August 3, 2016 - Alaska Baseball League (Alaska) - Mat-Su Miners
CHUGIAK, Alaska - The Mat-Su Miners used a strong pitching performance from Tyler Wyatt and three hits from Levi Jordan on Tuesday to secure an 8-0 road victory over the Chugiak-Eagle River Chinooks.
The win by the Miners clinches the top seed in the Alaska Baseball League and secures home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
"That was a goal we set for ourselves at the beginning of the season, and I'm proud of our guys for accomplishing that goal," Mat-Su head coach Ben Taylor said.
Wyatt threw six scoreless innings on the mound for Mat-Su, collecting three strikeouts and allowing four hits.
"A lot was working for me tonight," Wyatt said. "I was trying to spot up here and there and pitch to contact and rely on my defense behind me. I kind of got away from it early, but later in the game it started to come along."
The Miners (26-17) struck in the top of the first inning when a wild pitch from Chinooks starter Robert Winslow allowed designated hitter Jacob Hughey to score.
Another wild pitch in the top of the fourth brought home Mat-Su leftfielder Michael Donadio, increasing the lead to two runs. Donadio added an RBI groundout in the following inning to give the Miners a 3-0 advantage.
Winslow finished with three runs, five hits and four walks in his start for the Chinooks.
Hughey and rightfielder Garrison Schwartz added RBI doubles in the top of the sixth against Chugiak-Eagle River reliever Nick Campe to stretch the lead to five runs.
A bases-loaded walk from Chinooks relief pitcher Nate Lagos in the top of the seventh gave the Miners a 6-0 lead, while Jordan doubled later in the inning to plate two runs and secure the 8-0 win.
"Their guy had been missing barrel on us a lot and I knew he was going to give me a good fight," Jordan said. "Eventually he missed right over the plate with two strikes, and I tried to stay in the middle of the field and it worked out."
The Miners close out the regular season at Hermon Brothers Field with a 6 p.m. matchup against the Peninsula Oilers on Wednesday. Mat-Su then hosts the first round of the Alaska Baseball League playoffs with a 6 p.m. game on Thursday.
"Staying at home and playing in front of our fans is going to give us a huge advantage," Jordan said. "We are really excited now, and it gives us that extra motivation to play hard. It's going to be a lot of fun."