PALMER — The Mat-Su Miners are the three-time defending Alaska Baseball League champions, but the Chugiak Chinooks grabbed the first win of the new season.

Chugiak used a five-run fourth to score a 10-2 win over the Miners on the league’s opening day Wednesday at Hermon Brothers Field in Palmer.

Haden Keller smacked a two-run homer during Chugiak’s big inning. Keller finished 3 for 4 at the plate and drove in three runs.

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Chugiak struck early, scoring two in the top of the first. But the Miners had an answer in the bottom of the inning. Miners first baseman Drew Williamson put his team on the board with a run-scoring double. Tanner Carlson also drove in Williamson to tie the score at 2.

Williamson, an Alabama product, led the Miners at the plate, finishing with three hits, a run and RBI. The first baseman collected three of Mat-Su’s six hits.

Former Colony High School standout Matt Palmer made his Miners debut. Palmer, who recently completed his senior season at Waldorf University in Iowa, reached base twice and had a diving catch in left field.

The game was the first of four home contests within the first four days of the season. The Miners host the Anchorage Glacier Pilots Friday at 7 p.m. and the Anchorage Bucs in a doubleheader that starts Saturday at 4 p.m.

Contact the Frontiersman at sports@frontiersman.com.

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