Chinooks Fall to Miners 6-3 in Opener

CHUGIAK – The Chugiak Eagle-River Chinooks (0-1) opened the 2014 campaign against the Matsu Miners (1-0) on Sunday evening, but a big ninth gave the guests a 6-3 victory. The Chinooks will look to bounce back against the same squad when the two teams meet in Palmer on Monday night.

“I thought our guys played well, but three soft hits came back to get us,” pitching coach Chris Beck said. “We are playing to win a series, so this is no big deal. These guys will bounce back.”

Offensively, the Chinooks found five base hits as a team, but third baseman Griffith Roark plated a run with a bases loaded walk and another on a sac fly. Mark Lindsay, Billy Arendt and Geoff Murphy each sparked a base knock, while Nick Covello’s 7th-inning double stood as the Chinooks’ lone extra base hit.

On the mound, Chugiak-Eagle River got strong outings from a number of players. Asuza Pacific’s Michael Fairchild hurled two scoreless innings before Shane Armstrong repeated the feat while adding three punch outs. Lance Phillips was the next man out of the pen, surrendering an unearned run and fanning four over 2.2 innings.

The Chinooks lost their designated hitter when Kyle Conkle came on for the save in the ninth inning, but the Miners welcomed the righty to the game with an offensive explosion. Of the four hits in the frame, three were softly hit, and two errors behind him only made things worse. The Miners wound up with a five run inning and were able to hold on for the 6-3 victory.

Centerfielder Cameron Frost and right fielder Dayne Wunderlich combined for four base hits for Matsu, while Kyle Serrano and Hayden Howard gave the Miners six strong innings. Seve Romo (1-0) hurled the final three and qualified for the victory after the top of the 9th.

You can view tonight’s box score here.

The Chinooks and Miners return to action on Monday night from Hermon Brothers Field. First pitch is slated for 7:00 pm.