Chinooks move to 3-2 on season tonight

The Chinooks looked good on both sides of the scorebook as they topped the Fairbanks Goldpanners 7-3 tonight. Giving up the first run to the leadoff batter to start the game failed to dampen the spirit of the visitors from Chugiak-Eagle River. Starting pitcher Michael Fairchild settled in, getting the second batter at second on a fielder’s choice, the fourth on a fly to Cadon Owens in center and striking out the fifth man to come to the plate.

Fairchild and the fielders behind him took care of the next 19 batters. In the process they pulled off a pair of double plays and a diving catch by Caleb Potter in left as well as a quick throw by catcher Andrew Mogg to catch the Panners’ leadoff man too far off first.

Knotting the score in the top of the fourth was first-sacker Michael Stauding- er who singled and was driven in by Mogg. In the sixth, it was Mogg who walked and came around to score. The catcher came through big in the seventh when, with two mates aboard and one out, he blasted one over the deepest part of Crowden Memorial Field to collect the Nooks’ first four-bagger of the sea- son. The scoring continued when Holt Davis, the next Fish up after Mogg’s blast, was plunked as he leaned in to bunt his way on. He was able to come in from first on a double by Potter.

The seventh run came across in the top of the eighth when Will Bass ad- vanced and scored on a single by Staudinger.

Fairchild put together seven strong innings and was relieved by Jamie Ball. The second double play, this one Hanks-unassisted-to-Staudinger and followed by a grounder completed by the same pair in the seventh, capped the starter’s very performance.

Ball, taking over in the bottom of the eighth, was aided by his fielders who took care of the seventh, eighth and ninth men in the Panner lineup.

There was a scare in the bottom of the ninth when the never-say-die home team’s shortstop sent one to the wall in left that Potter had to play off the bounce. Two singles and a walk brought two runs across and loaded the bases. With the tieing run coming to the plate, pitching coach Chris Beck paid a visit to the mound and Ball promptly sat down the last two batters to preserve the victory for Fairchild.

A note of caution for the Chinook faithful: The Fairbanks team roster is not yet complete, with players still involved in college post-season games and yet to head north. Tonight’s game had four locals—who acquitted themselves nicely, thank you—in the Panner lineup. The Goldpanners come to Chugiak on July 8 and 16 and will have a much different look when the rematch occurs.

Tomorrow night’s game starts at 5 order to give the Chinooks a two- hour earlier start on the return trip home.

Friday they host the Anchorage Bucs at 7 p.m. The game has a meet-the- Chinooks theme and fans will have an opportunity for pictures and to chat.


Story by Lee Jordan