Fish fly to hot start
Chugiak-Eagle River opens with 3 straight wins
Brent Fukushima gets hit by a pitch against the Bucs on Sunday, June 17 at Mulcahy Stadium.
The Chugiak-Eagle River Chinooks started the 2012 Alaska Baseball League season with three straight wins.
They beat the Anchorage Bucs 3-2 on June 13, downed the Anchorage Glacier Pilots 13-9 on June 15 and beat the Bucs again June 17 by a 5-0 margin.
Solid pitching led to the early season success, said infielder Kris Kwak.
“Our pitching has been unbelievable,” he said. “Every guy that came in for us in our first three games shut them down.”
The Chinooks also played the Bucs on Tuesday, June 19 at Mulcahy Stadium, but a score was unavailable at press time.
After two days off, the Chinooks host the Peninsula Oilers on Friday, June 22 at 7 p.m. then play the Pilots the following day at Mulcahy at 10 p.m.
Chugiak-Eagle River then travels to Fairbanks for four games with the Goldpanners. The first game is Monday, June 25 at 7 p.m. followed by a doubleheader at 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 26 and the road trip concludes Wednesday, June 27 at 5 p.m.
The Pilots handed Chugiak-Eagle River its first loss of the season 6-1 in the Chinooks’ home opener Monday, June 18 at Loretta French Park.
Though it would have been nice to give the home crowd a victory, the long ABL season will give the Chinooks plenty of opportunities to rack up wins at Loretta French, Kwak said.
“You can’t win every game,” he said. “I’d rather win the first three than lose the first three.”
Manager Jon Groth agreed.
“We’ll win some games out here, just not tonight,” he said.
Solid pitching from starter Kyle Freeland and strong defense keyed the victory for the Pilots, Groth said.
Freeland held the Chinooks scoreless through six innings while striking out six and giving up just four hits.
Kwak provided all the scoring for the Chinooks with a solo home run in the seventh inning.
The beginning of the season has gone well, Groth said, and he’s pleased to go 3-1 in the first four games.
“We’ll take that,” he said. “All in all, it’s a decent start.”
The Chinooks are bonding more as the season progresses, Groth said.
“Every time we go out there, we get more comfortable,” he said.
Chinooks 5, Bucs 0
Chugiak-Eagle River won its third straight game 5-0 over the Anchorage Bucs on Sunday, June 17 at Mulcahy Stadium.
J.J. Turbin, Adam Humes, Griffin Gum and Steven Karkenny supplied the hits for Chugiak-Eagle River. Karkenny, Gum, Drew Shields, Kristopher Kwak and Brent Fukushima scored a run apiece for the Chinooks.
Chinooks 13, Pilots 9
Five players had multi-hit games to lead the Chinooks past the Pilots 13-9 on Friday, June 15 at Mulcahy. Griffin Gum went 3-for-6 with one RBI and scored a run. Brent Fukushima and Adam Humes each went 2-for-3 for the Chinooks. Humes drove in two runs while Fukushima drove in two runs and scored a run.
Chinooks 3, Bucs 2
Chugiak-Eagle River scored two runs in the eighth inning to seal a 3-2 come-from-behind win over the Bucs in the season opener Wednesday, June 13 at Mulcahy.