The Peninsula Oilers made it two in a row Wednesday, recovering from an early deficit to defeat the Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks 5-4 in an Alaska Baseball League game at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai.
Oilers first baseman Nate Faulkner said it was especially nice to pick up the wins against the Goldpanners after the Oilers were on the receiving end of a 9-1 decision against the Goldpanners in Fairbanks.
"When we played them in the Midnight Sun Game in Fairbanks, we got crushed," Faulkner said. "To come back (Tuesday) was a good win. To follow it up is even better."
The Oilers will try to make it three straight against the Goldpanners in tonight's series finale. Game time is 7 p.m.
In Wednesday's game, the Oilers once again found themselves battling from behind after the Goldpanners took advantage of walks to the first two batters of the game and scored three runs in the top of the first inning.
Fairbanks added a run in the top of the second on a walk and a hit before the Oilers began to chip away at the lead.
Peninsula scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the second when Andy Dahl and Faulkner drew back-to-back walks and advanced to scoring position on a wild pitch.
Dahl scored on a groundout by Rocky Laguna, and Faulkner came home on a groundout by Joey Hendricks.
After coming up empty with the bases loaded and none out in the bottom of the fourth inning, the Oilers took the lead in the bottom of the fifth. Chris Minaker drew a walk and Nick Kliebert beat out a bunt. A failed bunt by Dahl cut down Minaker at third, but after a wild pitch advanced the runners to third and second, Faulkner delivered with a double down the right field line.
"During our losing streak, once we got down, we knew we could come back, but we never really did it," Faulkner said. "Tonight, we were fighting right from the start. (Even when we made a mistake) we clutched up. The guy behind picked up for the guy before him."
Peninsula batters not only picked up each other, they picked up starter Brian Schultz, who got the win for his five innings of work. Schultz struggled early, walking four batters in the first two innings, but settled in to walk just one over the next three innings. Schultz gave up four runs on six hits and struck out four batters.
Steven Wright picked up a save for his four innings of scoreless relief work, allowing just one hit and striking out six.
The Goldpanners' one hit against Wright did give the Oilers a scare a two-out triple by Trevor Mortenson in the ninth but Wright got a fly ball to shallow center to end the game.
"Tonight, we did a bunch of little things," Faulkner said. "That's what makes a great team. You don't need a home run or a double in the gap but they help."
Oilers 5, Goldpanners 4
Panners ab r h bi Oilers ab r h bi
Mortenson cf 4 1 1 0 Perry cf 4 0 2 0
Lissman lf 3 1 0 0 Minaker 2b 3 0 0 0
Blair 2b 4 1 2 2 Kliebert ss 3 1 2 0
Keck c 4 0 1 0 Dahl lf 2 2 0 0
Struble rf 4 0 1 1 Faulkner 1b 3 2 2 2
Balmer 1b 4 0 1 0 Laguna rf 4 0 1 1
Moore dh 4 0 0 0 Hendricks c 3 0 1 2
Castanon 3b 3 1 1 0 Rooney 3b 4 0 0 0
Ravago ss 2 0 0 0 Eichel dh 4 0 0 0
Jeroloman ph 1 0 0 0
Persichina ph 1 0 0 0
Totals 34 4 7 3 Totals 30 5 8 5
Alaska 310 000 000 4
Peninsula 020 030 00x 5
E Hendricks 2, Castanon. DP Oilers 1. LOB Panners 7, Oilers 8. SB Mortenson. CS Perry 2. 2B Faulkner. 3B Mortenson.
ip h r er bb so
Fisher, L 4 2-3 7 5 5 4 4
Shaver 3 1-3 1 0 0 0 1
Schultz, W (1-2) 5 6 4 4 5 4
Wright, S (1) 4 1 0 0 0 6
WP Schultz, Fisher 3.
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