Fish Sink Pilots in Summer Solstice Showdown at Mulcahy


Box Scoremulcahy ANCHORAGE – The Chugiak-Eagle River Chinooks defeated the Anchorage Glacier Pilots 8-5 in a thriller at Mulcahy Field on Saturday night, improving to 4-8 overall in 2014. With the loss, the Pilots dropped out of first place in the ABL’s National League and now stand at 7-5.

On Friday, it was the Chinooks that struck first with a big inning but ultimately fell thanks to a walk off sac fly by Ray Guerrini. On Saturday, however, with the same two teams at the same field, the roles couldn’t be more reversed.

The home team got the scoring started early, taking advantage of a catcher’s obstruction call and a close payoff pitch that missed just out of the zone. Anchorage carried a 4-0 lead into the second inning after left fielder Shaun Wood launched a bases-loaded double off the Chinooks’ starter. Kyle McDorman (Charleston Southern) settled down after the first frame, surrendering just one more run on a solo blast by Clayton Taylor in the sixth inning.

McDorman’s day ended after six innings, four hits, two walks, four strikeouts, and a 5-0 deficit, but that was only the beginning for the Fish. Tell Taylor (Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Ryan Harris (Cornerstone), and Steven Wagar (Puget Sound) each hurled a scoreless inning out of the bullpen, combining for six strikeouts and zero walks.

The eighth inning saw the Chinook offense come to life for the first time of the contest, as four runs came across to score. Mark Lindsay (San Francisco State) was hit by a pitch to open the frame before West Virginia’s Jackson Cramer followed with a single. Billy Arendt (Princeton) then reached on a fielder’s choice, and Olivet Nazarene shortstop Josh Altmann walked to load the bases. Griffith Roark (Oklahoma State) laced a base hit to plate the first Chinook run, Geoff Murphy (Boston College) sparked an RBI groundout, and Westmont’s Steven Pollex hit a two run double.

It only seemed fitting that the Chinooks and Glacier Pilots would end up deciding things in the ninth inning, but Chugiak-Eagle River made sure that Saturday night didn’t end up with the same result as the night before. With two outs in the final frame, Cramer clobbered a double over the head of Chester Pak in center. Arendt followed with a double of his own to score the tying run, and Altmann was hit by a pitch that forced a pitching change. Roark recorded another base hit, and two errors helped give the Chinooks their second consecutive four-run inning.

When the Chinooks tied the game in the ninth, Pilot starter John York was suddenly no longer eligible for the victory after making easy work of the Fish through the game’s first five innings. Max Karnos struck out two over the next two frames, but Kyle Bovy surrendered the first four runs that allowed the Chinooks the momentum to claw their way back. Once Taylor Kaczmarek went from a save situation to a blown save, Cameron Pongs was called on for the final out.

Wagar was able to hold on for the Chinooks’ first save of the year, as Harris picked up his first victory in the Alaska Baseball League. Taylor Kaczmarek was hit with a blown save and a loss for the Glacier Pilots, but the Summer Solstice Showdown proved to be filled with excitement until the game’s final pitch. Overall, the Chinooks posted ten hits, highlighted by Roark’s three, while Cramer and Bret Collins (Vangaurd) each finished with a multi-hit game, as well. Wood was the only Pilot with more than one base hit, and he also drove in three of the team’s five runs.

The Anchorage Glacier Pilots will now head to Hermon Brothers Field in Palmer on Sunday to take on the new division-leading Mat-Su Miners. The Chinooks have the day off on Sunday before hosting the Pilots at Loretta French at 7:00 on Monday evening.