Peninsula Oilers outfielder Brian Van Kirk (27) is congratulated Thursday, July 27, 2006, by teammates, from left, Jake Kahaulelio, Rocky Laguna and David Newby after scoring the Oilers sixth run in the fourth inning against the Anchorage Bucs at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska.
Photo by M. Scott Moon
Brian Van Kirk led the Peninsula offense with four hits, including a home run, and the Oilers rapped out 14 hits on their way to beating the Anchorage Bucs 8-1 Thursday at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai.
The Oilers are now 22-12 in Alaska Baseball League play, edging one game ahead of the Bucs, 20-12, for first place. Should the Oilers win tonight’s season finale, they would clinch their first ABL title since 2000, as well as a trip to Wichita, Kans., for the National Baseball Congress World Series.
Should the Oilers lose, they would have to wait for the result of a Bucs-AIA Alaska makeup game Saturday and hope for a Fire win to claim the league crown.
Tonight’s game is scheduled to start at 6 p.m.
In Thursday’s game, the Oilers rebounded from a tough 12-inning loss to the Bucs. The Oilers got things going with two runs in the second inning as they loaded the bases with one out on singles from Erik Hagstrom and Ryan Mottern, and a walk to Austin Yount.
Rocky Laguna then connected on a long fly ball to left field which was dropped by the Bucs left fielder, allowing two runs to score.
The Oilers tacked on two more in the third as one run scored on a single by Mottern and another on an error.
While the Oilers bats came alive, starting pitcher Jesse Jordan found his groove after struggling in the first four innings. The Bucs touched up Jordan for an unearned run in the fourth inning, but Jordan then retired 11 straight batters before making way for Chuck Rider in the eighth inning.
Oilers infielder Austin Yount makes a throw to first for an out in the fourth inning.
Photo by M. Scott Moon
Jordan gave up three hits, walked three and struck out two in seven innings of work. Rider pitched two scoreless innings, giving up one hit.
The Oilers continued to add to their lead with a pair of runs in the fourth inning. The Oilers loaded the bases with one out on singles by Jake Kahaulelio and Van Kirk his second of the night and a walk to Andy Preston.
Kahaulelio was hung up heading for home when Jordan Opdyke was unable to put down a bunt on a suicide squeeze play, but Opdyke made up for it with a double to left to score Van Kirk and Preston.
Van Kirk notched his second home run of the season, a solo shot, with two out in the sixth, and Kahaulelio drew a walk and scored on a sacrifice fly by Preston to round out the Oilers scoring in the eighth.
Oilers 8, Bucs 1
Bucs ab r h bi Oilers ab r h bi
Koski lf 3 0 1 0 Kahlelio ss 5 1 3 0
Castro 1b 3 0 0 0 Newby cf 4 0 0 0
BPeterson rf 3 0 0 0 Van Kirk dh 5 2 4 1
Taylor 3b 3 0 0 0 Preston 1b 2 2 0 1
Zornes c 4 0 1 0 Opdyke c 2 0 1 2
Hood 2b 4 1 1 0 Hagstrom 3b 3 2 1 0
Sandoval dh 3 0 1 0 Mottern lf 3 1 2 1
Fuller ss 4 0 0 0 Yount 2b 3 0 2 0
Duggan cf 4 0 1 0 Laguna rf 3 0 0 1
Padilla 2b 1 0 0 0
Pollack ph 2 0 1 0
Totals 31 1 5 0 Totals 33 8 15 6
Anchorage 000 100 000 1
Peninsula 022 201 01x 8
E Yount, Jordan, Koski, Hood. DP Bucs 2, Oilers 1. LOB Bucs 8, Oilers 9. SB Koski. CS Kahaulelio. 2B Kahaulelio, Opdyke. HR Van Kirk. S Sandoval, Opdyke. SF Laguna, Preston.
ip h r er bb so
SPeterson, L 3 2/3 7 4 2 2 2
Bailey 4 1/3 7 4 4 2 2
Jordan, W 7 3 1 0 3 2
Rider 2 1 0 0 0 0
HBP by Bailey (Newby).
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