Chinooks sweep Goldpanners in 6-3 win

The Chinooks head home tonight after sweeping the Fairbanks Goldpanners with a 6-3 victory in the series’ third game. The players won’t get much sleep on the long trip as they mull many anxious minutes of the final three innings.

Until the seventh, the game was an exhibition of masterful pitching from both starting pitchers. Arizona State freshman right-hander Ryan Hingst got two quick outs before walking designated hitter Andrew Mogg. Holt Davis then sin- gled but Cameron Baranek flew out to center to end the first. Inspired, Hingst then sat down the next nine Chinooks in order except for Mogg, who led off the fourth by being hit by a pitch, only to get caught stealing.

Leading off in the fifth, Fish shortstop Hunter Hanks singled, then scored on a hard-hit single to left by David Morton.

Chinook pitcher Conner Menez, a left-hander from The Master’s College, was also on his game, not allowing a hit until there was one out in the bottom of the seventh. Until that inning only one Panner had reached base, that one on a free pass. Menez’ laser aim began to fade as the bottom of the seventh opened with a walk, a sacrifice bunt, the first single followed by an error and an RBI double. With two runs in and the bases loaded, Head Coach Jordan Vierra brought in Ted Christie who quickly got the last two outs.

Christie gave up a run in the bottom of the eighth. Jason Karkenny, a fresh- man from The Master’s College and brother of former Chinook Stephen, took over in the ninth and got the save.

The save came about due to a four-run top of the eighth and a capper in the ninth that brought the Chinooks bench to its feet.

Braxton Wilks, tonight playing in right field, led off only to be thrown out at first. A pinch-hitter for the left fielder singled, Mogg got on with a fielder’s choice that failed to get the out, and Michael Staudinger, who came in to hit for Davis, singled to load the bases. Up next, Baranek singled to bring in Probst from third, leaving the bases still full of red jerseys. Will Bass, hitting for Hanks, brought Baranek home. In the ninth, Morton led off with a single and scored before the inning ended.

The win moved the Chinooks’ record to 4-2, puttng them in first place in the three-team National Division after being in a three-way tie at 3-2.

After a short night’s sleep, the team will be at it again tomorrow night at 7 p.m. when they host the Anchorage Bucs—a strong member of the American division. The game is scheduled to be a Meet-the-Chinooks night where fans will be able to get photos with their favorite players, chat for a few minutes and secure autographs that soon could be valuable.

Saturday is an off-day but features an Ice Cream Social at Peters Creek Bap- tist Church where fans can again mingle with the players and enjoy ice cream donated by Fred Meyer, one of the Chinooks sponsors this year.

Story by Lee Jordan