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Oilers drop rubber match with Glacier Pilots

Posted: Monday, June 18, 2001

It's a little like being beaten to death with a fly swatter -- individually, each blow doesn't hurt too much, but put them all together and the damage can be tough to overcome.

The Peninsula Oilers had just that type of outing Sunday, giving up a six-run sixth inning to the visiting Anchorage Glacier Pilots to drop the rubber match of the three-game series 7-3 at Coral Seymour Memorial Park.

The Oilers will have a chance to get right back into the win column tonight when they open a two-game series with the Anchorage Bucs. Game time today and Tuesday is 7 p.m. at Coral Seymour Memorial Park.

Cordell Perkins made his first start for the Oilers Sunday and cruised through the first five innings, one-hitting the Glacier Pilots while walking four batters along the way.

The Glacier Pilots broke out the fly swatters for the sixth inning, though, with Oilers up 2-0. The first four Anchorage batters of the inning connected for singles -- no smashes, just little loopers that carried out of the reach of the Oilers infielders but fell in front of the outfielders -- pushing the first run of the inning across the plate.

Perkins came a little too far inside on the fifth Pilots batter of the inning, forcing in another run on a hit-by-pitch.

Trey Hendricks moved from first base to the mound to relieve Perkins, but a fielding error on a potential double-play ball resulted in two more Glacier Pilots runs.

"We've just gotta try to pick each other up," Oilers center fielder Brian Horwitz said. "We've got to make the routine plays, but we've also got to make the good plays.

"... You might feel more pressure in key situations, but you should be able to handle everything as if there's nobody on base."

Hendricks got the first out of the inning on a grounder to second that scored another run, and after an errant throw to third on a Glacier Pilots steal allowed the sixth run of the inning to cross the plate, Hendricks was able to get two more ground ball outs to end the inning.

"It's a simple game for us. When we play catch, we win. When we don't, we don't," said Oilers head coach Brian Green.

The Oilers got one run back in the bottom of the sixth inning when Luke Simmons led off with a triple to right field and scored on a ground out by Jamie D'Antona, but the Glacier Pilots added a run in the top of the seventh and Anchorage relief pitcher Danny Hodges retired nine of the 10 batters he faced over the last three innings.

Hendricks went three innings and was charged with two unearned runs while striking out two batters. Joey Newby pitched the ninth for the Oilers.

The Oilers were charged with six errors for the game, four by shortstop Jeff Dragicevich. Green said that playing through a tough day would make Dragicevich a better player in the long run.

"I treat this as an opportunity for someone to step up here," Green said. "If you can face a little adversity and play through it, it's going to make you a better player, not just in July but when you get back to school next year."

The Oilers started the game on a positive note with Perkins pitching effectively.

"He went as long as he possibly could," Green said, adding that with pitchers still arriving on the peninsula, he's been leaving pitchers on the mound a little longer than he normally would.

"Perkins throws three pitches for strikes. He's going to be real good for us."

Glacier Pilots starter Reed Pawelk no-hit the Oilers through 4 2-3 innings before Dragicevich got the goose egg off the scoreboard with his two-out double in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Jackson Coleman followed with a base on balls, and Horwitz, the Oilers leadoff hitter, plated both runners with his double to the wall in left field.

"I came out kinda struggling, but I'm starting to feel a little better now," Horwitz said. "The more at-bats, the better."

Horwitz said that between the wood bats and the constant wind blowing in, he doesn't expect to see big power numbers this summer, but the spacious outfield at Coral Seymour Memorial Park gives batters a lot of options and challenges players on defense.

"There's always a chance for a play because of the wind and all the room," Horwitz said. "With the wood bats, I'm not really worried about balls over my head. It's mostly playing side to side."

In the Anchorage Bucs, the Oilers face a love-to-hate-'em opponent. Green said he's looking forward to the series.

"We know that it's always exciting," Green said. "We don't have as many returning players that understand it, but we'll sure sell it as a coaching staff."

GLACIER PILOTS 7, OILERS 3

Pilots ab r h bi Oilers ab r h bi

Caple cf 3 1 0 0 Horwitz cf 4 0 1 2

Ortega ss 4 0 1 1 Teahen 2b 4 0 0 0

Heether 3b 4 0 1 0 Simmons 1b 2 1 1 0

Huddleston dh 5 0 0 0 D'Antona 3b 4 0 0 1

Fritz 1b 4 2 2 0 Reynolds rf 4 0 0 0

Pokluda rf 3 1 1 0 Hendricks dh 3 0 1 0

Allen lf 5 1 1 0 Cunningham c 4 0 0 0

Robles c 5 1 2 2 Dragicevich ss 4 1 1 0

Garcia 2b 3 1 0 1 Coleman lf 1 1 0 0

---- -- -- -- -- Kahoalii ph 1 0 0 0

Totals 36 7 8 4 Totals 31 3 4 3

Anchorage 000 006 100 -- 7

Peninsula 000 021 000 -- 3

E -- Dragicevich 4, D'Antona, Cunningham. DP -- Oilers 1. LOB -- Pilots 11, Oilers 5. 2B -- Heether, Dragicevich, Horwitz. 3B -- Simmons. SB -- Caple. S -- Caple, Ortega, Pokluda.

Pilots ip h r er bb so

Pawelk, W (2-0) 6 4 3 3 3 1

Hodges, S 3 0 0 0 1 1

Oilers

Perkins, L (0-1) 5 5 5 2 4 1

Hendricks 3 3 2 0 0 2

Newby 1 0 0 0 0 0

Perkins pitched to five batters in the sixth.

HBP --by Perkins (Garcia), by Newby (Pokluda).



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