Coming off a 2-0 loss to the Mat-Su Miners Friday, the bats of the Peninsula Oilers awakened Saturday in Anchorage as the Oilers notched an 8-7 victory over the Bucs.
The victory was the first of the season for the Oilers over the Bucs and also completed a 3-1 road trip for the Peninsula side. The Oilers are a half game behind the first-place Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks in the Alaska Baseball League, but Peninsula also has a two-game edge over the Mat-Su Miners for second place and a spot in the National Baseball Congress World Series.
The Oilers trailed the Bucs 3-2 heading into the seventh inning, but Andy Dahl scored on a single by Rocky Laguna and Patrick Rooney scored on a ground-out by Nick Kliebert to give the Oilers the lead.
After Oilers starter and winner Oscar Serrato worked a scoreless seventh inning, Peninsula piled on four more runs in the eighth inning.
The Bucs have been a thorn in the Oilers' side all year, though, and came storming back in the bottom of the eighth. Against relievers Brian Chambers and Eric Butkiewicz, the Bucs cut the Oilers' lead to one run and had the bases loaded with two out. However, Tim Robertson came in to record a strikeout. Robertson then worked a perfect ninth for the save.
Dahl had two hits and two runs for the Oilers, while Joey Hendricks added a pair of hits.
In Friday's game, the Oilers fell victim to a stellar pitching performance by Miners starter Chris Mason. Mason pitched eight shutout innings, giving up eight hits while striking out eight. Jeff Gilmore pitched a perfect ninth inning to preserve the lead.
Oilers starter Michael Martin went six innings, giving up eight hits. Martin gave up his only runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, when Josh Satin and Billy Munich scored on RBI singles by Clayton Carson and Zeke Parraz.
The Oilers generated eight hits on the evening, including two each from Nick Kliebert, Rocky Laguna and Matt Eichel. However, the Oilers were done in by the 11 runners they left on base.
The Oilers are now off until Tuesday, when they host the Miners in a 6 p.m. tilt at Coral Seymour Memorial Park.
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