Oilers top Glacier Pilots, win seventh straight

The Peninsula Oilers received a strong start from John Maciel to defeat the Anchorage Glacier Pilots 5-2 on Monday at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Alaska Baseball League action.


The Oilers won their seventh straight game to improve to 7-2 overall and 2-0 in the league. The Pilots fall to 0-5 and 3-9-1. Peninsula takes today off before beginning a four-game series against the Athletes in Action Fire at Seymour Park on Wednesday. All of the games will be at 7 p.m.

Pilots starter and loser Christian Belleque came into the game 3-0 with a 2.40 ERA, but Maciel was up to the task of making sure Belleque didn’t continue to collect all of Anchorage’s wins.

Maciel went 6 2-3 innings and gave up four hits and no runs while striking out three and walking none. He said during a postgame interview on 1140 AM that recent work on his curveball helped him in the game. He said he was able to use that pitch to keep Pilots hitters off-balance.

Belleque finally started to show some chinks in the armor in the sixth, when he walked Chris Mallory, who had two doubles, a run and an RBI, with one away. Mallory moved to third on a hit by Patrick Wisdom, then scored on a close play when Ryan McChesney grounded out to first.

The Oilers continued to chip away at Belleque in the seventh inning. With one out, Tanner Rust walked and Jeff Yamaguchi doubled to put runners on second and third. Ismael Castro relieved Belleque and was greeted by an RBI single from Zach Kirksey. It was Kirksey’s first hit as an Oiler.

After Mike Miller, who had two hits, was retired for the second out, Chris Mallory made it 3-0 with an RBI double.

“I was trying to find a pitch that I could elevate a little bit and get the guys around,” Mallory said in a radio interview.

The Oilers got some valuable insurance in the top of the eighth. With one out, Troy Channing walked against Castro.

Cody Brown relieved Castro and allowed a single to Drake Fages. After Brent Peterson — running for Channing — and Fages pulled off a double steal, Oilers head coach Dennis Machado pinch-hit Nate Ring for Rust. Ring made his coach look good with a single that scored two.

“They brought the infield in and I snuck it by them,” Ring said in a radio interview.

Relievers Mark Winkelman and Reese McGraw handed reliever Tyler Blum a 5-0 lead in the top of the ninth. Blum gave up a single, walk and hit a batter to load the bases with one out. After a strikeout, pinch hitter Trey Nielsen singled to score two and bring the tying run to the plate in Kevin Hall.

Blum punched out Hall to end the game.


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