Chugiak-Eagle River Victorious in Home Opener

Game Recap provided by Lee Jordan

It was another sunny day in Chugiak as the Chinooks welcomed fans to Loretta French Park for their home opener. It was the second of four non-league games during the 2013 season and a repeat contest with the Mat-Su Miners. Game 1 was played at Hermon Brothers Field on the Palmer Fairgrounds and featured some drama as the Chinooks came from be- hind to win, 6-4.

There were fewer dramatics tonight, although the home team again had to come from behind to win, 3-1. As the score indicates, there was more defensive action than offensive.

Mat-Su scored first, in the top of the first, after a bunt was thrown away to allow the hitter to end up on second. That hitter advanced to third, then was brought home. Center- fielder Collin Radack had to traverse a lot of territory to haul in a high fly deep to right cen- ter to get the second out. Chinooks pitcher Andrew Klausmeier was able to head to the dug- out when catcher Daniel Salters threw out a Miners runner attempting to steal second.

Third-sacker Drew Turbin tied the game in the bottom of the seventh after he singled, advanced to second on a passed ball, then scored on right-fielder Griffin Gum’s scorching double to right.

Bryce Clifton took over the mound in the top of the sixth and immediately found his first Miner batter aboard on a bunt. That runner moved up on a sacrifice bunt. The second out came on a pop-up to second. A great play by Stephen Ventimilia at shortstop retired the side when he dove to smother a hard grounder close to the bag and deep, then hopped up to make the strong throw to Tyler Krahn at first.

Clifton then got three quick outs to put his offense back onto the field, getting a ground out to first, another to third and a fly out to center. In the bottom of the seventh Ryan Shackelford singled to right, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch, then scored on a fielder’s choice.

Chinook Max Bruckner took over the mound in the eighth and promptly got a popup to center, a high fly that he handled himself and a ground out, third to first. Krahn drew a walk to lead off the bottom of the eighth, stole second and scored with two out when Jacob Murray slapped a single past the first baseman.

Bruckner closed down the Miners one-two-three on fly balls to the outfield, the second one causing Radack to race back to the fence to make the catch. Clifton was the winning pitcher.

Tomorrow night in the Chinooks’ first league game, the storied Fairbanks Goldpanners come to Chugiak. The ’Panners are always a threat.

Throwing out the first pitch to open tonight’s game was Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan who was presented with a baseball autographed by the entire 2013 Chinooks team.

2013 Chinook Collin Radack named #3 Prospect in D3 by Baseball America

CONWAY, Ark. – Hendrix College junior outfielder Collin Radack was named to Baseball America’s Top 10 and’s Top 30 Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League Prospect List. The Austin, Texas native ranked eighth on Baseball America’s list and 27th on PerfectGame’s. He was the only non-NCAA Division I player to be featured.

Pat Hickey of Baseball America says “Radack is a diamond in the rough at Division III Hendrix (Ark.). He proved himself against mostly D-I competition this summer, hitting .393/.429/.563 in 112 at-bats. He has an athletic frame at 6-foot-4, 205 pounds and has plenty of room to add strength. His 6.7-second time in the 60 at the scouting combine makes him a slightly above-average runner. As the season progressed, Radack showed considerable improvement in adding loft to his swing, though it has yet to translate into game action. A line-drive hitter, most of his doubles came to the pull side. Defensively, he may have to move to a corner outfield position unless he can improve his routes in center.”

Radack spent the summer playing for the Xenia Scouts, a team sponsored by Athletes in Action in Ohio. He ended the season hitting .393, ranking third in the Great Lakes League, and was tied for fifth with 13 doubles. He also recorded two home runs, 19 RBI and six stolen bases in 29 games, earning All-GLSCL First Team honors. He was also selected to play in the league’s All-Star Game.

As a sophomore at Hendrix, Radack earned All-Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference First Team honors for the second consecutive year, as he hit .403 with 45 RBI, 64 hits, 39 runs, 12 doubles, four triples, two homers and 13 steals.

He ranks third in Warrior history with a .380 career batting average.


article taken from the Hendrix University Athletic Website:

Wimmer’s Walkoff HR Sends Liberty to Big South Title Game

FROM LIBERTYFLAMES.COM – A two-run, two-out home run [by former Chinook] Trey Wimmer propelled the No. 3 seed Liberty Flames to a 4-3 walk-off victory over the No. 4 seed Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs, Friday at Willard Stadium, earning Liberty a berth in the Big South title game.

Trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the ninth, first baseman Alex Close opened the inning with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by second baseman Bryan Aanderud.  After advancing to third base on a ground out by designated hitter Tyler Cox, Wimmer drove the first pitch from Runnin’ Bulldog reliever Jeff Howell over the left field fence for the victory.

Liberty moves to 41-18 on the year and advances to tomorrow’s “winner take all” championship game at 4 p.m. The appearance will be the 10th by Liberty in the title game and its first since 2010. The Flames have made the second-most appearances in the championship. Gardner-Webb finishes the season at 32-28.

After a scoreless first inning, Liberty, the home team on the scoreboard, pushed across the first run of the contest.  Close drew a walk to open the frame and moved to second on a wild pitch by Gardner-Webb starting pitcher Brock Wilson. After advancing to third on a ground out by Aanderud, Close scored on an infield single by Cox for a 1-0 edge.

Gardner-Webb tied the contest in the top of the fourth, only to see Liberty answer with a run in the bottom of the inning. Runnin’ Bulldogs catcher John Harris led off the top half of the inning with his fourth home run of year to knot the contest at 1-1.

In the Flames half of the fourth, Liberty went back in front with a run, benefiting from a Gardner-Webb error.  Right fielder Michael Robertson began the inning by reaching on a fielding miscue by third baseman Brad Collins. After moving to second on a wild pitch by Wilson and third on a deep fly out, Robertson came home when Aanderud singled to right for 2-1 Flames advantage.

The Runnin’ Bulldogs tied the game in the fifth. With one out, second baseman Scott Johnson walked. Two batters later, center fielder Benji Jackson lined a hit-and-run single to right field. And when Liberty’s Robertson could not come up with the ball, Johnson scored, tying the game at 2-2.

Meanwhile, the Flames left runners in scoring position with two outs in each of fifth and the sixth innings. In the fifth, Liberty advanced runners to second and third, only to be turned away.  In the sixth, the Flames moved a runner to third base, but were unable to break the deadlock.

In the top of the eighth, Gardner-Webb took advantage of a Liberty error to take the lead. With two out, Robertson dropped a fly ball to right, hit by right fielder Adam McFarland, for a two-base error. After a pitching change by Liberty, Harris followed with a single to score pinch runner Danny Yelverton for a 3-2 edge, setting the stage for Wimmer’s ninth-inning home run.

Brooks Roy continued the run strong outings by Liberty starting pitchers during the conference tournament. In his longest start of the year,  the right-hander pitched eight innings, allowing three runs, two unearned, on three hits.  He struck out four batters and walked two.

Reliever Matt Marsh moves to 1-1 on the season. The Liberty right-hander allowed one hit over 1 1/3 innings in recording the victory.

Howell falls to 3-4 on the year.  In relief of Willson, Howell pitched 2 2/3 innings, giving up the winning runs. He struck out one.

Liberty collected nine hits in the game.  Wimmer had two hits for the Flames.  Six different Liberty players had hits in the contest.

Gardner-Webb had six hits in the game.  Harris had two hits for the Bulldogs.

Tomorrow’s title game will be televised by ESPN3, starting at 4 p.m. The Flames will take on either No. 1 seed Coastal Carolina or No. 7 seed High Point in the Big South Baseball Championship final.

See the full story from

Three Chinooks Alumni Named All-GSAC

XENIA, OH – Current Chinooks players JJ Turbin and Andrew Work were both honored by the Golden State Athletic Conference as All Conference Performers. Turbin was also named to the All Gold Glove Team for his defensive skills in the outfield this Spring. Work and Turbin are both returning for the 2012 season after a successful summer last year for the Chinooks. Former Chinook Charlie Gillies was named GSAC Pitcher of the Year, as well as being named to the All-GSAC Team.

To see the complete All-GSAC Team, click here.

Work named NAIA National Pitcher of the Week

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A.J. Work of The Master’s (Calif.) has been named the NAIA National Baseball Pitcher of the Week, the NAIA national office announced Tuesday. Work was selected based on his performances from April 16 – 22 and was chosen out of a pool of conference/independent/unaffiliated groupings.

Work, a native of Boise, Idaho, finished the week 2-0 after leading the Mustangs to victories against Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) rivals Vanguard (Calif.), 9-1, on April 16 and then-No. 12 Concordia (Calif.), 2-1, on April 21. Against Vanguard, the junior lefthander scattered five hits over 7.1 innings, while allowing one run, striking out four and walking one. Work continued his stellar week against the nationally ranked Eagles, allowing one run on six hits over seven innings. The performance marks the ninth time in 14 appearances that he has thrown at least seven innings.

On the year, Work leads the squad with a 9-2 record and ranks second on the team in earned run average (2.02), innings pitched (89.0) and strikeouts (50).

For a complete listing of all the national statistical leaders, click here.


This article was taken from The Master’s College Website.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis called up to Mets

NEW YORK – AIA Alaska and Azusa Pacific Alum Kirk Nieuwenhuis has been called up to play centerfield for the New York Mets. Nieuwenhuis, who had a great shot of reaching the big leagues last season before landing on the DL with a torn labrum, hit .298 in limited action in AAA Buffalo on top of slugging six homeruns in 188 at-bats.

To read more about Nieuwenhuis being called up, check out this article from the New York Mets Website.

Donaldson opens season as A’s starting third basemen

XENIA, OH – Athletes in Action Alaska (Chugiak-Eagle River Chinooks) Alum Josh Donaldson opened up the 2012 season in Japan as the Oakland Athletics’ starting third basemen. Donaldson, who played with AIA  in 2005, is a graduate of Auburn University. A converted catcher, Donaldson is making his second appearence at the big league level. He was called up in 2010 as a catcher for the A’s where he received 32 at bats in his 14 games with Oakland. On May 1, 2010 he got his first major league hit, which also happened to be a 2 run homerun.

Donaldson was named to the All Alaska Baseball League team for AIA in 2005 and was drafted in the first round of the 2007 MLB Draft by the Chicago Cubs.


Welcome to the NEW Chugiak-Eagle River Chinooks Website!

Athletes in Action Baseball is pleased to announce an all new website for its franchise based in the Alaska Baseball League. Formerly based in Fairbanks, AK and known as the AIA Fire, AIA Baseball has relocated to the Chugiak-Eagle River area and will be known as the Chinooks. Athletes in Action has been a member of the Alaska Baseball League since 2001. General Manager Chris Beck has been with the team since it broke into the league, and was fortunate enough to win the Alaska Baseball League title in 2008.

“We are excited to have our team move to the Chugiak-Eagle River area. We enjoyed our time in Fairbanks, and were fortunate to share the city and ballpark with the Goldpanners. They did a lot for us, and really helped us adjust and grow our presence in Alaska.” Chris Beck said. AIA played an exhibition game last season at it’s future home, Loretta French Field, and instantly saw the endless possibilities of a franchise calling the area home.

With the help of Booster Club President Lee Jordan, Athletes in Action has made the move quickly. Jordan has assisted greatly in connecting the community with the new team, and has helped adopt the “Chinooks” name. Jordan notes that the Chinook name was chosen for several reasons, including the notorious wintertime Chinook winds that blow through the area, the well-known Chinook helicopters used by the U.S. military and — of course — the state’s largest and most sought-after salmon.

In November, Jordan — with the help of Bear Paw princess Maggie Wallace — unveiled its new logo, a tough-looking king salmon getting ready to toss a baseball.  Now January, AIA Baseball is pleased to unveil their all new website devoted to the Chinooks that will feature stories from AIA Alaska Alumni, team updates, stats, scores, and links to listen to live games during the season.

Stay tuned as the all new will continue to reveal more news as we close in on the June 12 home opener against the Bucs at 7pm at Loretta French Field.