FAIRBANKS — The Mat-Su Miners spoiled the final game of the Alaska Baseball League regular season for the Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks on a warm and muggy evening at Growden Memorial Park.
The Miners rallied to score three times in the top of the ninth inning to capture a 4-3 victory, but the Goldpanners had wrapped up the regular season title a day earlier by sweeping a doubleheader from the Miners.
The Goldpanners finished the regular season with a 22-13 record, two games ahead of the Anchorage Bucs and the Miners, who finished at 20-15.
The Peninsula Oilers of Kenai finished fourth at 18-17, followed by the Anchorage Glacier Pilots at 17-18 and the Chugiak Chinooks at 8-27.
In Saturday’s other games, Chugiak beat the Anchorage Bucs, 8-2, and the Anchorage Glacier Pilots down the Peninsula Oilers 5-1.
Next up is the ABL Postseason Tournament in Anchorage and Eagle River. All of the ABL teams with the exception of the Oilers will play in the weeklong event.
The round-robin portion of the tournament is Monday through Friday, with the top two teams scheduled to play a best-of-three championship series on Saturday and, if necessary, on Aug. 4.
The Goldpanners have a bye on Monday and open tournament action against the Miners on Tuesday.
Saturday evening, the Goldpanners built an a 3-0 lead before the miners rallied in the late innings.
The Goldpanners scored single runs in the first, second and fifth innings, but Mat-Su got on the scoreboard in the seventh, then rallied for three in the ninth to claim the verdict.
Nick La Face delivered a two-out, two-run double to tie the score and Ben Wylly drove in the game-winning run with a single before losing pitcher Kevin Sprague could record the final out.
Mat-Su reliever Dylan Steward pitched three shutout innings to claim the win.
Chance Abrath registered a pinch-hit single with one in the bottom of the ninth for the Goldpanners, but he was caught stealing and pinch-hitter Jim Sinatro popped up to second base to end the game.