Oilers nip AIA Fire with 9th-inning rally

Posted: Sunday, June 20, 2010

Patrick Wisdom did it again.

Photo By Mike Nesper
Photo By Mike Nesper
Peninsula Oilers reliever Kyle Barraclough pitches in the ninth inning of Friday's game against the Athletes in Action Fire at Coral Seymour Memorial Park. The Oilers won 5-4.

A week after providing the game-winning hit over the Goldpanners, Wisdom ripped a two-out, walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning to score Stephen Piscotty and give the Peninsula Oilers a 5-4 win over the Athletes in Action Fire on Friday at Coral Seymour Memorial Park.

"I knew he had to come to me," Wisdom said of AIA reliever Chad Fromm. "It was a full count. He had to give me something to hit."

With Piscotty on second base, Wisdom knew he just needed a single for the win.

"I had to put the ball in play," he said. "I wasn't trying to do too much."

"That was a tough at-bat," Oilers manager Dennis Machado said. "He was patient and got himself a pitch to hit."

With the win, the Oilers improved to 6-2 in the Alaska Baseball League and 7-2-1 overall. AIA fell to 1-4 and 5-4.

The Oilers held a 3-0 lead heading into the ninth inning. But back-to-back errors led to three AIA runs to even the score. Then reliever Jorge Marban hit the first batter he faced with the bases loaded to give the Fire a 4-3 lead.

But the Oilers refused to go to extra innings for the third straight game.

Ryan Gebhart drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the ninth. Justin Charles then laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Gebhart into scoring position. After Tyler Grimes struck out, Piscotty came to the plate with two outs. He hit an RBI single to score Gebhart and knot the score at 4. When the Fire threw home in an attempt to tag out Gebhart, Piscotty advanced to second base.

On any base hit, Piscotty said he always watches the outfielder to see where he is throwing the ball. When he saw the attempted play at home plate, Piscotty took off for second.

"I knew it wouldn't hit the cut," Piscotty said. "I had extra time to make it to second and I decided to take it."

After Joe Kohan drew a walk, Wisdom ripped his game-winning hit.

Piscotty went 3-for-5 with an RBI, a stolen base and scored a run. Wisdom went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a walk. Kohan was 1-for-1 with an RBI. Grimes went 2-for-5 and scored a run.

Though the Oilers would have preferred to end the game in the top of the ninth, the late, come-from-behind victory brought the team closer together.

"To be able to stomach a blow like that and say, 'You know what, it doesn't matter,' that was pretty special," Machado said.

"It's a little team bonding experience," Piscotty said.

"It showed a lot of character," Machado added. "It showed their competitiveness. It takes a tough kind of competitor to be able to do that."

Oilers catcher Davis Page hit a two-out RBI single in the second inning to score Jeff Popick, who crushed a double to the left-field wall, to give his team a 1-0 lead.

After a leadoff double by Kenny Wise, Charles brought him home with an RBI single in the fifth inning. Kohan, pinch hitting for Nathan Theunissen, hit an RBI single in the eighth inning to give the Oilers a 3-0 advantage.

After seeing their lead disappear, Piscotty said his team didn't dwell on its misfortune.

"You got to just put that behind you," he said. "We just moved on."

In baseball, anything is possible, Piscotty said. And that was the message heading into the bottom of the ninth.

"We kind of just took advantage of the situation that we were put in," Piscotty said.

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