After dropping their first two games of the Oilers Hardball Tournament Saturday, the Peninsula Oilers were able to Marshall the troops Sunday to beat the Anchorage Glacier Pilots 6-4 Sunday at Coral Seymour Memorial Park for their first victory of the season.
Under the tournament format, the Oceanside, Calif., Waves and the Mat-Su Miners will play in today's 3 p.m. game for the tournament title while the Oilers will face the Glacier Pilots again one hour after the conclusion of the first game.
The Waves defeated the Miners 8-1 in the early game Sunday, and the Miners came back to beat the Glacier Pilots 2-1 in the second game of the tripleheader.
The Oilers rallied behind the pitching of Marshall Boze Sunday, pounding out six runs on six hits to give the Soldotna hurler a 6-2 lead by the time he left the game after the sixth inning. Sterling's Mike Smith appeared in relief -- taking the mound to an impressive ovation from the fans at Coral Seymour Memorial Park, and helped the Oilers hold on for the win, getting the final out with a strikeout.
"Marshall was outstanding, and then we get Mike Smith -- he just seemed to fall out of the sky for us," said Oilers head coach Brian Green. "We got great pitching, and we got clutch hitting."
Andy Schutzenhofer provided the pop at the plate for the Oilers, drilling a triple over the head of Pilots center fielder Wade Huckabay to drive in the first two runs of the ballgame in the bottom of the third inning. Schutzenhofer scored on a sacrifice fly to center by Adrian Schau, and Joey Newby and Chris Graziano each hit RBI singles in the Oilers' three-run fourth inning.
Schutzenhofer said he didn't know whether his blast would be ruled a hit or an error as Huckabay appeared to have a play on the ball and was pleased to hear that every scorekeeper in the press box had it as a triple all the way.
"I hit it hard, but I thought he was going to make a play," Schutzenhofer said. "I'm feeling good up there (at the plate). I'm hitting the ball hard and hoping good things will happen."
Schutzenhofer said that he had played enough summer ball with wood bats that making the adjustment to the Alaska Baseball League was not a big deal.
"I'm pretty comfortable now," Schutzenhofer said.
While Schutzenhofer was hitting for power, the Oilers also did a good job playing small ball. Graziano and Gabe Hirsh each laid down excellent sacrifice bunts while Rusty Beale and Damian Stambersky each reached on bunt singles.
The run support was enough for Boze, who gave up two unearned runs on four hits, struck out 10 and walked one.
"It was a pleasure catching Marshall Boze," said Oilers backstop Garrett Schoenberger. "He shook me off a little bit -- I'm not here to tell him what to do. I just want to learn all I can from him."
Schoenberger also was impressed with what he saw of Smith in relief, though he said Smith's entrance in the top of the seventh was their first meeting.
"I realized when he came in that we hadn't gone over anything yet," Schoenberger said. "He's a big-time talent for our team. He's a pretty intense guy, and he throws hard.
"That's what our motto's going to be this year. We're going to be intense, and we're going to be scrappy."
OILERS 6, GLACIER PILOTS 4
Pilots AB R H BI Oilers AB R H BI
Nicholson 2b 3 2 1 0 Graziano cf 3 0 1 1
Dyson rf 4 0 0 1 Beale ss 3 1 1 0
Ortega ss 4 1 0 0 Schutznhfr 1b 2 1 1 2
Didion 3b 3 0 0 1 Schau 3b 1 0 0 2
Jamieson c 2 0 1 0 Schonbrgr c 4 0 0 0
Nerland lf 4 0 1 0 Zobeck lf 3 1 1 0
Pawelk 1b 3 0 1 0 Stambrsky 2b 2 1 1 0
Huckabay cf 3 1 1 0 Hirsh dh 1 0 0 0
Voyen dh 3 0 0 0 Newby rf 1 2 1 1
Enis c 1 0 1 0 --- - - - -
Totals 30 4 6 2 Totals 20 6 6 6
Anchorage 000 002 2 -- 4
Peninsula 003 300 x -- 6
E -- Stambersky (3), Graziano. LOB -- Pilots 8, Oilers 8. 2B -- Stambersky. 3B -- Schutzenhofer. SB -- Beale. CS -- Stambersky S -- Graziano, Hirsh. SF -- Schau.
IP H R ER BB SO
DeLaRosa, L 5 5 6 5 8 2
George 1 1 0 0 0 1
Boze, W 6 4 2 0 1 10
Smith 1 2 2 1 2 2
HBP -- by DeLaRosa (Schau).
T -- 2:19.
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