The Oilers nearly mounted a ninth-inning comeback after eight scoreless innings, but ultimately dropped a 5-2 Alaska Baseball League game against the Mat-Su Miners on Wednesday evening at Hermon Brothers field in Palmer.
The loss drops the Oilers to a .500 record at 11-11, tied with the Anchorage Glacier Pilots (12-12) for fourth in the ABL standings. The Goldpanners of Fairbanks lead the state with a 12-6 record, and the Anchorage Bucs (13-9) and Miners (15-11) are tied for second, each being one game back.
The Oilers had eight hits, compared to five for the Miners, but three of those came in the ninth inning, which resulted in two runs. Four of the Miners’ five hits were doubles.
With the Miners holding a 5-0 lead (2 runs in the fourth inning and 3 in the seventh), Turner Clouse scored on a hit from Tim Proudfoot. After Andre Mercurio and Jake Alvarez each hit a single, Mike Wieland blasted a double that brought Mercurio home to score, closing the gap even more. However, Dillon Dobson wasn’t able to get the hit he needed when his pop fly ended the game.
The Oilers left a golden opportunity on the table in the eighth inning, as David Olmeda-Barrera hit a fly to center field with the bases loaded to end the inning.
Mercurio led the Oilers on offense, hitting 3 for 5 with a run, Alvarez went 2 for 5, and Wieland went 1 for 3 with one RBI.
Billy Strode took the loss on the mound, pitching the first 3 1-3 innings with three hits, one run and one strikeout. Brandon Warner pitched an inning with four hits and one run, Michael Coates went 2 2-3 innings with three hits, three runs and five strikeouts, and Brody Greer cleaned up in the eighth inning with one hit and two strikeouts.
The Oilers will return home to take on the Anchorage Bucs this weekend, beginning with a 7 p.m. matchup on Friday at Coral Seymour Memorial Park.