Oilers set to begin defense of ABL crown

Posted: Wednesday, June 21, 2000

The Alaska Baseball League schedule gets under way tonight, and after going 9-2 in their preseason games, the Peninsula Oilers ought to match up well with the rest of the league.

The Oilers play their first league game tonight at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage against the Glacier Pilots. The game is scheduled to start at 7:10 p.m. (920 KSRM radio).

The Anchorage Bucs will head to Hermon Brothers Field in Palmer to play the Mat-Su Miners in the other scheduled league game at 7 p.m.

The Glacier Pilots wrapped up their preseason on a down note, losing games to the Santa Barbara Foresters and the Oceanside Waves to head into their league schedule with a 4-5 record.

Andy Neufeld, a junior infielder from the University of Georgia, has led the Pilots in batting through their first nine games, hitting at a .438 clip. Teammate David Raymer has gone 9-for-21 in his first six games with the club, good for a .429 batting average.

Adam Peterson, a 6-foot-2, 195-pound sophomore right-hander from Wichita State, has led the Pilots pitching staff through its nonleague schedule, posting a 2-0 record and a 1.50 earned run average.

The Anchorage Bucs went 4-2 in nonleague play, with pitcher Cam McCoy, a 6-foot-1, 200-pound lefty from the University of Washington, going 2-1 with a 3.0 earned run average over that stretch.

Jeff Walker, an infielder from Loyola Marymount, has been swinging the hot bat for the Bucs in the early going, putting up a .429 batting average, while infielder Matt Abram out of the University of Arizona is hitting .318 with seven RBIs.

The Bucs have three players returning from last year's ABL runner-up squad -- pitcher Ricky Bostick and infielders Levi Robinson and Andrew Topham.

The Miners have seven players returning from last year's team, including pitchers Scott Arrasmith and Parker Friske, catchers Casey Grzecka and Brad Harper, infielders Jeremy Ison and Scott Tousa and outfielder Matt Strickroth.

Mat-Su was 4-5 through Monday with one more nonleague game against Athletes in Action before squaring off with the Bucs in ABL play.

The Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks were 4-1 through Monday with a four-game nonleague series against Santa Barbara to play before hosting the Miners to begin their ABL schedule.

The Goldpanners have four players returning from last year's team -- outfielder Jonah Martin, who has been off to a slow start swinging the wood bat, infielder Brooks Conrad, who has been hitting at a .368 clip through five games, and catcher Greg Sain, who is batting .444 for Alaska in the early going.

Stanford's Arik VanZandt, who just finished losing in the College World Series championship game, also returns for the Panners.

The Oilers are scheduled to play four games against the Glacier Pilots (Wednesday at 7:10 p.m. and Friday at 1:10 p.m.) and the Bucs (Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.) at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage and one game against the Miners (Thursday at 7 p.m.) at Hermon Brothers Field in Palmer before heading up to Fairbanks for a two-game series against the Goldpanners (June 26 and 27 at 7 p.m.) at Growden Memorial Park.

The Oilers will play one more game against the Miners on the return trip (June 29 at 7 p.m.) to Coral Seymour Memorial Park to open up a four-game series against the Goldpanners on July 2.

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