Starting pitcher Jacob Fricke made certain not to reveal his opening hand Tuesday during the Alaska Goldpanners 8-3 win over the San Diego Waves in the seventh and final game of the summer college baseball series at Growden Memorial Park.
Panners’ head coach Miles Kizer commended his team and was optimistic about its upcoming home series against the Seattle Studs.
“As the week went on, our guys really started to settle in and compete,” Kizer said after Tuesday’s game. “I think that we’re really going to see our guys continue to make another huge step this next (series) with the Studs.”
The Goldpanners face the Seattle Studs in a four-day series beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday. The series is highlighted by the annual Midnight Sun Game at 10 p.m. Friday. The summer-solstice tradition is played entirely without artificial lights.
Fricke’s initial throws led the Panners off to an uncertain start in the top of the first inning Tuesday. San Diego’s Dylan Mackin hit a single and later came home off of a double hit by Jacob Igawa. After being faced with the Waves’ early lead, Fricke’s arm quickly steadied out and Igawa was unable to score because Fricke got Jordan Medina to fly out.
At the bottom of the first inning, the Panners’ Griffin McCormick was walked and later stole second base but he was left stranded on base.
Fricke’s throw picked up heat during the top of the second as he struck out Derek Legeza, Jimmy McClenaghan and Drew Thomas in a row.
San Diego returned the favor when Waves’ pitcher Everhett Hazelwood forced Aaron Kim and Braxton Inniss to strike out. Ben McKay was then put out to close the Panners’ half of the second inning.
The Waves tried to increase their lead but struggled against Fricke’s formidable pitch, which put Connor Shadroo and Bryce Mitchell out swinging. Mitchell Moralez managed to hit a single and then advanced to second from a hit by Dylan Mackin, but he was caught stealing to end the inning.
Bryant Nagakawa and Grant DeLappe rallied the Panners to a 2-1 lead in their of the third.
Nakagawa gained some much-needed ground by hitting a single and advancing to second off of a hit by DeLappe. With a strong hit from Carder, Nakagawa raced home after an error by the shortstop to make it 1-1.
Blake Porter then singled to loaded the bases. DeLappe scored off a sacrifice fly by Konishi.
Fricke’s throw kept the Waves at bay for San Diego’s half of the fourth and fifth innings, helping the Goldpanners hold their lead.
During the bottom of the fourth, McKay brought the Panners ahead to 3-1 after hitting a single and scoring off of a double by Nakagawa.
At the top of the seventh, the Waves came back against the Panners, bringing the game to 3-3 when Jordan Medina hit a single and advanced to second on Derek Legeza’s single.
McClenaghan was walked to load the bases, and Derek Alumbaugh came in relief for Fricke after his 7 1/3-innings of solid pitching.
Unfortunately for the Panners, Connor Shadroo advanced to first off of an error by the second baseman, allowing Medina and Legeza to score.
Fairbanks responded with a well-timed home run Carder for a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the seventh. Porter managed to score shortly after walking, advancing to second off of a single from Konishi and coming home on Aaron Kim’s single.
By the top of the eighth inning, Alumbaugh’s arm was warm, and San Diego was unable to cut into the Panners’ 5-3 lead.
McKay led off the bottom of the eighth with a walk. He later stole second and advanced to third after Nakagawa was put out at first base.
McKay then raced home off of a single by DeLappe for a 6-3 lead.
McCormick was out in a rundown between first and second base, allowing DeLappe to advance to second.
DeLappe reached third on a wild pitch to Carder, who was later walked. Porter hit a single and went to third off of an error by the second baseman. His hit also drove home Carder and DeLappe for the Panners’ last two runs of their last game against the Waves this year.
Contact News-Miner sports assistant Brian Ely at 459-7589.