The Peninsula Oilers snapped a two-game losing streak by defeating the Mat-Su Miners 5-3 at Hermon Brothers Field in Palmer on Wednesday.
The win snaps a two-game losing streak for the Oilers. Mat-Su and the Oilers meet again tonight at 6 p.m. The game can be heard on 1140 AM.
The Oilers were unable to make up any ground on the first-place and torrid-hot Anchorage Glacier Pilots. The Pilots scored in double digits for the third-straight game, this time defeating the Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks 15-5.
The Pilots lead the league with a 20-11 record, while the Oilers are two games back at 18-13. The Anchorage Bucs moved to 15-15 with a 6-2 victory over the Chugiak Chinooks on Wednesday and are 4 1-2 games out. The Goldpanners are 13-15, the Chinooks are 12-17 and the Miners are 12-19.
The win was made possible by a solid start from Jon Maciel, a three-run home run by Frank Martinez and some clutch relief work by Nigel Nootbaar.
Maciel improved to 4-2 by pitching the first five innings and giving up two hits and one unearned run. He walked two and struck out three.
Maciel was made a winner thanks to Martinez's three-run home run in the sixth inning that gave the Oilers a 4-1 lead.
Both teams had traded unearned runs in the early innings. In the first, Alex Staehely singled to score Jordon Hein off Miners starter and loser Ross Mitchell.
In the second, Bill Cullen reached on an error before scoring for the Miners.
The other highlight of the early innings came in the fourth, when Jimmie Koch was thrown out attempting to steal second to end the inning. Both Oilers assistant Kyle Richardson and Oilers head coach John Stevens were ejected for arguing the call.
The Oilers bullpen was given the task of bringing the win home starting in the sixth inning. The relievers got back on track after getting shelled in Monday and Tuesday losses to the Glacier Pilots.
Mark Garcia pitched a scoreless sixth inning and John Straka pitched a scoreless seventh inning.
Logan McAnallen then found trouble in the eighth inning. With one out, Clint Freeman and Cullen singled to put runners on first and second.
In came Nootbaar, and he walked Branden Berry to load the bases. A double by Chris Taladay then cut the lead to 4-3 and put runners on second and third. Nootbaar got out of the jam with a strikeout and a fly ball to center field.
The Oilers got a valuable insurance run in the ninth. Reliever Peter Kaplan walked the bases loaded, then Jordon Hein singled to score pinch runner Jeff Yamaguchi, who had been filling in as a first-base coach after the fourth-inning ejections.
The Oilers recorded six hits, with Ring going 2 for 4. The Miners had seven hits, with Clint Freeman and Tino Lipson each recording two hits.