Chinooks come up short 3-1 to the Miners

Lee Jordan addressing the fans at ceremony to rename the field at Loretta French Park after him.

Lee Jordan addressing the fans at ceremony to rename the field at Loretta French Park after him.

Baseball is often a game of inches. In Saturday’s loss to the Matsu Miners at newly rededicated Lee Jordan Field, the Chinooks were mostly likely on the short end by less than a foot.

It began to be a reality when Vance Vizcaino of the Miners beat out an infield single with two outs in the top of inning number five. Vizcaino would steal second base and came in to score the second run of the game for the Miners when Matt Diorio had a single right back up the middle of the infield.

We would see this theory tested again in the top of the 6th when the Miners Chris Hall singled, had a steal of second base, and then came home to score on a single to center field by Alex Caruso. Chinooks center fielder Cameron Baranek nearly had Hall gunned down at home plate for the final out of the inning, but Hall made a nice slide behind catcher Andrew Mogg to give the Miners their 3rd run of the ball game.

The tough luck for the Fish carried over into the 8th inning when they got on the board. In a 3-1 game, a batter interference call on Will Bass was the second out of the inning when Matt Furuto was attempting to steal second base. It is hard not to question what could have been if this was not the case. In the bottom of inning number 9 the Chinooks had a pair of walks to lead off the inning before Miners closer Brick Paskiewicz picked off Holt Davis at second base and got pinch hitter Tyler Boxwell to ground into the game-ending double play.

It was difficult to get much going on the Miners starting pitcher Zack Warren. The slender southpaw hurled 6 scoreless innings against the Chinooks, fanned 7 and surrendered just 2 base hits.

Conner Menez took the hill for the Chinooks to start the ballgame and was impressive despite a few fits with his command in the third inning when he hit two Miners and walked one more to allow the first run of the game. Menez would have 5 strikeouts after the first 3 innings of play. Jason Karkenny worked an inning and a third allowing just one run in the 6th and was relieved by right-hander Shane Armstrong who worked the final 2 and two-thirds innings for the Chinooks. Armstrong would end the 7th and 8th innings with double-play groundballs.

Matt Furuto paced the Chinooks offensively with a pair of singles and the lone RBI. He also had an incredible diving catch on a line drive off the bat of Diorio in the 9th inning.

The Chinooks will head to Anchorage to play the Glacier Pilots at Mulcahy Field Sunday night then take a day off before their trip to Fairbanks next week.