The Peninsula Oilers missed a chance to wrap up a spot in the Alaska Baseball League playoffs when they lost 3-0 to the Anchorage Glacier Pilots on Sunday night at Mulcahy Stadium.
Earlier Sunday, the Anchorage Bucs had defeated the Chugiak-Eagle River Chinooks 4-3, which meant the Oilers could have assured a spot in the playoffs with a Sunday night win.
But now everything comes down to the final day of the regular season.
The Mat-Su Miners, at 28-14, will be the top seed, while the Anchorage Bucs at 23-20 will be No. 2 and the Glacier Pilots at 20-21 will be No. 3. That leaves the Oilers (18-25) and Chinooks (17-26) to battle for the final spot.
Today, the Chinooks host the Bucs at 6 p.m. at Lee Jordan Field. The Oilers play against the Pilots again at 7 p.m. at Mulcahy Stadium.
If the Chinooks lose, the Oilers are in the playoffs. Peninsula can also guarantee itself a spot by winning.
But the Chinooks do own the tiebreaker, so if Chugiak wins and Peninsula loses, the Chinooks will make the playoffs.
In Sunday’s game, the Oilers offense managed just five hits with the playoffs on the line.
The Pilots used three different pitchers to subdue Peninsula. Max Karnos pitched the first three innings and gave up just one hit, while Brandon Gomer pitched the next two and gave up two hits.
Jake Kelly then pitched the next four and gave up just two hits.
Down 3-0 in the top of the ninth, the Oilers were able to threaten. With one away, Thomas Ruddy walked and Benjamin Wanger singled to put runners on first and second.
Up stepped Caleb Hicks and his six home runs with a chance to tie the game, but Hicks struck out.
It then appeared Jack Bauer ended the game by making the third out for the Oilers, but as both teams were leaving the field, catcher’s interference was called and Bauer took first to load the bases.
Mike Hoehner then worked a full count before popping out to the catcher.
Bauer and Wanger each had two hits for the Oilers.
Devin Hayes took the loss, pitching the first 4 2-3 innings and giving up three hits and two runs while walking five and striking out six.
Aaron Shoup then gave up an unearned run in 1 1-3 innings, while Tyler Waldrop kept the Pilots off the board for a pair of innings.
Armani Smith caused the Oilers the most problems, as he finished 2 for 4 with a pair of RBIs. Chris McCready also had two hits for Anchorage.