The Wichita (Kan.) Elite Sluggers lived up to their name, racking up 13 hits en rout to a 6-3, come-from-behind win over the Peninsula Oilers in first round play of the National Baseball Congress World Series on Wednesday at Lawrence Dumont Stadium in Wichita, Kan. The Oilers play the Rock City (N.C.) Red Sox today at 7:30 a.m. ADT. With a loss, Peninsula will be eliminated from the tournament.
Five Sluggers had two or more hits and combined for all but one of Wichita's 13 total. Brandon Hoefler and Hector Acosta led Wichita with three hits apiece. Hoefler was 3-for-5 with one run and one RBI. Acosta went 3-for-3 with two triples and two runs.
The Oilers loaded the bases three separate times in the game but left nine runners stranded. The Sluggers left seven men on base.
The Sluggers scored two runs in the sixth inning to take their first lead of the game. With two on, Hoefler hit an RBI single. Then Hoefler and Nic Cole, who was at third, pulled off a double steal to give Wichita a 5-3 lead. Ronnie Romo gave the Sluggers a 6-3 lead when he recorded his second RBI of the game on a sacrifice fly to score Acosta in the seventh inning. Acosta hit a leadoff triple, his second of the game.
The Oilers put two runners on base to start the eighth, but Mike Miller went down on strikes and Sean Madigan hit into an inning-ending, 4-6-3 double play. The Oilers' top of the order went down in order in the top of the ninth to end the game.
Sluggers reliever Justin Long, who started the game as the designated hitter, gave up just three hits, no runs and one walk in 4 2-3 innings for the win. Mike Wolford, who pitched one inning, yielding one hit and two unearned runs, suffered the loss.
Wichita tied the game at 3 in the fifth inning. With two outs, the Sluggers recorded three straight hits to score one run. With the bases juiced, Oilers reliever Josh Corrales threw a wild pitch to bring the tying run across the plate.
Peninsula loaded the bases for the third time in top of the fifth, but Long struck out Wittels and Patrick Wisdom to keep the score at 3-1 in favor of the Oilers.
Peninsula took a 3-0 lead when it loaded the bases with no outs for a second straight inning in the top of the third. Wittels, who went 2-for-4, drove in two runs with a single to right field. Pablo Bermudez, who played the regular season with the Mat-Su Miners, hit into a triple play to end the inning.
A leadoff triple followed by an RBI single gave Wichita its first run of the game in the bottom of the fourth inning.
The Oilers got on the board first with one run in the top of the second. With the no outs and the bases loaded, Miller brought Wittels home on a sacrifice fly. Madigan and Tyler Grimes were retired in order to leave two runners stranded. In the bottom of the inning, Oilers starter Kellen Moen struck out the side after surrendering two consecutive singles. Moen gave up one run on seven hits and struck out six in four innings of work.
Sluggers 6, Oilers 3
Oilers AB R H BI Sluggers AB R H BI
Grimes ss 5 0 0 0 Hfler cf 5 1 3 1
Gbhrt cf 4 1 0 0 Jhnsn ss 4 1 2 0
Lilley dh 4 1 2 0 Piper 3b 4 0 2 1
Hege c 2 0 0 0 Acosta c 3 2 3 0
Wittls 3b 4 1 2 2 Romo 1b 3 0 2 2
Brmudz lf 2 0 1 0 Long dh 4 0 0 0
Wsdm 1b 3 0 2 0 Chism cf 2 1 0 0
Miller 2b 3 0 2 1 Cole 2b 3 1 0 0
Mdign rf 4 0 0 0 Dglas rf 3 0 0 0
Vth-Gdr 1 0 1 0
Totals 31 3 9 3 Totals 32 6 13 4
E -- Wolford. LOB -- Oilers 9, Sluggers 7. DP: Oilers 1; Sluggers 1. TP: Sluggers 1. 2B -- Hoefler. 3B -- Acosta (2). SB -- Wittels, Miller (2), Hoefler, Cole. CS -- Wisdom, Johnson, Romo. S -- Cole, Douglas. SF -- Miller, Romo.
IP H R ER BB SO
Moen 4 7 1 1 0 6
Corrales 1 3 2 2 0 1
Wolford, L 1 1 2 0 1 0
Marban 1 1 1 1 0 0
Draxton 1 1 0 0 0 0
Barnes 4 1-3 6 3 3 5 4
Long, W 4 2-3 3 0 0 1 6
HBP -- by Barnes (Hege); by Corrales (Acosta). WP -- Corrales; Barnes.
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