Peninsula Oilers shortstop Skyler Messinger was named the MVP of the Alaska Baseball League All-Star Game on Sunday at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage. The Oilers then jumped back into Alaska Baseball League play on Monday and lost 4-3 to the host Anchorage Bucs.
Messinger and the other 11 Oilers were on the American League squad and on the wrong end of a 3-2 loss to the National League. The National League had players from the Mat-Su Miners, Anchorage Glacier Pilots and Chugiak-Eagle River Chinooks. The American League had players from the Bucs, Oilers and Chinooks.
Despite the loss, the 6-foot-4, 215-pound product of the University of Kansas impressed with his 1-for-3 day, which included an RBI double, and spectacular defense at shortstop.
“It’s a cool thing to even be a part of today,” Messinger told 1140 AM after the contest. “It was a lot of fun and pretty cool to be recognized like that.”
The game was scoreless until the top of the fourth, when Oilers pitcher and first baseman Connor McCord, the only two-way player in the All-Star Game, came on to pitch.
Chinooks catcher J. Paul Fullerton started the inning by reaching on an error, then Miners outfielder Justin Kirby, who would finish 2 for 3, took a walk. Miners utility player Kody Huff, who would finish 3 for 4, then singled to score Fullerton and move Kirby to third. Pilots infielder Matt Ottino then grounded out for a 2-0 lead.
In the bottom of the fifth, Messinger cut the lead to 2-1 with an RBI double that scored Bucs infielder Cole Tate, but the NL extended the lead to 3-1 in the top of the sixth.
In the bottom of the seventh, McCord, who finished 1 for 2, singled to lead off the inning. Oilers infielder Bobby Goodloe then walked before Messinger moved McCord to third with a fly ball. Bucs catcher Kaden Hopson then had a sacrifice fly to cut the lead to 3-2.
Oilers pitcher Bryan Woo got the start for the American League and worked a hitless and scoreless inning that included a walk and a strikeout. McCord gave up two runs — one earned — on two hits while walking one and striking out one in taking the loss.
Oilers pitcher Heath Olive also worked a scoreless and hitless inning for the American League, striking out two.
Oilers pitchers Calvin Farris, Eric Reardon, Drew Thorpe and Steven Ordorica also were All-Stars, but were not available to pitch.
Also at the plate for the Oilers, Camden Vasquez was 1 for 4 with a stolen base and an assist from the outfield. Other All-Stars were catchers John Mackay and Jonathan Villa.
Monday, the league-leading Bucs moved to 23-9 and now lead the second-place Mat-Su Miners by three games. The Oilers fall to 12-22 and remain in fourth place, 1.5 games ahead of the Chugiak-Eagle River Chinooks.
Cole Tate was the hero for the Bucs, singling to score Ryan Sullivan and tie the game at 3 in the eight inning, then singling again to score Sullivan in the 10th with the winning run.
Jake Adams put together a solid start for the Oilers, going six innings and giving up two runs on three hits while walking four and striking out five. Jacob Fenn gave up the tying run in the eighth, while Travis Roberts took the loss in the ninth inning.
The Oilers rolled up 11 hits, with Bobby Goodloe, Travis Bohall, Skyler Messinger and Giancarlos Servin each getting two and Jonathan Villa, Jaden Fein and Paul Steffensen each getting one.
Peninsula stays in Anchorage to face the Bucs tonight at 7 p.m.