The Peninsula Oilers continued a late-season surge by topping the host Chugiak Chinooks 9-1 on Monday in Alaska Baseball League play.
The Oilers finished up their season series with the Chinooks at 6-1, and now have won six of their last eight.
But with time rapidly running out in the ABL season, the Oilers will have to keep on winning. The Oilers improved to 17-13 with the win and have five games remaining — two in a 6 p.m. doubleheader at the Anchorage Bucs today, and three 6 p.m. home tilts against the Anchorage Glacier Pilots on Thursday through Saturday.
The Oilers are currently two games out of first behind the Mat-Su Miners, but the Goldpanners are only a half game out. With the Oilers also tied with the Bucs for third, Peninsula cannot afford any more losses.
The Oilers pitchers and batters were both clicking in Monday’s blowout.
The Oilers piled up 13 hits. Jake Alvarez, fresh off an All-Star Game MVP on Sunday, was 3 for 6 with two RBIs. Andre Mercurio was 2 for 4 with two runs and two RBIs, while AJ Ramirez had two hits, a run and an RBI and Michael Hoo had two hits and a run.
On the mound, Oilers pitchers allowed just five hits. Logan McAnallen started and gave up three hits and a run in two innings.
Travis Barnes pitched two scoreless innings, while Brandon Warner had three scoreless innings, and Dylan Silva and Brody Greer each had a scoreless frame.
The Oilers jumped on top 1-0 in the top of the first. Dillon Dobson started the early rally with a walk off Chinooks starter and loser Caleb Dirks. Adam Sonabend then singled Dobson to third, and Dobson scored when Wieland reached on an error by the pitcher.
In the second inning, the Oilers scored four runs to take early control of the game.
Turner Clouse started the rally with a single, then Hoo singled, and Clouse and Hoo moved up to third and second on a wild pitch. Kyle Hunt walked to load the bases.
Mercurio then drew another walk to score Clouse. Alvarez followed with a single to score Hoo and Hunt. Dobson then brought home Mercurio for a 5-0 lead with a sacrifice fly.
It took all the way until the eighth inning, but the Oilers were finally able to get some insurance. With one out, Mercurio started the rally with a walk. Alvarez then doubled and Mercurio came all the way around to score.
The Oilers then piled on three more runs in the ninth. Wieland was hit by a pitch to start the inning, then Ramirez tripled to score Wieland. Ramirez would then score on a wild pitch.
The final run came when David Olmedo-Barrera doubled with two outs, then Alvarez singled to score Olmedo-Barrera.