The Peninsula Oilers came from behind Wednesday to beat the Portland, Ore., Aloha Knights 3-2 in 10 innings at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai.
The Oilers will face the Knights in the rubber match of the three-game series tonight, their final game of the season-opening homestand. The Oilers start their Alaska Baseball League schedule Saturday in Anchorage.
"These guys play hard and they never give up," said Oilers coach Kyle DiEduardo. "We're going to be in every single game this year. It's good to see these guys pull a couple of these games out."
David Uribes delivered the game-winning hit, driving home Andy Dahl with a two-out single to left in the bottom of the 10th.
Dahl had reached on a single up the middle and advanced to second when Jimmy Bacon was able to lay down a sacrifice bunt after failing to get a bunt down in his previous at-bat in the eighth inning.
"We practice it. It's going to be used a lot," DiEduardo said of the sacrifice, a staple of Alaska League baseball. "We've got to move the runners over somehow, especially with the left-handed pitcher they had up there, the bunt is the best way to do that."
The Knights scored the first run of the game in the top of the eighth inning. Landon Burt singled to left with runners on first and second. Josh Lex's throw home was on-target and in time, but catcher Ben Fritz wasn't able to squeeze the ball to apply the tag.
The Oilers rallied to take the lead in the bottom of the frame, though.
Schuyler Mann notched the big hit in the Oilers half of the eighth inning, stroking a double to left-center to score David Uribes from first base.
"I'm just seeing the ball really well," said Mann, who has been on a tear at the plate. "I'm getting a lot of batting practice in. Coach (Darin) Everson has been helping out. I'm getting comfortable, and that's what it's all about."
Mann said the Oilers never panicked being down by a run late in the game.
"We've got so much confidence in our pitchers. We know if we can get a little rally going, any inning we can get hot. It's scary sometimes," he said.
The Oilers got the little break they needed to start their half of the eighth inning when Dahl beat out an infield single, then was called safe on a close play, diving back into first on a pickoff attempt at first.
Bacon was unable to lay down bunt, but Dahl moved to second on a ground out by Joe Frazee, then scored when Uribes singled to center, setting the stage for Mann's blast.
The Knights tied the game in the bottom of the ninth, though, taking advantage of an infield single and a hit batsman with a single by Landon Burt to score a run.
The Oilers used five pitchers in the game. Starter Stephen Kahn went five innings, allowing two hits and striking out three while walking two.
Kahn got out of a jam in the fourth inning when the Knights were able to load the bases with two outs on an infield hit and two walks.
Portland's Brian Steinmeyer fouled off several pitches with the count full before driving the ball toward the gap in right-center field, but Frazee was able to make a running catch from his position in center to end the threat.
Mike Ekstrom pitched one inning of scoreless relief, and Landon Hall was touched up for an unearned run.
Paul Coleman got two outs in the ninth before running into trouble, and Kyle Wilson got a strikeout to end the ninth and struck out two in the tenth for the win.
OILERS 3, ALOHA KNIGHTS 2, 10 inn.
Knights ab r h bi Oilers ab r h bi
Allen 2b 4 0 0 0 Frazee cf 5 0 0 0
Kosturos dh 4 0 0 0 Uribes ss 4 1 3 1
Jenkins c 4 0 1 0 Mann dh 4 0 1 1
Cunningham lf 4 0 1 0 Fritz c 3 0 0 0
Crowder rf 4 0 0 0 Mangels 1b 4 0 0 0
Hudson ss 3 0 0 0 Bensko 3b 4 0 0 0
Steinmeyer 3b 4 0 1 0 Lex lf 4 0 1 0
Bolcoa 1b 3 0 0 0 Dahl rf 4 2 2 0
Burt cf 3 1 2 1 Bacon 2b 3 0 0 0
Roters pr 0 1 0 0 - - - - -
Totals 33 2 5 1 Totals 35 3 7 2
Portland 000 000 011 0 2
Peninsula 000 000 020 1 3
E Fritz. LOB Knights 9, Oilers 3. 2B Mann. SB Fritz. S Allen, Bacon.
IP H R ER BB SO
Cretarolo 7 2 0 0 0 4
McKee 1 3 2 2 0 1
Clelland, L 1 2-3 2 1 1 0 2
Kahn 5 2 0 0 2 3
Ekstrom 1 0 0 0 0 1
Hall 1 1 1 0 1 1
Coleman 2-3 2 1 1 0 0
Wilson, W 1 1-3 0 0 0 0 3
HBP by Kahn (Cunningham), by Cretarolo (Fritz, Uribes), by Coleman (Bolcoa), by Wilson (Kosturos). PB Fritz, Jenkins.
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