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Oilers nip Miners in 11

Posted: Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Talk about a pitcher's duel.

Mat-Su starter Justin Kraft tossed nine shutout innings and Peninsula hurler Crosby Slaught threw eight scoreless innings, but the Oilers struck for a pair of runs in the 11th off the Miners bullpen in earning a 2-0 Alaska Baseball League win at Hermon Brothers Field in Palmer on Tuesday night.

Kraft surrendered just three hits with no walks and five strikeouts.

Slaught, meanwhile, threw 110 pitches while allowing just four hits and two walks with three strikeouts.

Peninsula reliever Mike Ratigan pitched the ninth, letting James Ramsey reach base on an error, the ball hopping off the mound before being misplayed. Ramsey then took second on a sacrifice bunt by Shane Brown. After intentionally walking Nick Cox, Ratigan sent the game to extras by inducing a pair of fly outs.

The Oilers wasted no time taking advantage of Kraft's departure, either, as Estevan Uriegas pitched the 10th and gave up a pair of singles to Ryan Fisher and Dearth Parker. But the lefty worked out of the inning with a ground-out.

Bobby Jacobs opened the 10th with a single off Ratigan, and Jason Cramer, who pinch-ran for Jacobs, took second on another sac bunt and then tagged to third on a pop out. Ratigan yet again escaped the loss with a first-pitch fly out by Scott Arthur.

It could only remain scoreless for so long, though.

Uriegas walked pinch-hitter Stephen Hagen to start the 11th and then hit Michael Miller with a 2-2 pitch. With runners on first and second after Uriegas caught Hagen at third on a sac bunt by Marty Mullins, Shayne Willson loaded the bases with a single off reliever Jeremy Atkins.

Pinch-hitter Kawika Emsley-Pai then worked a full count before earning a walk, forcing home Miller with the game-winner. Mullins then came home on a sac fly by Fisher for a 2-0 edge.

Despite walking the leadoff man in the bottom of the 11th, Peninsula closer Josh Corrales picked up his sixth save by recording three straight fly outs to end the marathon game.

The win moves the Oilers within 4 1/2 games of the first-place Miners, who fell to 14-7, while Peninsula sits at 9-11.

Kraft retired 10 straight Oilers to begin the game until allowing a one-out single to Mullins in the third. After Mullins took second on a sacrifice bunt, Kraft got Mark Tracy to ground out to end the threat.

Slaught was nearly as dominant, recording a perfect first before putting two runners on with no outs in the second on a single and hit batter. But he walked off the mound unharmed after a double play and pop out.

He allowed the leadoff man to get aboard in the fourth when Arthur singled. Yet it didn't hurt him again as Arthur was caught stealing and following a walk, Slaught induced a pair of fly outs to keep the Miners off the board.

The Oilers threatened to snap the scoreless tie with no outs in the fifth when Chris Ellison singled and stole second and third. Kraft, though, had little trouble maneuvering out of the jam, striking out Parker and getting Caleb Bushyhead to fly out.

Following a 1-2-3 sixth, Kraft surrendered a leadoff single to Willson to begin the seventh. Willson, however, was erased on a fielder's choice for the second out and Kraft struck out Ellison in keeping it a scoreless game.

Continuing the trend of leadoff men reaching base, as the Miners had seven batters do so, Brown reached on an error to start the seventh and advanced to second on a sac bunt. As had been the case all game, Slaught -- who threw just eight pitches in each of the third and sixth innings -- escaped unscathed after getting a ground-out and strikeout to end the inning.

Kraft continued dealing in the eighth, retiring the side on two pop outs and a ground-out and sat down the Oilers in order in the ninth.

Slaught came close to matching Kraft's every move, allowing a walk in the eighth but nothing more.

The Oilers continue their five-game road trip today when they take on the Anchorage Glacier Pilots at 7 p.m.

Oilers 2, Miners 0

Oilers AB R H BI Miners AB R H BI

Mllr cf 4 1 0 0 Jhnsn 2b 4 0 0 0

Mllns c 5 1 1 0 Arthr rf 5 0 1 0

Wllsn lf 4 0 2 0 Rmsy lf 3 0 0 0

Tracy 1b 4 0 0 0 Brown 3b 4 0 1 0

Em-Pai ph 0 0 0 1 Cox cf 2 0 0 0

Fsher dh 4 0 1 1 Csnros 1b 5 0 1 0

Ellsn rf 4 0 1 0 Msson dh 3 0 0 0

Prker ss 4 0 1 0 Jcobs c 4 0 2 0

Bsyhd 2b 4 0 0 0 Mrshll ss 3 0 0 0

Khan 3b 3 0 1 0 ------ -- -- -- --

Hagen ph 0 0 0 0 ------ -- -- -- --

Totals 36 2 6 2 Totals 33 0 5 0

Peninsula 000 000 000 02 --2 6 2

Mat-Su 000 000 000 00 --0 5 0

E -- Kohan, Parker. DP -- Oilers 1. LOB -- Oilers 6, Miners 9. SB -- Ellison 2. CS -- Arthur. SB -- Willson, Musson, Cox, Brown, Marshall. SF -- Fisher.

IP H R ER BB SO

Oilers

Slaught 8 4 0 0 2 3

Ratigan, W 2 1 0 0 1 0

Corrales, S 1 0 0 0 1 0

Miners

Kraft 9 3 0 0 0 5

Uriegas, L 1 1/3 2 2 2 1 0

Atkins 2/3 1 0 0 1 0

HBP -- by Uriegas (Miller).



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