Chinooks reel off 5 straight wins

Monday, July 10, 2017 - 21:30

Just as the official start of summer rolls around, the Chugiak-Eagle River Chinooks are heating up.

The Alaska Baseball League team won its fifth straight game Monday, capping a perfect four-game homestand at Lee Jordan Field with a come-from-behind 4-3 win over the Anchorage Bucs. After the Bucs took a 3-2 lead in the top of the eighth, Aaron Shackelford of The Masters College drove in the winning runs with a two-run single in the bottom of the inning. Catcher Justin Gomez of Azusa Pacific University also drove in two runs for the Chinooks, who are scheduled to play the first-place Mat-Su Miners at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Palmer.

The victory lifted the Chinooks into a second-place tie with the Bucs in the ABL standings, two games back of the Miners. That’s quite a turnaround for a team that started 1-5 and got its first win thanks to a bizarre forfeit caused by faulty sprinklers at Mulcahy Stadium. The team has been particularly sharp at Lee Jordan, going 4-1 at the friendly confines nestled in the hills of Chugiak.

Righthander Robert Winslow — who, like Shackelford is a Golden State native who attends the Christian college in Santa Clarita, California — gave up just one run in five innings to start the game, while Scott Smith pitched 1.2 innings of scoreless relief to get the win.

Smith, a 6-foot-7 Georgian who attends Savannah State, has a 1.22 ERA in five appearances for the Fish this season.

Monday’s win came after the Chinooks posted wins over the Miners and Anchorage Glacier Pilots and back-to-back victories over the Peninsula Oilers.

Chinooks infielder Luke Coffey — a Santa Barbara, California native who attends his hometown Westmont College — has been the team’s top hitter through the first three weeks of the ABL season, posting a .344 batting average in 10 games played. Gomez has been the team’s top run producer, driving in six runs in 34 at bats.

Chinooks righty Daniel Sweeney has been one of the ABL’s best pitchers this season, posting a 2.40 ERA over a league-best 14 innnings pitched. Charleston Southern University righthander Tyler Weekley of James Island, South Carolina has also terrorized ABL batters, striking out 12 hitters in just 10 innings pitched while posting a 2.70 ERA.

ABL Standings (through Monday, June 19)

Team W L GB

Mat-Su Miners 8 3 —

C-ER Chinooks 6 5 2

Anchorage Bucs 6 5 2

Anchorage Pilots 5 5 2.5

Peninsula Oilers 3 10 6

Tuesday, June 20

Chinooks at Miners, Hermon Bros. Field 7 p.m.

Wednesday, June 21

Pilots at Chinooks, Lee Jordan Field 7 p.m.

Thursday, June 22

Miners at Chinooks, Lee Jordan Field, 7 p.m.

Friday, June 23

Chinooks at Bucs, Mulcahy Stadium, 7 p.m.

Sunday, June 25

Chinooks at Miners, Hermon Bros. Field, 4 p.m.

Tuesday, June 27

Bucs at Chinooks, Lee Jordan Field, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, June 28

Miners at Chinooks, Lee Jordan Field, 7 p.m.

Thursday, June 29

Chinooks at Bucs, Mulcahy Stadium, 7 p.m.

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