Chinooks Outhit Peninsula Oilers In Return Home, Still End Up On Short End Of Late Inning Slugfest

Game Recap by Lee Jordan

After 11 games in 11 days, a day off spent in community service apparently was not enough rest for the Chinooks and tired arms. They were unable to hold onto a lead built up in the first six innings tonight.

Hometown fans were heartened when their team’s bats came alive in the bottom of the fourth to match a Peninsula Oiler homer in the top of that inning. Collin Radack brought to their feet the fans filling the bleachers under sunny skies at Loretta French Park when he cracked one into the gap in right center. He came out of the box with his long legs stretched to the limit, striding into third with a triple that left everyone but himself breathless. There was little doubt why he was ranked third in his division.

Chinooks pitching was superb through five, the homer and a double being the visitors’ only hits in those frames. Gasps were heard through the home crowd, though, in the top of the fifth when the leadoff Kenai batter slammed one into right field and ended up on second, his speed almost rivaling that of Radack in the bottom of the previous frame. Someone, however, alertly called for an appeal. Pitcher James Scott tossed the ball to the first baseman, who stepped on the bag and held the ball up to show the umpire. The man in blue raised his right hand, signaling that he, too, had spotted the runner stepping over first without touching it. One out. Threat over.

Spirits raised, the Chinooks batted around in the bottom of the sixth, making the score 7-2. It appeared that the losing streak was ending.

The curtain came down, however, when the first four Oilers came to bat in the seventh, scoring on two hits, a walk and an error before an out was recorded. By the time it was over 10 men had come up to the plate and five runs had come across to tie the score.

It went downhill from there with a bunch of walks, a couple of hit batsmen, a bushel of errors and wild pitches surrounding only a pair of hits. By the time the slaughter was over, the game ended at a mournful 15-7.

Despite the lopsided loss, the aggressive hitting and baserunning shown by the Chinooks were very promising for the remainder of the season. Not only that, but the stomach flu appears to be winding down and the players are getting back in shape healthwise.

Tomorrow night the Chinooks travel to Palmer for a rematch with the Mat-Su Miners, have another day without a game, travel to Mulcahy on Thursday to take on the Glacier Pilots, have another off day, then go to Mulcahy to test the Bucs, then return on Sunday to end both the month and this year’s series with the Pilots.

The gut feeling is that fans should take heart because better things are coming in July.

Photo provided by Al Clemens

In A Victory For Everyone Involved, Chinook Players Spend Monday With Camp Focus Athletes

Long before the first pitch of Monday night’s Alaska Baseball League game was thrown, Chugiak-Eagle River players completed an unforgettable day at the Ballpark. The Chinooks had the privilege of spending the afternoon with campers from Camp Focus. Camp Focus is a local camp for special needs children in south-central Alaska.

The day was filled with one-on-one and group training sessions which included hitting, fielding and throwing stations. It was capped off with a head to head matchup of the teams from the Camp. The real lessons learned, however, came from experiencing the pure joy of children at play and the genuine friendship given most freely by each of the Camp Focus campers to the Chugiak-Eagle River players.

Hours after the day’s baseball activities were complete, the Chinooks were still talking about the memorable moments their new friends had provided. Regardless of what happens on the field in ABL play in the month and a half of baseball that remains, this experience will serve as one of the main highlights of each player’s Alaskan Summer in 2013.

Fish break out lumber, lead late at Mat-su, before dropping final battle of brutal early season stretch

Game Recap by Lee Jordan

A roster that was almost full and healthy raised hopes when the Chinooks see- sawed back and forth with the Mat-Su Miners at Palmer tonight.

The Miners got on the board in the first when number two batter John Williams singled. Christin Stewart came up next and drove a two-one pitch from starter Caleb Dirks over the right field wall to put his team ahead by two.

Determined to reverse their fortunes with starters back in almost every position, Catcher Daniel Salters tripled to lead off the second inning. Griffin Gum got on via an error, was sacrificed to second when Drew Turbin laid down a perfect bunt, then ad- vanced to third on a balk by Mat-Su starting pitcher Gavin Gantz. Gum then was driven in on shortstop Nick Covello’s single.

Allowing only one Miner to reach in the second, the ‘Nooks took the lead in the third, 3-2, when Jake Murray walked to lead off, was sacrificed to second by Collin Radack, then scored on a single by first-sacker Tyler Krahn.

The Miners put two runs together in the bottom of the third to regain the lead, 4-3.

Turbin tied the score to lead off the fourth when he was hit by a pitch, was sacri- ficed to second and scored on the fielder’s choice when Covello grounded out to sec- ond.

The Miners retaliated with two in the fifth to once again take the lead, 5-4.

It stayed that way until the bottom of the seventh, when reliever Kenny Knudsen was tagged for a single and gave up a couple of walks, ending up seeing four runs come across to give Mat-Su a three-run lead that stood up after their entire lineup had come to bat. The Chinooks were able to get a runner on in the top of the eighth but were unable to capitalize.

An encouraging note was seen in the top of the eighth when reliever Lance Phil- lips took the mound and sat the middle of the Miners’ order down in three straight strikeouts.

While the Chinooks could not reverse the losing trend, their performance with most of the players back in action and an aggressive offensive plan in place gave hope that things will turn around in a hurry. After playing ten games in a nine-day stretch, the three days off scattered over next week’s schedule will give some needed rest.

The next game will be Monday at Loretta French Park when the Peninsula Oilers come to town for a 7 p.m. game.

That game is sponsored by the Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce and Eagle River Area Rotary courtesy of Jim Palmer of the Palmer Group. Those two organizations played a major role in getting the Chinooks to relocate to their new home


Volume II, Game 14 June 23, 2013

Chinooks Break Drought, Nearly Snap Streak, vs Bucs in “Midnight Sun” Double Header at Mulcahy

In a twin bill that didn’t quite last until the midnight hour, Chugiak-Eagle River dropped back to back decisions to the home-standing Anchorage Bucs.

The final scores were 6-4 and 2-1.

The Fish snapped a streak of 37 consecutive scoreless innings in the second inning of the first contest. They led 4-0 in game one before a late Grand Slam turned the tide. The Chinooks also had the tying run in scoring position twice in the night cap, but weren’t quite able to even the score.

The Club will try to carry that momentum into tomorrow’s 7pm start at Mat-su in hopes that they will be able to return to the win column before a long awaited off day on Sunday.

The following is the full recap provided by Lee Jordan

Scoreless streak ends in twin bill

The drought is over! After 37 scoreless innings, the Chinooks were finally able to bring not one but five runs across the plate. Their previous score came last Sunday in the fourteenth inning against the Anchorage Glacier Pilots.

Unfortunately, the five runs were not enough, the Anchorage Bucs coming out on top in tonight’s doubleheader at Mulcahy Stadium, 6-4 and 2-1.

In the first game, Chugiak-Eagle River’s runs all came in the top of the second. Griffin Gum reached on an error at third to lead off the second inning. Drew Turbin walked. Zach Harbison singled and brought Gum across to score the first run, only to be forced out at second when Chance Gusbeth reached on the fielder’s choice. Ryan Shackelford followed that with a single to score Turbin, then Nick Covello singled to score Guspeth. With one out, Griffin Roark knocked in Shackelford for the fourth run.

Bucs starter Brennan Henry then shut down the visitors, with help from Calvin Copping who came in in relief in the sixth with two out. After the floodgate was finally opened, Harbi- son tried to keep it flowing with a two-out double in the third, but was caught attempting to take third, ending the inning.

Mike Jeffreys did a fine job through two frames on the mound for the Chinooks but a lead -off walk and a single both came across before the third out could be recorded. He came back to send the three batters he faced in the fourth back to the bench.

The Bucs roared back in the bottom of the fifth after Jeffreys walked the number nine bat- ter, the number one batter and the number two batter. He got the three-hole hitter on four pitches, then faced the league’s leading hitter, Bucs’ catcher Michael Strentz. Strentz brought Bucs fans to their feet when he lifted a fastball over the left field fence.

The second game was a thriller, ending in a disappointing sudden death event.

The Bucs drew first blood in the bottom of the third. Leadoff hitter Andres doubled, Chi- nooks starter Devin Stanton got the next batter to strike out, the number nine hitter walked and the number one batter singled to drive in both runners. The number two batter was thrown out on a grounder to shortstop. The third out came when a pitch seemingly got away from catcher Daniel Salters, who picked it up and threw the leadoff man out at second.

The Chinooks scored in the top of the fourth on back-to-back doubles by Griffin Roark and Danny Arthur. They went down one, two, three in both the fifth and sixth.

Salters singled with one out in the top of the seventh with one out, raising hopes among Chinooks faithful. Collin Radack was sent in as a pinch runner and took off on a hit-and-run, only to trip on the way to second in what turned out to be a game-ending double play.

Trivial factoid: Home plate is 17 inches wide. The baseball is two and three-quarters in diameter. Effective width of the strike zone, then, is 22.5 inches. The fraction of an inch be- tween the ball and the black border of the plate is tiny when viewed from a distance. How that fraction of an inch was seen by the umpire and others on the field and in the stands often var- ied during the second game.

Chinooks starter Devin Stanton was visibly distressed when he came off the mound at the end of the fifth. As he headed for the dugout, the plate umpire raised the thumb on his right hand and forcefully threw that hand into the air. Bryce Clifton took the mound in unplanned relief for the last two innings.

Billed as the Midnight Sun game, each of the seven-inning contests was completed in just under two hours. Starting at 6 p.m. and with a half hour break between, it was over by 10:20.

Tomorrow night the Chinooks travel to Hermon Brothers Field in Palmer to take on the Mat-Su Miners in the tenth game of a grueling nine-day stretch.


Fish Try To Right The Ship In “Midnight Sun” Doubleheader vs Bucs at Mulcahy Field Tonight At 6PM

Game Recap by Lee Jordan

Despite the fact that the Chinooks had not scored a run in 36 innings, fans in the bottom of the ninth tonight were just as enthusiastic as they were at the end of the 14-inning marathon last Sunday. The Sunday game was a winner, the next four were not. Tonight the Glacier Pilots won by a score of 5-0. There was a reversal in the script, however, when the players in the red jerseys kept the visitors from scor-ing in the first four innings, unlike in the three preceding games when the last four were clean.

The Anchorage team scored twice in the fifth and twice in the sixth. They added one in the seventh for good measure.

Chugiak-Eagle River hopes were raised in the bottom of the sixth when with one out, Griffin Gum slapped a 3-2 pitch into right field. Drew Turbin singled and moved Gum to third. Turbin promptly stole second.

There are 13 ways to score a runner on third with less than two out. There are only a handful of ways to keep him from scoring.

One of the rarest of those few ways occurred to dash the hopes of our hapless heroes. Chance Gusbeth hit a hard grounder toward the hole on the right side of the infield. The ball turned out to have been hit too hard–too hard for Turbin to dodge. The interference call made the ball dead, preventing Gum from advancing. The next batter was thrown out to complete the disaster.

Regardless of the fact that the Chinooks have dropped to one and six in league play, there were some good defensive plays to give reason for cheers. The first red star came in the top of the fifth when the number nine Pilot hitter drove the ball deep to right, then stood on first. The next batter also went deep to the right side, causing the preceding runner to set his sights on third. That threat was shut down when right-fielder Ryan Shackelford fired the ball from the warning track to second baseman Griffin Roark who spun and fired a strike to Turbin at third. Turbin slapped his glove onto the sliding runner and was rewarded with an out.

Turbin figured in another defensive gem when he raced behind the mound to snap up a grounder headed for the hole, throwing to first in time to nail the runner speeding down the line.

A change in the weather was seen tonight. Rather than the 80s of the past sev- eral days a strong breeze blowing toward center field made things chilly for the Alaskans in the stands.

Tomorrow night at 6 the Chinooks travel to Mulcahy for a game against the Bucs and on Saturday visit Palmer for a 7 p.m. game at the Miners’ home field.

Illnesses and injuries have caused the Chinook lineup to be shuffled for all of this week’s games. Four have been ailing, the shifting positions disrupting the infield comfort zone.

Cover Photo provided by Al Clemens

Chinooks Drop Third Straight In Return To French Field

Chinooks fans are hoping it’s not becoming a habit to have a good last five innings but come up short after the last pitch is thrown. Again, the guys in the blue jerseys with the fish on the back of their caps were blanked. The final scor:e 9-0, the Anchorage Glacier Pilots on top.

There was a lot of good news, though. Two players joined the team for tonight’s game. Also, Drew Turbin shook the bug that had sidelined him for several days and was back in great shape at third base.

Playing their first games as Chinooks were pitchers James Scott and Chance Gusbeth. Scott is a junior at The Master’s College and was the “two” in the one-two team in the Mustangs’ rotation. He worked with A. J. Work, the Chinook pitcher from 2012 who went back last fall to break Chris Beck’s record of most career wins, then broke his own record, ending with 30.

Cusbeth will be a sophomore at Cal State Bakersfield in the fall and does double duty with the Roadrunners. He was designated hitter in tonight’s game at Loretta French Park.

Two defensive red stars made their way into the scorebook, both com- ing in the top of the seventh and both beside the name of second baseman Griffin Roark. He turned consecutive would-be doubles into outs when he went far to his right to make diving stops, then made accurate throws to first.

The Pilots scored four in the second after being put down one-two-three in the opening stanza by Scott who was starting pitcher. They came back in the second to put three across, then scored two in the fourth.

A double play was recorded in the top of the sixth when Bryce Clifton, who came in in relief of Scott, fielded a come-backer from the number five Pilot hitter and threw to shortstop Stephen Ventimilia at second, who went to Ryan Shackelford at first for the second out.

The wood sticks the collegiate players are in the process of getting used to were still quiet, unfortunately. Roark doubled and three other fish got on with singles.

Tomorrow night the Chinooks again host the Pilots in their fourth meeting. Three more games with the Flyboys are scheduled–all in June. Game time is 7 p.m. tomorrow in a game sponsored by The Alaska Club.

Fish Suffer Back to Back Shutout Losses at Mulcahy Park

Game Recap by Lee Jordan

There was a grand ballgame tonight at Mulcahy Stadium, the Anchor- age Glacier Pilots winning by a 1-0 score. The people who run the Alaska Baseball League, though, will probably count the first four innings and re- cord the final score as 13-0. Our side would prefer the page ripped off at the end of the fourth as a more comfortable keepsake.

The Chinooks mustered five hits, but couldn’t put two together. Pilots pitchers rang up four three-up, three-down innings while allowing only four to come to the plate on four occasions. In one of the two innings where five red jerseys were able to step up to bat, one of those was nullified by a double play.

Until tonight having their own troubles on the offensive side, the Pilots blasted 13 hits, scoring an equal number of runs thanks to five walks and one hit batsman.

Chinooks starter Andrew Klausmeier took the loss. He was relieved in the bottom of the fourth with none out by Devin Stanton who gave up a sin- gle, then got the next batter to ground into a double play, Stephen Ventimilia to Nick Covello to Daniel Salters. Max Bruckner took over the mound in the bottom of the sixth and completed the game.

Tomorrow night provides an opportunity to turn the tables as the Pilots come to Loretta French Park for the second and third games of a three-game home and away series. Game time on both nights in 7 p.m.

Cover Photo courtesy of Al Clemens

Chugiak-Eagle River Shutout On The Road In Anchorage By Bucs

Game Recap provided by Lee Jordan

Tonight was a good night for fishing, but unfortunately for Chinooks fans it was the Anchorage Bucs who filled their nets. The pirates scored three times in the first, twice in the second, once in the fourth and a blast over the left field fence in the seventh made it seven-zip.

Misfortune continued to plague the team as the two starters unable to play in last night’s 14-inning marathon were again absent from the lineup. Making it even worse, centerfielder Collin Radack was injured twice in the top of the fourth when he was hit on the hand. The first owie was when the umpire ruled it a foul ball and denied him first base on a freebie. The second was even worse–it took him out of the game.

The long game last night also took its toll on Chinooks pitchers, five of whom were employed in the marathon.

Caleb Dirks started tonight’s game and was charged with the loss. He was also charged with a balk in each of the first two innings over an infraction which only the home plate man in blue was able to see. After a consultation from head coach Jon Groth and Chinooks pitching coach Chris Beck, both of whom played pro ball– Beck on the mound–no further such opinions were issued.

Dirks was tagged for seven hits and was plagued by four walks while a couple of errors behind him added salt to the wound. A highlight of tonight’s game came when Bucs catcher Michael Strentz blasted one over the right field fence–the first homer seen by either side in a Chinooks game so far this season.

Chinooks fans long for one of their players to get a four-bagger. Not only does it provide some excitement, but one lucky fan in attendance will receive a certificate for a free dinner at Chepo’s Mexican Restaurant in Eagle River or Wasilla.

Tomorrow night the fish return to Mulcahy Stadium for a repeat engagement with the Glacier Pilots at 7 p.m . That game will mark the midway point in a grueling nine-game stretch that includes five away games and only four at Loretta French. There will be time for much-needed rest next week with days off on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. They then face a ten-game string the first week of July with four games at Kenai, three at Fairbanks and only three at home. Luckily for local fans, there will be seven home games to close out the regular season.

Cover Photo courtesy of Al Clemens

Kirk Nieuwenhuis Delivers Father’s Day Walk-Off HR to Lift New York Mets in 4-3 Victory Over Cubs

By ANTHONY RIEBER (New York Newsday)

A day which had been miserable and embarrassing for the Mets Sunday ended joyously with Kirk Nieuwenhuis’ walk-off three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth and a 4-3 victory over the Cubs at Citi Field.

Nieuwenhuis’ no-doubt blast off second-deck facing in rightfield was the icing on a four-run rally that ended with the Home Run Apple up and the Mets’ three-game losing streak over.

Nieuwenhuis flung his helmet into the air after rounding third and leaped onto home plate into the arms of his pumped-up teammates. The Mets celebrated as if they had just done something big — which, considering how lousy they have been of late, is exactly what they did.

“If we can’t use this as a spark,” manager Terry Collins said, “I don’t know what else we can do.”

The Mets trailed 3-0 entering the ninth and had three hits. They had allowed two unearned runs in the fifth inning on a play on which they threw the ball away three times.

And that came a day after Jordany Valdespin was charged with an error for throwing the ball away on a routine toss back to the pitcher. David Wright called a players-only meeting after Saturday’s game. It took 8 ½ innings to have any effect, apparently.

“I really hate team meetings,” Wright told “They’re one of my least-favorite things, because it usually means that things aren’t going so well. But there’s times where it’s good to get together and get some things off of my chest.”

Had the Mets lost, Collins said: “I know what would have been said, what would have been written. You know what? That’s what should have been written.”

But Nieuwenhuis sent the scribes back to their typewriters with his fourth hit and first home run of the season in his 32nd big-league at-bat. It earned him a postgame pie in the face courtesy of Justin Turner.

“Apple pie,” Nieuwenhuis said. “I could taste it.”


Chinooks Secure First League Win In Marathon 14 Inning Father’s Day Contest vs Defending Champs

Game Recap Provided by Lee Jordan

Sunshine bathed Mulcahy Park as the seventeenth day of clear skies and mid- seventies temperatures marked Father’s Day. There was no breeze, making it one of the few times in long memory that one could sit through a game at Mulcahy in shirt sleeves. And it was a very long game.

But enough scene-setting. Let’s get right to the meat of the matter.

The Chinooks got to the park down zip-two in league play after suffering a stinging defeat by the Anchorage Glacier Pilots at home on Friday. That followed their league-opening loss to the Fairbanks Goldpanners three days earlier.

Tonight’s game against the Pilots looked bleak in the bottom of the first when some miscues, both physical and mental, were seen. The problem wasn’t the heat, but shuffling of the lineup necessitated by having two starters on the disabled list.

The visiting Chinooks were sat down one, two, three in the first. Then, with two out in the bottom half, a single and an error placed a Pilot on third. Starter Mike Jeffreys struck out the Pilots’ cleanup man to save a run.

In the top half of the second, number five Chinook catcher Daniel Salters singled only to see both himself and Tyler Krahn, who also hit his way on, erased when Griffin Gum grounded into a double play.

The lead-off Pilot in the bottom of the second singled, stole second, then moved to third on an error. He scored on a sacrifice fly that almost became an out at the plate after centerfielder Collin Radack threw a 350-foot strike that was a bit wide.

Two more Pilot runs came in, both with two out, in the bottom of the third. There were three up, three down innings on both sides until the Chinooks came up in the sixth frame. Jake Murray drew a walk, Nick Covello grounded out to third, then Stephen Ventimilia doubled home Murray. Ryan Shackelford singled home Ventimilia, then Radack drove one down the left field line that brought the tying run across. He then scored on a single by Danny Arthur.

Had there not been the miscues earlier, those runs would have won the game. Instead, a pitching duel between a series of relievers continued the three-three tie for eight more innings. Jeffreys, the Chinook starter, went until two were out in the seventh. Max Bruckner, Bryce Clifton and Kenneth Knudsen all had turns. Meanwhile, the Pilots went through five pitchers before calling on their right fielder and then his replacement, who ended up taking the loss.

By the time the top of the fourteenth inning began, half of the Pilots faithful had given up and departed the stadium. They missed seeing Gum double into the left- center gap, then score when Murray drove the ball up the middle.

Chinook Asa Johnson, who came on in the bottom of the thirteenth, sat down the lead-off Pilot batter, gave up a single to the number two man, then got the save when the number three batter grounded into a double play, pitcher to second to first.

Knudsen picked up the win for the ‘Nooks after four hours of play.

Mulcahy will be the scene for the next two games–the Anchorage Bucs on Monday and the Pilots on Tuesday. The Pilots return to Loretta French Park for back to back games on Wednesday and Thursday nights. First pitch for each of these games will be 7:00pm

Cover Photo Provided by Al Clemens

First Pitch of Today’s Game vs Pilots moved back to 5:40 PM

Today’s Chinooks vs Pilots game is the second game of a Father’s Day double-header at Mulcahy Park. With the first game running long, first pitch for Chugiak-Eagle River and Anchorage has been moved to 5:40. We will be on the air at 5:30 with Jason Patterson calling the action.

In Celebration of Chugiak-Eagle River Baseball, Chinook Bats Come To Life For 9-0 Victory

Game Recap by Lee Jordan

Tonight’s scrimmage in which the Chinooks hosted the American Legion high school All-Stars from Chugiak and Eagle River ended as a 9-0 shutout.

Nine to nothing is the score entered in the books when there is a forfeit. To- night’s game was no such thing, but a big positive for both teams.

The young Legion pitcher went six innings out of the regulation seven. He hit one and walked but one or two. Behind him, both the infield and outfield made some good plays. When the ‘Nooks scored their first three batters in the top of the first, the visitors settled down to business and got the next three on two fly-outs and a second-to-first ground out.

As a matter of fact, the only red star in this writer’s scorebook came in the bottom of the third when Chinooks second baseman Griffin Roark drove one to the warning track in right-center. The Legion centerfielder, Ricky Ayala, raced to his left and dove to the ground, squeezing the slicing ball into his outstretched glove.

On their side, the Chinooks scored three in the first, four in the second, one in the fourth and another in the sixth. Getting some needed at-bats were Nick Covello, Ryan Shackleford, Collin Radack, Daniel Arthur, Tyler Krahn, Rich Har- bison, Griffin Gum and Griffin Roark.

On the mound for the fish was Hunter Totemeier–like some of the Legion players, a recent high school graduate himself.

Stats and a play-by-play are not here because those were of secondary im- portance in this game. What was important was giving the high school players a glimpse at what they can expect when they get to the next level. Several of the Chi- nooks they faced are college juniors, at least three years beyond the experience of the All-Stars.

Let’s just say it was a good night for baseball, one in which a big turnout of fans came to watch. They saw a good game and had plenty to cheer about on both sides of the field.

Sponsor of tonight’s game was Bella Vista Restaurante and Pizzeria. The Peters Creek eatery has served fine Italian food since 1977. Owner Bobby Alefanti- nos was busy cooking for the Saturday night dinner crowd and unable to throw out the first pitch. Designated first-pitch substitute Ty Beck stood in, tossing a 12-6 strike to his dad Chris at the plate.

At the beginning of the seventh and final frame, the long-awaited drawing for an ounce of gold was decided when Chinooks supporter and non-ticket-holder Heide Kroeker pulled the name of Nancy McGee of Palmer from the container. No- tified immediately, McGee was both surprised and thrilled to learn she will receive the large nugget and a vial of coarse gold.

On Father’s Day, tomorrow, the Chinooks seek revenge at Mulcahy Stadium in a game that starts at 5 p.m. Take Dad out to the old ball game on his day.

Former Chinook Tyler Shyrock Drafted by Chicago

Shyrock headlines group of 3 former players drafted by Major League Clubs

The White Sox selected former Chinooks infielder Tyler Shyrock in the 12th Round of this week’s Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft.

Tyler played in the Alaskan League each of the past two seasons. The talented young infielder from California was with the team in Fairbanks (then known as the AIA Fire) in 2011 and made the move to Chugiak-Eagle River in 2012 as a member of the inaugural Chinooks ball club.

Ben Heller, a teammate of Shryock on the 2011 Fire, was chosen in the twenty- second round, number 651 overall, by the Cleveland Indians.

Joining Shryock in the White Sox organization is Troy Wimmer, a member of the 2009 Fire. He was chosen as number 693 in the twenty-third round.

Shyrock was the 363rd overall pick in the draft.

Chinooks Fall to Glacier Pilots in First Meeting of 2013

Game Recap provided by Lee Jordan

It was the fifteenth day of sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-seventies at Loretta French Park as the Chinooks hosted the Anchorage Glacier Pilots tonight. There was a good crowd on both sides of the field, with fans seated down both fence lines, on the hillside and behind the right-field fence.

That is the good news. The bad news for Fish fans, though, is that the fliers flew and the Fish threw too far inside too many times.

A look at the scorebook shows HP (hit by pitch) a total of seven times. Only one of those, unfortunately, was courtesy of a Pilots pitcher. Six of those bases-by- bruises were from a combination of three Chinooks pitchers. Three came in the Pi- lots’ big inning, the third, when three hit batters contributed to five runs after one had come across in the second frame.

The game started off with three up and three down in the top of the first thanks to a strikeout by starter Andrew Klausmeier, a line drive into the glove of shortstop Stephen Ventimilia and a long fly caught by Collin Radack in center.

A couple of singles were slapped through in the bottom of the first, the first by Radack and the second by catcher Daniel Salters. Radack was unable to move past second, however, before three fish were thrown back into the water.

Disaster fell in the top of the third with two Pilots out when Klausmeier plinked the third man up square on the helmet, causing enough concern for the coaches and trainer to check to make sure the blow did not cause serious injury. That it did not was exhibited on the next pitch when the runner speedily stole second in retaliation. An error, a single, a double and two other hit batters were experienced before the third out came on a grounder to Ventimilia who threw sharply to Tyler Krahn at first.

The Pilots loaded the bases in the fourth, but reliever Devin Stanton was able to escape giving up a run, getting the potential grand slam to turn into a ground out, short to first.

A lead-off single in the top of the sixth led to the seventh Pilots run.

Chinooks fans’ spirits were lifted by a two-out rally in the fourth. Krahn singled and moved to second thanks to a walk given up to Jake Murray, followed by a base on balls drawn by Nick Covello. Ventimilia became the hero of the game when he drove a single into the outfield, scoring the runners from third and second.

Strong Pilots pitching held the Chinooks at bay after those two runs came in. For five consecutive innings it was one-two-three.

Tomorrow night at seven, the Chinooks host the All-Stars from the Chugiak and Eagle River American Legion teams in a seven-inning contest.

At the end of the sixth inning, a drawing will be held for an ounce of gold. Pro- ceeds from the raffle are to be used to equip the new concession stand being con- structed at the field. Completion is scheduled for June 30.

Chinooks return home Friday night for ABL game versus Glacier Pilots

Chugiak-Eagle River works its way into the 2013 Alaskan League season with a home date agains the Glacier Pilots following on Friday night. The contest will mark the 2nd league game of the year. All game action will be available live via Teamline and the Chinooks website. The first pitch is scheduled for 7pm at French Park.

Chinooks tie exhibition at Miners with 9th inning rally before game called in 10th to save arms, prepare for league play

Game Recap by Lee Jordan

The Chugiak-Eagle River Chinooks led the Mat-Su Miners in every category tonight. They had more hits, more outstanding plays in the field, threw more strikeouts—and, unfor- tunately, more men left on base. But they didn’t lose. After 10 innings and at 10 p.m., the non-league game at Palmer was called as a 2-2 tie in order to conserve pitchers for the Min- ers’ first league game tomorrow night.

Drawing first blood were the Miners who had their most productive inning of the night in the bottom of the third. The Mat-Su catcher gained a walk and Jack Amaro was hit by Chinook starting pitcher Lance Phillips. Both went on to score in an inning that featured what initially was called a triple play on a sparkling catch by Chinook right-fielder Griffin Gum. With the bases loaded and no one out, Christin Stewart pounded one into the gap in right-center. Thomas on third tagged up to await the catch. The other two runners, however, were on their horses with visions of a grand slam dancing in their heads.

The fleet-footed Gum raced to the fence to haul in the ball, then threw behind the runner who had left first. On an appeal that the runners had left too early, all three bases were tagged. Initially the signal was that the batter and two runners were out. Following a great deal of discussion, though, it was ruled that only the runner from first was guilty, meaning that both runs scored. It was not Gum’s only play, nor was he the only Chinook that rated a red star in the scorebook, but we’ll get to that later.

After four innings of stranding runners, the visiting team finally got on the scoreboard with two out in the fifth. Jake Murray singled and was held on first while Daniel Arthur compiled a full count. When the three-two pitch came across, the night’s designated hitter doubled down the left-field line. Going with the pitch from first base on the two-out full count, Murray slid across the plate under the tag.

After leaving 16 other runners stuck on base without any coming across, The ‘Nooks finally hit paydirt with one out in the ninth. Catcher Zach Harbison singled. Matt Kimmel, who had joined the team just the day before, was put in as a pinch-runner and advanced to second on a passed ball, then stole third. He was driven in by Stephen Ventilia. That feat rated another of the gold stars because the speedy shortstop, who hails from California and attends the University of Hawaii, beat out the throw by a whisker on the grounder to second.

The game thus knotted at two-all, each side went three up and three down in the tenth frame. Gum’s other gold star came with the third Miner out. What appeared to be a double into the gap was snared as the right-fielder slid to make the catch and save the game.

Each team had used five pitchers in the game. Although none had been overworked, it took a toll on the bullpen and threatened the Miners’ first league game coming up tomorrow.

The team has an off-day tomorrow. They host the Anchorage Glacier Pilots on Friday and on Saturday play the American Legion All-Stars from Eagle River and Chugiak high schools. Both games are at 7 p.m. at Loretta French Park.

During the seventh inning stretch on Saturday, the drawing will be held to determine the winner of an ounce of gold. Proceeds from the sale of tickets will be used to equip the new Chinooks Shack concession stand which is scheduled for completion June 30.

Chinooks late rally comes up just short in ABL opener

Game Recap by Lee Jordan

Despite mostly sunny skies at Loretta French Park, the Fairbanks Goldpanners rained on the Chinooks’ parade tonight. Fans waited for the come-from-behind sev- enth-inning rally that saved their bacon in the first two games, but it did not come in that frame, nor in the next, and too little, too late in the final inning. The bottom of the ninth held out hope when two were on after a run scored and the middle of the order was up to bat. Hopes were dashed, however, when the ‘Panner first baseman fielded a hard-hit grounder and stepped on the bag. It ended 5-4, Fairbanks.

The Chinooks drew first blood in the bottom of the first when Shortstop Stephen Ventimilia walked and scored from first when, with two out, Catcher Daniel Salters doubled to the fence in right-center.

Fairbanks catcher Jim Sinatro tied the game with a two-out homer over left- center in the second inning.

Chinooks third-baseman Drew Turbin put the home team ahead again when he led off the bottom of the second getting a free pass when the Fairbanks pitcher’s curve hit in on the arm. Second sacker Nick Covello doubled with two out to drive in Turbin.

Home team fans began to feel good about the first league game of the season when Collin Radack hit a sharp grounder to the ‘Panner shortstop–who promptly threw the ball over his first baseman’s head to allow the Chinooks’ left fielder to coast in to second.

Their hopes dimmed, however, when the first three batters to face starter Mike Jeffreys in the top of the fifth were able to score. He was pulled with two out and Caleb Dirks took over, striking out the second batter he faced to end the inning.

Unlike the first two non-league games for the Chinooks, it was the Goldpanners who did the scoring in the seventh, getting three hits off Dirks, the third one driving in both preceding runners.

The Chinooks were stifled until the bottom of the ninth. Covello had been at bat in the bottom of the eighth when a runner tried to score from third only to find Sal- ters waiting at the plate with the ball in hand. Within 10 feet of the plate, the runner turned and tried to retreat, but Salters ran him down for the third out. Starting the ninth with a new count, Covello doubled, then took third on a wild pitch. He scored on a sacrifice fly.

The loss was a poor birthday present for General Manager Chris Beck, who turned 41 today. He was surprised when public address announcer Dave Stroh ad- vised the crowd that the skipper was to do the honors. The pitch was taken by mid- dle son Jackson, mercifully called a strike by wife Danielle Beck, “umpire pro tem.”

The team travels to Palmer tomorrow night for another non-league contest with the Mat-Su Miners at 7 p.m.


Volume II, Game 3 June 11, 2013

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.

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