Bucs sweep Pilots in doubleheader as ABL season opens

jpeters@adn.comJune 9, 2013 

— Fans chattered, bats cracked and rawhide popped Sunday at Mulcahy Stadium, where Anchorage's Sagan Osborne prevented the Anchorage Glacier Pilots from getting no-hit by the Anchorage Bucs in the first half of an Alaska Baseball League opening-day doubleheader.

The Bucs swept the non-league event with 2-0 and 6-3 victories, getting the jump on a rival they will meet at least 11 more times this summer.

"It's no secret in Anchorage that the two teams don't really like each other, so we can't give them the satisfaction of no-hitting us in the first game," said Osborne, whose fifth-inning single to right field was the Pilots' only hit in the first of Sunday's two seven-inning games. "That would have been terrible."

Osborne, who was making his ABL debut Sunday, was a standout player at Dimond High who scored an American Legion championship-winning run for the Lynx at Mulcahy in 2011. He went on to play baseball for Utah Valley University, where he was a red-shirt freshman last season. Osborne grew up watching the Bucs and Pilots play, but he never thought he would be part of the action.

"It was always like a dream, but you didn't think you'd actually get there," he said. "I was pretty nervous before the game, but when that first ball came to me and I made the play, I kind of relaxed after that."

The ABL season began with the Bucs' Lawton Langford grounding out to Osborne at third base. The Bucs went on to score runs in the second and the fifth innings, using four pitchers to shut out the Pilots. Garrett Mundell was the first to take the mound for the Bucs, a role he was proud to play.

"Definitely a big honor, kind of a little nerve-wracking being out there for the first time in a few weeks," Mundell said.

The 6-foot-6 right-hander from Fresno State threw hard and threw strikes for three innings, setting a dominating tone against a Pilots lineup that is still awaiting the arrival of a handful of hitters. Mundell, who said his fastball is capable of exceeding 90 mph, is looking forward to his first stint in the ABL. His goals for the summer include developing a change-up and seeing a bear. Anchorage's recent sunny weather has impressed him, as has the Bucs pitching staff.

"It looks like it's gonna be a pitchers' league, you know, with the wood bats and all," he said. "Playing college baseball, it's all metal bats, so it's kind of a nice change."

Pitching wasn't dominant in the second game, however, allowing a combined 17 hits, including the day's only home run.

Pilots outfielder Micah Green belted a high two-run bomb over the left-field wall to tie the score 3-3 in the top of the sixth inning, but the Bucs bounced back with three runs in the bottom of the inning to cement the second win.

On the day, the Bucs outhit the Pilots 15-9 and committed no errors to the Pilots' three.

"We played really well, defense was great," Mundell said.

The Bucs and Pilots are scheduled to play a non-league game Monday, followed by another non-league doubleheader Tuesday at Mulcahy Stadium.


Chinooks 6, Miners 4

Ryan Shackelford drove in the winning run for the Chugiak Chinooks, who opened their ABL season with a 6-4 win over the Mat-Su Miners at Hermon Brothers Field

A 4-4 tie forced extra innings in a game scheduled to go seven. Shackelford drove in the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth, and a sacrifice-fly from Nicholas Covello added some insurance for the Chinooks. Left-handed pitcher Devin Stanton pitched a scoreless ninth to earn the win.



Upcoming ABL Schedule


Monday's Games

• Bucs vs. Pilots, 7 p.m., Mulcahy Stadium

• Miners at Chinooks, 7 p.m., Loretta French Field


Tuesday's Games

• Bucs vs. Pilots (doubleheader), 5 p.m., Mulcahy Stadium

• Goldpanners vs. Chinooks, 7 p.m., Loretta French Field

• San Francisco Seals at Peninsula Oilers, 7 p.m., Coral Seymour Memorial Park


Wednesday's Games

• Goldpanners vs. Bucs, 7 p.m., Mulcahy Stadium

• Chinooks vs. Miners, 7 p.m., Hermon Brothers Field

• San Francisco Seals at Peninsula Oilers, 7 p.m., Coral Seymour Memorial Park


Reach Jeremy Peters at jpeters@adn.com or 257-4335.



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