Little-used players shine in Bucs win

Beth Bragg
Alaska Goldpanners Vs. Anchorage Bucs Baseball on Thursday July 16, 2009 at Mulcahy Stadium.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Alaska Goldpanners Vs. Anchorage Bucs Baseball on Thursday July 16, 2009 at Mulcahy Stadium.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Alaska Goldpanners Vs. Anchorage Bucs Baseball on Thursday July 16, 2009 at Mulcahy Stadium.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Alaska Goldpanners Vs. Anchorage Bucs Baseball on Thursday July 16, 2009 at Mulcahy Stadium.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Alaska Goldpanners Vs. Anchorage Bucs Baseball on Thursday July 16, 2009 at Mulcahy Stadium.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Alaska Goldpanners Vs. Anchorage Bucs Baseball on Thursday July 16, 2009 at Mulcahy Stadium.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Alaska Goldpanners Vs. Anchorage Bucs Baseball on Thursday July 16, 2009 at Mulcahy Stadium.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Alaska Goldpanners Vs. Anchorage Bucs Baseball on Thursday July 16, 2009 at Mulcahy Stadium.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Alaska Goldpanners Vs. Anchorage Bucs Baseball on Thursday July 16, 2009 at Mulcahy Stadium.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
After a diving catch the throw from the Anchorage Bucs Eddie Young to Zach Vincej was not in time to force out Brennan Gowans of the Alaska Goldpanners at second base during baseball action on Thursday July 16, 2009 at Mulcahy Stadium.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Martin Medina of the Alaska Goldpanners makes the throw to first to try for the double play after forcing out Eddie Young at second base during baseball action on Thursday July 16, 2009 at Mulcahy Stadium. The batter made it safely to first base.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Alaska Goldpanners Vs. Anchorage Bucs Baseball on Thursday July 16, 2009 at Mulcahy Stadium.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Alaska Goldpanners Vs. Anchorage Bucs Baseball on Thursday July 16, 2009 at Mulcahy Stadium.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Alaska Goldpanners catcher Jeremy Rodriquez puts the tag on Brian Bello an outfielder for the Anchorage Bucs as he slides into home on Thursday July 16, 2009 at Mulcahy Stadium.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Ryan Carpenter of the Anchorage Glacier Pilots pitches against the Anchorage Bucs in Alaska Baseball League action Thursday evening July 2, 2009 at Mulcahy Stadium.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Kellen Kiilsgaard of the Anchorage Bucs is congratulated after scoring against the Anchorage Glacier Pilots in Alaska Baseball League action Thursday evening July 2, 2009 at Mulcahy Stadium.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Brian McConkey of the Anchorage Bucs, right, steals second base as the throw from the catcher eludes Anchorage Glacier Pilots second baseman Casey McCollum during second-inning action Thursday evening at Mulcahy Stadium. Trevor Hairgrove of the Glacier Pilots backed up the play, but McConkey went on to third and eventually scored.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Alaska Goldpanners Vs. Anchorage Bucs Baseball on Thursday July 16, 2009 at Mulcahy Stadium.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Erik Miller of the Anchorage Bucs pitches against the Anchorage Glacier Pilots in Alaska Baseball League action Thursday evening July 2, 2009 at Mulcahy Stadium.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Brian McConkey of the Anchorage Bucs is congratulated after scoring against the Anchorage Glacier Pilots in Alaska Baseball League action Thursday evening July 2, 2009 at Mulcahy Stadium.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
The Anchorage Glacier Pilots field a bunt against the Anchorage Bucs in Alaska Baseball League action Thursday evening July 2, 2009 at Mulcahy Stadium.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Third baseman Jason Martinson of the Anchorage Bucs fields a grounder against the Anchorage Glacier Pilots in Alaska Baseball League action Thursday evening July 2, 2009 at Mulcahy Stadium.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
The Anchorage Glacier Pilots celebrate a grand slam home run against the Anchorage Bucs in Alaska Baseball League action Thursday evening July 2, 2009 at Mulcahy Stadium.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
A foul ball falls just short of the fence during a game between the Anchorage Bucs and the Anchorage Glacier Pilots in Alaska Baseball League action Thursday evening July 2, 2009 at Mulcahy Stadium.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Pitcher Erik Miller of the Anchorage Bucs fields a bunt against the Anchorage Glacier Pilots in Alaska Baseball League action Thursday evening July 2, 2009 at Mulcahy Stadium.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Gunner Glad of the Anchorage Glacier Pilots is congratulated after hitting a grand slam home run against the Anchorage Bucs in Alaska Baseball League action Thursday evening July 2, 2009 at Mulcahy Stadium.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
The Anchorage Bucs faced the visiting Lake Erie Monarchs in ABL action on June 19, 2009.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
The Anchorage Bucs faced the visiting Lake Erie Monarchs in ABL action on June 19, 2009.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
An Alaska Baseball League fan takes in an afternoon game between the Anchorage Bucs and the visiting Lake Erie Monarchs on Friday, June 19, 2009. ABL action will continue on Saturday with a late game. The "Summer Solstice Showdown" will feature the Anchorage Glacier Pilots and the Peninsula Oilers during a game starting at 10:30p.m.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
Anchorage Bucs pitcher Chris Matulis throws to Nick Montgomery of the Lake Erie Monarchs during an afternoon game on Friday, June 19, 2009.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
Left fielder Ricky Rossman of the Anchorage Glacier Pilots knocks down but can't quite catch a line drive off the bat of Lake Erie's Kevin Gillespie during fourth-inning action Thursday afternoon June 18, 2009 at Mulcahy Stadium.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Anchorage Glacier Pilots right fielder Manny Reyes runs down a single by Lake Erie's Ross Brunello in the seventh inning Thursday afternoon June 18, 2009 at Mulcahy Stadium.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
The Anchorage Bucs faced the visiting Lake Erie Monarchs in ABL action on June 19, 2009.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
Anchorage Glacier Pilots' second baseman Gunner Glad hurries to make an off-balance throw on Lake Erie's Cody Grice, who was called safe at first base in the seventh inning Thursday afternoon June 18, 2009 at Mulcahy Stadium.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Piper greets fans as the Anchorage Glacier Pilots defeat the Lake Erie Monarchs 7-2 Thursday afternoon June 18, 2009 at Mulcahy Stadium.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Anchorage Bucs runner Brian Bello scores as the ball gets past Lake Erie Monarchs catcher Zach Dygert on Friday, June 19, 2009.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
Lake Erie second baseman Ross Brunello leaps to snare a line drive off the bat of Trevor Hairgrove of the Glacier Pilots during sixth-inning action Thursday afternoon June 18, 2009 at Mulcahy Stadium.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Third baseman Ryan McMillin of the Lake Erie Monarchs ranges to the foul line to make a play on a ground ball off the bat of Gunner Glad of the Anchorage Glacier Pilots Thursday afternoon June 18, 2009 at Mulcahy Stadium.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Lake Erie second baseman Ross Brunello loses the ball and his glove as Daniel Dellasega of the Anchorage Glacier Pilots steals second base Thursday afternoon June 18, 2009 at Mulcahy Stadium.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Bucs batter Coley Crank takes a swing as Pilots catcher Daniel Dellasega waits for the ball during the Bucs 5-3 victory in the first league game between the two Anchorage teams at Mulcahy Stadium on Wednesday night, June 17,
Bill Roth / Anchorage Daily News
Anchorage Bucs 5-3 victory over the Anchorage Glacier Pilots during their first Alaska Baseball League game between two rivals at Mulcahy Stadium on Wednesday night, June 17,
Bill Roth / Anchorage Daily News
Glacier Pilots Drew Heid is congratulated by teammates after hitting a home run in the first inning during the first Alaska Baseball League game between the Anchorage Bucs and the Anchorage Glacier Pilots at Mulcahy Stadium on Wednesday night, June 17,
Bill Roth / Anchorage Daily News
Anchorage Bucs 5-3 victory over the Anchorage Glacier Pilots during their first Alaska Baseball League game between two rivals at Mulcahy Stadium on Wednesday night, June 17,
Bill Roth / Anchorage Daily News
Anchorage Bucs shortstop Zach Vincej waits for the throw as Anchorage Glacier Pilots Casey McCollum steals second base during the first Alaska Baseball League game between the two teams at Mulcahy Stadium on Wednesday night, June 17,
Bill Roth / Anchorage Daily News
Anchorage Bucs 5-3 victory over the Anchorage Glacier Pilots during their first Alaska Baseball League game between two rivals at Mulcahy Stadium on Wednesday night, June 17,
Bill Roth / Anchorage Daily News
Anchorage Bucs 5-3 victory over the Anchorage Glacier Pilots during their first Alaska Baseball League game between two rivals at Mulcahy Stadium on Wednesday night, June 17,
Bill Roth / Anchorage Daily News
Anchorage Bucs 5-3 victory over the Anchorage Glacier Pilots during their first Alaska Baseball League game between two rivals at Mulcahy Stadium on Wednesday night, June 17,
Bill Roth / Anchorage Daily News
Anchorage Bucs shortstop Zach Vincej, left, and second baseman Eddie Young, right, chase down a ball that was hit up the middle during the Bucs 5-3 victory over the Anchorage Glacier Pilots at Mulcahy Stadium on Wednesday night, June 17,
Bill Roth / Anchorage Daily News
Anchorage Glacier Pilots first baseman makes a stretch as Lake Erie Monarchs base runner Kevin Gillespie beats the throw during the Monarchs 6-5 victory over the Pilots during an afternoon game on Thursday, June 11, 2009, at Mulcahy Stadium.
Bill Roth / Anchorage Daily News
Anchorage Glacier Pilots Gunner Glad is congratulated by teammates during an afternoon game on Thursday, June 11, 2009, at Mulcahy Stadium. The Lake Erie Monarchs won the game 6-5 over the Pilots.
Bill Roth / Anchorage Daily News
Anchorage Glacier Pilots catcher Manny Reyes reaches for the ball as Lake Erie Monarchs' Kolbrin Vitek scores during the Monarchs' 6-5 victory over the Pilots during an afternoon game on Thursday, June 11, 2009, at Mulcahy Stadium.
Bill Roth / Anchorage Daily News
Lake Erie Monarchs 6-5 victory over the Anchorage Glacier Pilots during an afternoon game on Thursday, June 11, 2009, at Mulcahy Stadium.
Bill Roth / Anchorage Daily News
Lake Erie Monarchs 6-5 victory over the Anchorage Glacier Pilots during an afternoon game on Thursday, June 11, 2009, at Mulcahy Stadium.
Bill Roth / Anchorage Daily News
Lake Erie Monarchs 6-5 victory over the Anchorage Glacier Pilots during an afternoon game on Thursday, June 11, 2009, at Mulcahy Stadium.
Bill Roth / Anchorage Daily News
Lake Erie Monarchs 6-5 victory over the Anchorage Glacier Pilots during an afternoon game on Thursday, June 11, 2009, at Mulcahy Stadium.
Bill Roth / Anchorage Daily News
Lake Erie Monarchs 6-5 victory over the Anchorage Glacier Pilots during an afternoon game on Thursday, June 11, 2009, at Mulcahy Stadium.
Bill Roth / Anchorage Daily News
Lake Erie Monarchs 6-5 victory over the Anchorage Glacier Pilots during an afternoon game on Thursday, June 11, 2009, at Mulcahy Stadium.
Bill Roth / Anchorage Daily News
Lake Erie Monarchs 6-5 victory over the Anchorage Glacier Pilots during an afternoon game on Thursday, June 11, 2009, at Mulcahy Stadium.
Bill Roth / Anchorage Daily News
Lake Erie Monarchs 6-5 victory over the Anchorage Glacier Pilots during an afternoon game on Thursday, June 11, 2009, at Mulcahy Stadium.
Bill Roth / Anchorage Daily News
Lake Erie Monarchs 6-5 victory over the Anchorage Glacier Pilots during an afternoon game on Thursday, June 11, 2009, at Mulcahy Stadium.
Bill Roth / Anchorage Daily News
Lake Erie Monarchs 6-5 victory over the Anchorage Glacier Pilots during an afternoon game on Thursday, June 11, 2009, at Mulcahy Stadium.
Bill Roth / Anchorage Daily News
Lake Erie Monarchs 6-5 victory over the Anchorage Glacier Pilots during an afternoon game on Thursday, June 11, 2009, at Mulcahy Stadium.
Bill Roth / Anchorage Daily News
Lake Erie Monarchs 6-5 victory over the Anchorage Glacier Pilots during an afternoon game on Thursday, June 11, 2009, at Mulcahy Stadium.
Bill Roth / Anchorage Daily News
Lake Erie Monarchs 6-5 victory over the Anchorage Glacier Pilots during an afternoon game on Thursday, June 11, 2009, at Mulcahy Stadium.
Bill Roth / Anchorage Daily News
Lake Erie Monarchs 6-5 victory over the Anchorage Glacier Pilots during an afternoon game on Thursday, June 11, 2009, at Mulcahy Stadium.
Bill Roth / Anchorage Daily News
Lake Erie Monarchs 6-5 victory over the Anchorage Glacier Pilots during an afternoon game on Thursday, June 11, 2009, at Mulcahy Stadium.
Bill Roth / Anchorage Daily News
Lake Erie Monarchs 6-5 victory over the Anchorage Glacier Pilots during an afternoon game on Thursday, June 11, 2009, at Mulcahy Stadium.
Bill Roth / Anchorage Daily News

On a night when the Anchorage Bucs and Anchorage Glacier Pilots sent eight pitchers to the mound, the best performances came from the one who was seldom handed the ball in college and the one who wasn't handed the ball at all Wednesday night.

Mark Joukoff, who pitched only seven innings for Kansas State during the college season, was untouchable during four innings of relief for the Bucs, facing the minimum 12 batters and needing 31 pitches to mow them all down.

And Chris Matulis, who pitches for Louisiana State but was needed at first base as the Bucs continue to await the arrival of all their players, delivered the game-winning RBI with a nice piece of hitting in the eighth inning.

Their efforts led the Bucs to a 5-3 come-from-behind Alaska Baseball League victory at windy Mulcahy Stadium. The showdown left the city's two teams tied for the ABL lead with 3-1 records.

The Pilots led 3-0 after three innings, but the Bucs rallied behind a stronger bullpen -- and the clutch hitting by Matulis, their pitcher-turned-infielder.

"My role's changed a little up here. I got an opportunity to swing it a little bit, and so far it's worked out," said Matulis, who had two of his team's 13 hits.

"It's a lot of fun. I love both. I love pitching, I love being in control of a game. But hitting's got its strong points -- you can change the game."

Matulis, a left-hander, changed this one with a soft, opposite-field single to left field. He didn't crush the ball -- he stuck out his bat and slapped what the pitcher gave him.

"I've been working a little on that outside pitch, and working on going with the pitch," he said.

The hit scored Kellen Kiilsgaard, who started the rally with a one-out single and advanced to third on Zach Vincej's hit-and-run single. The run broke a 3-3 tie that had stood since the fifth inning, and Bret Atwood's two-out single scored Vincej to give the Bucs the two-run lead.

The outburst ruined a nice start for the Pilots, who got a first-inning leadoff homer from Drew Heid, two more runs in the third and a solid four innings from starter John Lally, a left-hander who struck out six and didn't allow a run.

The Pilots led 3-0 when Lally left, but things turned sour as soon as they turned to their bullpen in the fifth.

Ben Mount, a lanky 6-foot-7, gave up three runs on four hits in the fifth and didn't even last the full inning. Derrick Dingeman, the fourth of five Pilot pitchers, gave up four hits and two runs in the decisive eighth inning.

In both those innings, the Bucs strung together four hits -- timely production they haven't always enjoyed so far this season.

Keeping the Pilots in check as the Bucs mounted their comeback was Joukoff, who couldn't have performed better.

He allowed a base runner in the fifth but got rid of him quickly by helping the Bucs turn a 3-6-1 double play. He threw 10 pitches that inning, nine in the eighth and six apiece in the sixth and seventh.

At Kansas State, Joukoff appeared in four games and pitched seven innings. He didn't say why he got so few opportunities but said he intended to make the most of his chances while in Alaska.

"I need to get as many innings as I can so I can shoot right into the college season," he said. "I'll see what I can do to become a main part of the staff. I try to stay as positive as I can whether I'm playing a lot or not."

Joukoff handed the ball to closer Kevin Jacob for the ninth inning, and the Pilots tried to make things interesting.

Daniel Dellasega touched Jacob for a leadoff single but got no farther than first base. Jacob picked up his third save by striking out the next three batters, with all of them going down swinging.

Back when they were up 3-0, the Pilots had a chance to add a run when Casey McCollom drew a lead-off walk in the fourth. He stole second and tried to score from second base on Heid's long single to left field. But Atwood, the Bucs' left fielder, showed off a strong throwing arm by gunning down McCollum at the plate.

Find Beth Bragg online at adn.com/contact/bbragg or call 257-4309.


By BETH BRAGG
bbragg@adn.com