A ninth-inning rally for the Peninsula Oilers came up short in a 4-3 loss to the Anchorage Bucs on Monday in Alaska Baseball League play at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai.
The Oilers won the season-opening series against the Bucs 4-2 and now go on an eight-game road trip, starting tonight at the Mat-Su Miners at 7 p.m.
The Oilers were down 4-2 entering the bottom of the ninth, but managed to put the tying run at second with one out and Even Berkey at the plate. Berkey brought in one run with a ground-out to make it 4-3, but then Tyler Duke struck out to end the game.
Oddly, it was the first game of the series where the Oilers outhit the Bucs (9-6), but just the second time the home side lost to the visitors in six chances.
The Bucs took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but after that Oilers starter Christian Winston used a mix of breaking balls to dominate, at one point setting down 13 straight batters.
The Oilers came back to tie the game at 1 in the second inning, but Winston would exit behind 2-1 after giving up a run in the sixth inning.
Winston went six innings and gave up two runs — one earned — on three hits while walking two and striking out four.
Tre Brown took the hill for the Oilers and went two innings, giving up an earned run on two hits.
That run put the Bucs up 3-1 after the top of the eighth inning, but Ryan Koch quickly got the score back to 3-2 with a home run in the bottom of the eighth. The tater was the first of the year for the Oilers.
The Bucs were able to add more insurance against Bret Ricklefs in the top of the ninth. Ricklefs yielded a run on a hit.
Berkey led the Oilers at the plate with a 2-for-5 effort.