As Oilers play-by-play man Dan Gensel said several times during the broadcast of the Alaska Baseball League All-Star game Sunday, the reason the Oilers are in last place in the American League is because they have a hard time driving in runs.
But mix the Oilers in with the run producers on the Anchorage Bucs and Alaska Goldpanners — the other two squads in the American League — and success follows.
The American League topped the National League 10-5 at Mulcahy Field in Anchorage.
The Oilers had nine players make the game, and eight played. Dallas DeVrieze did not play because he will be the starting pitcher when the Oilers jump back into league play today with a 6 p.m. game against the Anchorage Glacier Pilots at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai.
Four Oilers pitched in the game. Chad Rieser got the honor of starting and responded with two scoreless innings, striking out two. Sean Mason gave up one run on two hits in an inning of work, while Tyler Gibson gave up three unearned runs on three hits in an inning. Nolan Sheridan pitched a scoreless eighth, giving up a hit and striking out two.
Usually, players are shuffled in and out of the lineup to make sure everybody gets playing time, but Oilers infielders Mylz Jones and Alex Rubanowitz got to play the entire game.
Jones had a single in the third and was hit by a pitch before scoring on a grand slam by Andy Crowley of the Bucs in the bottom of the fifth.
In the bottom of the fourth, Rubanowitz grounded out to score Crowley. Outfielders Jordan Sanford and Jake Sandlin both got playing time, with Sanford making a diving catch in the outfield and doubling and scoring in the ninth inning.
Gabriel Munoz was the Oilers’ one representative in the State Farm Alaska Baseball League Home Run Derby earlier in the day and finished in the top four.