, but a late-inning rally came too late, with too few runs added to the scoreboard. It followed another late-inning rally at Her- mon Brothers Field on Sunday in a game that fell one run short.

After being sat down one, two, three in the top of the first tonight, the visitors from the Valley came back in the second inning to score once. They repeated in the fourth, then doubled the tally in the fifth. A four-run seventh inning seemingly put the game out of reach.

The Mat-Su starter only gave up two hits through five, letting only five fish reach base. A pitching change in the sixth gave a chance for the fans to yell “Fish on” a couple of times, but successive force-outs put the kibosh on hopes for a rally.

Things started looking up for the home team in the bottom of the eighth when lead-off batter Daniel Salters punched one deep into the outfield, but wisely elected to head back to first when a strong throw came in to second. It mattered not that he did not stretch it into a double because Danny Arthur left no doubt about his two- bagger. Salters scored easily then was himself driven in by Ryan Shackleford. A strikeout and a pair of infield popups quickly shut down the brief fish run.

A Miners sidearm slinger took over the mound and his 2-1 pitch was jumped on by Tyler Krahn who coasted in to third standing up. Krahn scored when Saltlers followed with a single after Griffin Gum’s dribbler was tossed to first by the pitcher. The Valley pitcher then plunked Arthur and repeated the favor to Shackleford. Nick Covello popped up at the plate for the second out after still another pitching change.

With the score at that point 7-4 in favor of the visiting nine, Turbin came up with the bases loaded. The Chinooks third baseman found himself in what every kid in America dreams of—coming up with the bases loaded and the chance to drive in the winning run. In this case it was not the bottom of the ninth, but the eighth and Turbin did not have the comfort of an imagined situation. He swung and missed twice and watched a pair sail by out of the zone. The next pitch was down the pike and he took a hefty swing, smacking the ball mightily and sending it deep, deep into right field—where the Miners fielder hauled it in on the warning track.

With Chugiak-Eagle River having its last opportunity to keep the rally going and the top of the order up, another pitching change was made. The Valley closer ended the game with a fly to deep center off the bat of Collin Radack, a strikeout and then a popup to short.

Tomorrow night at 6 the same two teams go at it again at Loretta French Park. That game will be sponsored by Laborers’ Local 341. The sponsor will also feed the team as did tonight’s sponsor, Eagle River Presbyterian Church. A large contingent of Presbyterians turned out to support the team after dining at a tailgate party in the parking lot.

On Friday and Saturday the Chinooks will travel to Mulcahy Park to take part in a series of games in the annual Alaska Baseball League Showcase Games. This event is designed to give baseball scouts from around the country an opportunity to look over the cream of the collegiate crop in summer baseball action. On Friday at 1 p.m., the Chinooks again play the Miners and on Saturday at 4 p.m. they are hosted by the Anchorage Bucs.

A Home Run Derby will be held at Mulcahy on Sunday.

Next week’s schedule has the final six games of the Chinooks—all on their home field. Monday at 6 they host the Peninsula Oilers. That date is also Fan Appreciation Night when fans will receive a large number of prizes. Children will be able to run the bases and members of the Chinooks Booster Club will have an opportunity to meet with the players and share their post-game meal.

On Tuesday there will be a doubleheader with the Fairbanks Goldpanners. The first game will begin at 4 p.m. and will go seven innings.

Chugiak Volunteer Fire Department will sponsor Thursday’s game with the An- chorage Bucs at 6 p.m. and will be recognized with thanks for their service to the community.

The Major League Baseball Network’s Strike Zone will be here Friday for the 6 p.m. game with the Bucs. The Strike Zone will be set up prior to the game and fans of all ages will be able to show off their pitching skills and get a variety of prizes. Mata- nuska Telephone Association will be giving out freebies to everyone who attends.

The finale will be Saturday when the Bucs complete their three-day stand here at 6 p.m. Fans are invited to come early to celebrate Military Appreciation Night. Rep. Dan Saddler is arranging for the armed services to be recognized in a pre-game cere- mony featuring patriotic music honoring all the branches.

There is to be a post-season tournament early the following week Details of that will be announced soon, so stay tuned.

Cover photo provided by Al Clemens

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