Miners 7, Chinooks 4
Michael Thomas drove in three runs on three hits Tuesday to help the Mat-Su Miners cruise by the Chugiak Chinooks 7-4 at Loretta French Field in Chugiak.
The win moved the Miners into a tie for first place with the Fairbanks Goldpanners.
Thomas knocked in the Miners' first run in the second inning, bringing in Brendan Farney with a single. In the fourth inning, Thomas plated John Williams with a single to give the Miners a 2-0 lead. The Miners extended their lead to 4-0 in the top of the fifth inning and 7-0 in the top of the seventh.
Miners starter Cody Ponce left in the bottom of the seventh after allowing two runs. Ponce finished with two strikeouts for his third win.
Daniel Salter scored twice and notched an RBI for the Chinooks.
By Mario Gonzalez
The Mat-Su Miners defeated the Chugiak Eagle River Chinooks on Tuesday night by a final of 7-4 at Loretta French Field. It was the first of a seven game road trip that concludes the Miners’ regular season schedule.
The Miners extended their winning streak to five games. In that span, Mat-Su has generated 10 or more hits in each game and pushed 37 runs across the plate.
“It’s a good confidence builder for us and it let’s us play nice and loose every game,” catcher Micheal Thomas said. “It’s big especially in the last couple of weeks where these games are really huge for us.”
Thomas went 3-5 on the night. The Miners’ catcher put his team on the scoreboard first with an RBI single in the 2nd inning. He added two more RBI singles in both the 4th and 7th inning.
Thomas is hitting .344 in the month of July raising his overall batting average to .284. The Elizabethtown, Kentucky native has driven in all 12 of his RBI in his last nine games.
“I’m trying to produce some runs for the team so it puts a smile on my face probably as much as it does them,” Thomas said. “I’m just glad to see the hard work paying off.”
Christin Stewart and John Williams picked up a RBI in the win. Patrick McGrath went 2-5 with two RBI and a run scored.
“I didn’t really square any balls up nicely today,” McGrath said. “It all evens up with the balls you hit hard that are caught and the balls you don’t hit hard that get through, it still helps your confidence when it all evens out in the end.”
McGrath is 9-20 over the past six games. With the runs he drove in on Tuesday night, he became the seventh player with a double digit RBI total for Mat-Su.
Cody Ponce made his second start of the season and improved to 2-0. He threw six innings and gave up two runs. Ponce walked his first batter of the year in 20 and 2/3 innings pitched. Tyler Martin went 1 and 1/3 innings retiring all four batters he faced as he earned his third save of the summer.
Mat-Su looks for the season sweep against the Chinooks on Wednesday night as the team has won the first six meetings. The Miners moved into a first place tie with their win and Goldpanners’ loss to the Oilers.
“Now we have to focus on winning a game while we’re in first place,” McGrath said. “I think that while we’re on the little roll that we’re on right now we can do that.”