Miners claim first place with 4-0 victory

Chinooks pitchers sent eight of nine lead-off hitters to the bench tonight. So did the Mat-Su Miners. That was the closest statistic from the unofficial scoresheets.

Miner left-hander Calvin LeBrun used a good mixture of his arsenal to keep the Chinooks off-balance, his curves fooling them until too late to swing and his fast-ball effective when it counted. As a result, the home team runners were able to reach third three times—in the first, fourth and seventh innings. Unfortunate- ly, they all were left standing there when the third out was recorded.

Chinook starter Shane Armstrong gave up a walk to the second batter he faced, then watched him get to second on an error and score on the other miscue charged to his team.

In the second inning—the only one in which the leadoff man was not sent down—Miners catcher JJ Hancock collected an infield hit on a bunt that caught the Chinooks by surprise. Shortstop Tyler Wolf singled, a plunked batter moved both up 90 feet and a single by right-fielder Brick Paskiewiscz brought them home.

The visitors’ final score came in the ninth when designated hitter Matt Dio- rio singled to right and scored on a double by Nyles Nygaard. Nygaard was picked off second and tagged off base by Nook shortstop Hunter Hanks.

Armstrong, who was charged with the first three runs, was replaced in the top of the fourth with one out and the bases loaded, by Braxton Wilks.

The game was the fifth in a stretch of 11 straight games.

Tomorrow the home team travels to Palmer, then returns on Saturday to host the Glacier Pilots. On Sunday, when the Chinooks salute the military, it is an- other meeting with the Miners. The two current contenders for first place in their division play six games during the 11-game stretch which ends with a July 1 game at Chugiak. They meet five more times during the regular season.

In Saturday’s game, the teams will commemorate Cancer Awareness Night. The American Cancer Society will be there to present information on the dis- ease which Baseball organizations are working to eliminate. A treadmill will be set up where a runner will clock mileage to raise awareness of pancreatic can- cer. Fans will be asked to print the name of someone who is battling or who has survived cancer on a paper and at the top of the fifth inning will be asked to hold up the signs.

At the Sunday matinee, coupons for free hot dogs will be given to the first 400 fans who show up at the park. The treat is an annual event sponsored by the Chugiak-Eagle River legislative delegation. Veterans will accompany players as they are announced before the start of the game and will remain with them dur- ing the National Anthem. Air Force and Navy recruiters will be present to an- swer questions and talk with fans about their respective services. Military Ap- preciation Day is an opportunity to thank those who protect our nation.

Story by Lee Jordan

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