The Peninsula Oilers improved to 2-0 at the National Baseball Congress World Series with a 7-3 victory over the San Diego Force on Friday at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium in Wichita, Kan.
The Oilers, who have won three NBC titles, move on to play the Seattle Studs at 4:30 p.m. today. Ben Griset will start against the Studs, who finished second at the NBC in 2008 and 2010.
The game can be heard on 1140 AM. NBC games tend to start later than the scheduled first pitch.
Peninsula received a strong start Friday from Jordan Mills and took advantage of several Force errors in a five-run seventh inning to move one game closer to what would be the fifth finals appearance in the organization's history.
"It's just one game at a time right now," Oilers coach Dennis Machado said by telephone Saturday. "We're trying to make sure the guys come ready to play each day and are in the right gear."
Mills pitched six shutout innings and gave up three hits while walking three, hitting two and striking out five.
When he left, the Oilers had taken a 2-0 lead on Force starter and loser Jordan Hartley. After leaving six runners on base in the first three innings, the Oilers struck for a run in the fourth.
With two outs, Nate Ring stroked a ball to right field. Right fielder Devon King had a little trouble picking up the ball, so Ring tried to stretch the hit to a triple but stumbled coming around second. The relay throw was bobbled, allowing Ring to reach third safely. The play was scored a triple.
Mike Miller then poked an 0-2 pitch to right field to score Ring.
The Oilers made it 2-0 in the fifth when Troy Channing reached on an error, then scored on a double by Stephen Branca. Branca, who played for the Mat-Su Miners this summer, now has five RBIs in two games with the Oilers.
Mills gave up a single to Chris Moody and a walk to Colby Everett before departing in the top of the seventh.
Mark Winkelman came in and retired David Whiteside on a fielder's choice ground ball, but then King walked to load the bases with one out.
Third baseman Patrick Wisdom, who couldn't handle a hot shot by Moody to start the inning, then took a grounder from Jacob Ludvik, stepped on third to record the force, then threw to first in time to preserve Peninsula's 2-0 lead.
The Oilers jumped all over reliever David Haerle in the bottom of the seventh, loading the bases with nobody out. Tanner Rust then scored Chris Mallory with a sacrifice fly.
Branca then singled to load the bases again and chase Haerle. Boomer Collins followed with a single off reliever Bobby Orozco that scored Wisdom. When King misplayed the ball in right field, Channing scored.
After Manny Reyes struck out, Nate Ring hit a grounder to short that Whiteside booted, allowing Branca and Collins to score for a 7-0 lead.
The Oilers have scored 21 runs over their first two games at the NBC.
"It's been the same thing we have been trying to stress all year, which is one at-bat at a time with a quality approach," Machado said. "It's going up and being aggressive. So far, we have been able to execute that."
After Winkelman pitched a hitless 1 1-3 innings, Reese McGraw pitched a hitless 2-3 of an inning before Gabriel Asakura took over in the ninth.
He was making his first relief appearance of the season, becoming the latest Oilers pitcher to have trouble closing out a game. The Force loaded the bases with one out, then Michael Cala scored on a grounder to first. Marcus Himelhoch singled to score Corbin Cutshaw and King.
Hunter Lemke relieved Asakura and struck out Victor Samaniego to end the game.
Machado said Asakura, Lemke and McGraw could all receive closing chances as the tournament progresses.
"It could be any one of those guys," Machado said.
Miller, Channing, Branca and Rust each had two hits to lead the Oilers' 11-hit attack. Travis McCleary had two of the Force's five hits.
Now Peninsula turns it focus to the Studs, who defeated the Hays (Kan.) Larks 2-0 on Thursday.
If the Oilers defeat the Studs, Machado said Jon Maciel will receive the next start. In the event of a loss, however, Machado said he might shake up the rotation.
"It's business as usual," the coach said. "It was good to get started the way we did and carry it through, and hopefully we will be able to pull the next one out."
Oilers 7, Force 3
Force AB R H BI Oilers AB R H BI
Ludvk lf 5 0 0 1 Mllr ss 3 0 2 1
Okubo cf 3 0 0 0 Mllry 2b 4 1 1 0
Hmlhch ph 2 0 1 2 Wsdm 3b 5 1 1 0
Smngo c 3 0 0 0 Chnng 1b 4 2 2 0
MClry 3b 4 0 2 0 Rust rf 4 0 0 1
LaFce dh 2 0 0 0 Brnca dh 5 1 2 1
Pwll dh 1 0 0 0 Collns lf 4 1 2 1
Moody 1b 4 0 1 0 Reyes c 3 0 0 0
Evrtt 2b 2 0 0 0 Ring cf 4 1 1 0
Cala 2b 0 1 0 0 ---- -- -- -- --
Whtsde ss 2 0 1 0 ---- -- -- -- --
Ctshw pr 0 1 0 0 ---- -- -- -- --
King rf 2 1 0 0 ---- -- -- -- --
Totals 30 3 5 3 Totals 36 7 11 4
San Diego 000 000 003 -3
Peninsula 000 110 50X -7
E - Everett, King, Whiteside. DP - Oilers 2. LOB - Force 7, Oilers 11. 2B - Whiteside, Branca, Miller. 3B - Ring. SB - Moody, Miller, Collins. SF - Rust.
IP H R ER BB SO
Hartley, L 6 6 2 1 3 3
Haerle 1-3 2 4 2 1 0
Orozco 2-3 3 1 0 0 0
Pointer 1 0 0 0 0 0
Mills, W 6 3 0 0 3 5
Winkelman 1 1-3 0 0 0 1 0
McGraw 2-3 0 0 0 1 1
Asakura 2-3 2 3 3 1 0
Lemke 1-3 0 0 0 0 1
Mills pitched to two batters in the seventh.
HP - by Haerle (Mallory), by Mills (Whiteside 2), by Asakura (Everett). PB - Reyes.