FAIRBANKS — The San Francisco Seals used a big fourth inning to KO the Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks in the opener of a six-game baseball series on a warm and breezy Monday night at Growden Memorial Park.
The Seals scored five runs in the fourth inning and went on to claim a 7-3 victory to open a weeklong stay in Fairbanks on a successful note.
7 p.m. games through Thursday, then go head-to-head in the 108th Midnight Sun Game at 10:30 p.m. Friday.
The Midnight Sun Game is played in its entirety without the benefit of artificial lights. The game is usually a sellout and advanced tickets can be purchased at www.goldpanners.com.
Monday night’s game started out as a pitcher’s duel with as San Francisco starter and winning pitcher Drew Lamont and Goldpanner starter Mikey Ramirez each pitched three scoreless innings.
The Seals bats came to life in the fourth when Joey Capistran relieved Ramirez. Capistran failed to get an out and the Seals scored five runs before Goldpanner reliever Kevin Sprague could put out the fire.
The Goldpanners responded with three runs in the bottom of the inning, but couldn’t muster a rally for the rest of the game.
The loss dropped the Goldpanners to 4-4-1 on the season. All of the games against the Seals are non-Alaska Baseball League contests.
The Goldpanners are still playing with a short roster as several players are expected in later this week.
Center fielder Nick Catalano, a freshman at the University of Oregon, and right-handed pitcher Michael Dingilian of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, were expected to arrive Monday night.
Right fielder Casey Munoz, a junior from the University of Santa Clara and a veteran of the past two Midnight Sun games, is scheduled to arrive this afternoon.
Munoz played in the 2011 Midnight Sun Game with the Oceanside Waves and in the 2012 game with the Goldpanners.
Infielder Alex Rubanowitz, a sophomore at the University of California Riverside, is expected to arrive in town on Thursday.