With all five teams in the Alaska Baseball League stuck in a logjam in the standings, the Peninsula Oilers are trending in the right direction at the right time.
The Oilers won their third straight game Monday evening with a 5-4 nonleague victory over the San Francisco Seals at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai.
The win does not affect Peninsula’s ABL record, which stands at 12-12 and just a game and a half behind the leading Mat-Su Miners (15-12), but the Oilers’ overall mark returned to .500 at 16-16.
Monday night, a five-run fourth inning propelled the Oilers to the win. After giving up an early run, Daniel Szpik drew a bases-loaded walk to tie the game up, and Jake Darrow scored on a passed ball for a 3-1 lead.
Oilers starter Hasten Freeman went two innings, walking one and striking out two. Ryan Lillie recorded the save in the ninth inning and struck out one of three batters he faced.
Austin Piscotty found trouble late after stepping in for some relief pitching, giving up three earned runs on three hits with just one strikeout. Piscotty eventually got out of a few bases-loaded jams.
Ryan Smith went 2 for 3 to lead the Oilers on offense.
The two teams will return to play again tonight at 7 p.m. at Coral Seymour, although Wednesday’s home game has been cancelled due to travel accommodations for San Francisco.
A nonleague contest July 25 against the Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks was also cancelled.
The Oilers will finish off the first “half” of the ABL season with a road game against the Chugiak Chinooks on Thursday before entering the All-Star weekend in Anchorage with nonleague contests against the Chinooks and Anchorage Glacier Pilots in advance of Sunday’s Homer Run Derby at 4 p.m. and All-Star game at 7 p.m. at Mulcahy Field.