Bucs send Oilers to eighth-straight loss

It’s tempting to say the Peninsula Oilers lost 3-1 to the Anchorage Bucs in 11 innings Sunday at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai due to bad luck.

The deciding hit in the 11th inning was a two-out, bloop double down the left-field line by Tyler Ware that just eluded the glove of Jordan Sanford and scored the two winning runs.

But Oilers head coach Kyle Richardson, whose team has now lost eight straight to fall to 7-14 in the Alaska Baseball League, knows better than to blame luck.

“We’re struggling to find guys that can score a guy,” Richardson said. “It doesn’t even need to be a hit. It can be a sacrifice fly, a ground ball, anything.”

The story of the game for the two squads chasing the red-hot Alaska Goldpanners in the American League was missed opportunities. The Bucs were 3 for 14 with runners in scoring position, while the Oilers were 1 for 10.

Both squads know they will have to do better to keep pace with the Goldpanners, who swept a doubleheader from the Anchorage Glacier Pilots on Sunday for their ninth-straight victory.

The Panners lead the American League at 13-5, while the Bucs are a half game back at 15-8 and the Oilers are 7 1-2 games back.

Bucs head coach Tony Cappuccilli wasn’t about to apologize for winning on a blooper.

“I’ll take it every day,” he said. “Both of these teams aren’t playing as well as they would like to right now in terms of wins and losses, but both teams fought very hard.”

Pitching and defense was there for both teams Sunday. The Oilers let in 10.2 runs per game on their recently completed, six-game road trip, but Richardson said that was an aberration because five of those games were in Fairbanks.

“Everybody knows Fairbanks is an offensive yard,” Richardson said. “It’s hard to pitch there. The fences are close, the wind blows out all the time, and the turf is hard and fast.

“I’m not worried about the pitching. I’m worried about the offense.”

Both teams got solid starts. Bret Marks worked the first 7 1-3 innings for the Bucs, giving up seven hits and a run while walking one and striking out 10.

Cappuccilli said Marks is the first starter to work into the eighth for the Bucs this season.

“He was awesome,” Cappuccilli said. “That was the best start of the year by Bret. He mixed speeds and threw strikes. When he has struggled in the past, he has had some command issues.”

Dallas DeVrieze, who Richardson said has been the team’s best starter this year, pitched the first seven innings for the Oilers, yielding six hits and a run while walking one and striking out six.

Both bullpens also performed. Alex Godzak and winner Devon Stewart kept the Oilers scoreless over the final 3 2-3 innings, while Chad Rieser and Nolan Sheridan kept the Bucs off the board late. The bloop hit gave Cody Richey the loss.

Both teams also played good defense. The Bucs made one error, turned a game-ending double play and caught Jake Sandlin trying to stretch a double into a triple in the seventh.

For the Oilers, Josh Rose threw out Evan Powell when he tried to score on Grant Palmer’s single in the sixth. The Oilers also turned double plays to get out of jams in the fourth and fifth innings, picked a runner off and caught a runner stealing.

The one clutch hit in the game by the Oilers came from Mylz Jones. He doubled with one out in the eighth to score Alex Rubanowitz and tie the game at 1.

But as was the case all day, the bottom of the order failed to produce and the rally was ended. The top four in the order — Sandlin with three hits, Sanford with two hits, Rubanowitz with a hit and Jones with three hits — did all the damage, while the bottom five were a combined 0 for 22.

Richardson said his squad simply needs to perform better during scoring opportunities.

“What I just told the guys is there is a reason Derek Jeter is what he is,” the coach said. “It’s hard, not easy. Guys like that perform when it’s not easy.”

The Oilers continue the five-game series against the Bucs tonight at 7 p.m. at Seymour Park.

 

Sunday

Bucs 3, Oilers 1, 11 inn.

Bucs AB R H BI Oilers AB R H BI

Cpld ss 4 0 1 0 Sdln cf 5 0 3 0

Rtn 3b 5 0 0 0 Snfd lf 4 0 2 0

Cwly cf 5 1 2 0 Rbwz 3b 5 1 1 0

Btlr rf 5 1 1 0 Jnes ss 4 0 3 1

Krgr 1b 5 0 3 1 Trmn c 4 0 0 0

Pwll c 5 0 1 0 Pske dh 4 0 0 0

Plmr 2b 3 1 1 0 Mnz dh 0 0 0 0

Ware dh 5 0 1 2 Hrdz 2b 5 0 0 0

Ygbd lf 4 0 1 0 Zrte 1b 4 0 0 0

—- — — — — Rose rf 3 0 0 0

—- — — — — Rgsi rf 2 0 0 0

Totals 41 3 11 3 Totals 40 1 9 1

Bucs 000 100 000 02 —3

Oilers 000 000 010 00 —1

2B — Butler, Krueger, Powell, Ware, Sandliin, Rubanowitz, Jones. SB — Youngblood, Jones, Thurman. CS — Crowley, Youngblood. E — Reiten, Hernandez, Rubanowitz. LOB — Bucs 9, Oilers 12. DP — Bucs 1, Oilers 2.

 

IP H R ER BB SO

Bucs

Marks 7 1-3 7 1 1 1 10

Godzak 1 2-3 1 0 0 0 3

Stewart, W 2 1 0 0 2 2

Oilers

DeVrieze 7 6 1 1 1 6

Rieser 2 3 0 0 0 0

Sheridan 1 0 0 0 0 0

Richey, L 1 2 2 2 1 2

 

PB — Powell. HBP — by DeVrieze (Palmer, Youngblood), by Marks (Jones, Sanford), by Godzak (Thurman). BK — DeVrieze. T — 2:55.

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