Oilers split twin bill with Pilots

The Peninsula Oilers split a Wednesday twin bill with the Anchorage Glacier Pilots and failed to close the gap to the Alaska Baseball League leaders.

The Oilers won the opener 2-1 in eight innings before falling 4-1 to the Pilots in the nightcap, which kept the Oilers (17-15) three games behind the ABL-leading Mat-Su Miners (20-12). The Pilots (14-16) remain five games behind the Miners, with the Anchorage Bucs (15-15) sitting third.

The Pilots had been winless against the Oilers this summer, but broke through to put the season series between the two teams at 4-1.

In the late game, Brian Woo gave up one earned run on three hits in 2 2/3 innings for the Oilers before being pulled in the third. Woo whiffed four and walked one in facing just 10 batters.

Andrew Lopez and Justin Jaime both gave up a run on two hits each in relief, while Bret Ricklefs closed down with a scoreless, hitless frame in the seventh.

The Pilots held the Oilers offense to just two hits over the seven frames, both by Kunst. Zechariah Jarrard earned the win for Anchorage with four innings of one-run ball, giving up four hits.

Alex Stiegler pitched three innings of scoreless, hitless ball, whiffing three with just one walk.

The Oilers opened the scoring with a sacrifice fly by Chad Bible that scored Paul Kunst, who led off with a single.

However, the Pilots responded with two runs in the bottom of the third to take a 2-1 lead. Infield errors led to both runs, starting with a Kunst bobble that scored the tying run, then continuing with a Berkey flub to give the Pilots the lead.

In the fourth, Marc Mumper led off with a double, then advanced to third on an Oilers fielding mistake and scored on a single by Zach Presno.

The lead grew to three runs on an RBI single by Ryan Knowles in the fifth.

In the first game, Mike Lopez continued his stellar 2018 ABL season for the Oilers with another gem on the mound, giving up one unearned run over 4 1/3 innings on three hits and two walks, striking out three. Lopez lowered his ERA to a minuscule 0.54, second in the league among qualified pitchers (over 20 innings).

Kunst batted in the winning run in the eighth inning with a triple that scored Grant Wood, who reached on a walk. Kunst joined with Ryan Koch and Bible as the only Oilers who recorded a hit.

Tre Brown recorded the save for the Oilers with a trouble-free inning in the bottom of the eighth, retiring the side. Prior to that, Matt Amrhein tossed 2 2/3 innings of scoreless, hitless relief for the Oilers.

The two teams combined to produce just six hits on the day. Lopez’ sterling pitching performance was mirrored by Anchorage’s Dalton Chapman, who spun a complete eight-inning game, giving up the two runs on three hits and one walk, while commanding the strike zone with eight strikeouts.

The Oilers struck first in the top of the second after Ryan Koch led off with a triple, then scored on a groundout by Wood for a 1-0 lead.

Jordan Arruda tied it up in the bottom of the third by reaching on an error, then stealing second and third and scoring on a Marc Mumper single.

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