Goldpanners end series losing four straight

Alaska begins 15-day road trip
Published: Jun. 27, 2022 at 9:52 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Following the Alaska Goldpanners thrilling extra-innings victory, Tuesday, in the 117th Midnight Sun Game, the team has seen some recent struggles as of late. Wednesday, the Goldpanners lost to the San Diego Waves 10-1, which is the largest loss of the season thus far. Thursday was a loss, 8-7, in extra innings. Friday, the Panners tried to mount another late comeback, but fell short 5-3, making it three losses in a row, their first losing streak of the season.

Saturday, the Alaska Goldpanners ended their six game series against the San Diego Waves. The best case scenario was a series split because the Waves had the series advantage 3-2 heading into Saturday night’s series finale.

Corey Braun got the start on the mound for the Goldpanners, but the first inning was not kind to Braun and the home team. Devlin Lindeman led off the game with a double and would later come around to score on a Sean Rimmer error. Following the error, Braun allowed a single and a walk to load the bases. San Diego’s Phoenix Sommay would clear the bases on the first swing of the plate appearance with a grand slam. Alaska finally getting out of the inning trailing by five runs.

Alaska’s bats started very slowly as Chris Paruleski started the game with 1-2-3 first and second innings. The Panners finally managed to break into the hit column in the third with a lead off single from Cole Alexander.

It wasn’t until the fourth inning when the Goldpanners erased the goose egg in the run category. Paruleski struggled with pitch command walking two Goldpanners hitters and Sean Rimmer singled to load the bases. Matt Pinal would pick up his thirteenth RBI of the season with a fielder’s choice, cutting the San Diego lead to four.

Paruleski seemed to get his mojo back temporarily in the fifth inning, striking out the first two Panners hitters before allowing Dominic Hughes to reach base with a single, but was caught stealing for the third out.

Griffin Harrison leading of the bottom of the sixth flied out to right field. Sean Rimmer would follow Harrison drawing a five pitch walk, and the fourth walk issued would mark the end of the night for Paruleski (5.1 IP, 3 Hits, 2 ER, 4 BB, 4 K’s). Tyler Agnew on the mound now, walked the first batter he faced. With runners on first and second, Rafael Flores smashed a three-run home run to shrink the Waves lead to one, 5-4.

Neither team scored in the seventh inning, but it was ‘monkey see, monkey do’ for San Diego in the eighth. Matt Pinal allowed three runs (all earned) on four hits, and the Waves reclaimed their three-run lead 8-4.

Three outs remaining, four runs needed to tie the game, Tate Shimao and Marty Munoz started the inning with a pair of singles (Shimao advanced to third on the Munoz single). Those two hits forced Chris Fields off the mound, tasking Colton Bulger with closing the game, but not before Brock Kleszcz would drive one run in thanks to another fielder’s choice. Bulger would clear his mind though and get Harrison and Rimmer to fly out to center in back to back appearances to end the game.

San Diego wins Saturday night’s series finale 8-5 with fourteen hits and zero fielding errors. Alaska scored their five runs on seven hits and committed two fielding errors. Chris Paruleski was the winning pitcher, and Braun loses his first game of the year in his fourth start.

The Goldpanners losing streak has swelled to four games, and will now look to end it on the road. The Goldpanners have left Fairbanks for British Colombia to compete in the Grand Forks Invitational Tournament.

The eight-team tournament will start with round robin play tomorrow afternoon at 2:00 p.m. AKST against the Edmonton Cubs (Edmonton, AB). The second game will see the Goldpanners square off with the Northwest Honkers (Seattle, WA) at 6:30 p.m. AKST on Wednesday. Alaska will finish round robin play, Thursday, versus the Redmond Dudes (Redmond, WA) at 3:00 p.m.

The playoff portion of the tournament runs Friday, July 1, through Sunday, July 3. The other four teams at the tournament are: Seattle Studs (Seattle, WA), Everett Merchants (Everett, WA), Calgary Diamondbacks (Calgary, AB), and Seattle Blackfins (Seattle, WA). Following their tournament in Canada, the Goldpanners will finish their road trip in Seattle with a lone game against the Studs and then play in their “Seattle Studs Tournament.”

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