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Oilers drop fourth straight

Posted: Thursday, July 29, 2004

Shoddy defense and a lack of clutch hitting have put the Peninsula Oilers on the brink of being eliminated from the postseason.

The Oilers lost 7-6 to the Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks Wednesday at Growden Memorial Park in Fairbanks.

The loss, the fourth in a row for the Oilers, knocks the Oilers from first place in the Alaska Baseball League. A game behind the Goldpanners and the Bucs, the Oilers must win today at 6:30 p.m. against the Goldpanners or be eliminated from contention for the National Baseball Congress World Series. The top two teams in the ABL go to the NBC World Series.

Michael Martin will take the hill for the Oilers, while Sean Timmons will go for the Goldpanners.

If the Oilers miss out on the postseason, the bottom of Wednesday's sixth inning will haunt the team for a long time.

The Oilers had a 6-3 lead entering the bottom of the sixth. The Goldpanners had already scored a run when they put runners on first and third with one out.

Trevor Mortenson singled to score the runner on third. An error by Oilers right fielder Andy Dahl on the play allowed the runner on first to score and tie the game. Mortensen went to third.

Eric Butkiewicz then came on in relief of Oscar Serrato. Butkiewicz did his job, striking out Cameron Blair and getting Brian Jerolman to hit a grounder to second. However, Oilers second baseman Nick Kliebert booted the grounder and allowed the winning run to score. Butkiewicz then struck out Allen Balmer.

Without the two errors, the Oilers would have held a 5-4 lead. With the two errors, the Oilers had three innings to battle for their postseason lives.

The team's best chance came in the top of the ninth inning. Felipe Garcia and Nathan Faulkner started the inning by getting hit by pitches.

Derrick Landavazo came on to relieve Kenny Maquis and did a masterful job of getting out of the jam.

Chris Minaker tried to bunt the runners to second and third, but his bunt was too strong to Landavazo, and the pitcher got the runner at third.

Dahl then walked to load the bases with one out, but Rocky Laguna and Patrick Rooney both struck out to allow the Panners to take over first in the ABL.

Dahl had three hits for the Oilers, including a two-RBI single in the Oilers' five-run fourth inning. Kliebert also added a pair of hits for the Oilers.

Wednesday

GOLDPANNERS 7, OILERS 6

Oilers AB R H BI Panners AB R H BI

Perry cf 4 0 1 1 Mortensen rf 5 1 2 1

Kliebert 2b 5 0 2 1 Coit cf 2 0 0 0

Garcia lf 4 1 1 0 Blair 2b 4 0 1 2

ENewby pr 0 0 0 0 Jerolman dh 4 0 0 0

Faulkner 1b 2 1 0 0 Balmer 3b 4 1 1 0

Minaker ss 4 1 0 0 Lissman lf 4 1 2 0

Dahl rf 4 1 3 2 Perschna 1b 3 2 2 1

Laguna dh 4 0 0 0 Castanon ss 4 2 1 0

Rooney 3b 5 2 0 1 Sidhu ss 0 0 0 0

Eichel c 3 0 1 1 Struble c 2 0 0 0

Totals 35 6 8 6 Totals 32 7 9 4

Peninsula 000 501 000 6

Alaska 002 104 00x 7

E Kliebert, Dahl, Blair, Castanon. DP Oilers 1. LOB Oilers 11, Goldpanners 8. 2B Garcia, Balmer, Persichina. 3B Lissman. SB Faulkner, Dahl. CS Mortensen. S Perry, Blair, Struble. SF Eichel.

IP H R ER BB SO

Oilers

Serrato, L 5 1-3 8 7 5 3 6

Butkiewicz 2 2-3 1 0 0 1 3

Panners

Hamblet, W 6 7 6 2 2 2

Maquis 2 1 0 0 0 2

Landavazo 1 0 0 0 1 2

WP Hamblet. HBP by Serrato (Persichina), by Hamblet (Minaker), by Maquis (Faulkner 2, Garcia).



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