FAIRBANKS-The Alaska Goldpanners begin a pivotal five game series tonight as the Alaska Baseball regular season ends in 20 days. The Kenai Peninsula Oilers visit Growden Memorial Park this week.
The Panners are up a half game on the Oilers in the ABL American League standings playing .500 ball at 5-5. The Oilers are 7-8. Both teams are at least two games out of the top spot of the American League with the Anchorage Bucs leading with 11-7 record.
The Anchorage Glacier Pilots, who lead the National League, have the best ABL record at 14-7. They play the Bucs tonight as well.
Alaska started out a bit slow but they've picked things up as of late. They've won seven of their last 10 games and started out 0-2 in league games before getting to 5-5 after winning their last series 2-1 over Chugiak.
The players are coming around as well. Bishop Amat Prep HS California senior Scott Hurst is hot right now with a 11 game hitting streak. He's hitting .514 in his last 11 outings.
Vahn Bozohian is third in home runs with 4 and third in the ABL in rbis with 22. The Concordia Irvine sophomore is hitting .328.
Cody Nulph and Jacob Hayes are top seven in the ABL in batting average and rbis for the Panners too. Joel Belk has established himself as a strike thrower leading the ABL with 38 which is six more than the next pitcher. Belk, out Azusa Pacific, is 3-0 as well.
A sweep or series win over the Oilers for the Goldpanners could solidify them in second or place or vault them into the first place.