Heading into Saturday evening’s series finale against OC Riptide, the Alaska Goldpanners had won five straight games including their first two home contests.
As the old saying goes, though, you can’t win ‘em all.
The ‘Panners fell behind big early on and could never recover, resulting in a 12-5 loss to the Riptide at Growden Memorial Park Saturday night.
Alaska had trouble from the beginning as they fell behind 7-0 through 3½ innings and just kept giving up runs. The Goldpanners only used two regular pitchers in starter Javyn Pimental and Augusto Pineda while infielder Travis Warinner took over in the fourth inning.
For the third day in a row, the ‘Panners got off to a slow start. Dwight Allen managed to score on the sacrifice fly after Pimental put the first two batters on base. That made it a 1-0 game in favor for OC in the top of the first.
In the top of the second, Reed Spenrath managed to score on a passed ball to make it a 2-0 game. Shortly after, Allen’s RBI single sent Austin Kryszczuk home just before Jack-Thomas Wold’s RBI double scored Allen. Just like that, it was a 4-0 game.
It looked like a repeat of Thursday’s game as Alaska managed to get players on base but couldn’t get them home. The Goldpanners loaded the bases in the bottom of the third, but couldn’t score.
In the top of the fourth inning, Wold was at it again, picking up the RBI single to score Tyler Griggs and make it a 5-0 game. Immediately after, Eric Bignani’s RBI single scored Allen as the score went up to 6-0. Wold then scored on a wild pitch from relief pitcher Travis Warinner to make it 7-0.
The Goldpanners finally got on the board in the bottom of the fourth when Marco Pirruccello’s RBI single scored Dominic Hughes. Ryan Pierce continued his strong play since arriving Alaska as his two-out RBI double to score Grady Morgan and Pirruccello made it a 7-3 game.
The rally attempt was short-lived, however, as OC put three more runs up on the board to take a 10-3 lead in the top of the fifth inning.
Pirruccello continued his strong outing with an RBI triple in the bottom of the fifth to score Chase Rodriguez and shave the deficit to six. That was all the Goldpanners could do in the inning, however.
The fire department couldn’t even put Pierce out the way he’s been playing as his solo shot over the left field fence in the bottom of the sixth to cut the deficit to five. Still, the deficit was five runs and the ‘Panners were running out of time with just three innings left.
The Riptide kept it rolling in the top of the 7th. After loading the bases against Pineda, Bigani’s sacrifice fly scored Griggs to once again make it a six run game with no outs. Another sacrifice fly scored Allen right after to make it 12-5.
The game was called with two outs in the top of the seventh inning due to lightning. Pierce (2-for-4, one run, three RBI’s), Pirruccello (2-for-4, one run, two RBI’s), and Rodriguez (2-for-2, one run) led the ‘Panners offense.
Contact sports reporter Hart Pisani at 459-7530 or follow him at twitter.com/FDNMSports.