The Peninsula Oilers closed out their season-opening, 11-game homestand by defeating a weary Seattle Studs squad 6-0 behind four RBIs from Jeff Jones.
Less than 24 hours before the Studs were to face the Oilers in the rubber match of the three-game series, the Seattle side went on a fishing charter and hauled in 12 halibut.
While the fishing was good, the fatigue put into the arms due to reeling up sinkers and halibut from the briny deep probably wasn't the ideal pregame exercise.
The effects of the trip showed as the Studs were duds at the plate Monday, getting just two hits off Oilers pitchers Ryan Prahm, Frank Esposito and Stephen Copeland.
One of the hits wasn't even legitimate. In the top of the third, James Jeske popped a ball up on the infield that the miscommunicating Oilers defense allowed to drop untouched.
Prahm picked up the win for Peninsula, going four innings and giving up the one fluky single while striking out two and walking two.
Esposito pitched two scoreless innings, largely due to a fluky play that went the Oilers way. The lefty from Sierra College loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the fifth inning on two walks and a hit batsman.
However, he got out of the inning on an extremely rare 1-5-3 triple play. Jeske lined the ball back to Esposito for the first out of the inning.
However, after Esposito recorded the out the ball dropped from his glove. The Seattle runners, thinking the pitcher had dropped the ball without recording the out, tried to advance due to the force play they thought was in effect at all the bases.
Esposito flipped the ball to third baseman Luke Simmons to record the second out, then Simmons casually chucked the ball to Brad Carlson at first base to complete the triple play.
Copeland pitched the final three innings to record the save and complete the shutout.
The Oilers began their parade of runners across the plate in the first inning when leadoff hitter Jackson Coleman walked, stole second, advanced to third on a ground-out and scored on a single by Jeff Jones.
In the second, Peninsula loaded the bases when Michael Falco doubled, Carlson singled and Joe Hietpas walked.
Coleman pushed Falco home on a sacrifice fly to left field, then Randall Shelley reloaded the bases with a hard single to center.
Jones cleared the bases with a double, giving the Oilers a 5-0 lead after just two innings.
The Oilers continued their scoring success against Studs reliever Adrian Soto. In the fourth inning, Shelley started a two-out rally with a double and advanced to third on a wild pitch.
Jeff Jones walked to put runners on first and third and Oilers manager Gary Adcock took advantage of the situation by pulling off a double steal to score Shelley and give the Oilers a 6-0 lead.
The Oilers finished the homestand with a 9-2 record, but none of that will matter come Wednesday. That's when Peninsula opens up its Alaska Baseball League season, and defense of its ABL crown, with a game against the Anchorage Glacier Pilots.
The game is in Anchorage and begins at 7:10 p.m.
The game will begin an eight-game swing on the road for the Oilers, who will not play another game at Coral Seymour Memorial Park until July 2.
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