Clarion Calls

Posted: Friday, August 27, 2010

Jeff's call: A few Oilers notes

Peninsula Oilers general manager Shawn Maltby has always said one of the reasons he likes to take his team to the National Baseball Congress World Series in Wichita, Kan., is so the players get more exposure in front of scouts.

After the tournament, the Texas Rangers signed Oilers reliever Jorge Marban to a minor-league contract and assigned him to the Arizona Rookie League.

Marban, who is 6-foot-1, 215 pounds, quickly earned a promotion by pitching five innings and striking out 10 while not allowing any runs for the Surprise Rangers.

Marban, 21, is now with the Spokane (Wash.) Indians in the Northwest League playing short season single-A ball. There, he has pitched three scoreless innings, striking out five, walking three and yielding three hits.

For the Oilers this season, Marban was 4-0 with a 1.38 ERA in 26 innings of work.

Another sign of the quality of baseball Oilers fans and Alaska Baseball League fans get each summer came with the release of the Perfect Game Crosschecker final summer baseball rankings.

The Alaska Baseball League champion Mat-Su Miners were eighth on the list, while the Alaska Goldpanners were 18th. The Oilers were in the "Others Receiving Consideration" category.

The Cape Cod League had five teams in the top 30, including three in the top nine. The Northwest League had three teams in the top 30.

The ABL joined six other leagues in placing two teams in the top 30.

Mike's call: Radio gold

If you've picked up a newspaper in the last few years from Wasilla south to Homer -- and everywhere in between -- there's a good chance you've read an article penned by Matt Tunseth. But last Saturday the well-known Southcentral Alaska journalist traded in his notebook for a microphone.

Tunseth could be heard on the radio during halftime of the Kenai Central-Houston football game. As a former Kardinal and a sportswriter that's likely seen nearly every high school in the state participate in some sporting event, Tunseth not only shared his thoughts on the Northern Lights Conference rivalry between the Hawks and Kards, but also on small-schools football in general. And perhaps there's no one more qualified to share their insight on the topic.

Tunseth has covered sports for the Peninsula Clarion, Homer News, Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman, Anchorage Daily News, Redoubt Reporter and most recently he joined the Alaska Star. As a former football player, Tunseth also knows the game from the players' perspective.

Though the radio feed from the Valley was in a constant battle with background noise, the banter between Tunseth and his former sports editor Jeremiah Bartz could still be appreciated.

It's probably for the best that Tunseth's analysis couldn't be heard clearly -- at least for Star editor Melissa DeVaughn. If it had been, she'd be searching for a new reporter to replace the void left by a writer turned on-air broadcaster.

Tunseth's halftime interview can be summed up in two words. Radio gold.

Mike Nesper and Jeff Helminiak work in the sports department at the Peninsula Clarion. They can be reached at

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