Chinooks Lose Lead Late, Fall to Oilers in Series Finale

KENAI – The Chugiak-Eagle River Chinooks fell to the Peninsula Oilers by a final of 5-4 on Thursday at Coral Seymour Memorial Park, giving the Fish their second loss in three days. The Chinooks now stand at 5-16 on the year, while the Oilers improved to 15-7 with the series victory.

The visiting Chinooks got the scoring started in the third inning with a single from Josh Altmann (Olivet Nazarene) before Kyle Conkle (North Alabama) drew a two-out walk to continue the inning. Back-to-back doubles from Westmont’s Steven Pollex and West Virginia’s Jackson Cramer made it a 3-0 advantage, but the Fish weren’t done.

Griffith Roark double in the fourth and came in to score on Altmann’s second base hit of the contest, but that was all they would get off Oilers pitching. The home team waited until the sixth inning to cross the plate, but when the Oilers opened the frame with a pair of baserunners, it seemed certain they would finally get on the board. After Jordan Sanford’s sac bunt and Mylz Jones reached on an error, the scoreboard read 4-1 in favor of the Fish, but the guests weren’t able to keep it that way for long.

Alex Hernandez launched a double that made it a one-run ballgame before the eighth inning undid the Chugiak-Eagle River Chinooks for the final time in the Peninsula. Two unearned runs scored on a double by Alex Rubanowitz, giving the Oilers a 5-4 lead that held up after a 1-2-3 top of the ninth.

Individually, Altmann and Cramer each sparked a pair of base hits, Roark added an extra base hit, and Pollex finished with half of the team’s runs driven in. Rubanowitz paced the Oilers with three base hits, while he joined Hernandez to combine for four RBI.

On the hill, Abilene Christian’s Thomas Altimont surrendered two earned runs over five innings while¬†issuing three walks and striking out four. Shane Armstrong (Hillsdale) surrendered an unearned run over the next two innings before New Mexico State’s Zach Freeman was on the wrong end of the pitching decision.

Freeman allowed two runs in the bottom of the eighth, but neither was earned because of a two-out error, but it didn’t prevent him from being hit with his fourth loss of the summer. Oilers starter Nick Rogowski gave up all four runs over five innings while issuing five walks before turning it over to the bullpen.

Cody Reiser recorded two perfect innings that featured two strikeouts before Nick Sheridan hurled a flawless eighth inning. Sheridan was the man on the hill when the winning run crossed the plate, helping him pick up the victory in the series finale. Jeff Paschke came in from right field to pitch in the ninth, and after the Chinooks went in order, he picked up his fourth save of the year.

The Chinooks return home on Friday, when they will host the Alaska Goldpanners in a Fourth of July doubleheader. First pitch from Loretta French Field is slated for 5:00 pm.