The Peninsula Oilers won their first two games at the National Baseball Congress World Series in Wichita, Kan.
In Saturday's contest at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, the Oilers came from behind to crush the Cotton State All-Stars of Mississippi 9-3 in seven innings.
The game was cut short after the top of the seventh when the six-run rule was put into effect. The rule, used to move games along during the 24-hour-a-day tournament, states that if a team leads by six runs after seven innings, they win.
The Oilers trailed early as the All-Stars scored all three of their runs in the top of the first on aggressive base running and Oiler miscues. But the Oilers buckled down.
"What you can be proud of as an Oiler fan is that the guys didn't give up or panic," said Oiler skipper Gary Adcock. "They had a quiet confidence that they could win the game."
Oiler pitcher Ryan Prahm then held Cotton State scoreless for the rest of the game.
"To his credit, he went the distance," Adcock said. "He put the adversity behind him, and once he got the lead, he kept pitching like it was a zero-zero game."
The Oilers fusillade began with one run in the second inning on a Jeff Jones solo homer.
"Jeff's home run was uplifting," Adcock said. "Hitting is kind of contagious."
The barrage continued in the third when the Oilers took the lead after scoring three more runs. Danny Garcia scored on a one-out Jeremy Reed double. Reed went to third on a Hunter Brown single and scored on a Luke Simmons single. Brown scored when the All-Stars third baseman bobbled a Jeff Jones shot. The inning ended with Simmons being thrown out at the plate.
The Oilers notched three more in the fourth and two in the fifth to cap their scoring.
On Friday, the Oilers had all the runs they would need before there was one out in the first inning, as they downed the Lake Erie, Mich., Monarchs 6-1 at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.
The Oilers scored four in the first, and one more in fourth and another in the fifth, while the Monarchs' only run came in the third.
The Oiler's first inning barrage began when lead-off man Garcia walked, stole second, advanced to third on a balk, and scored on a Brown single.
The scoring continued when Reed walked, stole second, moved to third on Brown's single, and scored when Simmons doubled to left. Brown scored on a Jones sacrifice fly right field, which also advanced Simmons to third. He subsequently scored on a Jason Walker ground out to second.
Lake Erie staged a comeback by loading the bases with one out in the bottom of the ninth, but Oiler hurler Jason Waddell retired the last two Monarchs on a strikeout and a groundout for the save. Chris Mabeus earned the win.
This is the first year the NBC World Series has used wood bats since switching to aluminum in the mid-1970s. The change is no problem for the Oilers, who switched to wood bats a couple of seasons ago. The change was made to reduce scoring and shorten games.
The other Alaska Baseball League team, the Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks, have been eliminated from the tournament after dropping their first two games. In the Friday game, the 'Panners went down 4-3 at the hands of the Nevada Griffons. Saturday, they lost 6-3 to the El Dorado, Kan., Broncos.
The next test in the Oiler's march to the World Series title comes this evening at 6 p.m. ADT against the Santa Barbara, Calif., Foresters, a team that the Oilers beat three straight at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in the second week in June. The Oilers will send Josh Scott to the mound.
"I anticipate both teams will be better (than in June)," Adcock said. "In a game of this magnitude, it doesn't matter how you did before. It will be an intense and exciting game."
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