Chinooks Drop First Game Of Five Game Stretch Vs Mat-Su Miners, Back In Action Sunday At 4PM

Game Recap by Lee Jordan

It was pretty tonight at Hermon Brothers Field under partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the warm category. But that was the scenery and the weather. It was not so pretty for the visiting Chinooks. Of the 15 runs scored, only two were by the visitors from Chugiak-Eagle River.

While the Chinooks collected only seven hits in the ball game, they were a big hit again in this year’s Bear Paw Parade through downtown Eagle Riv- er Saturday morning. The route along Business Blvd. and Old Glenn Hwy. was crowded with spectators who cheered their hometown team as the play- ers walked the route, waving and exchanging smiles with their fans.

In the game, Asa Johnson did a yeoman’s job on the mound for six innings, throwing a total of 95 pitches, 58 of them strikes and 37 judged to be outside the strike zone. He was tagged for four runs on six hits, the defense giving up four of their six errors during his time on the mound. Tiring in the bottom of the sixth frame, the 6’2” Bonvaenture junior saw three Miners reach base after the first two batters were retired. Bearing down, he got the third out on the sixth man to come up in the inning, escaping a bases-loaded jam.

Scoring first for the Chinooks was Griffin Gum who singled in the fourth and was driven in by Stephen Ventimilia. Jake Murray, who was put in as a pinch runner for Daniel Arthur in the eighth, scored the other run on an RBI double by Ryan Shackleford. Three times the Chinooks reached third, only to die there.

The same two teams meet tomorrow at 4 p.m. on the same grounds, but the Chinooks are looking for a far different outcome.

After a day off on Monday, the Miners will come to Chugiak on Tuesday and Wednesday in games starting at 6 p.m.

A big week comes up after a weekend of Showcase games and a home run derby at Mulcahy Park in Anchorage. The Chinooks finish the season at home with Fan Appreciation night on Tuesday and Military Appreciation on Saturday. The Chugiak Volunteer Fire Department will display its equipment at the field on Thursday and Matanuska Telephone Association is bringing the Major League Baseball Network Strike Zone setup here on Friday. People are invited to show off their pitching skills and collect prizes.

A post-season tournament will be held the following week, with the tour- nament schedule to be finalized in the coming days. At least two of the games are expected to be played at Loretta French Park, home of the Chinooks.

Cover Photo by Al Clemens

Goldpanners Complete Sweep Of Chinooks In Fairbanks, Miners Next Up After Day Off On Friday

Game Recap by Lee Jordan

The Fairbanks Goldpanners completed a three-game sweet of the Chi- nooks tonight at Growden Memorial Park in the Golden Heart City. At 5-1, the third was the tightest of the trio with the team that now stands atop the closely-matched league.

Chinooks starter Devin Stanton, usually called upon for a relief appear- ance, was in that role due to the stretch of 10 games in as many days—a schedule that included a seven-hour drive to get to Fairbanks in time for the first game. A two-out homer by the third batter to come to the plate in the bottom of the first apparently rattled the left-hander. The first man up in the second frame got a double, one of three plus two singles to bring four runners across before the final out was collected.

Andrew Klausmeier, another bullpen regular, came in in the bottom of the third and held the ’Panners scoreless for the rest of the night. He retired nine straight batters, the only one to reach base safely being sat down courte- sy of a Griffin Roark-to-Nick Covello-to-Tyler Krah twin killing.

Twice thereafter the next-to-least-tall man on the squad found himself with runners on third. Twice the hard-throwing right-hander escaped dam- age. The second of those nail-biters was in the bottom of the seventh when the first man up, the number nine hitter, singled and was moved to second then third on a single and a fielder’s choice. With a one-and-two count on the three-hole hitter, Klausmeier enticed a grounder to second. Griffin Roark smoothly scooped the ball into his glove, made a seamless transfer and fired a strike to Zach Harbison behind the plate. Harbison nailed the runner from third for the second out. Thus relieved, Klausmeier’s fastball sat the clean-up hitter down in short order.

The Chinooks’ only score came from a determined Griffin Gum. He made it safely to first on an error. With nothing to lose, he raced to second on the next pitch. With the Fairbanks infield not paying attention, he nonchalantly headed for third on the next one. The surprised Fairbanks catcher threw the ball into left field and the Chugiak-Eagle River right-fielder strolled home. The disastrous four-run second inning started off with a fluke grounder down the third-base line. Drew Turbin was all set to corral the ball and make his customary strong throw to first when the ball hit the bag and bounded over the third-sacker’s head into left field.

The loss ran the ’Nooks’ record to five wins and 15 not-wins—many of those actually going down as almosts.

With a day off tomorrow to try to rest after an all-night drive south, the team will go to Mulcahy to meet the Mat-Su Miners in a Showcase game at 1 p.m. That series puts all six teams on the field to give baseball scouts from around the country an opportunity to see them in action.

They will rise early Saturday morning to take part in the Bear Paw Parade and other activities in downtown Eagle River, then return to Anchorage to meet the Anchorage Bucs in another Showcase game at 4 p.m.

Next week starts off with the Alaska Baseball League Home Run Derby on Sunday, also at Anchorage’s Mulcahy Stadium.

The final regular season games are at home and will feature a grand finale with Fan Appreciation Night on Monday, a doubleheader with the Goldpan- ners, a day off, a Thursday game sponsored by the Chugiak Volunteer Fire Department, the MLBN Strike Zone brought to Chugiak by Matanuska Tele- phone Association, and Military Appreciation Night being arranged by Rep. Dan Saddler on Saturday.

Returning this season will be a post-season ABL tournament featuring five teams, with a couple of those games slated to be played at Loretta French Park, the home of the Chinooks.

League Leading Goldpanners Make It Consecutive Losses For Fish In Fairbanks, Finale 7pm Thursday

The second of a two-game stand in Fairbanks against the Goldpanners lacked the ninth-inning drama of last night’s contest but the outcome was even less satisfying for the Chinooks. It ended 7-1 in favor of the hosts.

It just wasn’t a good night for the visitors from Chugiak-Eagle River. After Nick Covello’s lead-off double to open the game, the only offensive highlight was a solo homerun by Chance Gusbeth with two out in the top of the second. In only three subsequent innings did more than the minimum three fish come to the plate.

The Fairbanks starter, Dingilian, had a good night, striking out 10, his offerings barely nicking the strike zone time after time. He walked none and had one slip out of his hand, pinging Collin Radack as the Chinook center- fielder led off the fourth. The second of three Fairbanks pitchers gave up the only walk allowed by the host pitchers.

The Chinook hurlers, on the other hand, had more trouble finding the mark and sent their missiles deeper into the zone. The ’Panners capitalized, getting 10 hits while earning five walks while two batsmen were nipped and sent to first to rub off any possible bruises.

While the offense was disappointing, the Chugiak-Eagle River nine made some sparkling defensive plays.

In the bottom of the second, first baseman Chance Gusbeth leapt high to knock down a rap sailing over his head, enabling James Scott, the Chinooks starter, to snap up the sphere and make the putout. In the fourth, Jake Murray made a diving catch in left field to get the out and prevent a runner from pos- sibly scoring from first. Unfortunately, there were a couple of official errors and another that could have been scored an E that caused part of the damage.

The Goldpanners scored two in the bottom of the first, four in the third, and one in the fifth.

Lance Phillips relieved Scott in the bottom of the sixth and caused his

teammates to hold their breath when he walked the first three batters he faced. He apparently got the message given in a quick visit to the mound by pitching coach Chris Beck: he got the fourth man up to hit a sharp grounder to Gusbeth, who fired the ball to Daniel Salters behind the plate, then took Salt- ers’ throw to the bag to complete the double play. Phillips then struck out the next batter to end the inning without giving up a run. There was a universal exhaling on the visitor side.

Bryce Clifton came in to put a capper on in the top of the eighth, using only eight pitches to get three fly outs.

Tomorrow night at 7 the Chinooks finish the away string, then go to Palmer, after taking Friday off, for a pair of games against the Miners.

There will be home games July 16 and 17 before entering the Showcase Games and Home Run Derby at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage. They complete the regular season at home with a big week full of activities to delight the hometown fans.

Chugiak-Eagle River Late Rally Falls Short In First Of Three Against ‘Panners in Fairbanks

There was ninth inning drama tonight in Fairbanks, but too little came too late once again. The Goldpanners came out on top, 7-4.

Ninth-inning drama consisted of analyzing the strategy going through the minds of the teams’ managers. With Fairbanks ahead 7-2 going into the top of the ninth, the Goldpanners put in relief pitcher Joey Capistran. Chugiak-Eagle River right-fielder Griffin Gum, who was two-for-three with a double and a triple, was up. He drove the first pitch deep, ending up on second for the second time in the evening.

That brought up first-sacker Tyler Krahn, hitless in three at-bats. Krahn poked a single through, scoring Gum. Left-fielder Chance Guspeth made it to first safely. Catcher Zach Harbison singled, driving in Krahn who had advanced. Shortstop Stephen Ventimilia came up and grounded to the ’Panner shortstop, who threw out Harbison at second for the first out.

That brought up the top of the Chinooks’ order with but one out and two runners aboard.

Now the strategy quandary: For the Chinooks, do you go to the bench or leave in your starting lineup? For Fairbanks, do you chance loading the bases with the always-dangerous Collin Radack waiting his turn at bat? A grand slam would put the fish one run up. Was a fireman sufficiently warmed up in the bullpen?

The Chinook decision: Yes. The Fairbanks choice: No.

The result you already know from the headline and the lead-in to this article.

Was it better pitching from the home team, poor hitting from the visitors, or the long ride between Chugiak-Eagle River and the Golden Heart city that made the difference? This writer can’t answer because he was not there and depended solely on the impersonal play-by-play seen on his new computer.

Goldpanner starter Mikey Ramirez was in the hole early when Chinooks designated hitter Nick Covello got on on an error when he led off at the top of the first. He moved to second on second-baseman Griffith Roark’s ground- out, then made it to third on a passed ball. He was left there, however, on two straight strikeouts.

Chinook starter Caleb Dirks was masterful in the bottom of the first, get- ting two ground outs and a pop fly to set the opposition down one, two, three. Gum got his triple to lead off the second, but was left stranded there when

Ramirez enticed the next three batters to hit softly into the infield.
It was the bottom of the second when trouble struck. The first batter singled, the second walked on a full count, the third was out on a successful bunt that moved both men up 90 feet. The next batter doubled in both runs. Following him was number-eight-hole batter Alex Rubanowitz who got a two- run knock.

Visitor Ventimilia tripled in the bottom of the third, then scored on Covel- lo’s sacrifice fly to right. Gum added the second run after doubling in the fourth and scored on an error handling Harbison’s hit through second.

Fairbanks added three insurance runs in the fifth.

Kenny Knudsen came in in relief to start the bottom of the sixth and held the ’Panners scoreless, giving up only two hits in three innings of work.

The Chinooks play two more in Fairbanks before coming back to enjoy a day off, then travel to Palmer for a pair of games. Their next home game will be Tuesday, July 16, when they host the Mat-Su Miners at 6 p.m. and again at that hour on Wednesday.

Two big events are coming up the following week. On Monday, July 22, the team will celebrate Fan Appreciation Night at 6 p.m. There will be lot of prizes and a chance to meet the players and get pictures. The last scheduled game will be Military Appreciation Night on Saturday, July 27, also at 6 p.m. It caps a big week of events, including the MLBN Strike Zone sponsored by Matanuska Telephone Association on Friday, the 26th.

Chinooks Walk-Off With 11th Inning Victory Over Oilers For Back To Back Home Wins

Game Recap Provided By Lee Jordan

With the weather a little better and a win Sunday over the first-place Fairbanks Goldpanners under their belts, the Chinooks refused to give in to the Peninsula Oilers tonight. The Oilers stung the fish last week in a four- game sweep at Kenai. The Chugiak-Eagle River nine just weren’t going to lose at home. It took 11 innings to do it, but they did it.

Drew Turbin was the hero, gaining a two-out walk-off hit with two teammates on base.

Let’s recap the game before getting to the drama of the final inning.

The Oilers drew first blood, scoring two runs in the top of the third. Those were the only two tallies given up by Mike Jeffreys. The strikeout meister who returned from the 2012 Chinooks team where he led the league in Ks, pitched three more scoreless innings before being relieved in the sev- enth.

Andrew Klausmeier took the mound and sat the visitors down without scoring. In the bottom half of the seventh the fish were on again, this time scoring once.

The Oilers also scored once more, in the top of the eighth.

A look at the scoreboard at that point showed the Chinooks were down one run with six outs left in which to get three runs in order to go ahead and avoid another loss. They did it. Unfortunately, the Oilers also looked at the scoreboard and decided they didn’t want to fall to the team they had put into the loss column five times previously. They scored once in the top of the ninth to tie the score at four-all.

Klausmeier was relieved with one out in the ninth, with Bryce Clifton called upon to control the bats of the visitors. He got the needed two outs in the ninth, then held the Oilers scoreless in the top of the tenth, then repeated the feat in the eleventh, giving up just one hit—to the lead-off batter. That runner didn’t even make it to second, being forced by the next man up. The third man up, the nine-hole hitting left-fielder for the Peninsula team who is a prolific hitter, grounded out, Clifford Roark at second to Tyler Krahn at first. Clifton got the fourth man up to ground out, also to Roark, to get his team to the bottom half.

third man up, the nine-hole hitting left-fielder for the Peninsula team who is a prolific hitter, grounded out, Clifford Roark at second to Tyler Krahn at first. Clifton got the fourth man up to ground out, also to Roark, to get his team to the bottom half.

Leading off for the Chinooks in the bottom of the eleventh was shortstop Stephen Ventimilia, batting ninth in the Chugiak-Eagle River lineup. He drew a walk, raising the “fish on” cry from fans on the third base side. Nick Covello, tonight’s designated hitter, sacrificed the lead runner to second. Roark struck out, causing heavy sighs on the home team bleachers. Hopes soared, though, when the Oiler manager decided to intentionally walk Collin Radack, the hard-hitting centerfielder for the fish, to get to Turbin. Ventimil- ia had advanced to third on the succession of plays, runners left at the cor- ners.

Even though the late evening cloudy skies dimmed the natural light, pitching to Turbin turned out to be a mistake for the visitors. It was the best thing that could happen to the Chinooks. Turbin promptly drove one through the infield, bringing Ventimilia scampering home with the winning run. He was mobbed by the entire roster after jumping on the plate.

The team drives to Fairbanks early tomorrow morning to play the first in a three-game series with the Goldpanners. They are off on Friday, then return to Southcentral to visit the Mat-Su Miners on Saturday and Sunday. Follow- ing another off day, they host the Miners on Tuesday, July 16, in a game sponsored by Eagle River Presbyterian Church, and the next day the same two teams square off in a Wednesday game sponsored by Laborers’ Local 341.

Be sure to wear your colors to welcome the team back home on July 16. Let’s hope the win streak continues as the guys show off their great talent. It’s time the close ones come out in their favor instead of the other guys’.

Cover Photo by Al Clemens

Fish Provide Late Excitement In Securing First Alaskan League Home Victory of 2013

Chinooks Never Trail In 5-4 Win vs League Leading Goldpanners On Sunday Night

Game Recap by Lee Jordan

Judging by the reaction of the people on the third-base side of the diamond at tonight’s Alaska Baseball League game at Loretta French Park, one might have thought the Chinooks had won the World Series. It felt that good.

All that actually happened was that the last-place team knocked off the first -place Fairbanks Goldpanners by a score of 5-4. Fairbanks dropped to 10 wins and six losses while the Chinooks rose to 4-17. It had been a long drought for the fish.

The fans sat through three hours of close plays as the weatherman kept changing the conditions from sunshine to rain to wind and back again. The tempera- ture under sometimes cloudy, sometimes sunny skies was in the low 60s. It felt like the low 50s, though, when the wind blew the dampness through light outer wear.

Public address system problems that plagued last night’s game continued. Stop-gap measures arranged by Booster Club director Al Clemens restored sound in time for a pre-game ceremony honoring long-time Chugiak residents Cliff and Doro- thy Gilmore. It went off again, but assistance from Chinooks pitcher and electronics guru Hunter Totemeier got things going again, although not quite at the same deci- bel level as in the past. Lost in the process was music from the library of Jackson Beck. PA announcer Dave Stroh covered nicely, filling the gap between innings with chatter ranging from comments on the weather to needling Rep. Bill Stoltze, sponsor of the game and presenter of gifts to the Gilmores.

But enough chit-chat. Let’s get to the game and savor every moment.

Determined to change things, the Chinooks came out swinging in the bot- tom of the first after starting pitcher Asa Johnson got three fly-outs despite giving up a double, leaving the lead-off man standing on second.

Leading off for the home team, Nick Covello drew a walk after running the count full. He was sacrificed to second by Griffin Roark and scored on a double to left center by centerfielder Collin Radack. Radack in turn scored on a sacrifice fly by right-fielder Griffin Gum after stealing third.

The anticipation was slowed in the top of the second when the first two Goldpanner batters struck gold after a combination of a single, a double and another single sandwiched around a ground out and a fly to right. Johnson ended the threat with a strikeout of the number-two hitter in the Fairbanks lineup.

The 2-2 tie was broken up in the bottom of the second when short- stop Stephen Ventimilia, batting in the number-nine spot, singled, was moved to second, stole third and scored on a Radack double. Leadoff man Covello, who had singled to get Ventimilia 90 feet farther along, also scored on the Radack hit.

Although the rain shower came down in earnest to start the third, Johnson faced only three batters, sending them all back to the bench. The first batter was retired on a grounder to Ryan Shackelford at first, the second Panner to the plate was given a full-count free pass only to be gunned down by catcher Zach Harbison a couple of pitches into a 12 pitch at-bat for Fair- banks first-sacker Nolan Meadows. The long-hanging inning ended with Meadows flying out to Jake Murray in left.

Johnson sailed along in great shape through three more innings, mix- ing his pitches well and effectively using a soft curve in both the fifth and sixth frames. He was relieved in the top of the seventh by Devin Stanton.

Chinooks fans dug out the antacids in the top of the eighth when with two out and two Panners on base, a hard shot to third got through the legs of Shackelford. Gum’s throw to the plate from deep in right was a little up- stream and the toss back to the pitcher was not in time to nail the trailing run- ner. Unfazed and doubly determined, Stanton struck out the next batter on three straight pitches.

Leading off in the bottom of the eighth, Gum drew a walk after working into a full count, was sacrificed to second by Murphy, could not ad- vance on a ground out to second, but motored home on a shot into right field by Ventimilia.

The first Fairbanks batter of the top of the ninth singled and stole second safely, but Stanton came through splendidly. He got the next batter with three straight curves, got the next Panner to fly out to second and the fourth batter of the inning flew out to center after driving his second pitch to Radack. Game over. Chinooks won.

Stanton was mobbed when he headed back to the dugout as the entire team erupted from the enclosure to celebrate their fourth league win. Overall they have seven, but three of those count for naught in the standings.

Fairbanks used five pitchers in eight innings. Stanton picked up the win after Johnson’s masterful pitching left him with no decision.

The Goldpanners out-hit the Chinooks, but as the Chugiak-Eagle River nine had found out so many times this season, it’s the number of runs that come across the plate that counts.

Tomorrow night’s game is sponsored by Jitters and starts at 7 p.m.

The Chinooks go on the road to Fairbanks starting Tuesday for three games with the Goldpanners, have a day off, visit the Miners for two days, have another day off, then return home.

Their next home game after tomorrow will be July 16 at 6 p.m.

Cover Photo by Al Clemens 

Chinooks Return Home For Rare Three Game Stand, Drop Opener To Miners 10-5

Game Recap by Lee Jordan

Taking a cue from the Peninsula Oilers in the previous four games, the Chinooks tried a bottom-of-the-ninth rally tonight, only to see it fall short. The game ended 8-5, the Mat-Su Miners on top.

A harbinger of things to come was seen just as the home team was be- ing introduced when the PA system went silent. No national anthem, no introduction of players, no chants of “that foul ball was sponsored by…” The latter deficiency was negated, however, when the fans took it upon them- selves to insert in proper order the names of the Edward Jones Financial Advisors who put iup the money to buy the season’s supply of horsehide- covered spheres.

The game started with a Mat-Su run when third baseman Spencer Ma- honey doubled then scored on a single by the number three batter after the second batter was thrown out at first by Drew Turbin. The tallier of the first tally was promptly thrown out by Chinooks catcher Daniel Salters as he attempted to steal second off starting pitcher Max Bruckner.

Usually coming in from the bullpen, Bruckner was called upon to start due to the high number of games over a short period of time. The visiting team had the same problem, calling on reliever Tyler Martin to begin the game.

The home crowd found something about which to cheer in the bottom of the third when the Chinooks’ leading hittrs Drew Turbin and Collin Radack made it safely and scored. The Miners tied it in the top of the fourth and saw the home team take the lead in the bottom half.

Chinooks Chatter


Volume II, Games 21-25 July 6, 2013

Although the rain that had bedeviled the players in Kenai held off, the

spirits of the Chugiak-Eagle River faithful were dampened in the sixth when the visitors once more tied the score, then regained the lead in the sixth. Three walks and as many singles in the top of the ninth, though, spread icing on the cake for the visitors.

Hope sprang in the bottom of the frame when the Palmer team sent in a sidearm slinger who himself found trouble finding the plate. Jake Murray walked, Griffin Gum grounded out to second and Griffin Roark reached. Both fish came in to score. Helped by a couple of calls from the men in blue who the home fans felt had less clear views of the action than did those in the bleachers, the Miners shut down the rally three runs short of extra in- nings.

A note of interest is that Hunter Totemeier, the 6’4” right-handed pitch- er who joined the team right after graduating from high school, turned out to be an electronic magician who climbed to the roof of the press box where he found a blown fuse in one of the loudspeakers. Finding a replacement and using a screwdriver provided by a newly arrived Ft. Richardson service member watching the game, he was able to get the sound back, but only temporarily. Coming to bat in the sound remedy arena earlier had been Booster Club member Al Clemens who made a quick trip home to bring back his own portable sound system which regrettably lacked sufficient volume to get Dave Stroh’s witticisms very far out of the box.

Tomorrow’s game is at 5 p.m. It is a special event sponsored by Rep. Bill Stoltze which will honor the many decades of service to the community by long-time Birchwood residents Cliff and Dorothy Gilmore.

The Monday night game, sponsored by Jitters, will mark the longest home stand for the Chinooks in the season—three straight games. Fans are looking forward to a filled calendar at Loretta French Park later this month.

As of tonight, the Chinooks have suffered 17 losses while winning only a trio of league game. Overall, they are 6 and 17. Most of the games have been much closer than the standings would reflect. But, as pundits are often heard to say, “Close only counts in horseshoes…or slow dancing.”

The other five teams are fairly tightly packed and their positions for the season are a long way from being decided. In first place tonight are the Fair- banks Goldpanners at 10-5—six games shy, though, of the number of games played by the Mners and the Anchoerage Glacier Pilots who each have 21 games under their belts. The Anchorage Bucs are 12-8 the Peninsula Oilers 10-7, the Miners 12-9, and the Pilots 10-11. Only the Pilots and the Chinooks are under .500.

Photo by Al Clemens

Chugiak-Eagle River Falls In Walk-Off Fashion To End Classic Independence Day Contest

Recap and photo provided by Jason Patterson

The Chinooks experienced the heartbreak of a walk-off defeat for the second time in three nights on the Peninsula. This one came at the end of a classic extra inning dose of our national pastime on Independence Day. The game ended in an instant, leaving but one lingering question for  fish fans, when will the Chinooks finally be set free from the seemingly endless cycle of heart-wrenching losses that have marked the first half of the 2013 Season.

The pitching was solid once again on Thursday night, with Dirks, Stanton and Kalusmeier allowing only two total runs and pushing the game into the 11th inning in hopes of an offensive breakthrough that never came. The ‘Nooks had chances early, including a bases loaded no-one-out opportunity in the first inning. The Oilers escaped the monster jam allowing only a single run via a sacrifice fly off the bat of Tyler Krahn. Chugiak-Eagle River would not score again.

The Peninsula Oilers answered with a run in the bottom of the sixth, which came without the ball leaving the infield. Their eleventh inning rally also began with an infield single. The winning run moved to second on a passed ball. He reached third on a ground ball to short. This set the table for David Olmeda-Barrerra’s walk off line drive over the heads of a drawn in outfield to seal the Oilers third consecutive victory over the Chinooks.

The same two teams will be back in action Friday night at 7PM.


‘Nooks Shutout Despite Stellar Outing From Mike Jeffreys, Set For Game 3 vs Oilers Thursday Night

The Chinooks were shutout 2-0 by the Peninsula Oilers in Game 2 of the mid-week series at Kenai. Mike Jeffreys was solid once again in 7 innings of work. Unfortunately for Chugiak-Eagle River, the opposing pitcher, AJ Quintero, was just as strong. In the end, with runs coming at a premium, a single and a triple put together by the Oilers in the bottom of the 7th inning proved to be the difference in the ballgame.

The same two clubs will be back in action for a 4th of July contest Thursday night. First pitch is scheduled for 7pm.

Oilers Stun Fish With Walk-Off Come From Behind 9th Inning Victory In 1st of 4 Straight On Peninsula

Blue was not a good color for the Chinooks as they lost another close one, this time to the Peninsula Oilers in Kenai.

Blue were the jerseys of the visitors from Chugiak-Eagle River. Blue were the faces of some of the players from warmer climes who shivered in temperatures flirt- ing with 50 degrees and a light sea breeze stirring the air. And blue were the fish fans as they saw things go from high to low in the bottom of the ninth.

It was a pitching game for starters from both teams, with Asa Johnson on the mound for the Chinooks and Logan McAnallen hurling for the Oilers. Johnson was the first to suffer when in the bottom of the fourth number nine-hole hitter Taylor Tempel doubled into left then was sacrificed to third. He scored on a one-ball pitch poked safely by Jake Alvarez.

Johnson was relieved in the bottom of the fifth with two on and two out. Devin Stanton came on in relief and made short work of the Oiler threat, getting the strike- out on a two-two pitch. He gained another red star in the very next inning after striking out the first batter he faced, giving up a single to the second hitter, then im- mediately erasing the side by snaring a comebacker, firing the ball to second- baseman Griffin Roark who threw a strike to Tyler Krahn at first.

The Chinooks still down 1-0 to open the eighth, Krahn doubled to right with one out. After the next batter flew out to center, it seemed that still another inning would end with runners left on base. That thought did not occur to catcher Daniel Salters, however. After taking a pitch down low, he jumped on a strike from Oilers reliever Michael Coates and sent it sailing over the right field fence at Coral Sey- mour Park.

Andrew Klausmeier took the hill to face the hometown team in the top of the eighth. Despite two batters making it on base via a single and a walk, he sat the last two men down with no damage done.

The top of the ninth was unproductive as the Chinooks were sent back to the bench, one, two three. With a 2-1 lead, only three outs were needed in the home half of the frame to preserve the win. Alas, it was not to be.

Lance Phillips was called in to close, but the bottom fell out. The first hitter up, the eight-hole hitter, doubled, the next batter walked and the Oilers’ lead-off man singled to load the bases. There was hope when Salters corralled a popup behind the plate in an effort to preserve his winning RBI. That hope was dashed, though, when the Peninsula team’s designated hitter walked to score the run that tied it up. The Oilers walked off victors when the second pitch to their catcher was driven into right field with the bases loaded. It ended 3-2, Oilers.

This was the first of a four game set on the Peninsula. The next three will all be at 7 p.m. The fish return home on Saturday to take on the Mat-Su Miners at 7 p.m.

Chugiak-Eagle River’s Late Rally Comes Up Short In Final Matchup With Glacier Pilots

Game Recap by Lee Jordan

The Chinooks were on top, 1-0, early tonight in their last regular-season meet- ing with the Anchorage Glacier Pilots. The lead lasted until the top of the sixth when the Pilots put seven runs on the board. Two more for the visitors came across in the top of the ninth, putting the home team in a 9-1 hole as the home team found itself with only three outs left.

With a comfortable lead, the Pilots sent a relief pitcher to the mound. When he found trouble hitting the strike zone and loaded the bases with three straight free passes, the home crowd began to get excited.

Griffin Gum, Zach Harbison and Steve Ventimilia had filled the bases when yet another pitcher was hastily brought in to stop the bleeding. He, too, had little luck against the fired-up fish. Nick Covello singled to bring Gum and Harbison home, followed by Drew Turbin’s double which cleared the bases.

The Pilots were able to get their first out when Turbin attempted to take third when the ball skipped away from Pilot catcher Chris Hoo. A strong throw to third nipped the sliding Turbin.

Walks to Collin Radack and Daniel Salter brought to the mound the third pitcher in the ninth frame. Brendan McCurray then struck out the eighth and ninth Chinooks batters of the inning to close out the game, leaving two runners on base and four runs short of knotting the score.

It was an exciting finish, one that only slightly dampened the spirits of the Chi- nooks faithful who stayed to the end to cheer on their hometown favorites. The Chi- nooks remain three and 12 while the Pilots improve to .500 at seven and seven.

Chinooks followers who are unable to make the trip to Kenai can listen to the play-by-play by Jason Patterson by clicking on the Teamline Listen Live button on

The Chinooks have their fourth day off in eight days tomorrow, before taking the field on Tuesday in Kenai against the Peninsula Oilers. They return home on Saturday to host the Mat-Su Miners who are see-sawing with the Anchorage Bucs for the Alaska Baseball League lead.

Cover Photo Provided By Al Clemens

‘Nooks WIN Back to Back Games On The Road, Defeating First Place Bucs 3-2 Saturday In Anchorage

Game Recap By Lee Jordan

There was joy in Chugiak-Eagle River tonight as the cellar-dwelling Chinooks edged the league-leading Anchorage Bucs, 3-2, at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage.

Gritty play on the turf backed up the “We’re on our way” message given after the 17-2 drubbing of the Glacier Pilots there on Thursday night. The message was not exactly clear, however, until the last pitch was thrown in the bottom of the ninth.

Getting the well-deserved win tonight was Caleb Dirks, a returning pitcher from the 2012 Chinooks team. He went through five innings, giving up one run on only a couple of hits while striking out four and walking three.

With the lead-off batter flying out to center to start the game, third-baseman Drew Turbin, another second-year player, earned a walk, was moved to second and then to third, coming in to score on a single by first-sacker Tyler Krahn.

The Bucs put their lead-off hitter on with a single, then saw him driven in on a single by the number three batter, their designated hitter.

The score remained knotted at one-all as Dirks and the Bucs’ ace, 6’6″ Garrett Mundell, mowed down opposing batters. Until the top of the fifth, that is. That’s when Chinooks left-fielder Jake Murray, batting in the number-eight hole, surprised the home team with a perfectly placed bunt and ran it out safely. He was sacrificed to second by shortstop Steve Ventimilia and then scored on a single by second- baseman Nick Covello. Covello in turn scored on a single by Turbin. Turbin’s hit marked the end of the line for the Bucs’ starter.

It was a defensive gem for both sides. Dirks was pulled after five and reliever Devin Stanton came on to quickly retire the side in both the sixth and seventh frames. Things got hairy for the Chinooks, though, with one out in the bottom of the seventh. The number-nine Bucs batter was plunked by an errant pitch. Another one in the dirt got past catcher Daniel Salters and rolled all the way to the backstop, which at Mulcahy is a bit farther back than at other ABL fields. The victimized hit- ter saw the opportunity to gain 180 feet on the fish. He did not, however, reckon on the determination of the visitors that carried over from their big win two days ear- lier. Salters stretched his long legs, snared the errant sphere and fired a strike to Tur- bin, nailing the runner at third. The play earned a red star in the scorebook.

Still unsettled in the bottom of the eighth and with visions of two walk-off heartbreakers earlier in the young season, a chill went through the fans on the first- base side where the red jerseys were seated. Skies were cloudy and the temperature had fallen from the record highs set over the previous two weeks. The mid-60s read- ing and light breeze cut through to the bone.

The Bucs’ number-two hitter led off with a single. He moved to second on a fielder’s choice, then found himself on third after an error and a walk, coming around to score on another error–the only two made in the game by the Chinooks. Lance Phillips, who had taken over from Stanton in the seventh, got the inning’s seventh batter to fly out to deep center where Collin Radack hauled it in for the third out.

Nerves were still frayed in the ninth when a pinch-hitter for the number-nine- hole Buc was struck out by Phillips, only to have the next batter walk on four straight pitches. That was it. Determination took over. Phillips got the second out on a pop-up to short and struck out the number-three hitter, whose batting average was well over 400, on three pitches.

The joy at the ballpark was felt all the way to Chugiak and beyond–even to the home of the Mat-Su Miners who had a vested interest in the outcome of the game at Mulcahy.

Tomorrow (Sunday) the Chinooks host the Glacier Pilots in the final regular- season meeting of those two teams this year. Unable to win the seven-game series, the fish hope to make it three and four. Game time is 5 p.m.

Jeffreys Solid Start, Offensive Explosion Power Fish To Second Victory At Mulcahy Park 17-2

Game Recap by Lee Jordan

Redoubling the determination shown in Tuesday’s heartbreaking bottom-of-the- ninth loss to the Mat-Su Miners, the Chinooks sent a message to the rest of the Alaska Baseball League tonight.

Their message: “You’ve had your head start. Now we’re on our way, so watch out!”

Ignited by Griffin Gum’s two-run homer that skimmed the left field foul pole, the entire Chugiak-Eagle River team’s bats came alive. All nine in the lineup scored, with Collin Radack and Daniel Arthur each collecting three while Griffin Roark, Tyler Krahn, Ryan Shackelford and Jake Murray each had a pair. Drew Tur- bin and Daniel Salters had one each.

Add them up: It comes to 17 on the visitor side of the scoreboard.

While nine players wielded the lumber, the one player not included in that list turned in a performance that equaled their combined heroics.

Starting pitcher Mike Jeffreys neared perfection for the first eight innings and made a bid for a complete game victory in going eight and two-thirds innings. One of four players returning from last year’s inaugural Chinooks season, Jeffreys as a freshman at Geneva College led the ABL in strikeouts with 49 K’s. He picked up eight tonight while giving up but three hits and walking only one through eight.

The right-hander wanted to go all the way but after three hits, one of them a blooper into right, and a walk he was lifted by GM Chris Beck with two out in the bottom of the ninth. Lance Phillips came in to face the seventh batter of the frame and promptly retired him.

The visitor side of the scorebook resembled a checkerboard with multiple filled- in diamonds in all but four of the nine columns.

Head Coach Jon Groth shuffled the batting order for tonight’s game to create a formula that worked well. Leading off was Roark at shortstop, followed by Turbin at third, Radack in center, Krahn at first base and hitting cleanup, Shackelford at second, Salters behind the plate, Arthur inserted as designated hitter, Gum in right field and number-nine batter Jake Murray who was in left.

Those defensive positions earned mention because each proved to be valuable in helping Jeffreys gain the impressive victory.

The win was long overdue—only the second since June 16 when these same Pilots were downed in a 14-inning marathon that saw the Chinooks go ahead in the top of the 14th and then hold the Pilots at bay in the bottom half.

Tonight’s game with the team named after real-life Glacier Pilot Bob Reeve was the sixth in a seven-game series—all played in June. The seventh game comes up Sunday at Loretta French Park. First pitch in the game sponsored by The Alaska Club is at 5 p.m.

Photo Credit, Al Clemens

Chinook Heartbreaker In Mat-Su Valley, Miners Walk-Off With Victory On Military Appreciation Night

Game Recap by Lee Jordan

The Chinooks’ bats have come alive and the team traveled to Palmer tonight filled with determination to turn things around. They out-hit the Miners throughout the game, but a big bottom of the third temporarily made the outlook dim. The fish refused to give up and tied the game at four-all, only to see their hopes dashed in the bottom of the ninth. An over-anxious double-play attempt let the winning run cross.

Despite the outcome, the game was a thriller that kept the faithful on both side on the edge of their seats until that last play was made.

The fish were running in the top of the first. Number two hitter Drew Turbin singled, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and scored when Collin Radack dou- bled. Radack then scored on Tyler Krah’s double to put the Chinooks up by two.

A third run came in the top of the second when Stephen Ventimila walked, stole second and scored on a single by Turbin. The fish threatened in the third but left two men on when the third out was recorded.

Asa Johnson, switched from the bullpen to the rotation in the flu-ravaged early stages of the season, did an outstanding job for the Chinooks. He gave up but one hit in the bottom of the first, then sat the side down in the second.

It was a different story in the third, though, when a single, a hit batsman, and then a bunt that turned a sacrifice into a single loaded the bases. A walk brought in Mat-Su’s first run; then a single to right made it 4-3.

Johnson pulled himself together after the onslaught, getting three straight outs to get his team back on the bench. Only one Miner got on base in the next three in- nings, that one benefitting from an infield error.

Each starter came out after six innings, the Miners at that point ahead 4-3. Devin Stanton took over for Johnson and Patrick Kenney relieved Miner Trevor Bettencourt. Bettencourt gave up a double to Chinook second-sacker Griffin Roark who then was sacrificed to third by Turbin and scored on a shot to second by Radack to tie the game.

It remained there until Stanton gave up a mistake to the leadoff hitter in the sev- enth, letting him reach on a single to left. A sacrifice bunt moved the runner to scor- ing position. The threat was erased, however, when catcher Zach Harbison threw out the runner as he attempted to steal third. A grounder to Ventimilia ended the inning.

Stanton walked the leadoff hitter in the eighth, then was called for a balk. Un- fazed even though that runner made it as far as third on a passed ball, he got the next three batters out to preserve the tie.

Chinook fans were encouraged when Tyler Krahn singled with two out in the top of the ninth, but Drew Smith, who ended up getting the win for the Miners, struck out the next batter.

The heartbreak happened quickly in the last frame as the number six Mat-Su batter singled. The next batter drove the ball to third, making Turbin hopeful that he could cut down the lead batter and set up a double play. The high throw ended that hope and left the Miner fans ecstatic.

It was another beautiful night for baseball, completely opposite of last season when rain and cold made the first part of the season miserable. The Palmer team was outfitted in camo jerseys in honor of military appreciation night. The Palmer High School band entertained with stirring marches during the game.

The Chinooks do not have a game tomorrow, travel to Mulcahy for a 7 p.m. game with the Glacier Pilots, are off on Friday and return to Mulcahy to play the Bucs on Saturday at 4 p.m.

They will be at home again on Sunday at 5 p.m. to host the Pilots in the final matchup of these two teams in the regular season.

Photo provided by Al Clemens

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