Stellar pitching keeps Chinooks in thick of ABL race

Monday, July 17, 2017 - 14:53
  • Lee Jordan Field in Chugiak has been home to the Chugiak-Eagle River Chinooks since 2011. (Star file photo)

After racking up five straight wins to nose their way into the Alaska Baseball League standings, the Chugiak-Eagle River Chinooks have been mostly swimming in place.

The Fish followed up their hot streak with a 2-4 stretch that pulled the team within a game of .500 in the five-team collegiate summer league. The bad news? The team lost three in a row during that stretch and dropped all three games they played against the first-place Mat-Su Miners. The good news? The ‘Nooks won two out of three between June 23-27, including a 4-3 win over the Anchorage Bucs on Tuesday, June 27 to pull within three games of the Miners heading into a Wednesday night showdown at Chugiak’s Lee Jordan Field.

In their home win over the Bucs Tuesday, Micah Pries (Point Loma University) and Brandon Michie (Mercer University) each had two hits and pitcher Tyler Weekley (Charlston Southern) gave up just two runs on four hits in seven innings to pick up his first ABL win of the season.

Through the first 19 games of the season, Pries ranked third in the league in hitting with a .339 batting average, while Michie was tied for second in the league with two home runs.

The Chugiak-Eagle River pitching staff has been among the league’s best this year, with Weekley and Daniel Sweeney ranking first and second in innings pitched. And they’re not just racking up innings, they’re putting up numbers. Through Tuesday, Weekley led the league with 26 strikeouts, while Sweeney ranked fourth in the ABL with a 2.35 ERA — one of four C-ER pitchers in the top seven in that category. That list also includes Noah Jones (University of Redlands), who has allowed only four runs in 17 innings pitched this season for a sparkling 1.05 ERA, as well as Mike Batten (Southern Wesleyan) with a 2.81 ERA, and Weekley with a 3.13 mark.

After their Wednesday clash with the Miners, the Chinooks begin a four-game road trip Thursday, June 29 against the Bucs at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage. The team then heads to the Kenai Peninsula for a three-game series against the Oilers at Kenai’s Coral Seymour Memorial Park. The team is off Monday before returning to Lee Jordan Field in time for the Fourth of July, when they’ll play an Independence Day doubleheader against the Miners beginning at 5 p.m.

All games are free admission at the field, which is located in the Loretta French Sports Complex in Chugiak.



Upcoming Chinooks schedule:

Wednesday, June 28

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

Thursday, June 29

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

Friday, June 30

Chinooks at Oilers, 7 p.m., Coral Seymour

Saturday, July 1

Chinooks at Oilers, 7 p.m., Coral Seymour

Sunday, July 2

Chinooks at Oilers, 2 p.m., Coral Seymour

Tuesday, July 4

Miners at Chinooks, 5 and 7 p.m., Lee Jordan Field

Wednesday, July 5

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

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