Oilers move half game from 1st

Posted: Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Peninsula Oilers moved within a half a game of first place in the Alaska Baseball League with a 6-4 win over the visiting Anchorage Glacier Pilots on Saturday at Coral Seymour Memorial Park. The Oilers improve to 27-12.

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Photo By M. Scott Moon
Photo By M. Scott Moon
The Peninsula Oilers celebrate Friday's victory against the Anchorage Glacier Pilots at Coral Seymour Memorial Park.

The first-place Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks (26-10) were not in action Saturday. The Mat-Su Miners improved to 24-11 with an 8-7 win over the Athletes in Action in the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday. The second game was still being played as the Clarion went to press.

As the rain poured down, Garrett Wittels recorded the game-winning RBI in the seventh inning for the Oilers. With Tyler Grimes on third and Ryan Gebhart on second, Wittels laid a two-out bunt down the third-base line to score Grimes and reached first safely.

"I knew we needed to score that run," Wittels said. "I was able to get a good pitch and lay it down."

"It took a perfect bunt and Garrett was able to lay one down," Oilers head coach Dennis Machado said.

Though bunting with two outs could be considered risky, the Pilots third baseman was playing deep, and Wittels took advantage of the opportunity.

"It gave us a window to try it out," Machado said.

Following the play, the Pilots infield gathered around the mound but failed to call time and Gebhart stole home to give Peninsula a two-run cushion.

Gebhart said Wittels' great bunt rattled Pilots reliever Derek Speigner. Once Speigner turned his back, Gebhart took off for home.

"As a base runner, you're always heads up," Gebhart said. "Good things can happen if you're heads up."

"It was a heads up baseball play," Machado said.

After Oilers starter Geoff Broussard gave up four runs through 3 2-3 innings, Peninsula's relievers shut down the Pilots. Mike Wolford, Jorge Marban and Chad Smith combined for 5 1-3 scoreless innings and just two hits.

Wolford, who came in for Broussard in the fourth, gave the Oilers a chance to get back into the game, Machado said.

Peninsula tied the game at 4 in the bottom of the fifth. Grimes scored the first run when he stole home. He was hit by a pitch then stole second base. Grimes was waved home when Stephen Piscotty singled, but slipped on the wet grass and had to retreat to third. With Ryan Hege at the plate, Grimes and Piscotty pulled off a double steal. Hege then scored Piscotty with an RBI single.

The Pilots led 4-1 after the top of the fourth inning. After Chris Manship was hit by a pitch, he was brought home on O'Koyea Dickson's second double of the game. A standup triple by Tim Maitland scored Dickson. Peninsula got a run back in the bottom of the inning when Patrick Wisdom ripped a double to score Hege, who reached base on an error.

The Pilots took a 2-0 lead in the third inning on RBI singles by Maitland and Trevor Hairgrove. The Oilers cut the lead in half when Sean Madigan recorded an RBI to score Nathan Theunissen, who had a leadoff single and advanced to third on a double by Mike Miller.

Winning the ABL title has been Peninsula's goal from the beginning of the season, Gebhart said, making Saturday's come-from-behind win that much more meaningful as the season winds down.

"Every win is important for us," he said. "We just have to do our part and win ball games."

The Oilers conclude their home schedule today at 2 p.m. with a game against the Anchorage Glacier Pilots.

Oilers 6, Pilots 4

Pilots AB R H BI Oilers AB R H BI

Mtlnd cf 5 1 2 2 Grimes ss 3 2 1 0

Lndckr ss 4 0 1 0 Gbhrt cf 3 1 2 0

Hrgrve rf 4 0 2 1 Psctty dh 4 1 1 0

Garrsn dh 4 0 0 0 Hege c 4 1 1 1

Cdrqst 1b 4 0 0 0 Wttls 3b 3 0 1 1

Manshp c 3 1 1 0 Wisdm 1b 4 0 1 1

Mahny 2b 4 0 1 0 Tnison dh 4 1 1 0

Dicksn 3b 4 2 2 1 Millr 2b 4 0 1 0

Pharr lf 4 0 0 0 Mdign rf 3 0 0 1 Totals 36 4 9 4 Totals 32 6 9 4

Anchorage 002 200 000 -- 4

Peninsula 001 120 20x -- 6

E -- Dickson, Landecker, Hege 2, Wolford. DP -- Pilots 0; Oilers 1. LOB -- Pilots 6, Oilers 7. 2B -- Dickson 2, Hairgrove, Wisdom, Miller. 3B -- Maitlan. SB -- Grimes 2, Gebhart 2, Piscotty, Hege. CS -- Gebhart, Madigan.

IP H R ER BBSO

Pilots

Mount 4 2-3 6 4 4 2 3

Speigner 2 3 2 1 0 4

Kemp 1 1-3 0 0 0 1 0

Oilers

Broussard 3 2-3 7 4 4 0 5

Wolford 2 1-3 2 0 0 0 1

Marban 2 0 0 0 1 3

Smith 1 0 0 0 0 0

HBP -- by Mount (Grimes); by Kemp (Grimes); by Broussard (Manship).



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