At least Brian Yocke spared himself from watching this drubbing in its entirety.
The Mat-Su Miners coach chucked a clipboard into the grass after he was ejected in the bottom of the third inning Tuesday during an ugly 11-2 Alaska Baseball League loss to the Peninsula Oilers at Coral Seymour Memorial Park.
The Miners issued 12 walks over the first four innings, and Yocke's frustration spilled over as the Oilers completed a four-game sweep of their ABL counterparts to maintain a two-game lead over the Anchorage Bucs (11-8) atop the league standings. The Miners, losers of six out of seven, hold third at 12-11.
The Oilers (20-9 overall, 13-6 ABL), winners of six straight, are off today and visit the Bucs at 7 p.m. Thursday for the first of six straight games on the road.
"You don't necessarily feel for them, but you know what they are going through," Oilers coach Dennis Machado said of watching pitchers struggle with command. "It's baseball, though. You have to take every opportunity you get, and tonight we took advantage."
Mat-Su starter Brandon Hedrick, making his first start of the season after six relief appearances, struggled with his control from the opening pitch - and the Oilers capitalized right away.
Hedrick walked the bases loaded without getting an out to open the game before Peninsula's Troy Channing drilled a first-pitch fastball to right-center field to drive in two runs. Manny Acosta's grounder to second base then scored Patrick Wisdom to make it 3-0.
That was just the beginning of Mat-Su's meltdown as the Oilers added to the lead with two-out rallies in both the second and third innings.
In the second, Wisdom drove in Mike Miller with a double to left off the glove of a diving Dominick Francia after Hedrick retired the first two batters.
It got even uglier in the third after Hedrick quickly retired Tanner Rust and Manny Acosta.
Hedrick plunked Jeff Yamaguchi on an 0-2 pitch and walked Manny Reyes. Greg Anderson notched his first hit of the season on a single to right field to load the bases. Miller then walked for the third time in as many innings to force in a run. That ended the day for Hedrick, who walked seven and hit a batter over 2 2-3 innings.
Reliever Jacob Brewer then entered the game and issued a walk to Chris Mallory on four pitches.
After Wisdom took two consecutive pitches outside the strike zone following Mallory's walk, Mat-Su catcher Mason Guymon turned to the umpire to protest the calls. Yocke marched out of the dugout, and both were promptly ejected.
Wisdom walked on four pitches, giving the Oilers a 7-0 lead. Brewer walked five in 1-3 of an inning.
"When the pitchers are struggling to throw strikes, you have to make them come to you," said Wisdom, who was 2 for 3 with a home run, two runs and four RBIs. "You just want to be patient and make them throw you a strike."
Three more walks in the fourth helped the Oilers score two more, giving starter Gabriel Asakura a 9-0 lead.
Asakura entered the game with a 0.93 ERA in league play - one of seven Peninsula pitchers with a sub-1.00 ERA in ABL competition - and earned the win Tuesday in pitching five innings of two-run ball.
The native of Brazil said he relaxed once the Oilers took the big lead.
"I was throwing all fastballs," he said. "Once you get a lead like that, your job is pretty much to just throw strikes."
Mark Winkelman, Reese McGraw and Tyler Blum combined to pitch four shutout innings of relief.
With a league-best 1.44 ERA entering the contest, Peninsula pitchers have now allowed five or more runs just twice in 29 games.
Wisdom finished the blowout with a two-run homer over the wall in left field in the bottom of the eighth – his second home run of the series.
Every Oilers starter reached safely at least once, and eight different players crossed the plate.
Before the series, Mat-Su held a one-game lead over Peninsula for the division lead.
Now the standings look a whole lot different.
"It means we came in and played four days of pretty good baseball," Machado said. "That's what we are trying to do - show up to the park and compete each day. We did that this series."
Tuesday - Oilers 11, Miners 2
Oilers AB R H BI Miners AB R H BI
Mllr ss 2 2 0 1 Ford ss 4 0 2 1
Mllry 2b 2 1 1 1 Knlnd 1b 4 0 0 0
Wsdm 3b 3 2 2 4 Brnca 3b 4 0 1 0
Chnng 1b 5 0 1 2 Jones cf 3 0 0 0
Rust rf 3 1 0 0 Grlach rf 4 0 0 0
Acosta lf 2 1 1 1 Lum 2b 2 1 1 0
Krksy lf 2 0 0 0 Zier 2b 2 0 1 0
Ymgchi dh 3 1 0 0 Rosso dh 3 0 0 0
Reyes c 1 1 0 1 Gymn c 1 0 0 0
McChsny c 1 0 0 0 Mrtn c 1 0 0 0
Andsn cf 4 1 1 0 Frncia lf 3 1 1 1
Totals 28 11 6 10 Totals 31 2 6 2
Mat-Su 000 020 000 -2
Peninsula 313 200 02x -11
LOB - Miners 5, Oilers 8. DP - Oilers 2. 2B - Lum, Wisdom. SB - Francia, Miller.
IP H R ER BB SO
Asakura, W 5 4 2 2 1 4
Winkelman 2 1 0 0 1 3
McGraw 1 1 0 0 0 0
Blum 1 0 0 0 0 0
Hedrick, L 2.2 3 7 7 7 3
Brewer 0.1 1 2 2 4 1
Dennison 5 2 2 2 1 5
HBP - by Hedrick (Yamaguchi), by Dennison (Rust). WP - Brewer.