With the 2001 Oilers season only days away, the team is still facing some uncertainty as to their final roster. Rice and Nebraska are squaring off this weekend to see who will advance to the College World Series. The Oilers roster contains three members off the Nebraska team and two from the Rice team. The members on the winning team will have to postpone their trips to Alaska until the College World Series concludes on June 18.
Justin Seely of Rice could be lost for the summer after he suffered a broken hand while diving for a ball in the regional playoffs. The full extent of the injury has not been reported to the Oilers as of this date. Also waiting out travel plans are 12 members of the Oilers that are draft eligible.
With the Oilers preseason Hardball tournament starting next Friday, the roster could be slim. The Oilers will be hosting the Anchorage Bucs, Mat-Su Miners and the Fairbanks Goldpanners for games June 8 through 10. Three seven-inning games will be played daily starting at 1 p.m., with a championship playoff series Sunday starting at noon. Head coach Brian Green and assistants Andrew Checketts and Damian Stambersky are sure to have their hands full trying to juggle a short roster through five games in three days.
On June 11, the Oilers will play the American Legion Post 20 Peninsula Twins at 6 p.m. The game is a fund-raiser for the Twins.
The official 2001 season opener will follow June 12, as the Oilers host the Ukiah Eagles of Mendicino, Calif. The season opener again will be sponsored by Peninsula Clarion, Country Foods and Coca-Cola. There is sure to be lots of fun, prizes, free hot dogs and Coke drinks. Watch the Clarion for free tickets to the game or stop by Country Foods.
Returning to the 2001 Oilers team will be Jackson Coleman (fourth year), Randall Shelley (third year) and Luke Simmons (second year). Also joining the team are Paul John Zobeck and Willie Castillo, who are both graduates of the local American Legion program and red-shirted at college this season.
For schedules or other information, stop by the Oilers office on the corner of Cook and Main Streets in Kenai, or call 283-7133.
Oilers Corner is submitted weekly duringthe offseason by Mike Baxter, baseball operations manager for the Peninsula Oilers Alaska Baseball League team.
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