Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion  charges the bases after getting a hit  during a game against the Anchorage Bucaneers on Thursday, July 23.

Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion charges the bases after getting a hit during a game against the Anchorage Bucaneers on Thursday, July 23.

Oilers, Bucs split doubleheader

Thursday night’s doubleheader split against the Anchorage Bucs felt like a victory to the Peninsula Oilers, and not because they ended it with a win. It was because they discovered how to score again.

After 28 straight innings of scoreless play, the Oilers finally got a run in Thursday’s second seven-inning Alaska Baseball League contest to win 1-0, following a 7-0 loss to the Bucs earlier in the evening at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai.

Mark Sanchez snapped the Oilers scoreless drought in the bottom of the fifth inning with a leadoff double that was rewarded with a bunt by Jimmy Galusky. Bucs pitcher Taylor Jones picked up Galusky’s hit but missed on the throw to third, allowing Sanchez to score against his old team from a year ago.

“It felt really good, being my first game here in Kenai,” Sanchez said. “I was looking for it, gave it a good swing, and thank God they made that throw to third.”

The Oilers picked up Sanchez barely two weeks ago, and as a Bucs catcher in 2014, Sanchez averaged .293 at the plate, including four doubles. Thursday, the California Baptist sophomore got his first start as catcher for the Oilers, and he came away feeling right at home.

“I’m an Oiler now, there’s no doubt about it,” Sanchez said. “That was then, this is now.”

The fifth-inning mistake was all the Oilers needed. The last run the Oilers had scored prior to that was the fifth inning in Monday’s 4-3 win over the Bucs.

It’s not that the Oilers pitching has struggled — the Peninsula staff combined to give up only two hits and two walks in Thursday’s shutout — it’s that the bats had fallen off.

After 12 hits on Monday, the Oilers offense came up with 11 hits in 21 innings across three games.

“We haven’t done much scoring lately, so it was good to get one run in,” said Oilers coach Kevin Griffin. “I know we can still hit, it just takes a couple guys to start hitting back to back to get us going.”

Cameron Stanton started by retiring the first 10 batters he saw, three scoreless innings, before Grant Palmer got on base with a single.

Paul Lujan recorded the save — his seventh of the summer — in the seventh inning, giving up a single to Zane Gurwitz but striking out two. Prior to that, Sean Michel pitched a hitless inning in relief.

“Sean’s been our setup guy all year,” Griffin said. “Paul’s our closer, so we just stuck with it. These guys have been lights out all year.”

Jordan Washam and J.D. Arrowood both hit 2 for 3 to lead the Oilers at the plate.

In the first game of the day, the Bucs turned a 1-0 ballgame into a rout in short order, scoring six runs in the fifth inning to cruise to the win. Anchorage brought 10 batters to the plate during the inning.

Dylan Butler opened the frame with a leadoff single, was followed by Nick Warren advancing on a hit pitch and Brodie Leftridge slipping in a bunt single to load the bases with no outs. That set up Andrew Montoya for a two-run single that just slipped by shortstop Ted Boeke. Sam Brown then advanced to second on a throwing error to first base, which scored Leftridge for a 4-0 lead. Brenn Conrad added two more runs with a booming two-run double to left field, and Gurwitz capped the inning with an RBI single that left the Bucs leading 7-0.

To further exacerbate the Oiler’s fortunes, two runners got on base to start the bottom of the frame, but three consecutive outs — including straight strikeouts — ended the inning.

Taylor Jones hit 2 for 3 with an RBI to lead the Bucs.

The Bucs got going early with a run by Sam Brown in the first frame, who was brought home on a single by Taylor Jones. Jones ended up at second due to fielder’s choice.

After three straight singles by James Fowlkes, Brian Ruhm and Brent Diaz at the bottom of the inning, Arrowood grounded into a double play to end the inning.

The Bucs and Oilers meet again at 6 p.m. at Coral Seymour Park.

 

Thursday

1st game

Bucs 7, Oilers 0

Bucs AB R H BI Oilers AB R H BI

Mnty ss 4 1 1 2 Olvr lf 3 0 1 0

Brwn lf 4 2 1 0 Fwks cf 3 0 1 0

Trcl 2b 4 0 0 0 Ruhm rf 3 0 1 0

Cnrd dh 2 1 1 2 Rvra rf 0 0 0 0

Plzk dh 1 0 0 0 Diaz c 3 0 0 0

Jnes 1b 3 0 2 1 Arwd 1b 3 0 0 0

Stfn 1b 0 0 0 0 Bke ss 3 0 1 0

Grwt 3b 4 0 0 1 Wsm dh 3 0 1 0

Btlr rf 3 1 1 0 Glky 2b 3 0 1 0

Wrrn c 2 1 1 0 Sfrt 3b 2 0 0 0

Lftr cf 3 1 1 0 —

Totals 30 7 8 6 Totals 26 0 6 0

Bucs 100 060 0 —7

Oilers 000 000 0 —0

HP — Warren (2). SB — Brown (5). E — Oliver (7), Diaz (3), D. Diaz (1). LOB — Oilers 6, Bucs 5.

 

IP H R ER BB SO

Bucs

McDonald, W 6.0 5 0 0 1 7

Zimarik 1.0 1 0 0 0 1

Oilers

Diaz, L 4.0 5 6 4 1 3

Kron 2.0 3 1 0 0 1

Holden 1.0 0 0 0 1 1

 

2nd game

Oilers 1, Bucs 0

Bucs AB R H BI Oilers AB R H BI

Mnty ss 2 0 0 0 Olvr rf 3 0 0 0

Plmr lf 3 0 1 0 Wsm dh 3 0 2 0

Trcl 1b 3 0 0 0 Arwd 1b 3 0 2 0

Cnrd dh 3 0 0 0 Fwks cf 3 0 0 0

Grwt cf 3 0 1 0 Bke ss 2 0 0 0

Jcbs rf 3 0 0 0 Sfrt 3b 3 0 1 0

Ttm 3b 2 0 0 0 Sncz c 2 1 1 0

Stfn 2b 2 0 0 0 Glky 2b 2 0 0 0

Bnls c 1 0 0 0 Rvra lf 1 0 0 0

Plzk pr 0 0 0 0 —

Btlr c 0 0 0 0 —

Totals 22 0 2 0 Totals 22 1 6 0

Bucs 000 000 0 —0

Oilers 000 010 0 —1

HP — Boeke (10). SH — Montoya (0), Rivera (0). CS — Washam (7). LOB — Oilers 5, Bucs 4.

 

IP H R ER BB SO

Bucs

Jones, L 6.0 6 1 0 0 4

Oilers

Stanton, W 5.0 1 0 0 2 1

Michel 1.0 0 0 0 0 0

Lujan, S 1.0 1 0 0 0 2

T — 1:12.

Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion  zips along the basline to first  during a game against the Kenai Peninsula Oilers on Thursday, July 23.

Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion zips along the basline to first during a game against the Kenai Peninsula Oilers on Thursday, July 23.

hustles into first base  during a game against the Anchorage Bucaneers on Thursday, July 23. Alas, first baseman  has caught the ball, and  is out.

hustles into first base during a game against the Anchorage Bucaneers on Thursday, July 23. Alas, first baseman has caught the ball, and is out.

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