FAIRBANKS, Alaska - The Alaska Goldpanners made their first appearance in the National Baseball Congress World in several years this summer.
However, their terrific run through the prestigious tournament came to end today, when the Panners lost 6-1 to the San Diego Stars at Eck Stadium in Wichita, Kansas, placing them fifth in the tourney.
The Goldpanners swept their way through pool play with a perfect 3-0 record, which gave them a a first-round bye and two days of rest before the quarter finals.
That is where Alaska met the Stars and their ace Jonathan Sintes, who got the complete game win, not allowing an earned run in the ball game.
Preston Viltz recorded two hits in the game for the Panners, while Connor McCord produced a pair of doubles.
Other Panners collecting hits at the plate were Colin Runge and Trevor Greenley.
Despite the disappointing performance today, head coach Miles Kizer was proud of his team's performance throughout the historic tournament.
"We came out and we played hard the whole time and we gave it everything we had. I am really proud of the way they got after it and what they did," Kizer said via phone after the loss. "I think the biggest thing for me was watching how they settled in. After that first night, we had a couple errors, a couple miscues and then we just played cleaner baseball and cleaner baseball. We were playing really well defensively and we just ran into a buzz saw on the mound."
Kizer just completed his second season as the Goldpanners manager, the first coach to return as skipper for quite some time.
Unfortunately, Kizer said he will not be returning to the Goldpanners coaching staff next year.
He briefly touched on his experience in Alaska and the bright future for the Goldpanners.
"It was my second summer here so I had a little bit more of an idea of what I was getting into and it still exceeding my expectations," Kizer said. "Fairbanks is an unbelievable place. We had great support, a great support staff. I am excited to see where this organization goes in the next 3 to 5 year because we are definitely on an upswing."
The Goldpanners complete the 2019 campaign with a 34-13 record, and a fifth place finish in the NBC World Series.