The Peninsula Oilers continued to struggle on their current road trip, falling to the Anchorage Bucs 7-4 on Wednesday at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage in Alaska Baseball League play.
The Oilers have now lost five in a row and five of the first six on the current road trip. The trip has three more games left, starting tonight against the Anchorage Glacier Pilots at 7:10 p.m. at Mulcahy.
The Oilers are now 1-5 against the Bucs, who lead the league with a 25-9 record and are four games clear of the second-place Mat-Su Miners. The Oilers end their season with five home games against the Bucs, starting at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Coral Seymour Memorial Park.
Ending with the tough schedule is daunting because the Oilers continue to cling to the final spot in the ABL playoffs. At 12-24, the fourth-place Oilers have a half game on the Chugiak-Eagle River Chinooks.
Bucs right fielder Blake Paugh finished 3 for 5 with a run and four RBIs to key Wednesday’s victory.
Paugh’s biggest blow came in the bottom of the fifth, after the Oilers had just come back to tie from a 2-0 deficit. Paugh quickly put the Oilers in chase mode again with a three-run home run. He now has a league-leading eight home runs.
Bryan Woo took the loss for the Oilers, going 5 2-3 innings and giving up six runs on six hits while walking four and striking out six.
The Bucs got out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third when Chad Castillo singled in Taishi Nakawake and Paugh singled to score Isaac Barrera.
It did not take long for the Oilers to bounce back. In the top of the fourth inning, Giancarlos Servin connected on his first home run of the season to score Vasquez and knot the score.
Paugh then had his blast, though, and the Oilers would never recover from that.
Peninsula did score runs in the seventh when Kaden Hopson singled in Ryan Sullivan, and in the eighth, when Jaden Fein singled in Vasquez.
Travis Roberts pitched 2 1-3 innings for the Oilers, giving up five hits and a run while striking out one.
Brett Finnel got the win for Anchorage, going seven innings and giving up three runs on four hits while walking four and striking out five. Robert Hamby got the save, going two innings and yielding a run on two hits while walking one and striking out one.
The Bucs outhit the Oilers 11-6. Fein was 2 for 3, while Vasquez, Skyler Messinger and Drew Thorpe also had hits.
Isaac Barrera also had a big game for the Bucs from his leadoff spot, going 3 for 4 with two runs and an RBI.