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Buss' magic gives Oilers a sweep

Center fielder welcomes family to peninsula with walk-off home run in 12th

Posted: Monday, July 09, 2007

The family of Oilers center fielder Nick Buss received quite a welcome to the Kenai Peninsula on Sunday.

Buss' mom, dad, sister and grandfather arrived in Alaska in time to make it to Coral Seymour Memorial Park in the second inning of an Alaska Baseball League tilt against the Anchorage Glacier Pilots.

In the bottom of the 12th inning with one out, Buss smacked a two-run, walk-off home run to left field to give the Oilers a 6-4 victory. The drive capped a three-hit, three-run performance. Buss said it was the first walk-off home run of his career.

"I was really surprised," said Buss, who went the opposite way on his home run. "I was just trying to drive the ball and move (Michael) Dabbs around the bases."

The victory gives the Oilers a three-game sweep of the Pilots on the heels of a 10-game losing streak. The Oilers, who are off today before starting a three-game home set with the last-place Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks on Tuesday, are now 14-10 overall and 6-10 in the ABL. The Oilers are six games behind the league-leading Mat-Su Miners.

The Oilers held a 4-0 lead heading into the seventh inning, then a Pilots comeback had the home side holding on for dear life before being saved by Buss. The Pilots had only one hit through six innings, but eight hits in innings seven through nine. The Oilers had 12 hits through six innings, but only two hits after that.

The Oilers had won the first two games of the series by a combined score of 19-3. Peninsula kept rolling early Sunday behind starter Andre Lamontagne.

Lamontagne carried a perfect game into the sixth inning. After recording one out, Mike Diaz won an eight-pitch at-bat by lining a single to center.

"Andre did a great job," Oilers manager Daniel Boyle said. "It's the best I've seen him pitch in his two years here. It's unbelievable what Andre did."

Lamontagne, who entered Sunday's contest with an ERA of 0.95, said his fastball, curveball, changeup and slider were all working, particularly his changeup. He pitched six innings and gave up two runs on two hits.

The Oilers gave Lamontagne four runs by pecking away at Pilots starter Michael Allredge, who was 4-0 with a 1.34 ERA coming into Sunday. Jeremiah Mejia, Dabbs and Ryan Wilkes all had two-out hits to bring in runs in the first six innings of the contest. The other run came due to an error from Pilots catcher Jace Whitmer.

Anchorage started to battle back in the seventh, when it chased Lamontagne with two singles to start the frame. Hiarali Garcia allowed both of those inherited runners to score and was lifted after allowing two singles. Joey Haug came on and got out of a first-and-third, no-outs situation without allowing a run.

Paul Smyth, who had allowed just one earned run in 15 1/3 innings of work coming into the contest, came on and worked a trouble-free eighth before a rough ninth. Matt Wagner started the inning with a walk and Cody Neer doubled before Danny Cox bounced a single up the middle to tie the game at 4 and saddle Lamontagne with a no-decision.

Cox moved to second on a ground out and third on a single before being cut down at the plate on a bang-bang play on an attempted squeeze bunt. A ground out finally got Smyth out of the inning.

"Everybody has their days," Lamontagne said. "Paul is a great pitcher. He'll be fine."

Smyth worked the 10th before Carlos Luna, who entered the game tied for the worst ERA on the team at 4.50, gave the Oilers two key, hitless innings to buy time for Buss' dramatics.

"He did a great job," Boyle said of Luna. "He did a much better job of keeping the ball down."

Oilers 6, Pilots 4

Pilots AB R H BI Oilers AB R H BI

Williams cf 5 0 0 0 Dabbs dh 6 0 2 1

Murphy 3b 6 0 1 0 Wilkes 1b 6 1 2 1

Sebek rf 2 0 0 0 Buss cf 6 3 3 2

Barrows lf 3 1 2 0 Mejia rf 5 0 2 1

Wagner 1b 3 1 1 0 Davis 3b 5 0 0 0

Yoder pr 0 1 0 0 Goins 2b 5 0 0 0

Wynne 1b 0 0 0 0 Patterson c 5 0 1 0

Neer dh 4 0 2 1 Lundy lf 4 1 1 0

JCox pr 1 1 0 0 Younger ss 5 1 3 0

DCox ss 5 0 2 2 ---- -- -- -- --

Daniels lf 5 0 0 0 ---- -- -- -- --

Diaz 2b 5 0 2 0 ---- -- -- -- --

Whitmer c 2 0 0 0 ---- -- -- -- --

Barnes ph 1 0 0 0 ---- -- -- -- --

Pechek c 1 0 0 0 ---- -- -- -- --

Totals 43 4 10 3 Totals 47 6 14 5

Anchorage 000 000 202 000 —4

Peninsula 111 001 000 002 —6

E — Whitmer, Buss. DP — Pilots 1, Oilers 1. LOB — Pilots 7, Oilers 8. 2B — Neer. 3B — Mejia. HR — Buss. SB — Barrows, Buss, Mejia, Lundy. S — Williams, Wynne.

IP H R ER BB SO

Glacier Pilots

Alldredge 7 12 4 3 0 3

Tidwell 2 0 0 0 1 3

Fine, L (2-2) 2 1-3 2 2 2 0 2

Oilers

Lamontagne 6 2 2 2 1 4

Garcia 0 2 0 0 0 0

Haug 1 0 0 0 0 1

Smyth 3 4 2 2 1 0

Luna, W (1-1) 2 0 0 0 0 1

Lamontagne pitched to two batters in the seventh. Garcia pitched to two batter in the seventh. There was one out when the winning run scored.

PB — Patterson.



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