The Peninsula Oilers scored six runs in the last two innings, overcoming a five-run deficit to defeat the visiting Michigan Monarchs 7-6 Thursday at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai.
Andy Dahl capped the Oilers' late rally, hitting a two-out single in the bottom of the ninth to plate Robert Perry from second with the winning run.
"With the other guys coming up with clutch hits, clutch bunts, clutch hit-by-pitch, clutch walks I'm just glad I got an opportunity to take part in that," said Dahl of his heroics.
The Oilers entered the bottom of the ninth inning trailing by two runs. David Newby, making his first plate appearance of the game, was hit on the ankle by a pitch from Monarchs reliever Dan Lentz.
Eric Newby followed with a walk, and Paul John Zobeck put down a perfectly placed bunt to move the Newbys to second and third.
That brought up the top of the order and Robert Perry, already with a home run in the first inning and an RBI single in the eighth, delivered a single to left field to drive in both baserunners and tie the game.
The Monarchs then intentionally walked Patrick Rooney to set up a force Perry had taken second on the throw home on his hit but a fly-ball out to center by Nick Kliebert set the stage for Dahl.
"That just shows a lot of heart," Dahl said of the comeback. "It shows what we can handle during the season and what we can handle right now."
Perry's home run in the bottom of the first inning gave the Oilers a 1-0 lead, but the Oilers offense cooled off after that as Monarchs starter Ben Lovell settled in and faced just three batters over the minimum through seven innings.
In fact, Perry's home run was the only hit the Oilers managed through six innings the Oilers other two baserunners reached on walks. Dahl recorded the Oilers' second hit of the game to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning, but was caught stealing on a strike 'em out, throw 'em out double play a batter later.
Michigan was able to put together a six-hit rally against Oilers starter Pat Cassa in the third inning plating four runs. Jason Watson hit a two-run triple during the rally, and Jake Pawlak and Brad Hrovat each hit run-scoring singles.
Jim Duffy added a home run just inside the foul pole in left field for the Monarchs in the fifth inning, giving Michigan a 5-1 lead. Michigan added a run in the eighth when reliever Brian Chambers was called for a balk with a runner on third.
Perry led off the bottom of the first inning with a line-drive home run over the right field fence for the Oilers' first run of the game, but the Oilers weren't able to get to Lovell again until the bottom of the eighth inning when Joey Hendricks led off with a double to left center and Eric Newby followed with a single. Hendricks scored on a single by Perry, and Newby crossed the plate on a sacrifice fly by Rooney. Perry pulled the Oilers to within two when he scored on a bases-loaded walk drawn by Rocky Laguna.
Laguna also earned the win on the mound, moving from right field to pitcher in the top of the ninth and retiring the Monarchs in order. Starter Cassa went five innings, giving five runs on eight hits, striking out two and walking one. Chambers worked three innings, giving up one run on three hits and striking out four without issuing a walk.
Dahl said his teammates felt pretty good about their chances of coming back in the late innings.
"You never really know that (you're going to do it)," Dahl said. "We're lucky we did. Sometimes you don't, so we'll savor it while it lasts."
The series concludes tonight with a game at 7 p.m. The Oilers, 6-2 overall, will travel to Fairbanks Saturday and begin Alaska Baseball League play Sunday.
Monarchs ab r h bi Oilers ab r h bi
Arnett cf 5 1 2 0 Perry cf 4 3 3 4
Watson 2b 5 1 1 2 Rooney 3b 3 0 0 1
Moffett 1b 4 0 0 0 Kliebert ss 4 0 0 0
Duffy rf 3 1 1 1 Dahl lf 5 0 2 1
Pawlak ss 4 2 3 0 Laguna rf 2 0 0 1
Hrovat c 4 0 2 1 Eichel c 4 0 0 0
Bolton 3b 4 0 1 0 Hndrcks dh 3 1 1 0
Zerbo dh 4 0 0 0 E. Nwby 2b 2 2 1 0
Rosnbrgh lf 4 1 1 0 Zobeck 1b 3 0 0 0
D. Newby lf 0 1 0 0
Totals 37 6 11 4 Totals
E E. Newby, Zobeck, Pawlak. DP Oilers 1. LOB . SB Pawlak. CS Laguna, Arnett, Dahl. 2B Arnett, Hendricks. 3B Watson. HR Perry, Duffy. S Zobeck. SF Rooney.
ip h r er bb so
Lovell 7 2-3 5 4 3 4 4
Husain 1-3 0 0 0 1 0
Lentz, L 2-3 2 3 3 2 0
Cassa 5 8 5 5 1 2
Chambers 3 3 1 1 0 4
Laguna, W 1 0 0 0 0 1
HBP by Lentz (D. Newby). WP Cassa, Lovell. Blk Chambers.
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