Oilers rally for 1st win of 2019

The Peninsula Oilers used a late rally to pick up their first win of the Alaska Baseball League season Friday over the Anchorage Bucs, but returned Saturday to Mulcahy Stadium to fall 5-2 to the Anchorage Glacier Pilots.

The Oilers (1-2) struggled to get anything going for eight innings against the Glacier Pilots pitching, but Kenai product Paul Steffensen ruined the shutout by blasting his first career ABL home run over the wall for a solo shot in the top of the ninth.

An RBI on a Pilots error kept the rally going on a knock by Jaden Fein, but that would be all Peninsula could muster as Anchorage (1-2) held on.

The Oilers will be back at it Sunday at Mulcahy for a 2 p.m. matinee game against the Pilots, and will finish the opening road trip Monday in Chugiak for a 7 p.m. game against the Chugiak/Eagle River Chinooks. The Oilers return for their home opener Wednesday at Coral Seymour Memorial Ballpark at 7 p.m. against the Chinooks.

The Glacier Pilots knocked out 10 base hits Saturday against the Oilers, which only got seven hits. Jake Adams got the start for the Oilers, and Eric Reardon, Jacob Reed and Calvin Farris combined to finish the game in relief.

Friday at Mulcahy, the Oilers picked up their first win of the season with a 9-6 rally over the Bucs, coming back from down 6-2 to grab the win.

Soldotna product Joey Becher started on the mound for the Oilers in his second season with the team. Becher gave up two runs in three innings of work, scattering three hits while issuing one walk and two strikeouts. Becher made six starts for the Oilers in 2017 before taking last year off.

The Oilers took an early 2-0 lead on a Jaden Fein sacrifice fly and an RBI on a Bucs error.

Anchorage cut the lead to 2-1 in the bottom of the first, then tied it in the third on a sac fly by Blake Paugh.

The Bucs took a 6-2 lead with four runs in the bottom of the fourth, starting with a three-run homer by Cole Tate. Later in the frame, Paugh forced in another run with a bases-loaded walk by Jake Adams, who had just replaced Brian Merken.

However, the Oilers weren’t done yet, rallying back with three runs in the sixth and four in the seventh to retake the lead. The Oilers cut the Bucs’ advantage to 6-5 on a Bobby Goodloe sac fly, a Paul Steffensen RBI double and a Drew Thorpe RBI groundout.

In the bottom of the seventh, Damon Keith gave the Oilers a 7-6 lead on a two-run double. Giancarlo Servin tacked on another run with an RBI double and Drew Thorpe added one more on a groundout, putting Peninsula ahead 9-6.

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