Oilers can't put out Fire

Posted: Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Peninsula Oilers dropped a 5-3 decision to the first-place Athletes in Action Fire on Saturday at Growden Memorial Park in Fairbanks.

With the victory, the Fire improved to 19-7 in the Alaska Baseball League, moving 2 1/2 games ahead of the second-place Mat-Su Miners pending the results of the Miners' game against the Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks on Saturday night. The Oilers drop to 14-13 in the league, five games behind the Fire.

The Fire entered the game with nine players batting over .300. They used that skill at hitting to get to Oilers starter and loser Andre Lamontagne, who came into the game with a 1.5 ERA.

In the first inning, Paul Keller singled and Joe Lake walked before Lamontagne struck out two in a row. Justin Skinner then had a two-out single to give the Fire a 2-1 lead. The Fire then chased Lamontagne in the third. The first four batters of the inning had singles, including RBI hits by Joel Staples and Kirk Nieuwenhuis. After a strikeout and a walk, Lamontagne was lifted in favor of Carlos Luna. Luna recorded two pop flies, but also yielded an infield hit to Brett Lancaster that scored Staples.

Luna and Hiarali Garcia would shut the Fire down for the rest of the game, but the Oilers offense could never solve AIA's pitching. The Oilers had just five hits on the afternoon.

In the first, Kyle Melton gave Peninsula a 1-0 lead when Fire starter and winner Kyle Matkaitis issued a walk, then committed two balks and a wild pitch. In the fourth, the Oilers cut the gap to 5-2 when Toby Davis reached on an error and scored on a two-out single by David Genoa, who had two hits in the game. In the seventh, Michael Dabbs greeted reliever Justin Harper with a solo home run.

That would be the one blemish against the AIA bullpen. In the eighth and ninth innings, Bobby Bennett and Payton Tweddale combined to strike out five of the six hitters they faced.

The Oilers get another shot at the Fire today at 7 p.m. in Fairbanks.

AIA Fire 5, Oilers 3

Oilers AB R H BI Fire AB R H BI

Dabbs dh 5 1 1 1 Keller lf 4 2 3 0

Melton 2b 3 1 0 0 Lake 2b 3 2 1 0

Buss cf 3 0 1 0 Staples 3b 4 1 2 1

Davis 3b 4 1 0 0 Niewnhs 1b 4 0 1 1

Mejia rf 3 0 0 0 Skinner ss 4 0 2 2

Younger ss 4 0 0 0 Root rf 2 0 0 0

Martinez lf 4 0 1 0 Miller ph 1 0 0 0

Genoa c 4 0 2 1 Hollingr dh 4 0 0 0

Wilkes 1b 4 0 0 0 Lancaster c 3 0 1 1

---- -- -- -- -- McGraw cf 3 0 0 0

Totals 34 3 5 2 Totals 32 5 10 5

Peninsula 100 100 100 —3

Athletes in Action 203 000 00x —5

E — Skinner, Matkaitis, Luna, Garcia. DP — Oilers 2. LOB — Oilers 7, Fire 6. 2B — Skinner. 3B — Keller. HR — Dabbs. SB — Keller, Lake, Skinner.

IP H R ER BB SO

Oilers

Lamontagne, L 2 1-3 6 5 5 3 4

Luna 3 2-3 3 0 0 0 1

Garcia 2 1 0 0 0 0

Fire

Matkaitis, W 6 4 2 1 3 4

Harper 1 1 1 1 0 0

Bennett 1 0 0 0 0 2

Tweddale, S 1 0 0 0 0 3

WP — Matkaitis 2. BK — Matkaitis 2.



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