As the 2002 season approaches, the Peninsula Oilers have made several roster pages.
Manny Parra, a 6-foot-3 left-handed pitcher and first baseman, has agreed to join the Oilers. Parra is a draft-eligible sophomore from American-Rivers College and has signed a letter of intent to enter UCLA in the fall of 2002.
Parra recently was named by Baseball America as the top junior college player in the upcoming draft. Parra is from Casa Roble, Calif., and to date has a 5-2 won-lost record with an earned run average of 1.86, compiling 81 strikeouts while walking only 17 in 63 innings pitched.
Parra will fill the roster spot vacated when Florida State University shortstop Stephen Drew was lost to the Oilers for 2002 due to a broken foot that caused the freshman to miss nearly 30 games for the Seminoles. Although Drew has returned to the FSU lineup, he will need to rehab his injury this summer.
Paul John Zobeck, a first baseman and outfielder, will be returning for the 2002 season. Zobeck is from Soldotna and plays at South Mountain Community College in Arizona. Zobeck compiled a batting average of .300 for the 2001 Oilers.
Two local players from the Oilers' 2001 roster will not be returning to the team for 2002. Willie Castillo who plays at Mendecino Community College, has had a great season and will play for the California Dons of Ukiah, appearing in his hometown of Kenai as a visitor this summer. Soldotna's Joey Newby also is putting together an excellent season at South Mountain and is scheduled to play in the Colorado summer league.
Jackson Coleman, a fifth-year senior at North Dakota State University, has attracted the interest of major league scouts with a recent batting average of .462 and five home runs. The three-year Oilers veteran is fighting a shoulder injury and probably will need surgery at the end of the college season.
Seattle Mariners third baseman Jeff Cirillo (Oilers 1989) recently tied the all-time major league record when he went 99 consecutive games at third base without an error.
Tickets for the Oilers 2002 Gusher, the club's annual fund-raiser dinner-dance scheduled for June 1, are available but going fast. Attendance is limited to 500, and the event is almost always a sellout.
For more information, contact the Oilers at 283-7133 or stop by the office on the corner of Cook Avenue and Main Street in Kenai.
Oilers Corner is submitted weekly during the offseason by Mike Baxter, baseball operations manager for the Peninsula Oilers Alaska Baseball League team.
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