Oilers hitter Dalton Bowling holds up on a high pitch against the Mat-Su Miners on Sunday, July 3, 2022, at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Oilers hitter Dalton Bowling holds up on a high pitch against the Mat-Su Miners on Sunday, July 3, 2022, at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Oilers drop Saturday, Sunday, Monday contests to Miners

The Peninsula Oilers continue to be in games, but can’t find a way to win them.

The Oilers lost 4-3 in 11 innings on Saturday, 3-1 on Sunday and 4-3 on Monday to the Mat-Su Miners in Alaska Baseball League play at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai.

“We’ve had inconsistencies throughout the season in one-run games where we just can’t execute,” Oilers head coach Larry McCann said.

The Miners took four games in the five-game series to improve to 18-7, while the Oilers drop to 6-15.

The Oilers start a pivotal five-game home series against the Chinooks on Thursday at Seymour Park at 6 p.m.

McCann said his team has pitched well all season, but has had trouble converting base runners into runs.

In Saturday’s loss, the Oilers left 16 runners on base to lose despite outhitting the Miners 9-5. Oilers pitchers Nick Welch, Jaxton Andeel, Drake Frize and Will O’Neil allowed just two unearned runs in the game.

The deciding run came in the 11th inning, when O’Neil balked with the bases loaded.

In Sunday’s loss, the margins were again small. The Miners took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Josh Paino singled with one out and scored on a two-out double by Alex Vergara.

Peninsula came back to tie the game in the third when Chase Katafias and Jerry Nix started the inning with singles. Trey Becker then popped out attempting to sacrifice bunt. The Oilers would twice fail in the game to get down sacrifice bunt after putting on two runners to start an inning.

In this instance, Casey Burnham came through with a infield single to score Katafias from second and give the Oilers their lone run of the game.

The Miners took the lead for good in the fourth inning with an unearned run on Oilers starter and loser Carson Seeman. Nick Cirelli scored when Oilers third baseman Graiden West made an error on a ground ball by Nathan Rose.

Seeman went six innings and gave up two runs — one earned — on six hits while walking one.

After failing to get a sac bunt down with runners on first and second with no outs in the fourth, the Oilers struck out three times after the first two runners reached base in the eighth inning.

The Miners had gone up 3-1 in the eighth when Vergara got an infield single with one out, then Cirelli put runners on first and second by singling through a hole in the infield created by a hit and run. After Steven Lancia walked to load the bases, Carter Young hit a sacrifice fly.

Michael Yates got the win for the Miners, going seven innings and giving up a run on five hits. Kole Tauzin picked up the save by working a perfect ninth.

McCann said the mounting losses are frustrating, but the good news is the Oilers are still in line for a playoff berth and have time to correct mistakes.

“It’s tough when you get some big, strong kids that normally play with an aluminum bat and have some juice and they’re able to hit the ball out of the park,” McCann said. “With the wood bats and the way the ball flies here, it’s just not going to happen.

“We have to execute the sacrifice, we have to execute hit and runs, we have to execute the delayed steal. Whatever we’re trying to do, we have to execute. If we don’t execute and put pressure on the other team, it’s very hard for us to score runs.”

Monday, the Miners took a 3-0 lead in the top of the third, but the Oilers cut it to 3-2 in the bottom of the third. Mat-Su went up 4-2 in the fifth. The Oilers got one more in the eighth.

Peninsula outhit the Miners 12-9 in the game. Shunsuke Sakaino, Noah Hennings, Cole Jordan and Nix each had two hits for the Oilers.

Peninsula Oilers starter Carson Seeman delivers to the Mat-Su Miners on Sunday, July 3, 2022, at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Peninsula Oilers starter Carson Seeman delivers to the Mat-Su Miners on Sunday, July 3, 2022, at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

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