It took them four hours, 12 innings, five pitchers and numerous tense moments, but the Anchorage Bucs finally won a game at Coral Seymour Memorial Park.
The Bucs stopped the Oilers 6-4 Sunday to snap the Oilers' five-game Alaska Baseball League winning streak and take their first game at Seymour Park since 1997.
"Three years ago we split with them down here," said Bucs head coach John Weber, who was an assistant in 1997. "Somebody told me we split with them back then and I couldn't even remember it.
"It's been a long time."
The Oilers had plenty of opportunities to make the Bucs wait until 2001 for Seymour satisfaction, but let them slip away.
Peninsula committed four errors in the game and only two of the six runs given up by Oilers pitchers were earned.
"We didn't take care of the ball," Oilers manager Gary Adcock said after his team fell to a league-leading 12-4. "When you combine those errors with the walks our pitchers had, we didn't play defense well enough to win the game."
With the score tied at 3-3, the Oilers got the leadoff man on base in the ninth, 10th and 11th innings, but each time failed to bring the winning run home.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Oilers loaded the bases with one out, but Bucs reliever Cam McCoy got Luke Simmons to ground to second for a force out at the plate. Randall Shelley then struck out to end the inning.
All told, the Oilers left 16 runners on base Sunday.
"I think that was a credit to our staff," Weber said. "They have a great offensive team with a lot of speed and Gary is very aggressive about getting runs across the plate."
The Bucs finally broke through against tough-luck loser Mike Miller (3-1) in the 12th inning. With one out, Mario Garza reached on an error by Shelley and Matt Abram and Neal Stephenson followed with doubles to score two runs.
Stephenson, who finished 5-for-6 with two runs and two RBIs, eventually gave the Bucs a 6-3 lead when he scored on a single by Jeff Walker.
"Every baseball player comes around," Stephenson said. "I've been struggling lately, but today I was swinging the hot bat."
The Oilers had one last-gasp comeback effort in the bottom of the 12th inning against Bucs reliever and winner Ricky Bostick. The Oilers loaded the bases with two outs and Danny Garcia singled to score Michael Falco and make it 6-4.
Mindful of spectacular Oilers comebacks in the past, Weber lifted Bostick in favor of Ryan Lewis. Weber said he put Lewis in not for his stuff, but for the composure the oldest member of the Anchorage staff possesses.
Weber calmly coaxed Jeremy Reed into popping out to left field to end the game.
"I like the pressure situations," Lewis said. "I pitch better under pressure."
The Oilers will play Aichi University at 7 p.m. today at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in a nonleague game. Mike Smith, who pitched last year for the Post 20 Twins, will get the start.
Peninsula will enter the game without several key players. Tim McCabe (concussion) and Jeff Jones (strained quadriceps) missed Sunday's game and will sit out again Monday.
Also, Chris Mabeus and Jackson Coleman will not be able to attend Monday's game because Mabeus is getting married.
Adcock also plans to give regulars like Reed and Garcia the day off.
"It's a chance for players not getting at-bats and innings to prove they deserve more," Adcock said.
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