Decker’s Extra Inning Walk Off Spoils Chinooks’ Final Trip to Mat-Su Valley


PALMER – The Chugiak-Eagle River Chinooks suffered a walk off loss in their final road trip of the year, falling 5-4 to the Mat-Su Miners in the tenth inning. The Fish have now lost three of their last four, while the National League Champion Miners picked up their 11th win of the summer against the Chinooks.

Michael Fairchild received the starting nod For the Chinooks and responded by turning in his strongest outing of the summer. The Asuza Pacific right hander went seven strong innings, surrendering just one run on three hits while striking out six. The Miners countered with a bevy of hurlers, as seven arms combined to defeat the Fish.

The game was tied at three apiece when the Miners failed to get a run in the bottom of the ninth, and the Chinooks got to play extra innings for the first time in 2014. The Fish got a run in the top of the tenth, but it was undone when Matt Decker hit a line drive to the center field wall that plated two of his teammates in the bottom half.

The Miners walked off on the Chinooks for the second time this year and carry momentum into their Sunday doubleheader. Individually, Vince Arobio went down as the pitcher of record for Mat-Su, while Tell Taylor was on the wrong end of things in the tenth.

At the plate, Jon Popadics (The Master’s), Bret Collins (Vanguard), and Steven Karkenny (The Master’s) sparked two base hits apiece, while Karkenny was the only Chinook of the game with more than one RBI. Three other Fish hitters added a base hit, giving them nine as a team.

The Miners managed eight hits for the game, highlighted by Decker and Johnny Locher, who combined for four hits and three runs driven in. Four of their teammates had a base hit each, and though Mat-Su was outhit by their guests, it proved to be all for naught.

Having already clinched the National League, the Miners play their final two games of the year on Sunday, when they host the Anchorage Bucs in a twin bill. The Chinooks turn their attention to the Anchorage Glacier Pilots, who head to Chugiak for their final game of the summer. First pitch from Loretta French is set for 5:00 pm.