Miners sweep Oilers in doubleheader

The Mat-Su Miners swept the Peninsula Oilers in an Alaska Baseball League doubleheader at Hermon Brothers Field in Palmer on Friday, winning the first game 4-2 and the second game 4-3.

The sweep came on a day the ABL announced a major revision to its playoff format. Instead of best-of-three series deciding the Top of the World Series, the semifinals and the finals will be decided by one game.

The top-seeded Anchorage Glacier Pilots host the No. 4 Peninsula Oilers in one semifinal Sunday at 2 p.m., while the No. 2 Miners host the No. 3 Anchorage Bucs in the other semifinal Sunday at 2 p.m. The winners play in Monday’s championship at the home of the higher seed, with the time still to be announced.

The Pilots won the regular season with a record of 26-9, while the Miners finish at 27-12, the Bucs are 18-18, the Oilers are 15-23 and the Chinooks are 6-30.

The Oilers conclude their regular season with a 6 p.m. game Saturday against the Chugiak-Eagle River Chinooks.

In the second game, the Miners came back from an early deficit to finish the season series 9-1 against the Oilers.

In the first inning, the Oilers took the lead on a ground-out by Noah Hennings, but the Miners tied things up in the bottom of the second.

The Oilers went up 3-1 in the fourth when Graiden West and James Shimashita walked with the bases loaded.

In the fourth inning, Casey Sunseri hit a controversial home run to cut the gap to 3-2. The controversy was whether the home run was fair or foul. In the fifth, Sunseri gave the Miners a 4-3 lead on a two-run triple.

Nick Cirelli, normally a position player, got the win for the Miners by throwing 2 1-3 scoreless innings. Max Miller took the loss for the Oilers, while Michael Yates got the save for the Miners. Yates was getting in some work before his scheduled start Sunday against the Bucs.

Shunsuke Sakaino had a huge day for the Oilers, going 5 for 5 and also getting three walks. Trey Becker was 2 for 4 in the second game.

In the first game, the Oilers went into the top of the seventh down 4-1 but rallied, loading the bases with two outs against Miners reliever Nate Rolka. Rolka then walked Noah Hennings with the bases loaded to score Trey Becker and make it a 4-2 game.

The Miners summoned closer Kole Tauzin to face Dalton Bowling with the tying run on second. Bowling struck out to end the game.

Daniel Frake was the winning pitcher for the Miners, while Conner Kershaw took the loss for the Oilers.

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