Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion Oilers pitcher Joe Mata stands and delivers in a game against the Mat Su Miners on Saturday, August 1 at Oilers Feild in Kenai.

Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion Oilers pitcher Joe Mata stands and delivers in a game against the Mat Su Miners on Saturday, August 1 at Oilers Feild in Kenai.

Miners notch win over Oilers

Mat-Su Miners coach Ben Taylor was pleased with the way his team took care of business Saturday night against the Peninsula Oilers, but he brushed it off as commonplace.

“It’s just pretty much how we do it, get a lead and let the bullpen do the rest,” Taylor said. “It’s been fun to watch.”

Maybe for the Miners. For the rest of the Alaska Baseball League, which has had to suffer through the Miners’ 33-win season, it hasn’t been as fun.

The Oilers fell in a 5-2 loss Saturday evening to the league-leading Miners at Coral Seymour Memorial Park, and will wrap up their season against the Miners today at 2 p.m. in Kenai. The loss snaps an Oilers three-game win streak.

The Miners, who were ranked second in a midseason coaches poll, took care of business on the mound with five pitchers combining for no walks and eight strikeouts, although that is to be expected for Mat-Su. In terms of strikeouts this summer, Mat-Su pitchers make up four of the top six in the ABL.

“It’s nice for my guys to be recognized and noticed for their hard work and effort,” Taylor said. “It was nice to score a couple working man’s runs early, that helped too.”

Brick Paskiewicz picked up the save on the mound with a scoreless, hitless inning and notched a strikeout, while Miners teammate J Harrington started with five innings of work, giving up a run on four hits and no walks and striking out three.

Joe Mata started for the Oilers, going five innings and giving up two earned runs on six hits, four walks and one strikeout. Shane Ennis threw a hitless seventh inning of relief with two strikeouts, while Sean Michel and Paul Lujan came in for the eighth and ninth innings to finish off a third straight game.

While all nine Mat-Su lineup starters got a hit, the Oilers offense was more condensed. Mark Sanchez, James Fowlkes and J.D. Arrowood each went 2 for 4, with Fowlkes smacking his first home run of the season in the seventh inning.

With the summer league coming to a close, Oilers coach Kevin Griffin said he felt good about what the organization accomplished over the course of two months.

“I wouldn’t say this season has been a success in our eyes, just because we didn’t win (the division),” Griffin said. “But I felt like some guys got better, and we helped some guys get noticed, so in that respect, it’s been a fun summer.

“We just didn’t have enough juice to finish it off.”

Connor Wanhanen opened the scoring with an RBI single in the top of the fourth inning, followed by a sacrifice fly by Tyler Wolfe that scored Wanhanen, who came home on a throwing error by Oilers catcher Mark Sanchez. Overall, the Oilers had two errors to account for in the frame.

“There was just one or two innings that we didn’t execute,” Griffin said.

Arrowood put the Oilers on the board at the bottom of the inning with an RBI single that brought Brent Diaz home to score, closing the Miners lead to 3-1.

Following a sac fly by Matt Diorio that scored a run in the top of the sixth, Tanner Nishioka and Nyles Nygaard hit consecutive singles to the center field gap that stymied the Oilers defense.

Fowlkes brought the home crowd to its feet with a home run past the left field wall in the top of the seventh.

“I saw a curveball on the previous pitch, and the next one was a fastball on the inside, and I just tried to get the barrel on it,” Fowlkes said. “Our coaches preach finish strong, and that’s what we want to do. That’s what we stress in life, just finish strong.”

Saturday

Miners 5, Oilers 2

Miners AB R H BI Oilers AB R H BI

Hall cf 6 1 1 0 Sfrt 2b 4 0 0 0

Wlfe ss 5 1 1 0 Ruhm rf 4 0 0 0

Slpb 2b 4 1 2 1 Schz c 4 0 2 0

Drio dh 1 0 1 1 Diaz dh 3 1 1 0

Nshk rf 5 0 1 0 Bke 3b 3 0 0 0

Ngrd 3b 5 0 1 1 Fwks cf 4 1 2 1

Zlnr 1b 3 1 1 0 Arwd 1b 4 0 2 1

Hnck c 4 0 1 0 Rvra lf 4 0 0 0

Wnhn lf 4 1 2 1 Glky ss 4 0 0 0

Totals 37 5 11 4 Totals 34 2 7 2

Miners 000 302 000 —5

Oilers 000 100 100 —2

HR — Fowlkes (1). SF — Diorio (3). SH — Hancock (0), Boeke (0). SB — Wanhanen (3). E — Wolfe (10), Nygaard (8), Seifert (5), Sanchez (1). LOB — Miners 14, Oilers 7.

IP H R ER BB SO

Miners

Harrington 5.0 4 1 1 0 3

Hill 1.0 0 0 0 0 2

Thompson 1.0 1 1 1 0 1

Martin 1.0 2 0 0 0 1

Paskiewicz 1.0 0 0 0 0 1

Oilers

Mata 5.0 6 3 2 4 1

VanStone 1.0 4 2 2 0 0

Ennis 1.0 0 0 0 0 2

Michel 1.0 0 0 0 1 0

Lujan 1.0 1 0 0 0 0

WP — Martin (4), Mata 2 (3). T — 2:07.

Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion Kenai Oilers outfielder James Fowlkes runs to first base during a game against the Mat Su Miners on Saturday August 1, 2015 at Kenai's Oilers Field.

Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion Kenai Oilers outfielder James Fowlkes runs to first base during a game against the Mat Su Miners on Saturday August 1, 2015 at Kenai’s Oilers Field.

Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion Oilers catcher Brent Diaz streaks toward first base in a game against the Mat Su Miners on Saturday, August 1 at the Kenai Oilers baseball field in Kenai.

Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion Oilers catcher Brent Diaz streaks toward first base in a game against the Mat Su Miners on Saturday, August 1 at the Kenai Oilers baseball field in Kenai.

Miners notch win over Oilers

Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion Oilers catcher Brent Diaz streaks toward first base in a game against the Mat Su Miners on Saturday, August 1 at the Kenai Oilers baseball field in Kenai.

Ben Boettger Mat Su Miners infeilder Jake Schleppenbach hits the ball during a game against the Kenai Oilers on Saturday, August 1 at Kenai's Oilers Field.

Ben Boettger Mat Su Miners infeilder Jake Schleppenbach hits the ball during a game against the Kenai Oilers on Saturday, August 1 at Kenai’s Oilers Field.

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