SATURDAY IN THE ABL
7 p.m. — Mat-Su Miners at Chugiak Chinooks, Loretta French Field
7 p.m. — Anchorage Glacier Pilots at Alaska Goldpanners, Growden Park
AROUND THE HORN
GOLDPANNERS SWEEP OILERS
The Fairbanks Goldpanners swept a doubleheader from the visiting Peninsula Oilers on Thursday night to extend the Alaska Baseball League’s longest current winning streak to six games and inch closer to the American League-leading Anchorage Bucs.
Fairbanks took a pair of seven-inning games at Growden Park — 11-5 and 4-1 — pull within one and a half games of the Bucs.
Goldpanners third baseman Hunter Villanueva and first baseman Tanner Pinkston each delivered their first home runs of the season in the opener, when Villanueva drove in three runs and Pinkston two. Jacob Hayes also drove in two runs for the Goldpanners, who erupted for six runs in the second inning and got five innings from starter and winner Chasen Ford.
In the nightcap, Ryan Clark’s two-run double in the fourth inning, and back-to-back homers by Cody Nulph and Vahn Bozoian in the fifth inning sparked Fairbanks. Goldpanners starter Mike Benson went five-plus innings and improved to 4-0.
The Oilers have lost six straight, the longest current slide in the league.
MINERS WIN 4TH STRAIGHT
Hunter Smith went 3 for 4 and drove in four runs Thursday to spark the Mat-Su Miners to a 13-7 victory over the visiting Chugiak Chinooks at Hermon Brothers Field.
The Miners, who banged out 17 hits, also received two RBIs each from Brandon Smith and Nick Blaser, who both launched their first home runs of the season.
The National League-leading Miners, who have won four straight games, leapfrogged over the Anchorage Glacier Pilots and into first place in the National League.
Chugiak’s Jonathan Popadics drove in three runs.
BUCS SWEEP GLACIER PILOTS
In a Mayor’s Cup finale of diminished significance — the Anchorage Bucs seized the hardware Wednesday with a second consecutive win in the best-of-3 annual showdown — the Bucs scored twice in the bottom of the ninth inning Thursday at Mulcahy Stadium for a three-game sweep of their rivals.
The Bucs parlayed two Pilots errors, a single and a walk, plus a walk-off fielder’s choice, into the tying and winning runs.
Bucs starter Tyler Lacosse pitched five innings and allowed just one earned run, and relievers Kyle Davis and Peter Lenstrohm each furnished two scoreless innings.