FAIRBANKS — Nolan Meadows’ bat propelled the Alaska Goldpanners into title contention in the Alaska Baseball League Postseason Tournament in Anchorage.
Meadows brought home David Edwards with a one-out single in the bottom of the 10th inning, lifting the Goldpanners to a 4-3 victory over the Chugiak Chinooks on Friday afternoon at Mulcahy Stadium.
The Goldpanners return to Mulcahy this afternoon to face the Anchorage Glacier Pilots in the best-of-three championship series.
Game 1 is scheduled for 4 p.m. and Game 2 is set for 7 tonight. Should both teams win today, a third and deciding game will be played at 2 p.m. Sunday.
The Goldpanners’ championship-series berth also occurred on the day that Bryan Harris received the Coach of the Year honor and five players were named to the first team of the All-ABL Team. David Fletcher also received the Gold Glove honor and the Top Pro Prospect Award.
The complete All-ABL Team is listed on the Scoreboard on page D-2.
Besides the game-winning RBI, Meadows triggered a game-tying rally in the bottom of the sixth by launching a triple to score Edwards, who had reached base with a one-out double.
Meadows made it 3-3 by coming home on Nick Catalano’s single.
Tyler Krahn and Griffin Roark scored on Daniel Arthur’s sacrifice grounder in the top of the first to put Chugiak in front 2-0. The Panners made it 2-1 in the fifth after Jim Sinatro led off with a triple and scored on Rick Reigner’s single.
Daniel Arthur’s double plated Daniel Salters to give the Chinooks a 3-1 lead in the top of the sixth.
Edwards had a game-high three hits among five at-bats for the Panners, while Meadows and Sinatro each contributed two. Fletcher, Catalano, Chance Abrath, David Basen and Reigner each had one hit.
Roark led the Chinooks with a 3-for-5 effort with one run scored.
Relief pitcher Matt Milke earned the win for the Panners, working two innings, allowing a hit and striking out one.
Starting pitcher Nathan Bannister went eight innings, allowing nine hits, three runs, with all earned, and a walk while striking out four.
Chinooks reliever Bryce Clifton took the loss.
Also Friday, the Anchorage Bucs kept the Pilots from a perfect tournament record, winning 4-2. The Pilots were 3-0 prior to the evening contest.
The Panners finished the tournament at 2-2 and were the ABL regular-season titlists with a 22-13 record.