Alaska Goldpanners open 2021 season on the road this week

Updated: Jun. 1, 2021 at 7:17 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Two years removed from the diamond, the Alaska Goldpanners are ready to take the field in 2021.

As usual, the summer-collegiate baseball players will meet each other for the first time down in the states, convening in Seattle where they face the Studs to open their 2021 season at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. Seattle has been one of the Goldpanners’ biggest rivals in the independent era, facing them throughout regular seasons and meeting in tournament play.

Following a two-game stint with the Studs, the Goldpanners will travel to Alaska to face the Peninsula Oilers for a three-game series in Kenai, leading up to their Fairbanks debut June 10 against the Orange Country Riptide at 6:30 p.m. at Growden Memorial Park.

Though these players are coming from different parts of the country, like California, Hawaii, Kansas, Arizona and more, many have shared the same experience; having their collegiate seasons canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“They’re just they’re excited to get out on the field,” Goldpanners General Manager John Lohrke said of the team. “We have got some guys who went to [Division II] schools in California, they didn’t even play, they’re whole season got shut down. We’ve got some guys that are really highly touted, but their team is Top 10 in the country, so they’re young guys that just didn’t get a chance to pitch much at all looking to show what they can do. There is a lot of excitement, a lot of energy, love our coaching staff and the more I am around everybody it is meshing very quickly so it is going to be a fun group and I think we will have a great summer.”

The Goldpanners will be led by the coaching staff of field manager Anthony Ferro of Butte College, assistant Shan Dudoit with Trosky Baseball and pitching coach Mark Lindsay of Chico State University. This year’s roster includes players from notable colleges such as the University of Kansas, Fresno State, the University of Arizona and UC Santa Barbara.

The upcoming road games - and all games throughout the season - can be viewed on Panner Vision on the Alaska Goldpanners Youtube page. Season tickets and Midnight Sun Game tickets are still available on their website. When the Panners return from their opening trip, they are scheduled to play over 30 home games in Fairbanks.

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