It was a win-win situation Thursday night at Coral Seymour Memorial Park.
The Peninsula Oilers made their 2000 season debut, defeating the American League Post 20 Twin 7-3 in a seven-inning exhibition game.
The Twins played an entertaining game against some of the nation's top collegiate talent and raised some funds to help defray their operating costs.
And plenty of fans went home with door prizes donated by the Kenai Chrysler Center, the game's sponsor.
"I told (Twins manager) Lance (Coz) after the game that in the four years I've been up here, that's the best overall team he's had," said Oilers coach Gary Adcock. "Every pitcher he rolled out there gave them a chance to compete. They made diving plays in the field, they put the bat on the ball, they took the walks when we walked them.
"We got some live pitching and hitting, they got a chance to compete against college players. Everybody wins."
The Twins scored the first run of the game in the top of the second inning off Oilers starter David Humen.
Eric Newby, making his first appearance with the Twins A team, led off the inning with a bloop single to right. Older brother Joey Newby did him one better, smacking a double to the wall in right-center field to plate Eric.
"It was fun hitting ahead of Joey," the younger Newby said. "I got on base and he ripped one to drive me in. I just wanted to get on because I knew he could hit."
Both Joey and Eric were busy in the field. Eric made a diving stop on a hard ground ball to short and got up in time to throw out Oilers designated hitter Chris Mabeus.
Joey opened the game with an outfield assist, picking off Oilers leadoff man Jeremy Reed from left field when Reed tried to stretch a single into a double in the first inning. The older Newby had five putouts, including a great diving catch in the fifth inning. He pitched the last two innings, giving up one hit and striking out two.
The Oilers took the lead in the bottom of the third inning, plating two runs against Twins pitcher Severin Gardner. Doug Jumelet reached on an error to lead off the inning and scored on a single by Luke Simmons. Michael Falco also singled in the inning and scored on an error.
Falco drove in another run in the fourth, helping the Oilers to a 4-1 lead, before the Twins could get another run across home plate.
Joey Newby led off the bottom of the fourth with a walk and advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Josh Edmondson.
Humen hit Jason Kornfield with a pitch and walked Willie Castillo, loading the bases for Twins designated hitter Domenic Plasencia, who drew a walk to plate a run. Kornfield scored the other Twins run when he scrambled home on a wild pitch.
That would be all the Twins would get, though, as Sterling's Mike Smith made his first appearance with the Oilers, striking out three and walking one to earn the win.
"It was probably our most intense game this year. We came out all fired up," said Twins first baseman Mike Sauer. "I knew what college pitching was all about, but you can always learn new things from any pitcher you face at any level."
The Oilers plated three more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to put the game away. John Kaye reached to lead off the inning after being hit by a pitch from Josh Overturf. Mabeus singled and Jumelet followed with a two-run double to left field.
Reed followed with a triple just over Paul John Zobeck's dive in right.
Zobeck did end the Oilers half of the seventh with a tumbling catch on a drive to right by Jumelet.
"I didn't pick it up right away," said Zobeck, calling it a lucky catch. "It was one of those where you've just gotta stick your glove out and hope you get there."
Adcock will start Mabeus tonight when the Oilers play the Oceanside, Calif., Waves at Coral Seymour Memorial Park. Game time is 7 p.m.
"Chris deserves the start based on the way he pitched for us last year and on the way he's pitched this spring," Adcock said. "He gives us some confidence that he can get us deeper into a ballgame. The last time he threw was a week ago, and that was in a World Series."
The Oilers will be doing the rest with smoke and mirrors for a couple of days while they wait for a few more players to arrive. The Oilers have 12 roster players available for their series with Oceanside, along with two nonroster players. Adcock is expecting reinforcements in a couple of days, but until then, he'll make do with what he has.
"It's difficult," Adcock said. "We're not making any excuses, it's just the hand we were dealt. We've been fortunate over the past three years I've been here that we haven't had to deal with it."
While it normally takes a week or so to assemble the entire team, several potential Oilers signed professional contracts after this week's draft. Three players are trying out for Team USA, and with the season starting a little bit earlier than it did last year, a few players are still finishing up college commitments.
Adcock said the squad is coping well. He is using some players in different positions, and said that the Twins game was a good chance to see what works.
"I was trying to see what the best combination will be until we get our reserves here," Adcock said.
Friday's game is sponsored by IGA Country Food, Coca-Cola and the Peninsula Clarion. Admission is free, as are the hot dogs and sodas.
The Oilers play game two of their series against the Waves Saturday at 7 p.m.
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