All the Peninsula Oilers needed, as it turned out, was just a little bit of pixie dust.
"My host sisters put some glitter on me today. Maybe it gave us some magic," said catcher Matt Inouye after the Oilers defeated the Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks 6-5 in the series finale Wednesday at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai.
Inouye certainly had a magical night, going 3-for-4 with a pair of runs and three runs batted in, including his solo home run over the left-field fence to give the Oilers a one-run lead in the bottom of the eighth.
Wednesday's win was the first time the Oilers were able to beat the Goldpanners in seven tries this season.
"These guys (the Goldpanners) gave it to us every time they played us," said Inouye. "My host family has been ragging on me about losing to those guys. Now I have something to talk about when I get home."
The Goldpanners took the first lead of the game in the top of the second inning as Kody Valverde stroked a three-run home run over the left-field fence.
The Oilers battled back, loading the bases in the bottom of the third inning on back-to-back singles by Chad Tracy and David Newby and a hit batsman as Nick Kliebert took a pitch on his wrist. Inouye then stepped to the plate and smashed a ball to the wall in dead center field.
Tracy and Newby easily scored on the play and while Kliebert was caught up between third and home on a strong relay throw, the Goldpanners botched the rundown. Kliebert scampered home and Inouye was able to slide safely into third after pausing at second base.
Fairbanks regained the lead in the top of the sixth with a pair of bases-loaded walks before Brian Chambers could work out of a jam, but the Oilers showed some spunk to come right back in the bottom of the inning.
Newby beat out a third-strike wild pitch to start off the inning, and Kliebert followed with an infield single. The Goldpanners got Kliebert at second as Inouye reached on a fielder's choice, but Nate Faulkner drew a walk to load the bases.
Luke Salas drove in Newby from third with a sacrifice fly to center, and Rocky Laguna delivered with a game-tying single down the right-field line.
"The past three games, they've shut us out pretty good. We finally got something going today," Inouye said.
Inouye led off the Oilers half of the eighth inning and was able to wait for a pitch he could drive, giving the Oilers their first lead of the ballgame.
Adam Reifer then came on to pitch the top of the ninth for the Oilers. Reifer issued a one-out walk, but got a pair of ground balls to end the game and record the save.
Oilers starting pitcher Jarrod Dumont went 5 1/3 innings, striking out four and walking two while giving up five runs, all earned, on five hits.
Chambers pitched two innings of relief, inheriting a pair of baserunners from Dumont. While those runners scored, Chambers was able to retire the side in order seventh after the Oilers retied the game, and after Chambers struck out the first batter of the eighth, Chase Christianson came on in relief to record two straight outs to finish off the frame. Christianson earned the win.
The Oilers next take the field Friday when they face the Anchorage Bucs. The game is scheduled for 7 p.m.
"The Bucs beat us a couple of times at their place. We just want to take it to those guys and bump ourselves up in the standings," Inouye said.
OILERS 6, GOLDPANNERS 5
Panners ab r h bi Oilers ab r h bi
Vogel ss 4 0 1 0 Laguna rf 5 0 1 1
Medlen 3b 5 0 0 0 Gipson 2b 4 0 1 0
Fuller 2b 4 1 1 0 Khaulelio ss 3 0 0 0
Lissman lf 4 0 1 0 Tracy dh 4 1 2 0
Dykstra 1b 3 1 0 0 DNewby cf 4 2 1 0
Stewart rf 4 1 1 0 Kliebert 3b 4 1 1 0
Lane dh 4 1 1 0 Inouye c 4 2 3 3
Valverde c 3 1 1 4 Faulkner 1b 3 0 0 0
Thompson cf 2 0 0 0 Salas lf 3 0 0 1
Incaviglia ph 0 0 0 1
Van Hook cf 0 0 0 0
Totals 33 5 6 5 Totals 34 6 9 5
Alaska 030 002 000 5
Peninsula 000 302 01x 6
E Medlen. DP Oilers 1. LOB Panners 5, Oilers 6. SB Fuller, Laguna. CS Vogel. 2B Inouye, Lissman. HR Valverde, Inouye. SF Salas.
ip h r er bb so
Fitts 5 1/3 6 5 4 1 5
Andrade 1 2/3 2 0 0 1 1
Joaquin, L 1 1 1 1 0 0
Dumont 5 1/3 5 5 5 2 4
Chambers 2 1 0 0 2 2
Christianson, W 2/3 0 0 0 0 0
Reifer, S 1 0 0 0 1 0
HBP by Dumont (Stewart), by Fitts (Kliebert). WP Fitts 2. PB Valverde.
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