Chinooks on the short end of a Pitcher’s Duel at Loretta French

Box Score CHUGIAK – Friday night’s starting pitchers would combine on 13 innings, only allowing seven hits and 3 runs as the Matsu Miners outlasted the Chugiak-Eagle River Chinooks with a 4-1 final score.

The Miners would get the first run of the ballgame in the 2nd inning off of ‘Nooks starter Kyle McDorman would deliver a wild pitch that allowed Nick Senzel to scamper home for the visitors. However, McDorman would be sharp through seven innings without allowing a walk and sitting down the Miners in order in innings number four, six, and seven.

His counterpart, Ryan Hendrix, kept the Chinooks offense in check the entire six innings he spent on the hill for the Miners. Hendrix struck out four and walked two in route to his first winning decision of the 2014 campaign. His lone blemish came in the bottom of the fourth inning when Steve Pollex punished his third home run of the year over the right-center field fence.

Mitchell Nau was quick to answer Pollex’s bomb when the Miners catcher led off the very next inning with a solo homer of his own to make give the Miners a 2-1 lead. Matsu would not relinquish the lead after that, and that at bat would be the deciding factor that made Kyle McDorman the tough-luck loser on the pitchers mound.

In the eighth inning, the Chinooks turned to Tim Knesnik in his first appearance of the season for the Fish. Cameron Frost and Paul Panaccione would welcome him to the Alaska Baseball League with back-to-back doubles to add a third run on the scoreboard for the Miners. Senzel added a fourth run for the Miners with a solo home run in the top of the ninth.

A pivotal situation in the ballgame came in the bottom of the sixth inning. Looking to tie the game again was Pollex with Jon Popadics standing on third base. An 0-2 pitch from Hendrix would go to the backstop and Popadics would come home for what was thought to be the tying run, but the play was called dead when the umpire revealed that the pitch hit the batter Pollex which forced Popadics back to his post at third base.

Popadics would be part of another offensive threat for the Chinooks in the eighth inning when he and Griffith Roark hit back-to-back singles. Popadics would force a pickoff throw from Miners reliever Hayden Howard that would trickle into left field and allow Popadics to third. However, Howard would shut the door on the ‘Nooks rally by striking out Steve Karkenny and Pollex to retire the side.

Inning number nine would prove to be too litte, too late for the Chinooks. Vince Arobio came to the mound for the Miners in search of his fourth save of the year when Jackson Cramer would get a two-out double past the diving attempt of Brandon Smith in left field followed by a walk by Geoff Murphy. Mark Lindsay would then fly out to close the ballgame.

The Chinooks fall to 4-12 on the season and the Miners improve to 11-4. The same two ball clubs will convene at Loretta French Park on Saturday night at 7 pm to wrap up the Healthy Alaskans Doubleheader.