The Anchorage Glacier Pilots stole a page from the Peninsula Oilers playbook Wednesday evening at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage, coming from behind in the final inning to defeat the Oilers 5-4 in the Alaska Baseball League opener for both teams.
The Oilers took a one-run lead in the top of the eighth inning when Mike Falco lofted a home run over the fence at Mulcahy Stadium, but the Glacier Pilots matched it in the bottom of the eighth on a home run by Mike DiRosa.
After the Oilers went down in order in the top of the ninth, the Glacier Pilots plated the winning run in the bottom of the frame. Chad Stewart was credited with an infield single and took second on a throwing error by Oilers third baseman Tim McCabe on the play.
Another infield single by Andy Neufeld and an intentional walk to Mark Saccomanno loaded the bases with no outs, and pinch hitter Darrel Bowles delivered a sacrifice fly to drive in the game-winning run.
The Oilers pushed the first run of the game across the plate in the top of the third inning.
Jackson Coleman led off the inning with a double down the right field line, took third on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly by Randall Shelley.
The Oilers rallied for two more runs in the top of the fourth inning. Tim McCabe led off the inning with a walk and advanced to third on a double by Joe Hietpas.
Chad Sterbens laid down a perfect bunt to plate McCabe and advance Hietpas, and Jeremy Reed hit a sacrifice fly to center to score Hietpas.
The Glacier Pilots scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth, though, on two hits, two walks and a hit batsman.
The Pilots chased Oilers starter Tyler Johnson from the mound with one out in the fourth, making way for Stephen Copeland.
Copeland walked the first batter he faced, but recovered to get the final two outs of the fourth and retired the side in order in the fifth.
Randy Walter tied the game for the Glacier Pilots with a home run off the foul pole in right field.
Glacier Pilots pitcher Ben Quick earned the win with his 5 1-3-inning, two-hit effort. Quick, who attends Purdue University and plays for Oilers coach Gary Adcock during the college season, gave up one run, struck out five and walked three.
Oilers pitcher David Humen took the loss, giving up one run one two hits in two-thirds of an inning of work after coming on to replace Copeland in the bottom of the eighth.
Copeland allowed two home runs and one base hit in his four innings of work, striking out four and walking two.
Johnson was tagged for two runs on just one hit in his 3 1-3 innings of work, walking two and striking out four.
The Oilers, now 0-1 in the ABL and 9-3 overall, face the Mat-Su Miners at Hermon Brothers Stadium in Palmer today at 7 p.m. The game can be heard on 920 KSRM radio.
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