Goldpanners

Carson Gross (2) of the Alaska Goldpanners completes his swing against the San Diego Waves Thursday at Growden Park. 

It’s been a wild week for the Alaska Goldpanners after having three consecutive games canceled.

To say Thursday evening was a triumphant return would be accurate.

Playing a doubleheader against the San Diego Waves with a host of new players on the roster, the ‘Panners came away with two victories by a combined score of 12-2. That snapped a two game losing streak and moved Alaska to 7-4 on the season.

Getting a 6-2 win immediately followed by a 6-0 win would be impressive enough on it’s own. To do so after having two games canceled due to positive Covid-19 tests, being down multiple players as a result, and having a third game canceled due to weather is all the more impressive.

“It was great (to play again),” said head coach Anthony Ferro. “Our kids have made some sacrifices. It’s been a crazy last couple of days. It’s been great to get back on the field because that’s what we were brought up here to do.”

The ‘Panners got off to a great start in the first game thanks to the new kids on the block. Newcomer Kaden Hogan managed to score on an error in the bottom of the first inning. Fellow newcomer Luke Glascoe followed that up the next at-bat with another score on an error before recent addition Rees Kent’s RBI groundout scored Grady Morgan to make it a 3-0 game in a hurry.

It looked as though San Diego would make it a game in the top of the third when Dawson Perry’s two-run home run score himself and Joey Nicolai and make the score 3-2.

In the bottom of the fourth, however, the Goldpanners got hot again as Hogan’s RBI groundout scored newbie Garrett Cooper to make it 4-2. The very next at-bat, Glascoe’s RBI triple scored another newbie in Bobby Brown before Morgan’s sacrifice fly scored Glascoe right after and make it a 6-2 game which is how it would remain through the seventh inning. Due to the doubleheader format, the game only went to seven innings.

Game two went just as well for the Goldpanners with one heck of a second inning. Newcomer Blake Fitzgerald picked up an RBI double that managed to score Ryan Pierce to put the ‘Panners on the board first. Later, Hogan was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to advance David Martin to home plate and add another run to the board before Glascoe was walked the next at-bat to score Fitzgerald. Morgan added a two-run RBI single afterward to score Hogan and Carson Gross and make it a 5-0 game.

David Martin added an RBI triple in the fifth inning to score Pierce and give the game it’s 6-0 score.

The pitching was phenomenal for Alaska as reliever Tyler Franks tossed six K’s while giving up just one hit in three innings of work. Sam Brady followed that up by throwing five K’s, walking one batter and giving up two hits in five innings of work.

The bats were just as good as Morgan combined to hit four RBI’s on the day while Hogan had an RBI and a run in each game.

Alaska closed out their series against the Waves Friday night with a game that ended after press time. They’re off Saturday before resuming play Sunday against the Everett Merchants at 6 p.m. The main event of the season, however, will come Monday when the Goldpanners host the Merchants in the first Midnight Sun Game since 2019 at 10 p.m.

Contact sports reporter Hart Pisani at 459-7530 or follow him at twitter.com/FDNMSports.