Goldpanners split with Seattle Studs to begin Pacific Northwest road trip
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Riding the high of a six-game sweep over the Everett Merchants, the Alaska Goldpanners entered their road stint playing their best - and healthiest - baseball of the season. In what was scheduled to be the series-opener with the Seattle Studs Monday, the area saw record high temperatures that called the game off due to extreme heat.
As the temperature cooled the following day, so did the Goldpanners offense, dropping a 6-2 contest with the Studs at the University of Puget Sound Field.
Third baseman Marco Pirruccello hit an RBI single to tie the game at one in the top of the third inning. However, that would be as close as the Panners were able to make it, as a costly error combined with a wild pitch in the bottom of the frame brought in three Seattle runs. Dominic Hughes scored Kaden Hogan with a base hit in the top of the sixth to plate the Panners’ second run. Connor Gross had a pair of singles, while Garrett Cooper, Grady Morgan and David Martin each collected a hit in the loss.
A bounce back game would be one way to describe Alaska’s performance in game two of the series with both the bats and arms coming together in a 11-1 stomping in Seattle.
The game moved rather quickly through the first four innings, with the Panners holding a 1-0 after a Hogan sacrifice fly brought in Ryan Pierce. Chase Rodriguez drove home Blake Fitzgerald after he opened the inning with a walk, followed by a passed ball that plated Reese Kent, who doubled earlier in the inning to make it 3-0. Still in the fifth, Pirruccello hit a single into right field with the bases juiced to score two more, as the Panners had control 6-0.
Seattle was able to avoid the shutout with one run in the bottom of the seventh, but the Goldpanners exploded for six more runs in the top half of the eighth, where the score stood 11-1 in favor of the visiting team. Hogan added another RBI, Kent hit a two-run single, while the Panners scored on a wild pitch, an error and fielder’s choice to close the door on any comeback effort.
German Fajardo, out of the University of Arizona, improved his record to 3-0 on the season after pitching six scoreless innings, allowing just two hits while sitting down seven batters. Ian Torpey and Elijah Dale finished the job for the final three innings on the bump.
The Goldpanners (14-6) have the day off Thursday, before returning to action against the Redmond Dudes Friday to begin a three-game series. All games during the 2021 season can be viewed on the Alaska Goldpanners YouTube page.
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