Break out the brooms.
Friday marked the sixth consecutive day the Alaska Goldpanners played the Everett Merchants. Friday also marked the sixth consecutive day the ‘Panners finished with a win as they downed Everett 8-2 at Growden Park to complete the series sweep. The sixth consecutive win for Alaska is also their eighth win in the past nine games and moves them to 13-5 on the season.
Friday also marked the final home game for Alaska until July 13 as they head off on a nine-game road trip. With 11 hits as a team on offense and a nine K day from starting pitcher Buddie Pindel, the ‘Panners made sure to end their recent home stretch on a high note.
“I think it comes down to the vibes in our clubhouse,” said shortstop Dominic Hughes when asked about the team’s winning streak. “Everybody’s rooting for each other. Everybody wants everybody to succeed so I think that’s why we’re such a good team right now ... We’re just playing really good baseball right now. Hopefully we can keep it going all the way to Seattle.”
The Goldpanners got off to a good start as they went up 1-0 in the first on Ryan Pierce’s RBI single to score Garrett Cooper.
Alaska followed up an eight-run second inning on Thursday with a four-run second inning on Friday. David Martin was the first to cross home plate before Kaden Hogan scored on a wild pitch right after. Chase Rodriguez scored on an error following that and Hughes closed out the scoring of the inning with another run to make it 5-0 Goldpanners.
Hughes came up big again in the fourth inning with an inside-the-park home run to stretch the lead to six. In the fifth inning, Martin’s RBI double scored Luke Glascoe before Rees Kent’s RBI single scored Martin to make it an 8-0 game.
The Merchants managed to put two runs on the board in the final inning of the game to avoid a shutout, but they couldn’t avoid being swept.
Hughes and Martin finished the game with identical stat lines of 1-for-3 with two runs and one RBI while Marco Pirruccello was 2-for-5 with one RBI. Pindel threw six shutout innings with just four hits given up and no walks. Christopher Tonna and Augusto Pineda each pitched one inning of hitless baseball with one K a piece.
The ‘Panners will now have two days off before returning to play Monday in Seattle against the Studs. They’ll play the Studs Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. AKDT each day. Alaska will then travel to play the Redmond Dudes Friday through Sunday with start times of 7 p.m., 5 p.m., and 1 p.m. All of those games can be viewed on the Goldpanners’ YouTube channel (bit.ly/3gVTwkw).
The boxscore of Friday’s game can be found on the team’s website (bit.ly/3jfVuOf).
Contact sports reporter Hart Pisani at 459-7530 or follow him at twitter.com/FDNMSports.