Chinooks close in on Pilots for final ABL playoff spot

Wednesday, August 1, 2018 - 15:53
  • Chugiak-Eagle River Chinooks second baseman Luke VanDover leads off second base during the Chinooks’ 8-4 win over the Anchorage Glacier Pilots on Friday, July 20, 2018 at Lee Jordan Field at the Loretta French Sports Complex in Chugiak. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Chugiak-Eagle River Chinooks starting pitcher Bryan Pope delivers a pitch during the Chinooks’ 8-4 win over the Anchorage Glacier Pilots on Friday, July 20, 2018 at Lee Jordan Field at the Loretta French Sports Complex in Chugiak. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)

Chugiak-Eagle River pulled even in the win column Thursday with the Anchorage Glacier Pilots with an 8-4 Alaska Baseball League win at Lee Jordan Field in Chugiak.

The Chinooks improved to 15-22 in the league, while the Pilots fell to 15-18. Only the top four teams in the five-team league make the playoffs, which begin July 31.

Entering Saturday night’s 6 p.m. game against the Mat-Su Miners at Lee Jordan, the Chinooks have seven league games remaining.

On Thursday, the Chinooks got seven stikeouts over five innings from starter Bryan Pope, who took a no-decision after giving way to Michael Barker to start the sixth.

Barker’s entry proved to be good fortune for the Chinooks, who followed the Vanguard University lefty’s scoreless top of the sixth with five runs in the bottom of the inning.

J Paul Fullerton opened the inning with a single, then scored on an Anthony Forte triple. The floodgates opened from there, with Jordan Wharton walking, Luke VanDover ripping an RBI double and Gregory Ozuna adding a sacrifice fly. Seth Ballenger then chased Pilots starter Ryan Hodgett with an RBI triple, and Cole Whitman added one more for good measure with an RBI single.

Ozuna had three hits and three RBIs for the Chinooks, who also got three hits from Bailey Collins and two each from Fullerton, Forte and Nick Kreutzer.

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