Peninsula Oilers starter Justin Montgomery flips a ball to first after fielding a grounder during the first game of the best-of-3 Alaska Baseball League Top of the World Series Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016, at Hermon Brothers Field in Palmer.

Peninsula Oilers starter Justin Montgomery flips a ball to first after fielding a grounder during the first game of the best-of-3 Alaska Baseball League Top of the World Series Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016, at Hermon Brothers Field in Palmer.

Miners nip Oilers in Top of the World Series opener

  • By Jeremiah Bartz
  • Saturday, August 6, 2016 11:27pm
  • Sports

PALMER — Jake Scudder led the Alaska Baseball League with 28 runs driven in during the regular season.

But none were bigger than his RBI Saturday night.

Scudder dropped a single into center field to drive in Levi Jordan, the go-ahead run, to help the Mat-Su Miners score a 3-1 win over the Peninsula Oilers at Hermon Brothers Field in Palmer.

The Scudder RBI also helped the Miners take a one-game lead in the best-of-three ABL Top of the World Series. Mat-Su can clinch the ABL title with a win Sunday at 1 p.m. at Hermon Brothers. If the Oilers snag a win in Game 2 to even the series, a third contest would be played 40 minutes following the conclusion of Game 2.

“I was trying to stay short, stay up the middle,” Scudder said of his single in the bottom of the eighth. “I knew I wasn’t going to get much to hit with two outs and a base open.”

The Scudder single led to the exit for Peninsula starter Justin Montgomery, who pitched 7 2-3 innings in the loss. Montgomery had been like kryptonite to the Miners, logging a 3-1 mark against Mat-Su during the regular season. In the three victories, he allowed only five hits and one earned run to Mat-Su hitters.

“He’s really good,” Mat-Su head coach Ben Taylor said of Montgomery. “He made us work. That kid’s fantastic. He made some big pitches against us tonight.”

But the Miners had more success against the big right-hander Saturday. The Miners finished with six hits, three runs (one earned) and drew three walks.

“He likes to get batters to get themselves out,” Scudder said of Montgomery. “We shortened our swings a little bit, wanted to put the ball in play. It worked out for us.”

Meanwhile, the Mat-Su staff also enjoyed solid work on the mound. Starter Stephen Kolek went 5 1/3, allowing only four hits and one earned run. Mick Vorhof pitched 2 2-3 scoreless innings of relief, allowing just a hit, while fanning two.

Jordan Floyd worked the ninth to earn the save.

Vorhof earned the win, combining with the Mat-Su infield to put together a handful of game-saving plays on defense.

The Grand Canyon University product and all-conference relief pitcher entered the game with bases loaded and one out in the top of the sixth. Vorhof almost immediately forced the inning-ending double play.

“The ball game was hanging there,” Taylor said. “(Vorhof) made a really good pitch. It was tough double play to turn. Their guy put a pretty good swing on it. (The Oilers) compete so hard. We knew every single pitch, every single play is going to be important.”

Vorhof also forced a key double play in the eighth, and catcher Andy Cosgrove threw out a runner at second base to end the top of the seventh.

“Our defense really knuckled down there,” Taylor said.

Scudder also scored in the eighth on a Josh Bissonette single to add to the Miners lead.

Scudder finished 3 for 4 with two runs in the win.

“Scudder had a good night tonight. He stepped up like a (college) senior should. He did a really good job for us,” Taylor said.

Alex Seifert led the Oilers with a pair of hits in the loss.

 

Saturday

Miners 3, Oilers 1

Oilers AB R H BI Miners AB R H BI

Hill cf 3 0 0 0 Hghy dh 4 0 1 0

Dwsn ss 3 0 0 1 Jrdn 2b 3 1 0 0

Wsm 1b 4 0 1 0 Swtz lf 3 0 0 0

DWt dh 2 0 1 0 Ddio lf 3 0 0 0

Wfrd lf 3 0 0 0 Mgry rf 0 0 0 0

Cprn 2b 3 0 0 0 Sdr 1b 4 2 3 1

Spk rf 3 0 0 0 Bste ss 3 0 1 1

Hbr c 3 1 1 0 Amta 3b 2 0 1 0

Bgs ph 1 0 0 0 Cgve c 3 0 0 1

Sfrt 3b 3 0 2 0 Stlr cf 3 0 1 0

Totals 28 1 5 1 Totals 28 3 7 3

Peninsula 000 010 000 —1

Mat-Su 010 000 02X —3

SF — Dawson. SH — Hill, Jordan, Schwartz, Bissonette. CS — Hill. E — Seifert, Armenta. LOB — Oilers 7, Miners 7. DP — Oilers 1, Miners 2.

 

IP H R ER BB SO

Oilers

Montgomery, L 7 2-3 6 3 1 3 4

Bash 1-3 1 0 0 0 0

 

Miners

Kolek 5 1-3 4 1 1 5 1

Vorhof, W 2 2-3 1 0 0 0 2

Floyd, S 1 0 0 0 0 0

Peninsula Oilers shortstop Trey Dawson makes the throw to first  during the first game of the best-of-3 Alaska Baseball League Top of the World Series Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016, at Hermon Brothers Field in Palmer.

Peninsula Oilers shortstop Trey Dawson makes the throw to first during the first game of the best-of-3 Alaska Baseball League Top of the World Series Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016, at Hermon Brothers Field in Palmer.

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