Oilers send off Freeman to pro league

The Peninsula Oilers are in the business of winning titles and sending players off to bigger and better things.

They almost accomplished both in 2016.

While the Oilers came up short of a Top of the World Series championship this summer, losing two games in a playoff series to the Mat-Su Miners, the team has succeeded in getting a player signed to the pros.

Righ-handed pitcher Hasten Freeman has signed on to the Sioux City (Iowa) Explorers, a team that is currently battling for a division title in the American Association. Sioux City is currently one game back of the Lincoln (Nebraska) Saltdogs in the AA Central Division standings.

Oilers head coach Brian Daly said he was proud to have gotten Freeman signed onto a bigger team. As a senior out of the University of Arkansas Fort Smith, Freeman finished the 2016 Alaska Baseball League season with a 4.69 ERA, accumulated over 23 innings of work. Freeman touted a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 18-14.

“It’s a big step for him, and I’m glad I was able to use my connections to give him a chance,” Daly said.

Last year, Daly got two players signed — right handers David Diaz and Paul Lujan — onto professional teams.

Daly added that the 6-foot-2 righty from Subiaco, Arkansas, hasn’t just developed one strong pitch, but rather offers up a nice collection of throws that will keep batters off balance.

Daly used to coach in the American Association with the now-defunct El Paso (Texas) Diablos, and said with the plethora of contacts he has with coaches in the Lower 48, he knew the opportunity for Freeman to strike it rich was there.

“I reached out to couple teams and they were interested,” Daly said. “For him being a graduated senior, this was kind of his last chance to make it or break it.”

“I’m happy for him, it’s well deserved on his part.”

Freeman got a late start with the 2016 Oilers, making his first appearance July 9 against the Mat-Su Miners. After several players were sent home due to injury and pitching conflicts, Daly said it left a spot open for Freeman to fill, and the 22-year-old made the most of his time on the Kenai Peninsula.

Freeman’s best start of the summer came Aug. 2, on the penultimate day of the regular season, when he gave up one run on four hits in six innings of ball. Freeman struck out six batters and did not issue a single walk, but was still credited with the loss in the 1-0 game.

“It was big boost for us, and it got us going in the right direction,” Daly said, pointing out that the team was able to finish strong after a late slump doomed the Oilers chances in 2015. “Hasten was a stopper for us, he didn’t allow that to happen.”

More in Sports

Karl Danielson, a 2018 graduate of Kenai Central, races to victory in the Under-18 and over men's 10-kilometer interval start classic at Besh Cup 4 on Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022, at Tsalteshi Trails just outside of Soldotna, Alaska. The Besh Cup races are mostly used to select skiers for Junior Nationals, but also give younger and older skiers a chance for top-notch racing. It took over 50 volunteers to put together the two days of races, which had over 200 skiers each day.
Kenai grad Danielson sweeps Besh Cup weekend at Tsalteshi

Both 2018 Kenai Central graduate Karl Danielson and the Besh Cup made… Continue reading

tease
Ice Dogs sweep Brown Bears

The Fairbanks Ice Dogs got off to a solid start under new… Continue reading

tease
Hoops Roundup: Wasilla sweeps SoHi; Ninilchik boys win Cordova tourney

The visiting Wasilla boys basketball team defeated Soldotna 66-60 on Saturday in… Continue reading

Karl Danielson, a graduate of Kenai Central currently skiing for Alaska Pacific University, wins the Under-16 and over sprint at Besh Cup 3 on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022, at Tsalteshi Trails just outside of Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai grad Danielson wins Besh 3 sprint

Karl Danielson, a 2018 graduate of Kenai Central, won the Under-16 and… Continue reading

Kenai Central's Erin Koziczkowski goes up for a shot against Nikiski on Friday, Jan. 14, 2022, at Nikiski High School in Nikiski, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai sweeps Nikiski Tip Off titles

The Kenai girls and boys swept the titles at the 30th Annual… Continue reading

Soldotna's Landon Stonecipher carries the puck against Homer on Friday, Jan. 14, 2022, at Kevin Bell Ice Arena in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
Homer, SoHi split hockey games

The Homer and Soldotna hockey teams split junior varsity games Friday and… Continue reading

tease
Kenai girls, Nikiski boys start tourney with wins

The Kenai girls, Lumen Christi girls, Bethel boys and Nikiski boys opened… Continue reading

Homer New reporter Sarah Knapp admires Alaska's beautiful landscape during a trip to Anchorage. (Photo by Ashlyn O'Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Out of the Office: Sticking to New Year’s resolution

I’m still trying to find out where I belong in Homer. You’d… Continue reading

Ed Bangs in 1984  with the first female brown bear radio-collared on the Kenai. (Photo courtesy USFWS)
Refuge Notebook: Blessed to live the Alaska dream

Note: In celebration of the Refuge’s 80th year, the Refuge Notebook articles… Continue reading

Most Read