The Peninsula Oilers used some clutch hitting and took advantage of some Athletes in Action errors to win their seventh consecutive game Saturday night at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai.
With the win, the Oilers moved into sole possession of second place in the Alaska Baseball League, two games behind the first-place Fairbanks Goldpanners.
The Oilers started off the game in an early jam after starter Randy Beam allowed a lead-off single by first baseman Erick Streelman in the second inning, then a one out single by designated hitter Eddie Campbell that just eluded the dive of Oilers third baseman Brent Lewis.
Beam then struck out left fielder Israel Victor, but a two-out walk to shortstop Michael Wydner loaded the bases. However, Beam was able to get the Fire's No. 9 hitter, second baseman Bryce Scalf, to pop out to Andy Dahl to end the threat.
AIA pitcher Wes Letson did not allow a baserunner until Oilers catcher Garrett Schoenberger snuck a ground ball past third baseman Cody Montgomery in the bottom of the third inning. Montgomery was charged an error on the play.
Letson retired shortstop Jimmy Bacon on a pop up and catcher Joe Frazee on a called strike. However, field umpire Brian Darling called a balk on Letson which put Schoenberger on second. Oilers second baseman Joe Holland then dropped a bloop single into left field which landed in front of Israel Victor. Schoenberger never hesitated in rounding third base on the play, and barely beat Victor's throw to the plate, giving Peninsula a 1-0 lead.
AIA wasted no time getting the run back. Streelman led off the top of the fourth with a sharp grounder to left field, and was then moved to second by Montgomery's sacrifice bunt. Campbell then sent a double into the left field gap which easily scored Streelman.
Cody Montgomery of Athletes in Action comes up with the ball after tagging Joe Holland of the Peninsula Oilers out at third in the bottom of the 7th inning Friday.
Photo by M. Scott Moon
Campbell stole third, but Beam struck out Victor and forced Wydner to pop up to end the rally, leaving the score tied 1-1.
The Oilers narrowly averted disaster in the top of the sixth, but relief pitcher Mike Ekstrom worked out of a tough jam to keep the score tied.
After Beam allowed infield hits to Streelman and Campbell, Montgomery flew out to left field. However, a walk to Victor left the bases loaded with only one out, and Oilers manager Kyle DiEduardo pulled Beam in favor of Ekstrom.
Ekstrom got Wydner to hit a slow ground ball right at Lewis, who threw home to Schoenberger to force out Streelman. Schoenberger then threw to first to get Wydner by a half-step, ending the Fire threat.
It stayed that way until the eighth, when the Oilers capitalized on two errors on the left side of the AIA infield to take a 3-1 lead.
Joe Frazee led off the inning by lining out to short. Holland then blasted a double to left field off of Letson, and Dusty Bensko reached on Montgomery's second error of the game.
Letson was lifted in favor of reliever Jeff Brown, who came on and forced Lewis to hit a possible double play ball to Wydner. However, the ball was a little too hot for the shortstop to handle, and Wydner could not make the play. Holland scored on the play, giving the Oilers the lead.
Right fielder Josh Lex followed and ripped a single to center field to load the bases. A Ben Fritz single scored Bensko, giving Peninsula a lead it would not let go, despite a scare in the top of the ninth.
Ekstrom gave up a leadoff hit to Campbell in the top of the frame, then walked Victor
Ekstrom said he was a bit worried after walking Victor.
"The ninth inning is always the toughest," he said. "With one out I was sweating a little bit."
However, he settled down to induce three straight ground balls, preserving his third victory of the season.
The Oilers will try to continue their winning ways tonight, when they face AIA for the final game in the three game series. Ekstrom said he hopes Saturday's victory will enable the Oilers to continue their hot streak.
"That's the plan," he said. "To get a win and hopefully continue on to Fairbanks."
Sunday's 2 p.m. game will be the Oilers final home game of the season, and is also Fan Appreciation Night. Free admission will be given to all fans who come out to send the streaking Oilers off on a strong note.
OILERS 8, FIRE 1
The Oilers posted an impressive win in Friday's series opener, defeating the Fire 8-1.
The Oilers plated a pair of runs in the first inning as Brent Lewis picked up an RBI with a groundout and Josh Lex drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.
The Oilers added three more runs in the bottom of the sixth, with Andy Dahl providing the big hit in the form of a two-run homer.
The Oilers added to their lead with three runs in the eighth. Garrett Schoenberger had the big hit of the inning, driving in three runs with a bases-loaded double.
OILERS 8, FIRE 1
Fire ab r h bi Oilers ab r h bi
Bogue cf 4 0 0 0 Holland 2b 4 1 3 0
Cline rf 3 0 0 0 Uribes ss 1 1 1 0
Abney c 4 0 0 0 Lewis 3b 4 0 1 1
Streelman 1b 3 0 0 0 Lex lf 1 2 0 1
Montgmery 3b 3 0 1 0 Fritz c 3 0 1 0
Blanton dh 4 0 0 0 Zobeck 1b 4 1 0 0
Victor lf 3 1 1 0 Dahl rf 3 2 1 2
Wydner ss 3 0 1 1 Schnberger dh 4 1 3 3
Glafenhein 2b 2 0 0 0 Frazee cf 4 0 0 0
- - - - - Bacon ss 1 0 0 0
Totals 29 1 3 1 Totals 29 8 10 7
Athletes in Action 000 010 000 1
Peninsula 200 003 03x 8
E Bacon, Montgomery 3. DP AIA 2, Oilers 1. LOB AIA 5, Oilers 4. 2B Fritz, Schoenberger, Holland, Montgomery. 3B Victor. HR Dahl. SB Schoenberger. CS Frazee, Wydner. S Bacon, Fritz. SF Lex.
IP H R ER BB SO
Broadway, L 6 8 5 4 1 4
Hanson 2 2 3 1 1 0
Hall, W 9 3 1 1 3 3
HBP by Broadway (Lex), by Hall (Glafenhein), by Hanson (Dahl). WP Broadway 3. PB Abney.
OILERS 3, FIRE 1
Fire ab r h bi Oilers ab r h bi
Bogue cf 3 0 0 0 Holland 2b 4 1 2 1
Cline 2b 4 0 0 0 Bensko ss 4 1 0 0
Abney c 4 0 0 0 Lewis 3b 4 0 2 0
Steelman 1b 4 1 3 0 Lex lf 4 0 2 0
Montgmery 3b 3 0 0 0 Fritz c 4 0 1 1
Campbell dh 4 0 4 1 Dahl 1b 3 0 0 0
Victor lf 2 0 0 0 Schonbgr c 3 1 0 0
Wydner ss 3 0 0 0 Bacon ss 3 0 0 0
Scalf 2b 4 0 1 0 Frazee cf 3 0 0 0
Totals 31 1 8 1 Totals 32 3 7 2
AIA 001 100 000 1
Peninsula 001 000 02x 3
E Montgomery (2), Wydner. DP Fire 1, Oilers 1. LOB Oilers 4, Fire 8. 2B Holland, Lewis. SB campbell. S Bogue, Montgomery, Wydner
IP H R ER BB SO
Letson, L 7 1-3 5 3 0 0 8
Brown 2-3 0 0 0 0 2
Beam 5 1-3 1 1 2 2 5
Ekstrom, W 3 2-3 0 0 0 0 1
Peninsula Clarion ©2014. All Rights Reserved.