The Peninsula Oilers and the Athletes in Action Fire split a doubleheader on Monday in Alaska Baseball League action at Growden Memorial Park in Fairbanks.
The Fire took the first game 7-6 before the Oilers came back for a 6-5 victory in eight innings. Both games were scheduled for seven innings.
The Oilers are now 17-24 in the league, while the Fire are 14-24. The Oilers finish up their road trip with a game against the Fire today at 7 p.m. It can be heard on 1140 AM. The Oilers then take Wednesday off before returning to Coral Seymour Memorial Park for their last two home games of the year -- Thursday and Friday against the Anchorage Bucs at 6 p.m.
The Oilers started their winning rally in the top of the eighth when Chris Ellison started the inning with a double. Ellison then stole third as Josh Corrales was striking out for the first out of the inning. Ryan Fisher then drilled a double off the wall to score Ellison. Fisher stole third and scored on an infield single by Glen Johnson.
Later in the inning, Marty Mullins used some heads-up base running to score the third run of the inning. Glen Johnson was thrown out at home after a grounder to third base, but the Fire failed to call time after the play and Mullins snuck home for a 6-3 lead.
That run proved to be crucial against the no-quit Fire in the bottom of the eighth. Austin Schultz had a single with no outs to score two runs and put runners on first and third. Corrales then settled down to get the win. He picked Schultz off first, then struck out Ryan Miller. The game ended when Aaron Parnell lined out to short.
The Fire had come back to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh inning against Oilers closer Corrales. Ryan Gebhart reached base and stole second. With two outs, Brian Kolb then singled to tie the game. The inning then ended with a diving catch in the outfield by Miller. If Miller would have missed the ball, Kolb would have come around to score and win the game for AIA.
The Fire took the first game in a slugfest. The Oilers grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first inning when Miller and Shayne Willson reached on errors, then scored on RBIs by Fisher and Glen Johnson.
Steven Mabeus, a former standout for the American Legion Twins, held Athletes in Action down until the third inning, when the Fire took a 3-2 lead and knocked Mabeus out of the game. He was charged with three runs in 2 1-3 innings.
The Oilers got Mabeus off the hook for the loss in the top of the fourth, when Jake Johnson singled and eventually scored on a single by Garry Kuykendall.
Oilers reliever Mike Ratigan could not contain the Fire, though, giving up four runs in 1 2-3 innings. The Fire grabbed a 5-3 lead after the bottom of the fourth, but Willson got one back with a titanic blast to left field in the top of the fifth.
The Fire came right back for two runs in the bottom of the fifth for a 7-4 lead. Peninsula relievers David Brown and Nick Loredo would hold the Fire scoreless for the rest of the game, but the Oilers couldn't quite complete a comeback.
In the top of the sixth inning, the Oilers got two runs back when Jonathan Kaskow tripled to score Willson and Miller, but the Fire got out of that inning when Fisher struck out.
The Oilers finished with three ground-outs in the seventh inning.
Tuesday's Game 1
Fire 7, Oilers 6
Oilers AB R H BI Fire AB R H BI
Kykndl cf 4 0 1 1 Gbhrt cf 4 2 2 1
MMlr lf 3 2 0 0 Kolb 2b 4 1 2 1
Willsn rf 3 3 2 1 Enos rf 2 1 0 1
Kskw 1b 2 0 1 2 Wmmr c 4 0 1 0
Ellisn rf 0 0 0 0 Minrd 1b 3 1 2 0
Fishr dh 3 0 1 1 Price dh 2 1 2 1
GJhsn 3b 4 0 1 1 Reevs lf 1 0 0 1
JJhsn c 2 1 1 0 Schltz 3b 3 0 0 0
Mllns c 2 0 0 0 Prnll ss 2 1 0 0
Bshyhd 2b 4 0 0 0 ---- -- -- -- --
Totals 30 6 9 6 Totals 25 7 9 5
Peninsula 200 112 0 --6
AIA 003 220 X --7
E -- Willson, Enos, Schultz, Parnell. LOB -- Oilers 8, Fire 6. 2B -- Kolb, Minard. 3B -- Kaskow. HR -- Willson, Gebhart. S -- Reeves. SF -- Fisher, Enos. SB -- Miller, Willson.
IP H R ER BB SO
Mabeus 2 1-3 3 3 2 2 1
Ratigan, L 1 2-3 6 4 4 1 0
Brown 1 0 0 0 0 0
Loredo 1 0 0 0 0 0
Millard, W 5 2-3 9 6 4 4 7
Houser, S 1 1-3 0 0 0 0 1
WP -- Mabeus, Millard. HBP -- by Brown (Parnell). PB -- J. Johnson.
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