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Struggles continue for Oilers: Miners win 1 game on Friday, 2 on Saturday

Posted: Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Mat-Su Miners took a Friday game and two Saturday games from the Peninsula Oilers at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Alaska Baseball League play.

The Oilers have now lost six straight games and nine of 11. The team plays its last weekend home game of the year today at 2 p.m. against the Miners. After that, the only two home games left for the Oilers are July 30 and 31 against the Anchorage Bucs.

The first-place Miners are now 21-12 in the league, while the Oilers fall to 11-20.

In Saturday's second game, the Oilers tried to mount a seventh-inning comeback but fell 2-1. Jake Johnson started the seventh with a single, then advanced to second base when Dearth Parker grounded out.

Garry Kuykendall then singled, moving Johnson to third. Kuykendall then stole second, and when the ball scooted into center field, Johnson scored to cut the gap to 2-1.

Kuykendall then stole third, but Glenn Johnson struck out.

The Oilers then had to send pitcher Mike Ratigan to the plate. After the game, Oilers assistant Brian Yocke said Shayne Willson was removed from the game for showing poor behavior. Add that in with ejections of other Oilers, and a pitcher was the only option with two outs in the seventh.

Facing a left-hander in Estevan Uriegas, Yocke said the Oilers decided to try and have Kuykendall steal home because Uriegas had his back to third. However, the pitcher sensed Kuykendall was stealing and stepped off the rubber, catching Kuykendall stealing and ending the game.

In Saturday's first game, the Miners jumped all over the Oilers in a 7-0 victory.

Crosby Slaught had given up just one run in 16 innings coming into the game, but he yielded five runs -- four earned -- on six hits in just four innings.

Sam Murphy pitched six innings of shutout ball to earn the win for the Miners.

On Friday, the Oilers lost 5-3 to the Miners.

Southpaw Scott Snodgress delivered another respectable performance by a Peninsula starter, allowing only a trio of third-inning runs on four hits and two walks with nine strikeouts in six innings of work.

Mike Ratigan gave up one hit and one walk over two shutout innings of relief but couldn't finish it off cleanly.

Three singles and two Peninsula errors led to a pair of crucial unearned runs in the ninth as the Miners extended their lead to 5-1.

"Obviously if you don't get those runs there, we're still playing," said Miners manager Russell Raley.

Having tossed three solid innings of relief himself, the first two of them perfect, Mat-Su reliever Jeremy Atkins allowed the Oilers to engineer a comeback in their half of the ninth.

With one out, Mark Tracy and Glen Johnson knocked back-to-back singles and after a wild pitch, Joe Kohan brought them both home with a sharply hit liner up the middle, the ball ricocheting off Atkins' glove and into center field in trimming the gap to 5-3.

Estevan Uriegas came on and got Caleb Bushyhead to line out to left, James Ramsey making a game-saving diving stab for the second out, and then induced Garry Kuykendall, who had been 3-for-4 entering the battle, to fly out to right in ending the comeback bid.

"They played hard, didn't give up. It'd have been nice to keep them from marking two runs in their half of the ninth, but that's the way it goes," Peninsula manager Jeff Walker said. "We're thrilled we actually scored runs."

Snodgress breezed through the first two innings, capping a pair of perfect frames with five consecutive strikeouts.

He unraveled in the third, though, when Bobby Jacobs led off with a single and Snodgress walked Jonathan Johnson and hit Scott Arthur in loading the bases.

A balk then cost him one run and Ramsey drove in two more with a laser up the middle for a single.

"He compounded his mistake by letting the leadoff guy get a hit and then walked the next guy ... and balked a guy in," Walker said of his hurler. "With him, he's young, he's a freshman. A guy got a hit off him but he just struck out five guys in a row. He's got to trust his stuff."

He regained his earlier form in the fourth, striking out his seventh and eighth batters in leaving a runner on third, and then left another aboard in the fifth when he induced a first-pitch pop-up to walk off the mound unharmed.

Following a one-out, infield single in the sixth, Snodgress closed his outing with a ground-out and foul pop.

"He's an outstanding arm," Raley said of Snodgress. "He was a lot better this time out than he was last time we saw him.

"You're just not going to get a whole lot off those guys and it takes a big hit here or there."

Meanwhile, in his first start of the summer, Mat-Su righty Tyler Johnson didn't disappoint, surrendering just one run on four hits and two walks over five solid innings.

"He did an outstanding job. He competed from the get-go," Raley said. "He was down in the zone. That's the name of the game."

The Oilers, after stranding a runner in the second and third, manufactured a run in the fourth.

Chris Ellison led off with a single to left, stole second and took third on a throwing error by catcher Jacobs. He then came home on a sacrifice fly to right by Tracy, just the Oilers' second run in their last 31 innings, in cutting the deficit to 3-1.

They had another golden opportunity in the fifth with two on and two outs when Kuykendall singled for the second time in two at-bats and Johnson hit Marty Mullins with a pitch. But following a double steal, the runners advancing to second and third, Johnson got Ellison to ground out on a 3-2 pitch in escaping with the win on the line.

"Offense comes and goes, but we've just got to do a better job with situational hitting and hitting with runners on bases," Walker said. "We had second and third and couldn't get a run in.

"I promised our team it will happen at some point, where we get a hit and where someone would score."

Friday

Miners 5, Oilers 3

Miners AB R H BI Oilers AB R H BI

Arthr rf 4 2 0 0 Kykndl cf 5 0 3 0

Rmsy lf 4 0 2 3 Mllns c 3 0 0 0

Brwn 1b 5 0 0 0 Ellsn rf 3 1 1 0

Blndn 3b 5 0 2 0 Wllsn lf 4 0 0 0

Cox cf 3 0 1 0 Kskw 1b 3 0 0 0

Csnrs dh 4 0 0 0 Trcy dh 2 1 1 1

Jcbs c 4 1 2 0 G.Jnsn 3b 4 1 2 0

Cstn ss 2 0 0 0 Kohan 2b 4 0 1 2

Mrshll ph 1 1 0 0 Bsyhd ss 4 0 0 0

J.Jhnsn 2b 1 1 1 0 -------- -- -- -- --

Totals 33 5 8 3 Totals 32 3 8 3

Mat-Su 003 000 000 --5

Peninsula 000 100 002 --3

E -- Jacobs 2, Ellison, G. Johnson, Kohan. LOB -- Miners 8, Oilers 7. SF -- Tracy. S -- Jo. Johnson 2. SB -- Brown, Cox, Ellison, Mullins, Kuykendall 2. CS -- Jo. Johnson, Kuykendall.

IP H R ER BB SO

Miners

T. Johnson, W 5 4 1 1 2 2

Atkins 3 1/3 4 2 2 1 2

Uriegas, S 2/3 0 0 0 0 0

Oilers

Snodgress, L 6 4 3 3 2 9

Ratigan 3 4 2 0 1 0

HBP -- by Snodgress (Arthur, Cox), by T. Johnson (Mullins). BK -- Snodgress. WP -- Atkins.

Saturday's Game 1

Miners 7, Oilers 0

Miners AB R H BI Oilers AB R H BI

Arthr rf 4 1 2 1 Kyndl cf 3 0 2 0

Ramsy lf 3 1 1 1 Jhnsn 3b 2 0 0 0

Brown 1b 3 1 1 0 Ellisn rf 3 0 0 0

Blondn 3b 3 0 0 0 Willsn lf 3 0 0 0

Costn 3b 1 0 0 0 Kaskw 1b 2 0 0 0

Cox cf 4 1 1 0 Tracy dh 3 0 0 0

Csnrs dh 2 1 0 0 Jhnsn c 2 0 0 0

Allmn dh 1 2 1 2 Bshyhd 2b 3 0 1 0

Jacbs c 3 0 1 0 Parkr ss 3 0 0 0

Mrshll ss 3 1 1 2 ---- -- -- -- --

Jhnsn 2b 3 1 2 0 ---- -- -- -- --

Totals 30 7 10 6 Totals 24 0 3 0

Mat-Su 040 100 2 --7

Peninsula 000 000 0 --0

E -- Kaskow, Bushyhead. DP -- Oilers 2. LOB -- Miners 6, Oilers 6. Oilers 2B -- Alleman, Marshall, Kuykendall, Bushyhead. SB -- Arthur, Kuykendall 2.

IP H R ER BB SO

Miners

Murphy, W 5 3 0 0 3 6

Dew 2 0 0 0 0 1

Oilers

Slaught, L 4 6 5 4 1 2

Loredo 2 0 0 0 0 0

Mabeus 1 1 2 2 2 0

HP -- Slaught.

Saturday's Game 2



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