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Alaska Goldpanners return to Growden Memorial Park for first time in two years

Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 7:14 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Two years removed from Growden Memorial Park, the Alaska Goldpanners are ready for a summer of baseball back in Fairbanks - as things should be.

The new players, who come from colleges all over the country, arrived in Fairbanks this week and got a chance to check out the historic field for the first time Wednesday; the same field where Tom Seaver, Dave Winfield, Jason Giambi and many more showcased their talent. It is safe to say that cell phones were pulled out of pockets and posts were made to social media from the incoming players.

After cancelling the 2020 season - as many sports organizations had to do - the Goldpanners will take to the diamond Thursday at 6:30 p.m. against the Orange County Riptide for their Fairbanks debut. The home-opener will kick-off a weekend, and summer, full of Goldpanners baseball.

“It is just a great way to spend your summer nights with the family, we missed all the fans last year,” said Goldpanners President Abe Siddall. “We got some new things for this summer, new merchandise with some new logos, a new hat, new seating around the stadium that [fans] will really enjoy.”

Following a three-game stint with the Riptide, the Denali State Bank Tournament will take place June 13-15 featuring Orange County, Berkovich 35, the San Diego Waves and the host Goldpanners.

The Goldpanners enter their home-opener with 3-2 record, splitting with the Seattle Studs before taking a three-game series over the Peninsula Oilers. University of Arizona Wildcat Noah Turley has been absolutely scorching to begin the season, batting .500 with 10 hits, 5 home runs and 11 RBIs, while crossing the plate seven times. Grady Morgan of Butte College, is batting .438 and has speed that has led to an inside-the-park home run and a triple on the young season. Each pitcher has gotten a chance to get a few innings under their belt, with Buddie Pindel of Hawaii (6.0 innings, five hits, nine strikeouts, one win) and Sam Brady of Kansas (4.1IP, 4H, 3Ks) among players who have yet to allow a run. German Fajardo, also a Wildcat, is set to take the mound Thursday for the home-opener.

The anticipated Midnight Sun Game is schedule for June 21 at 10 p.m. against the Everett Merchants without the use of artificial light. Season tickets can be purchased on their website.

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