Peninsula's Trey Dawson slides back into first safely during a 3-2 win over the Mat-Su Miners Thursday, Aug. 3, 2016, at Hermon Brothers Field in Palmer.

Peninsula's Trey Dawson slides back into first safely during a 3-2 win over the Mat-Su Miners Thursday, Aug. 3, 2016, at Hermon Brothers Field in Palmer.

Oilers are coming home for 1st round of playoffs

  • By Jeremiah Bartz
  • Thursday, August 4, 2016 12:14am
  • Sports

PALMER — Seth DeWitt took one for the team.

Literally.

The Peninsula Oilers designated hitter wore a pitch and later scored a run to spark his squad during a three-run seventh that helped the Oilers rally to post a 3-2 win over the Mat-Su Miners on Wednesday evening at Hermon Brothers Field in Palmer.

“The ball got in on him. It definitely helped to get that runner on base,” Peninsula head coach Brian Daly said after the victory. “(Mat-Su has) been trying to pitch in on him quite a few times this past month or so, since he had success right away against them early on.”

The Oilers used the three-run seventh and 6 2-3 strong innings from starter Junior Ramirez to improve to 24-20 in Alaska Baseball League play. The victory also ensures home-field advantage for the Oilers during the first round of the ABL postseason. The second-seeded Oilers host the third-seeded Anchorage Glacier Pilots in a best-of-three series that starts today at 6 p.m. at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai.

The second game is Friday at 2 p.m., while the if-necessary game is Friday at 6 p.m.

The Oilers finished 5-5 on a brutal road trip to end the regular season that saw them play 10 games in six days.

Playing .500 ball and holding off the Pilots was made possible by many great spot starts, including Ramirez, pitching in just his third game with the Oilers, scattering eight hits over 6 2/3.

“One of our relievers, who is somewhat new to us, stepped up huge,” Daly said of Ramirez. “He was one of our only guys in the bullpen who has experience as a starter.”

In his two prior appearances, Ramirez had pitched in just an inning each.

“The plan was to originally use him out of the pen, but his arm is in good enough shape to start,” Daly said. “We were hoping to get five (innings) out of him. The fact he went as deep as he did was huge for us.”

Peninsula’s busiest reliever this season, Andrew Bash, who leads the team with 15 appearances, pitched 1 1-3 innings of scoreless baseball. Justin Montgomery, typically a starter, pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his second save of the summer.

“Today was his scheduled bullpen day,” Daly said of Montgomery, who is scheduled to start against the Pilots Friday. “We were hoping to keep him under 20, 25 pitches max. The fact he only threw about 10 pitches worked out huge for us. Good little tuneup for him.”

Catcher Jared Huber used a sacrifice with two outs in the bottom of the seventh to squeeze Jeffrey Chapuran home, the game’s go-ahead run.

“That safety squeeze by Huber was big. He’s been swinging the bat better. Obviously he’s got a great arm, but he’s struggled this summer offensively. The situation was perfect with the winning run at third. I thought it’d be a good time to do it, and it worked out for us,” Daly said.

Brody Wofford also singled and scored in the inning.

The Miners also got a big spot start in the loss.

Jordan Frederick pitched six scoreless innings for the Miners, who hoped to conserve pitching during the regular-season finale before heading into the tournament as the ABL’s top seed.

“I thought Frederick did a great job. He ate up some innings, and allowed us to save our bullpen guys,” Taylor said.

Mat-Su led 2-0 going into the seventh. Levi Jordan and Jake Scudder scored runs for Mat-Su.

Peninsula needed the win Wednesday to avoid a potential tie with the Glacier Pilots in the standings. The Pilots beat Chugiak 4-2 earlier in the day to move within a half-game of the second-place Oilers.

Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman sports editor Jeremiah Bartz at sports@frontiersman.com.

Wednesday

Oilers 3, Miners 2

Oilers AB R H BI Miners AB R H BI

Hill cf 4 0 0 0 Jrdn 2b 5 1 3 0

Dwsn ss 3 0 1 0 Bste ss 2 0 2 1

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

DWt dh 3 1 0 0 Dndo dh 4 0 0 0

Wfrd lf 4 1 1 0 Scdr 1b 4 1 1 0

Cprn 2b 3 1 0 0 Arta 3b 4 0 1 0

Spk rf 3 0 1 1 Mtgy rf 4 0 1 1

Hbr c 2 0 0 1 Cgve c 3 0 0 0

Sfrt 3b 3 0 2 0 Bnm cf 3 0 0 0

—- — — — — Nkns cf 1 0 0 0

Totals 29 3 5 2 Totals 34 2 8 2

Peninsula 000 000 300 —3

Mat-Su 001 100 000 —2

2B — Montgomery. SH — Huber. SB — Jordan. CS — Szpik, Jordan, Armenta. E — Dawson. LOB — Oilers 3, Miners 8. DP — Miners 1.

IP H R ER BB SO

Oilers

Ramirez, W 6 2-3 8 2 2 2 6

Bash 1 1-3 0 0 0 0 0

Montgomery, S 1 0 0 0 0 2

Miners

Frederick 6 2 0 0 0 5

O’Brien, L 3 3 3 3 2 2

PB — Huber, Cosgrove. HB — Ramirez, O’Brien.

Peninsula first baseman Jonathon Washam tags Mat-Su's Angelo Armenta at first during a 3-2 win over the Miners Thursday, Aug. 3, 2016, at Hermon Brothers Field in Palmer. Armenta was ruled out on the play.

Peninsula first baseman Jonathon Washam tags Mat-Su’s Angelo Armenta at first during a 3-2 win over the Miners Thursday, Aug. 3, 2016, at Hermon Brothers Field in Palmer. Armenta was ruled out on the play.

Peninsula infielder Jeffery Chapuran catches the throw high and tries to bring his glove down for the tag, as Mat-Su's Levi Jordan slides into second safely during a 3-2 win over the Oilers Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2016, at Hermon Brothers Field in Palmer.

Peninsula infielder Jeffery Chapuran catches the throw high and tries to bring his glove down for the tag, as Mat-Su’s Levi Jordan slides into second safely during a 3-2 win over the Oilers Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2016, at Hermon Brothers Field in Palmer.

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