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Orozco notches no-hitter vs. Miners: Doubleheader sweep of Mat-Su also includes grand slam by Popick, home run by Wisdom

Posted: Tuesday, June 29, 2010

In his first start for the Peninsula Oilers, Eddie Orozco pitched a seven-inning no-hitter in a 3-0 win in the second game of a doubleheader against the Mat-Su Miners on Monday at Coral Seymour Memorial Park. The Oilers won the first game 8-1.

With the sweep, the Oilers and Miners now share the lead in the Alaska Baseball League with 11-4 records. Peninsula improves to 12-4-1 overall while Mat-Su falls to 13-5.

Out of 22 batters faced, Orozco walked just two and recorded five strikeouts.

"It was a complete team effort," Orozco said.

"He just located well," Oilers manager Dennis Machado said. "Anytime a guy is able to throw a no-hitter, he's taking control of at-bats. Eddie was outstanding."

"The biggest thing for Eddie was he pounded the zone," Oilers pitching coach D.J. Mauldin said.

Mauldin said Orozco got ahead early in the count and used off-speed pitches to keep the Miners off-balance.

"It was the first no-hitter I've seen," Mauldin said. "I was impressed."

Orozco knows how special and uncommon no-hitters are.

"It's the first of my career," he said. "Those things are rare."

Like the second game, the Oilers needed just one pitcher to complete Game 1. Geoff Broussard gave up six hits and just one run as Peninsula cruised to victory.

Broussard and Orozco's phenomenal outings keyed both wins, Machado said.

"It starts from the mound," he said. "That allowed us to keep our rhythm."

Right fielder Jeff Popick agreed.

"Our pitchers threw a lot of strikes, that really helps," he said.

In the first game, Popick defied the local knowledge that a ball doesn't carry at Seymour Park.

He crushed a grand slam in the first inning to give the Oilers a 4-1 lead. A leadoff single by Tyler Grimes, a walk and a hit batter loaded the bases.

"You hit a ball that hard, it's got a shot," Machado said.

Popick nailed the first pitch from Miners starter Eric Holmes over the left-field wall.

"I was just looking for something elevated so I could at least get a sac fly," Popick said. "Put the barrel on it and good things happen."

Patrick Wisdom ripped the Oilers' second home run of Game 1 with two outs in the third inning. Peninsula led 5-1 after Wisdom's shot over the left-field wall.

The Oilers took a commanding 8-1 lead with two runs scored in the fifth inning. Two Miners errors led to two base runners for the Oilers. Nathan Theunissen brought one run in with an RBI single and Kyle Leon's sacrifice bunt scored the other.

The Miners threatened to score with back-to-back singles to start the fifth. After Broussard recorded his first strikeout of the game, Kevin Whitehead ripped a shot at first base. Theunissen made an impressive defensive play to snag the frozen rope with an outstretched arm while jumping in the air. He then touched first base for the unassisted double play to end the inning.

Peninsula added to its lead in the fourth inning. With two outs, Grimes ripped his second single of the game. Ryan Gebhart brought him home with a deep double to center field to give the Oilers a 6-1 lead.

The Miners took an early lead, scoring in the top of the first. Bret Schwartz led off with a bunt. He beat out the throw, then stole second. Tyler Ruch laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Schwartz to third base. Andy Mee hit a ground-out RBI to bring Schwartz home for Mat-Su's only run of the game.

Scoring eight runs boosted the team's morale, Popick said.

"It lets everyone come out with a free-swing mentality," he said.

Popick said the same attitude the team had Monday will be needed today as the Oilers and Miners play another doubleheader. The first game begins at 5 p.m.

In the second game, two errors, a stolen base and a hit batter loaded the bases for the Oilers with one out in the fifth inning. Justin Charles ripped an RBI single to score Popick and Theunissen for the game's first runs. Grimes followed with an RBI single to score Davis Page and give the Oilers a 3-0 lead.

The wins show the Oilers are starting to hit their baseball stride, Popick said.

"Everyone is just starting to find their groove right now," he said. "We got into a good swing of things today."

Oilers 8, Miners 1, 7 inn., Game 1

Miners AB R H BI Oilers AB R H BI

Schwartz ss 3 1 1 0 Grimes ss 4 2 2 0

Ruch lf 2 0 1 0 Gebhart cf 2 1 1 1

Mee rf 3 0 0 1 Wittels 3b 4 0 0 0

DeBiasse 1b 3 0 0 0 Piscotty lf 2 2 1 0

Bermudez cf 3 0 1 0 Popick rf 3 1 1 4

Lyon dh 3 0 1 0 Wisdom dh 3 2 1 1

Pippin 3b 3 0 1 0 Thensen 1b 3 0 1 1

Whitehead c 3 0 0 0 Leon c 1 0 0 1

Wessinger 2b 2 0 1 0 Kohan 2b 3 0 1 0

Totals 25 1 6 1 Totals 25 8 8 8

Miners 100 000 0 -- 1

Peninsula 401 120 x -- 8

E -- Whitehead, Schwartz. DP -- Miners 1; Oilers 1. LOB -- Miners 5, Oilers 4. 2B -- Miners: Wessinger. Oilers: Gebhart. HR -- Oilers: Popick, Wisdom. S -- Ruch, Leon. SB -- Schwartz, Piscotty, Theunissen.

IP H R ER BB SO

Miners

Holmes 6 8 8 6 2 5

Oilers

Broussard 7 6 1 1 0 3

HBP -- by Holmes (Piscotty).

Oilers 3, Miners 0, 7 inn., Game 2

Miners AB R H BI Oilers AB R H BI

Schwartz ss 3 0 0 0 Grimes ss 3 0 1 1

Ozanne lf 3 0 0 0 Madigan cf 3 0 0 0

Mee rf 2 0 0 0 Wittels dh 3 0 0 0

DeBiasse 1b 3 0 0 0 Piscotty lf 3 0 1 0

Bermudez cf 2 0 0 0 Popick rf 3 1 0 0

Thigpen dh 2 0 0 0 Wisdom 3b 3 0 1 0

Lyon c 2 0 0 0 Thensen 1b 2 1 0 0

Pippin 3b 1 0 0 0 Page c 1 1 0 0

Wessinger 2b 2 0 0 0 Charles 2b 2 0 1 2

Totals 20 0 0 0 Totals 23 3 4 3

Miners 000 000 0 -- 0

Peninsula 000 030 x -- 3

E -- Applegate, Schwartz. DP -- Miners 1; Oilers 0. LOB -- Miners 1, Oilers 3. 2B -- Oilers: Wisdome. SB -- Theunissen. CS -- Mee.

IP H R ER BB SO

Miners

Applegate 5 3 3 1 0 2

Trivett 1 1 0 0 0 1

Oilers

Orozco 7 0 0 0 2 5

HBP -- by Applegate (Page).



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