Oilers force win-or-go-home Game 3 vs. Miners

The Peninsula Oilers defeated the Mat-Su Miners 5-4 on Wednesday at Hermon Brothers Field in Palmer in the Top of the World Series playoffs.

With the victory, the Oilers, the home team on the scoreboard in this game, evened the best-of-three semifinals series at 1. The deciding game will be Thursday at 6 p.m. in Palmer.

The Oilers grabbed a 5-3 lead after six innings and were able to hang on thanks to an inning each of relief work from Homer High School and American Legion Twins products Harrison Metz and Mose Hayes.

Metz came on in the eighth and the Miners were able to load the bases with one out. Kaden Carpenter hit a sacrifice fly to cut the lead to 5-4, but Metz was able to get Maddox Haley to fly out to center field to keep the lead.

In the ninth, Hayes entered. Nolan Tucker led off the inning with a walk, then moved to second on a sacrifice. Hayes got Kaleb Hannahs to fly out to center and Emilio Barreras to ground out to end the game.

Evan Langer got the start for the Oilers and went five innings, giving up three runs on four hits while walking one and striking out three.

Ty Thomas earned the win in relief, going two scoreless and hitless innings while walking two.

The Miners went up 3-0 in the top of the third, but the Oilers immediately battled back.

Brett Grupe, who finished 3 for 4 with two runs, led of the bottom of the third with a single. Owen McElfatrick and Theo Forshey then walked to load the bases with one out.

Nick Costello then walked to force in Grupe, while Leighton Helfrick had a sacrifice fly to score McElfatrick.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Oilers tied it when Ryson Ujimori led off by getting hit by a pitch and Grupe doubled to put runners on second and third. Cole Nachreilner then hit a sacrifice fly to score Ujimori.

Peninsula then took the lead for good in the bottom of the sixth with two runs.

Grupe led off with a single and Nachreilner moved him to second with a sacrifice bunt. McElfatrick then walked to put runners on first and second, and the bases loaded when Theo Forshey was hit by a pitch.

After Costello struck out, Helfrick had a clutch single to score Grupe and McElfatrick.

Michael Elko also finished 2 for 4 for the Oilers.

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