Mistakes and missed opportunities left the Peninsula Oilers with their first loss of the season Tuesday evening at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, losing a 5-2 game against the San Francisco Seals in the third game of the season-opening, four-game series.
The Oilers have a chance to win the series straight out with a 7 p.m. game tonight, before resting up for another four-game series with the Lake Erie (Michigan) Monarchs.
After outscoring the Seals a combined 15-3 in the first two games, Peninsula simply could not find a way to get players around the bases in the early innings, but were able to stay in the game with solid pitching from Andrew Wright.
“I was just trying to get used to the new climate here, and I felt OK, it’s the first outing here in Alaska,” Wright said. Wright is a freshman from the University of Southern California, and said the biggest change for him Tuesday night was keeping his throwing arm warm in the nippy Kenai breeze.
“I got behind in counts and had to come back, get my pitch count up,” Wright said. “I was just missing a little bit.”
Although he received the loss on the mound, Wright gave up one hit and one run in five innings of play and struck out five.
“We just weren’t able to hit enough balls hard,” said Oilers coach Kyle Richardson. “Their pitcher did a good job of keeping us off balance and staying away from our barrels.”
The Oilers dropped to 2-1 overall with the loss, while the Seals improved their season to 5-6.
“The win tonight was huge,” said Seals coach Jake Ganz. “It gets this road trip going, we don’t dig ourselves too big a hole right now. It’s a good feeling for the guys to get out of here playing good.”
San Francisco was able to get good pitching out of Mikey Ramirez, who received the win with seven hits, two runs, six strikeouts and only two walks in 7 1-3 innings.
“He did a stellar job,” Ganz said. “He prepared himself, he had five days off and took care of what he had to do before, and came out here and did his job.”
Eli Alcantar finished up and recorded the save with only one hit and zeros across the rest of the board.
After a sluggish start to the game that saw no scoring, San Francisco scored first in the top of the fourth when Wright’s pitch to catcher Gabriel Munoz shot behind home plate and allowed Nick Egli to score from third base.
By the fifth inning, it was clear that Wright was beginning to struggle, as Tucker Starkey was hit by a pitch and later advanced all the way to third after Wright badly overthrew first baseman Ethan McGill.
In the top of the sixth, Joe Armstrong nailed a single that brought home Egli for a second time and putting the Seals up two runs.
The Oilers did not score until the bottom of the seventh, when Ramirez was charged with a balk that brought Josh Rose home from third base.
“I still thought our inability to do anything at the plate helped them settle in and get them comfortable,” Richardson said. “That’s what happened the last couple days, we put some pressure on them. Today, they got comfortable.”
San Francisco really did some damage in the eighth inning with three runs. Joey Marquez scored on a Joe Armstrong single, followed by a single from Dustin Dhanani that scored Ian Horne and Egli.
AJ Hernandez hit a single in the bottom of the eighth that scored Carter Yagi, but that was all the Oilers managed.
After Wright was pulled off the mound, Nolan Sheridan put in two innings with only one hit and no earned runs. Cody Richey got an inning on the mound but gave up three hits and three runs (although only one earned), and Jeff Paschke attempted to hold serve with a ninth-inning effort that saw him strike out two out of four batters.
Seals 5, Oilers 2
Seals AB R H BI Oilers AB R H BI
Mrchn cf 5 0 0 0 Yagi ss 2 1 0 0
Mrqez 2b 4 1 1 0 Hrdz 2b 4 0 1 1
Horne dh 4 1 1 0 Sndln cf 4 0 1 0
Egli 1b 3 3 2 0 Pcke 3b 4 0 1 0
Cmbll 3b 3 0 1 0 Rose rf 4 1 2 0
Armsg ss 2 0 0 2 Mgll 1b 4 0 1 0
Dnani c 3 0 0 0 Mnoz c 4 0 1 0
Stvll lf 4 0 0 0 Nsslt dh 3 0 0 0
Stkey rf 2 0 0 0 Dvze 1b 0 0 0 0
—- — — — — Mson lf 3 0 1 0
Totals 30 5 5 2 Totals 32 2 8 1
San Fransisco 000 101 030 —5
Peninsula 000 000 110 —2
SF — Armstrong. SH — Campbell. SB — Yagi. LOB — Seals 7, Oilers 5.
IP H R ER BB SO
Ramirez, W 7.1 7 2 2 2 6
Alcantar, S 1.2 1 0 0 0 0
Wright, L 5 1 1 1 4 5
Sheridan 2 1 1 0 0 2
Richey 1 3 3 1 0 0
Paschke 1 0 0 0 1 2
HB — Wright. T — 2:45.