Caleb Hicks powered the Peninsula Oilers to a 10-5 victory over the Anchorage Bucs in Alaska Baseball League play Monday at Mulcahy Stadium.
While the rest of the baseball world had its eyes on MLB’s Home Run Derby in Miami, Hicks ripped two home runs over the fence to boost his season total to three and finished with five RBIs for the night in a tremendous display of muscle.
Hicks cranked a two-run homer over the outfield fence in the second inning to give the Oilers a 2-1 lead, then pulled off the same feat in the top of the fourth, putting Peninsula up 4-1.
“I knew I hit them both well, I just got a good barrel on it,” Hicks said in a radio interview on 1140 AM. “I’m just looking for a good pitch to drive, and I was able to get a good barrel on it.”
Hicks added an RBI single in the top of the ninth to add to his total, finishing 3 for 5.
Overall, the Oilers blasted the Bucs — which entered the day as co-leaders of the Alaska Baseball League with the Mat-Su Miners — with 14 base hits. In addition to Hicks, Thomas Ruddy went 4 for 5 — all singles — Jeremy Conant was 3 for 4 with a walk, Josh Congdon had a two-run triple and Matt Acosta notched a double.
On the mound, Aaron Shoup got the start for the Oilers, striking out four in four innings and giving up three earned runs on six hits and four walks.
Billy Clemens was credited with the win, tossing 1 1-3 frames with a run given up on two hits and a walk, striking out two. Michael LaBeau pitched a scoreless final 3 2-3 innings, giving up just three hits on 64 pitches.
The Oilers improved to 10-16 this summer, 6 1/2 games behind the Miners, while the Bucs dropped to second in the ABL standings at 16-10, a half game behind the leading Miners.
After watching the Bucs take a 1-0 lead in the first inning, the Oilers answered right away in the top of the second with the first homer by Hicks. Conant led off the inning with a walk.
Anchorage’s Pete Derkay scored a run on a sacrifice fly to right field in the bottom of the sixth, closing the gap to 6-5, but Congdon’s two-run triple added some insurance to the lead in the eighth inning, which was bumped to 8-5.
The Oilers continue their season tonight with a 7 p.m. clash with the Anchorage Glacier Pilots at Mulcahy.