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2001: 42th Season • 96th MSG • PannerBlog | Chris Jones • Jamie McMahon / Zak Basch • Tom Carrow • Alex Creel • Andy Davidson • Lance Dawkins • Chris Dunwell • Brian Felten • Eric Keefner • Eric Kitchen • Todd Leathers • Hank Logan • Casey Long • Jason Lopez • Casey McKenzie • Tony Perez • John Purdom • Matt Rebout • Scott Robinson • Greg Russell • Travis Soppe • Ryan Strain • Wyn Spencer • Sean Timmons • Marc Tugwell | 2001 Team Baseball Card Set | All-Time Roster • All-Time Lineups
Goldpanners win marathon Midnight Sun Game
By RICHARD LARSON
For the second straight year the Alaska Goldpanners won the Midnight Sun Game in their final at bat. Marc Tugwell scored the winning run on a wild pitch in the bottom of the 13th inning to give the Panners a 2-1 win over the Oceanside Waves.
The game ended at 2:05 a.m. today, making it the second-longest game in the 41 years the team has been playing the Midnight Sun Game.
Tugwell, John Purdom and Jason Lopez each walked with one out in the inning to load the bases. Lance Dawkins popped out to the shortstop, bringing Tony Perez to the plate. Perez took two balls from Waves pitcher Matt Coy. The third pitch to Perez came tight inside, slipping by catcher Casey Grzecka and rolling to the backstop. Tugwell scored easily on the play.
The only scoring in regulation play came in the third inning. After allowing a run to score in the top half of the third, the Panners tied the contest in the bottom half. Perez drew a one-out walk, went to second on a hit by Eric Kitchen and scored on a perfectly executed hit-and-run single by Tom Carrow. The Panners threatened many times, putting runners on base in the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth innings, but failed to push the go-ahead run across the plate.
In the seventh the Panners put the first two runners on base via walks by Oceanside starter Eric Human. Relief pitcher Paul Sweeney entered and threw a wild pitch to advance the runners to second and third then got consecutive strike outs and a ground out to end the inning. Sweeney also pitched out of a jam in the eighth. After an error and a hit batter put Panners on first and second with nobody out, a runner was caught stealing and a pair of strikeouts ended the frame without the Panners doing any damage on the scoreboard.
The sky was overcast during the game, contributing to a couple of dropped fly balls. The twilight also made pitches difficult to see as both teams struggled at the plate, especially in the middle innings.
Panners starter Travis Soppe set the Waves down in order in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. While the fans weren't treated to much hitting they enjoyed the stellar defense put on by the Panners. Lance Dawkins, the Panners second baseman, made a spectacular play in the second inning to kill a potential Oceanside rally. With nobody out and a Waves runner on first, Dawkins went deep behind second base and leaped to snare a line drive by Nick Covarrubias. Dawkins threw to first to easily double the runner off base. The play drew oohs and ahhs from the capacity crowd at Growden Memorial Park.
With runners on first and second in the third Perez ran down a deep fly ball by Arona Taele, catching up to the ball just in front of the wall in left-center field, drawing loud cheers from the fans. The Waves picked up a run in the third when a single up the middle by Bobby Womble drove home Gera Alvarez. The Panners still drew cheers on the play, however, when Perez' throw to the infield was cut off by Purdom, the first baseman, who then gunned down Gregor Connors trying to take third to end the inning.
At the end of the sixth inning, just after midnight, the traditional Alaska Flag song was sung. The song has usually been performed by Fairbanks City Clerk Nancy DeLeon. DeLeon died unexpectedly earlier this week, but her voice was still heard at the park as the Goldpanners played a tape of her rendition of the Alaska Flag song. Players and fans solemnly stood and faced the Alaska flag in center field.
On the Net: www.goldpanners.com
June 22, 2001, Daily News-Miner