Oilers, Panners split twin bill

Oilers, Panners split twin bill

Everyone got what they wanted Saturday evening at Coral Seymour Memorial Ballpark in Kenai.

The Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks clinched the Alaska Baseball League American League with a victory in the first game of a doubleheader, the Peninsula Oilers won the second game of the day to celebrate head coach Kyle Richardson’s 27th birthday, and the fans got a fantastic summer day to enjoy America’s pastime.

With the kind of hitting that the Goldpanners have produced this season, the Oilers were more than happy to come away with a 7-2 win late in the day, which followed an earlier 8-1 loss. Were it not for a two-run homer by Jacob Hayes with one out remaining in the game, the Oilers would have completely blanked Fairbanks.

“The guys went about it the right way in the second game,” said Richardson, whose birthday was actually Friday. “We talked before the game about it, it doesn’t matter who has the most talent, it’s about who plays the game of baseball the best. … We did that better than they did in the second game, and we won.”

Nolan Sheridan cleaned up on the mound to record the save — his third of the year — by going the final two innings, giving up two hits, zero walks and two strikeouts.

The Panners (20-8 league, 32-9 overall) were able to clinch the American division with the first win since they have two games left on their schedule and are four games ahead of the second place Anchorage Bucs. The Oilers (11-21, 20-24-2) are 11 games behind the Panners.

The crucial moment in Game 2 came in the bottom of the sixth inning. After holding a 2-0 lead for most of the contest, Jeff Paschke’s single brought Drake Zarate in to score, followed by a passed ball that allowed Paschke to score.

But it was Mylz Jones crushing a three-run homer to left field that really helped to ease the late tension. Jones’ shot was the fifth home run of the night, and was part of a five-run, three-hit inning.

“I think it was a 1-2 count, and (the pitcher) might’ve missed his spot, it was middle-in, and I just didn’t wanna miss it,” Jones said. “I kind of knew the situation and what we were up against, and the infield was in close so I was just trying to get a ball in the air. That way maybe someone could tag up, but I got in the air and it happened to go out.”

Jones, a shortstop, had several good infield plays as well on defense, twice aiding in double plays.

“This was one of our better games of the year,” Jones said. “It showed a lot because we got the W.”

Zarate batted 2 for 3 — including a home run in the second inning — with two runs to lead Peninsula at the plate.

Before Sheridan finished up on the mound, Icezack Flemming (1-1) put together five innings of work with no runs, giving up one hit, seven walks and five strikeouts.

Inning after inning, plays by the Oilers infielders kept Fairbanks from scoring, but a one-out single from AJ Hernandez loaded the bases in the bottom of the fifth. However, Nick Thurman struck out and Jake Sandlin was called for a strike to end the frame with Mike Benson pitching.

Flemming walked the first two batters in the sixth inning with no outs, giving Sheridan his shot.

In the first game, Nick Rogowski (1-4) went the distance on the mound, giving up 12 hits, three walks and seven strikeouts. Jace Puckett (6-0) recorded the win for Fairbanks with five innings of work, giving up one run on five hits, no walks and two strikeouts.

“Rogo kind laid the foundation, even though he had a rough outing, he showed where the other team’s weaknesses were,” Richardson said. “We talked about it during the first game, and he executed well, he got in the zone and threw a ton of strikes.”

Thurman provided the Oilers’ only run in the first game with a solo shot that cleared the right-field wall. Both Thurman and Jones hit 2 for 3, including a double from Jones.

Thurman’s homer was one of three in the first game, but not the most impressive. That honor belonged to Fairbanks’ Vahn Bozoian, who blasted his ninth of the year over the center-field wall, one of the very few times that feat has been accomplished. Bozoian’s homer sailed about a foot wide of the green wall that is bookended by advertising signage.

Cody Nulph got the scoring under way with a two-run homer in the second inning. The Panners followed that up with a single from Tyler Mildenberg, a double from Hunter Villanueva and a single from Eric Hutting that brought Mildenberg in to score. The Oilers ended the inning on the next batter with a 4-3 double play from AJ Hernandez to Thurman. The pair connected again in the top of the third for another double play.

The Panners added another two runs in the top of the fifth with a two-out triple from Jacob Hayes and a single from Bozoian.

The two squads will face off again 2 p.m. today at Seymour Park.



1st game

Goldpanners 8, Oilers 1

Panners AB R H BI Oilers AB R H BI

Crso lf 4 1 0 0 Jnes ss 3 0 2 0

Hrst cf 4 0 2 0 Rbnz 3b 3 0 0 0

Hyes rf 3 2 1 1 Sfnd lf 3 0 0 0

Bzin dh 4 1 3 4 Sndl cf 3 0 0 0

Pnks 1b 4 1 1 0 Pske dh 3 0 1 0

Nlph ss 4 1 1 2 Thrm 1b 3 1 2 1

Mldg 2b 3 1 2 0 Zrte c 3 0 0 0

Vlnv 3b 3 0 1 0 Hrnz 2b 3 0 0 0

Htng c 1 1 1 1 Rose rf 2 0 1 0

Totals 30 8 12 8 Totals 26 1 6 1

Panners 030 020 3 — 8

Oilers 010 000 0 — 1

HR — Bozoian (9), Nulph (9), Thurman (2). CS — Hurst, Jones. LOB — Goldpanners 4, Oilers 4.


Panners IP H R ER BB SO

Puckett, W 5.0 5 1 1 0 2

Buehler 2.0 1 0 0 0 0


Rogowski, L 7.0 12 8 8 3 7

P-S — Puckett 72-46, Buehler 22-14, Rogowski 110-66. T — 1:47.


2nd game

Oilers 7, Goldpanners 2

Panners AB R H BI Oilers AB R H BI

Crso lf 4 0 1 0 Jones ss 2 1 1 3

Hrst cf 2 1 1 0 Hrnz 2b 3 0 1 0

Hyes rf 3 1 1 2 Thrm c 4 0 0 0

Pksn 1b 3 0 0 0 Snld cf 3 0 0 0

Wlnd c 0 0 0 0 Zrte 1b 3 2 2 1

Plno dh 2 0 0 0 Rbnw 3b 2 1 1 0

Mldg 2b 3 0 0 0 Pske dh 2 1 1 1

Nlph ss 3 0 0 0 Snfd lf 3 1 0 0

Clrk 3b 3 0 0 0 Rose rf 1 1 1 1

Totals 23 2 3 2 Totals 23 7 7 6

Panners 000 000 2 — 2 3 2

Oilers 020 005 0 — 7 7 1

HR — Hayes (9), Jones (2), Zarate (2). SB — Caruso, Jones, Rose. LOB — Goldpanners 8, Oilers 5.


Panners IP H R ER BB SO

Soderlund, L 4.1 3 2 2 3 3

Benson 1.0 3 4 3 1 2

Barker 0.2 1 1 1 1 0


Flemming, W 5.0 1 0 0 7 5

Sheridan, S 2.0 2 2 2 0 2

P-S — Soderlund 72-41, Benson 26-16, Barker 11-6, Flemming 88-47, Sheridan 33-22.

Oilers, Panners split twin bill

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