The Peninsula Oilers kept rolling on the road Thursday night at Mulcahy Stadium with a 2-1 victory over the Anchorage Glacier Pilots.
Paul Kunst ripped an RBI single to left field to bring in the go-ahead run in the top the ninth, and closer Bret Ricklefs picked up his third save of the summer with a mostly trouble-free frame.
The Oilers stayed perfect on the road with a third straight win and lead the Alaska Baseball League with a 7-2 overall record, three games ahead of the field. The Glacier Pilots dropped to 4-5.
Kunst’s go-ahead single was preceded by a leadoff walk by Calvin Farris, who moved to second on a ground-out by Ryan Novis and was able to score when Kunst’s hit was misplayed by Pilots leftfielder Breydon Daniel.
“It’s nice to get those knocks,” Kunst said in a radio interview on 1140 AM. “I got that 2-0 pitch, got that fastball up (in the zone), and scraped it. It felt good.”
Bryan Woo pitched four scoreless innings of two-hit ball in his ABL debut, giving up four walks while whiffing four. Anchorage reliever Tucker Plouffe took the loss with one hit and two walks issued to Oilers batters in two innings of work.
Ryan Silva, Brian Leonhardt and Ricklefs combined to pitch five frames of one-hit ball, with Silva giving up the Pilots’ lone run of the day in the sixth. Silva pitched three innings with no hits, four walks and two strikeouts, while Leonhardt entered for the eighth and had one walk and one strikeout.
Kunst finished 2 for 4 on the day while teammate and local product Jake Darrow hit 2 for 3. The Oilers stranded 11 men on base, just two days after leaving 13 on against the Mat-Su Miners in a win.
Kunst said he isn’t worried about his team, though.
“We’ve got nine innings, and we’ll eventually come through,” he said. “We’ve been swinging well lately, and we know our pitchers will come through.”
The Oilers and Pilots will meet again tonight at 7 p.m. to end the two-game series before the Oilers face the Chugiak-Eagle River Chinooks for a three-game set on Saturday and a Sunday doubleheader.
The Oilers struck first in the top of the fourth with a two-out RBI double by Matthew Kirk.
Silva got into trouble in the bottom of the sixth when he walked the bases loaded with no outs, and the Pilots capitalized with a sacrifice fly by Alex Stiegler to right field that tied the game.
Mikey Gangwish bunted out and Zech Jarrard flied out to Duke in centerfield to end the inning, leaving both teams knotted up.
The Oilers mirrored the Pilots in the top of the seventh by loading the bases, all on walks, with two outs, but Grant Wood grounded out to keep it tied before the late drama.