Oilers, Monarchs hit 4 HRs en route to tie

Earlier in the day Friday, Peninsula Oilers head coach Kyle Richardson joked with new arrival Jordan Sanford about if he had any jetlag from his flight into Kenai.


"He struck out on his first (at-bat), and it was like, all right, this may be a rough day for him," Richardson said. "Then the first pitch on his next at-bat, he crushes it out of the park. It was like, welcome to Kenai."

The East Tennesse State junior was one of three Oilers players to clear the outfield wall Friday night at Coral Seymour Memorial ballpark in Kenai in a game that saw four home runs, a rare feat for a stingy ballpark that is known for its ability to slow balls down with the Kenai winds that blow through the area.

The winds were virtually absent on a day that remained overcast and rather humid.

The Oilers (3-1-1) and the visiting Lake Erie Monarchs ended in a 6-6 tie after nine innings, a decision that was made to preserve the bullpen talent. Both teams were low on pitching arms, and furthermore, both teams escaped a torrential hailstorm that followed within 90 minutes of the end of the game.

Sanford ended 2 for 4 with two RBIs, including his homer in the bottom of the fourth inning that also scored Josh Rose. Oilers catcher Gabriel Munoz and second baseman AJ Hernandez also hit homers, and all three ended up going over the left field wall.

"I had a little jetlag at first, so my first at bat was pretty rough," Sanford said. "But I got into a good count and got a good pitch and just sent it."

Hernandez's homer in the seventh inning provided the go-ahead run that broke a 4-4 tie.

"It felt good, I just knew it was coming," Hernandez said. "It's really all down to what the coaches were teaching us before the game.

"We came out here early and hit, and the coaches gave us a good approach."

Munoz homered first in the fourth inning, followed by a double from Rose, followed by another homer from Sanford that put the Oilers up 4-0.

Mistakes cost Peninsula in the top of the fifth. The Monarchs' Luke Dauch hit a ball that put him to first, but the throw to tag JJ Reimers out at third base slipped by Jeff Paschke's glove and allowed Reimers to score.

In the top of the seventh, three runs were scored on two doubles and a single that turned into a double. Pat McInerney, JP Maracani and Seth Johnson each had RBIs to knot the game up.

After Hernandez's homer in the seventh broke the tie, Jack Veasey hit the fourth home run of the game in the top of the eighth that closed the gap. Oilers relief pitcher Jeff Paschke was brought out in the ninth inning, but when the Monarchs' Johnson attempted to grab third base, the throw to Ethan McGill went high and Johnson came in to score the game's final run.

"We took a lot of better ABs, and it was going through the course of the Seals' series," Richardson said. "As each day went on, we took some better ABs, and the guys today looked a lot better."

Nolan Sheridan got the start on the mound, pitching 6 2-3 innings with six hits, three earned runs and six strikeouts.

Paschke hit 3 for 5 with a run, upping his season average to .421, and Hernandez hit 2 for 4 and two RBIs to move to .389.

"They looked calm at the plate, they weren't jumping too much," Richardson said. "That was our best offensive day so far.

"If that's how it's gonna keep going, I'm excited about it."

The Oilers will face the Monarchs again Saturday at 7 p.m., the second of a four-game series.


Oilers 6, Monarchs 6

Monarchs    AB    R     H    BI    Oilers    AB    R    H    BI
Rwbtm rf    5    1    2    1    Yagi ss    4    0    0    0
Mrcni cf    4    1    1    1    Sdln cf    4    1    1    0
Jnson ss    4    0    0    0    Pske 3b    5    1    3    0
Haffy 1b    5    0    2    0    Hrndz 2b    4    1    2    2
Fiala 3b    4    0    1    0    McGll 1b    3    0    0    1
Rmer c    2    1    0    0    Munoz c    4    1    1    1
Vsey c    1    1    1    1    Rose rf    4    1    1    0
Cllahn lf    4    0    0    0    Snfrd lf    4    1    2    2
Flkns 2b    3    1    0    0    Shrdn dh    3    0    1    0
Dauch dh    2    0    1    0    DeVze 1b    1    0    0    0
McIny ph    2    1    1    1    ---
Totals    36    6    9    4    Totals    36    6    11    6

Monarchs    000    010    311    —6
Oilers    100    300    200    —6

2B — Maracani, McInerney, Paschke, Rose. HR — Veasey, Hernandez, Munoz, Sanford. LOB — Monarchs 7, Oilers 6.

IP    H    R    ER    BB    SO
McNair    5.0    7    4    4    1    4
Lanza    2.0    3    2    2    0    0
Downs    2.0    1    0    0    0    2
Sheridan    6.2    6    4    3    1    6
Gibson    1.1    2    1    1    0    1
Paschke    1.0    1    1    1    1    2
WP — Sheridan. HB — McNair, Sheridan. T — 2:20.


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