The Peninsula Oilers fell to the Alaska Goldpanners 15-3 in Fairbanks on Monday to lose their sixth Alaska Baseball League contest in eight tries.
The loss put the Oilers’ prospects for defending their ABL title in increasing doubt.
The first-place Anchorage Glacier Pilots defeated the Mat-Su Miners 8-7 on Monday to improve to 23-11 in the league. The Oilers are 18-15, 4 1-2 games out of first with just seven to play.
The Anchorage Bucs split a doubleheader with the Chugiak Chinooks on Monday, and are 17-16, just one game behind the Oilers in a battle for second place. The Goldpanners are 14-17.
The Oilers pitching staff gave up over 10 runs for the fourth time in five league games.
J.D. Salles struggled in taking the loss, giving up nine runs — eight earned — on eight hits in just 2 2-3 innings. Salles fell to 3-3 in league play.
The Goldpanners made use of big innings in the tight confines of Growden Memorial Park to run away with the game. Alaska scored five runs in the second, four runs in the third and six runs in the seventh inning. Those six runs in the seventh came off of Chris Kono.
The Goldpanners hit three home runs in the game. Paul Politi had a pair of home runs, while Matt Nadolski added one.
Fairbanks had 16 hits in the game. Joey Epperson and Blake Miller led the hit parade with three hits apiece. Kevin Casey had five RBI to lead the Goldpanners.
Nigel Nootbaar led the Oilers’ eight-hit attack with two hits. Alex Staehely had a solo home run for the Oilers, and had two RBI on the day.
Jack Vander Linden picked up the win for the Panners, going 6 2-3 innings and giving up two earned runs on five hits.
The Oilers and Panners play today in a 4 p.m. doubleheader. The game can be heard on 1140 AM.