The Peninsula Oilers secured a 4-3 series win against the Anchorage on Sunday at Coral Seymour Memorial Park, winning 3-2 in 11 innings. The game featured even play throughout, great base running, a handful of mental mistakes, a little bit of tackle, and four pitching changes.
Oilers closer Dusty Bensko came in at the top of the 11th with the score tied at 2-2 to pitch for the win, after four innings with no runs.
"It's my first win since my senior year in high school," said Bensko, who will be a junior at the University of Illinois in the fall.
"I just wanted to throw strikes to get ahead of those guys, and let the defense take care of them."
He stuck to his guns, striking out the first two Bucs to the plate. But Joey Wilson hit a shallow drop-shot single into center field on a 1-1 count, and the Oilers' Joe Holland bobbled a Brian Cleveland grounder at second for an error.
With first and second occupied, Bensko said he didn't let the runners rattle him.
"I can't really worry about the guys on base," he said. "I just have to focus on the guy at the plate."
On the first pitch, he got Anchorage catcher Kurt Suzuki to fly out to Joe Frazee in center field.
At the bottom of the inning, it was up to Peninsula bats that had stranded 10 runners to close the game. Anchorage closer Bill Bernabi walked Brent Lewis, who advanced to second on a Paul John Zobeck sacrifice bunt.
Bernabi then walked Andy Dahl, giving Garret Schoenberger a veritable batter's smorgasbord at the plate: the winning run in scoring position with a pitcher who's been pitching outside the strike zone.
"He pitched all those consecutive balls," Schoenberger said of Bernabi. "I told coach, 'you know if he comes to me, I'm gonna hit it."
The second pitch he saw was good, and Schoenberger swung, sending the ball rolling to the pitcher's mound, where it bounced over shortstop Matt Thompson's head into the infield.
Because of Zobeck's bunt, the second of his three attempts on the day, centerfielder Travis Gulick was playing in and fielded the ball. He made a throw home to cut off Lewis, was rounding third and headed for the plate. Lewis slid head-first behind Suzuki, tagging home before the Bucs catcher could pull down the throw.
"I thought it was going to be close once it got into the outfield," Schoenberger said.
The game started with some excitement as Oilers shortstop David Uribes bowled over Suzuki on the run home, after a Lex sacrifice fly. But Suzuki holds his position for the out.
In the bottom of the fourth inning,
hits a single to center field, and Anchorage starting pitcher Jordan Timms hit Travis Buck on the hand to put two runners on base.
Lewis, batting left-handed, slammed a screamer to the right-field wall to score both runners and collect two bases.
Buck was taken out of the game, however with an injury to his wrist and replace with Jimmy Bacon.
But the Bucs were able to tie up the score in the next two innings.
In the top of the fifth, with runners at second and third and one out, Anchorage's Wilson hit a fly ball to left field. Jimmy Bacon, in for the injured Buck, caught the ball for the out and made the throw to cut off Bucs runner Shawn Scobee, as he attempted to score.
Lewis missed the relay at third and Scobee scores, but Schoenberger recovered the errant throw at home plate and threw to Uribes at to get Alex Jamison out as he slid into third.
In the top of the sixty, Uribes fielded a grounder from Thompson with two outs and runners at first and third. But he threw the ball behind Zobeck at first for an error that allowed Joe Jacobitz to score for the Bucs.
Schoenberger said the game showed that the team is beginning to gel, and he said they can only get better.
"We're getting pretty competitive while other players are falling off," he said.
OILERS 3, BUCS 2, 11 innings
Anchorage 000 011 000 00 2
Oilers 000 200 000 01 3
Oilers AB R H BI Bucs AB R H BI
Holland, 2b 5 0 1 0 Wilson, 2b 5 0 3 1
Uribes, ss 3 1 1 0 Cleveland, ss 6 0 2 0
Buck, lf 1 1 1 0 Suzuki, c 5 0 0 0
(t5) Bacon, lf 3 0 0 0 Jacobitz, 1b 3 1 2 0
Lex, dh-lf 3 0 0 0 Thompson, 3b 5 0 1 0
Lewis, 3b 2 1 1 2 Mehl, lf-rf 5 0 0 0
Zobeck, 1b 3 0 1 0 Scobee, rf 3 1 1 0
Dahl, rf 4 0 0 0 (t9) Grooms, rf-lf 2 0 0 0
Schnbrgr, c 5 0 1 1 Jamison, dh 5 0 1 0
Frazee, cf 4 0 0 0 Gulick, cf 4 0 2 0
TOTALS 33 3 6 3 TOTALS 43 2 12 1
E Holland, Uribes, Cleveland, Thompson. DP Bucs
2. LOB Oilers 10, Bucs 13. 2B Thompson, Jacobitz,
Jamison. 3B Lewis. CS: Wilson. S Zobeck (2), Lex,
Lewis, Gulick. SF Wilson.
IP H R ER BB SO
Timms 8.33 3 2 2 2 5
Bernabi, L 2.00 3 1 1 3 1
Beam 7.00 9 2 1 0 4
Gawriluk 2.33 1 0 0 2 0
Bensko, W 1.00 1 0 0 0 2
Wilson 0.67 1 0 0 0 1
HBP by Beam (Suzuki, Kurt ), by Timms (Buck, Uribes). PB Suzuki. T: 3:00. Umpires Field: Davis; Home: McClure.
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