Another clash between the top two teams in the Alaska Baseball League fell the Mat-Su Miners’ way Wednesday evening in a 6-3 win over the Peninsula Oilers.
The loss for the Oilers (19-17) drops the local nine three games behind the Miners (22-14) in the race for the top spot in the ABL. The Anchorage Bucs (16-17) sit third, 4 1/2 games behind.
The Oilers and Miners have battled each other for the top spot all summer, but the Oilers fell to 4-6 in the season series between the two clubs.
The Oilers finish their eight-game road trip with games against the Anchorage Bucs today at 7 p.m. and the Miners Friday at 6 p.m.
The Oilers led 3-2 before the Miners made their final assault with three runs scored in the sixth inning.
Tyler Bosetti got the rally going with a two-out double to left field, and Caleb Van Blake reached on an error by third baseman Grant Wood.
Spencer Henson followed with the dagger hit, launching a double into left field to score both runs and put the Miners up 4-3, and Kona Quiggle followed with an RBI single to add an insurance run.
Quiggle tacked on another run in the eighth with another RBI single to make it a three-run game. Quiggle finished 4 for 5 with three RBIs.
Overall, the Miners outhit the Oilers 13 to 7.
Prior to the late Mat-Su offense, the Oilers had taken two separate leads. Calvin Farris and Bryce Begell put the team up 2-1 with consecutive RBI singles in the top of the second.
After Mat-Su tied it up in the fourth, the Oilers responded in the top of the fifth. Begell led off with a double, then scored on a Chad Bible single for a 3-2 lead. Begell led the Peninsula offense with a 2-for-3 day.
Oilers starting pitcher Mike Lopez loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the fifth, but got out of it with a fly out.
Lopez was pulled after the magic act, finishing with two runs on eight hits in five innings of work. Lopez failed to record a strikeout while walking two, and saw his ERA grow to 0.94.
Tre Brown and Andrew Lopez finished the game in relief for the Oilers. Brown was tagged with three runs, all unearned, on three hits in two frames, while Lopez gave up a run on two hits and a walk in the eighth inning.
Ian Churchill pitched the Miners to the win with seven solid innings of three-run, seven-hit ball. Churchill struck out six Oilers with just one walk. Mat-Su got great relief pitching out of Malachi Emond and Bryce Tassin, who combined to shutout the Oilers in the final two frames of no-hit ball.