Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion Peninsula Oilers' right-fielder Brian Ruhm slides into second base on a steal Saturday afternoon against the Anchorage Bucs at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai.

Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion Peninsula Oilers' right-fielder Brian Ruhm slides into second base on a steal Saturday afternoon against the Anchorage Bucs at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai.

Oilers down Bucs in doubleheader

Saturday’s doubleheader against the Anchorage Bucs provided the Peninsula Oilers an opportunity to gain ground in the Alaska Baseball League standings, and the Oilers delivered with a maximum points day.

The Oilers swept the Bucs with scores of 4-2 and 5-2, putting them within two games of the league-leading Mat-Su Miners (21-13), which suffered a 2-1 loss Saturday to the Anchorage Glacier Pilots. The Oilers (18-14) began the day 3 1-2 games behind the Miners in the chase for the ABL regular season crown.

“In a six-game series I’m really happy,” said Oilers coach Brian Daly. “The worst we can do now is split.”

The Oilers improved to 23-20 overall with the win and 4-2 over the Bucs in the last six days.

Due to Friday night’s rainout, the Oilers will play a doubleheader today against the Bucs at Coral Seymour, starting at noon.

In the nightcap, Billy Oxford pitched a complete seven-inning game for the Oilers, giving up two runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out five. Oxford (3-1) reached 117 pitches in the outing. Daly said Oxford’s performance, combined with the 4 2-3-inning appearance in the first game by Zack Hamilton, gave the team two quality starts.

“That was huge,” Daly said. “Definitely helps our bullpen for both games tomorrow. Both teams are probably a bit strained on pitching but I feel we have the edge because Oxford was able to go a full game.

“I asked him after the sixth (inning) when he was at 101 pitches, and he was able to get three up and three down.”

While Oxford was dealing on the mound, the Peninsula offense was dealing at the dish. The Oilers got off to a hot start with a five-run spurt in the first inning and held on from there.

Anchorage did not have trouble reaching base in both games, but bringing home runners was another deal. The Bucs stranded 18 combined base runners between both games, 14 in the first and four in the second.

The Bucs took an early 1-0 lead on a bloop single to center field by Bryant Harris, but the Oilers answered with a fiery rally.

Darius Hill opened with a leadoff single and scored on a double off the left field wall by Seth DeWitt to tie the game. Brody Wofford then sent a two-RBI single down the third base line to put Peninsula up 3-1, and Jared Huber brought two more runs in on a triple into right field, barely beating out the throw to third base to give the Oilers a 5-1 lead. Bucs starter Justin Mulvaney ended up throwing 37 pitches in the frame.

“That was huge, because (Mulvaney) four-hit us last time,” Daly said. “Our approach at the plate tonight was huge.”

The Oilers let in a Bucs run in the top of the fifth with two outs when Darius Hill came charging in from center field to catch a routine fly ball by L.J. Hatch, but fumbled the catch, which could have easily been caught by shortstop Trey Dawson. The mistake allowed a run, but further damage was avoided when Hill caught a pop fly from McCarthy Tatum to end the frame.

The Oilers won the opener behind a three-RBI double from Trey Dawson, who ended up 2 for 3 with four RBI.

“(Bucs starter Michael Flynn) got me to two strikes pretty early, and I was just protecting both sides of the plate,” Dawson said. “It ended up scoring all three, and it was very fortunate after seeing the final score.”

A single down the right field line by Brian Ruhm loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the third, and Dawson took advantage by lining a double past third base to bring home Alex Seifert, Hill and Ruhm for a 3-0 lead.

A two-RBI single by Aaron Arruda closed the gap up for the Bucs in the top of the fifth, but Dawson provided the answer once again in the bottom of the frame with a single past the shortstop to tack on an insurance run.

Zack Hamilton gave up two runs on six hits on the mound, earning the win. Hamilton (1-3) struck out four while walking five.

The right-handed junior out of Louisiana Tech University worked his way out of a jam in the top of the sixth. Anchorage’s L.J. Hatch led off the inning with a double, then was joined on the bases when Hamilton issued walks to Steven Sensley and Bryant Harris. However, Hamilton got Cole Maltese to pop up to finish the inning.

Wofford provided one of the most memorable highlights of the evening in the top of the second on a long throw-out from left field to home plate to tag out Maltese, making the diving catch to set up the sequence.

Ryan Lillie relieved Hamilton and gave up two hits in scoreless relief, but had to depart in short order to catch a flight home, ending his season. Lillie, who ended the summer with seven saves for the Oilers, was greeted by nearly every teammate with hugs and handshakes.

After Lillie’s departure, Austin Piscotty came on for 1 1-3 innings but walked three Bucs batters in the top of the seventh, prompting Daly to pull him in favor of Tyler Shumpert. Shumpert recorded the save on one pitch, a ground-out by L.J. Hatch.

Saturday

Coral Seymour Memorial Park

Game 1

Oilers 4, Bucs 2

Bucs AB R H BI Oilers AB R H BI

Htch, ss 5 0 2 0 Hll, cf 3 1 1 0

Ttm, 3b 3 0 1 0 Rhm, rf 3 2 3 0

Snly, dh 3 0 1 0 Wshm, c 2 0 0 0

Rnld, 1b 4 0 0 0 Dwsn, ss 3 0 2 4

Hrrs, cf 3 1 1 0 Wfrd, lf 2 0 0 0

Mlts, lf 4 1 2 0 Cprn, 2b 3 0 0 0

Ard, rf 2 0 1 2 Szpk, dh 2 0 0 0

Ksls, 2b 2 0 0 0 Wang, 1b 3 0 0 0

Gntt, c 2 0 1 0 Sfrt, 3b 2 1 0 0

Totals 28 2 9 2 Totals 23 4 6 4

Bucs 000 020 0 —2

Oilers 003 010 0 —4

HP — Seifert (7). SH — Tatum (0). SB — Ruhm 2 (11), Dawson 4 (5), Szpik (4). CS — Ruhm 2 (4).

LOB — Bucs 14, Oilers 5.

IP H R ER BB SO

Bucs

Flynn, L 4.2 6 4 4 2 5

Bies 1.1 0 0 0 1 2

Oilers

Hamilton, W 4.2 6 2 2 5 4

Lillie 0.2 2 0 0 0 0

Piscotty 1.1 1 0 0 3 0

Shumpert 0.1 0 0 0 0 0

T — 2:18.

Game 2

Oilers 5, Bucs 2

Bucs AB R H BI Oilers AB R H BI

Htch, ss 3 1 2 1 Hill, cf 3 1 1 0

Ttm, 3b 3 0 0 0 Dwsn, ss 2 0 0 0

Snsy, cf 3 0 1 0 Wshm, 1b 3 1 1 0

Hrrs, lf 3 0 1 1 Dwtt, dh 2 1 1 1

Mlts, dh 3 0 0 0 Ruhm, rf 3 0 0 0

Jnsn, rf 3 0 1 0 Wfrd, lf 3 1 2 2

Hrd, 1b 3 0 0 0 Bggs, 2b 2 1 1 0

Rbns, c 2 1 1 0 Hbr, c 3 0 1 2

Hmz, 2b 2 0 1 0 Sfrt, 3b 3 0 0 0

Totals 25 2 7 2 Totals 24 5 7 5

Bucs 100 010 0 —2

Oilers 500 000 0 —5

SH — Dawson (0). CS — Harris (4), Wofford 2 (1). E — Tatum (4).

LOB — Bucs 4, Oilers 4.

IP H R ER BB SO

Bucs

Mulvaney, L 5.0 6 5 0 2 3

Robinson 1.0 1 0 0 0 1

Oilers

Oxford, W 7.0 7 2 2 2 5

T — 1:37.

Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion Peninsula Oilers' right-handed starter Zack Hamilton delivers a pitch to the Anchorage Bucs Saturday afternoon at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai.

Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion Peninsula Oilers’ right-handed starter Zack Hamilton delivers a pitch to the Anchorage Bucs Saturday afternoon at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai.

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