Rick Taloa of the Couthern California Running Birds flies over Peninsula Oilers catcher Justin Scutchfield at home in the fourth ining Friday night. Scutchfield hung on to the ball to make the tag and Taloa was ejected from the game.
Photo by M. Scott Moon
The Peninsula Oilers won the first game of a two-game series against the visiting Southern California Running Birds Friday night by a score of 6-2 at Coral Seymour Memorial Park at Kenai.
On Saturday, the Oilers dropped the rematch with the Running Birds 3-2 in 11 innings.
"We simply pitched real well and played good defense," Oilers shortstop Nick Kliebert said of the win on Friday.
The Running Birds were the first to score in the game with a run in the top of the fourth inning.
However, the Oilers were able to close the inning when catcher Justin Scutchfield held on to a throw at home plate as he was plowed over by Southern California's first baseman Rick Taloa for the final out.
Peninsula Oilers infielder Jake Kahaulelio makes a catch for an out against the Southern California Running Birds in the fourth inning Friday at Coral Seymour Memorial Park.
Photo by M. Scott Moon
Taloa was ejected from the game following the play.
Oilers' pitcher Jarrod Dumont allowed the first run of the game after throwing four strikeouts, giving up one walk, and three hits.
Kliebert put the Oilers' on the board when he reached on a single up the middle and a Southern California error pushed him to third base. He would later score to tie the game at 1-1.
"(The game) went pretty good today," center fielder and Soldotna native David Newby said. "They (Southern California) proved to be a good test for some of the Anchorage teams, so we just played our game and made sure we didn't look over them."
Following three quick outs against the Running Birds in the top of the fifth, the Oilers' spent most of the bottom of the inning on base.
"Their pitching suffered and fell apart there for awhile," Oilers' coach Mike Coutts said.
Four hits including an off-the-wall double from Newby that scored Scutchfield and four walks later the Oilers' went through their entire batting lineup. Also in the inning, Matt Inouye's single up the middle sent Luke Salas and Jake Kahaulelio home for a 4-1 Oilers' lead.
Southern California responded with a run of their own in the sixth inning with the aid of an Oilers error, but Dumont allowed no hits and had one strikeout in the top of the seventh inning to send the Oilers back to the plate.
Dumont finished the game with seven strikeouts and allowed five hits.
"You play well when you pitch well and Dumont pitched well," Coutts said
At bat in the seventh, the Oilers scored two consecutive runs without putting the ball in play for the 6-2 final. Salas crossed the plate first after Inouye was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Kahaulelio scored his second run as well after John McCarthy drew a bases-loaded walk.
"I can't remember walking like that," Kliebert said. "Their pitching seemed to be really struggling."
"It was kind of a cold day, so that made the game drag on a little and it may have caused them to be short on the pitches," Newby said of Southern California's pitching.
The Running Birds shuffled through two different pitchers in the seventh inning.
"We still missed quite a few scoring opportunities too, but nothing batting practice can't improve," Coutts added.
Matt Meyer also substituted in the seventh inning to replace Dumont at the mound for the Oilers. Meyer closed the game, despite walking two with two outs in the ninth inning. He allowed no hits with three strikeouts, including a strikeout for the final out.
"We just want to stay focused and play well, while we keep getting better," Newby said.
OILERS 6, RUNNING BIRDS 2
So. California 000 100 100 2 5 3
Peninsula 000 130 20x 6 9 1
Meyerholtz, Kuava (5), Jordan (7), Morris (7) and Rescola; Dumont, Meyer (8) and Scutchfield. W Dumont. L Meyerholtz. 2B Peninsula, DNewby.
RUNNING BIRDS 3, OILERS 2, 11 inn.
So. California 001 000 001 01 3 5 0
Peninsula 000 000 110 00 2 5 1
McNamara, Freeman (8), Medland (8) and Linn; Jordan, Chambers (6), Enright (7), Christianson (9) and Inouye. W Medland. L Christianson.
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