WICHITA — The Fairbanks Goldpanners marked their return to the National Baseball Congress World Series with a 10-5 win over the Colorado Cyclones to mark the opening of Championship Week at Eck Stadium.
The Goldpanners are back for the first time since 2016. The team has won six NBC World Series titles, but none since 2002.
In other games Thursday, the Cheney DiamondDawgs topped the Seattle Studs 5-4, the Kansas Cannons shut out the San Antonio Angels 3-0 and the San Diego Waves topped the Texas Express 3-2.
The Goldpanners opened the scoring with a run in the first inning on a Collin Runge RBI single. Fairbanks added six runs in the second. Braxton Inniss and Runge each hit a two-run single. Braxton McKay drove in a run on a sacrifice fly.
Colton Chase hit a sacrifice fly to drive in a run for Colorado in the top of the third. The Cyclones scored on a wild pitch in the fourth inning.
Runge drove in a run on a ground out in the bottom of the fourth.
Colorado got back in the game with three runs in the fifth. Dakota Popham hit an RBI single. Jason Ajamain hit a two-run single.
Trevor Greenley hit a three-run triple for Fairbanks in the sixth inning.
Fairbanks pitcher Cameron Walker went eight innings for the win, allowing four earned runs on nine hits with a walk and nine strikeouts. Jacob Fricke finished the game.
Runge finished three for four hitting with two RBIs. Ben McKay went two for four.
Colorado used six pitchers with starter Brayden Brooks taking the loss.
Jake Haze went three for five hitting for the Cyclones. Ajamain went two for four.
Jackson Glenn hit a grand slam in the fifth inning to lead the Cheney DiamondDawgs past the Seattle Studs.
Jose Vasquez threw five innings for Cheney to get the win, striking out four. Jacob Uhing went 2.1 innings and John Schull threw the last 1.2 innings for the save, striking out one.
Seattle’s Alan Vasquez (no known relation to the Cheney pitcher) went five innings in the loss, striking out three. Zander Clouse went four innings, striking out four.
Blake Rambusch drove in a run for Cheney in the second inning on a fielder’s choice.
Seattle tied the score in the bottom of the second when Brady Hinkle was hit by a pitch with bases loaded.
After Jackson’s slam, Seattle rallied back in the bottom of the fifth with a Jack Pauley RBI triple and a Ryan Budnick RBI single.
Collin Wolf hit an RBI single for Seattle in the sixth.
Budnick and Kyle Boe each went two for four hitting for the Studs.
In the first game of Championship Week, the San Diego Waves scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth and held on for a one-run win over the Texas Express.
Jimmy McClenaghan hit an RBI triple for the Waves to tie the game. Jacob Igawa singled to score McClenaghan.
Mitch Moralez hit an RBI double for San Diego in the first inning. The Express took the lead in the fourth inning with an RBI double for Josh Rodriguez and a sacrifice fly for Julian Rojas.
Kevin Palm struck out six on the mound for San Diego in six innings for the win. Jake Morgan pitched the ninth for the save.
Joseph Mack went seven innings for the Express to take the loss, striking out four.
Tyler Erickson went three for four hitting for Texas. Jacob Gonzalez and Kenau VanKuren each went two for three.
Kansas Cannons pitchers Aaron Bechtel and Clay Wesbrooks combined on a two-hit shutout to stop the San Antonio Angels.
Bechtel threw seven innings for the win, allowing one hit, two walks and five strikeouts. Wesbrooks finished the game for the save, allowing a hit and a strikeout.
Hunter LaMunyon went two for three hitting for the Cannons. Kyle Gaura drove in a run on a fielder’s choice in the third inning. Chris Opolka drove ins a run on a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning. The Cannons scored in the seventh on a wild pitch.
The Angels used five pitchers with Richard Gilbert taking the loss.