The Peninsula Oilers held off the Anchorage Bucs for a 4-3 victory Tuesday in Alaska Baseball League play at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai.
The Oilers took the series 3-2 to improve to 6-12 in the league, while the Bucs fall to 9-9.
With the Mat-Su Miners and Chugiak Chinooks still playing Tuesday, the Miners lead the league with a 12-6 record, while the Chinooks are in second place at 10-8. The Bucs are in third, while the Glacier Pilots are fourth at 8-10. The top four teams in the league make the playoffs.
The Oilers now go on the road to play 10 games in 10 days, starting with a 7 p.m. contest with the Pilots on Thursday.
“It feels great to get the series win,” Oilers first baseman John Hanley said in a postgame interview on 1140 AM after playing a big role in the victory with his bat and glove. “Hopefully we can carry that momentum on the road trip and keep stacking wins every day.”
Coming off a seven-inning no-hitter in a 5-0 victory in a doubleheader on June 22, Oilers starter Luke Yacinich once again came through.
Yacinich’s string of hitless pitching came to an end in the sixth inning. Woody Hadeen started the inning by reaching on a dropped third strike before Ernie Yake followed with a single. The pair got to second and third before Yacinich kept the Bucs off the board by striking out Jake Skipworth on a high fastball.
Yacinich gave up two more hits in the seventh inning, but he kept the Bucs off the board for seven innings before yielding to relievers with a 3-0 lead and eventually picking up the win.
“I was not really thinking too much about a no-hitter,” Yacinich said on 1140 AM. “It was a 1-0 game for the most part. I was just trying to get the W.”
The Oilers had gotten their first run in the second inning, when Hanley led off with a home run.
In the sixth inning, the Oilers went up 3-0. Peninsula put two runnners on against Bucs starter and loser JoJo Ingrassia. Spencer Bengard came on to face Bryce Marsh, and Marsh doubled to score a pair of runs. Bengard was ejected after just that one batter for arguing balls and strikes.
On a 2-2 pitch, Marsh said on 1140 AM that Bengard threw a changeup. Marsh thought the pitch was low and a bit inside, but he noticed Bengard wasn’t happy with the call. Marsh figured Bengard would be angry and throw a fastball, so Marsh sat on a fastball and was able to double.
In the eighth inning, the Oilers added a key insurance run for a 4-0 lead when Andrew Sojka singled to score pinch runner Owen Christy.
The Bucs rallied in the ninth inning, loading the bases with one out on Oilers reliever Lee Atkinson. Jake Putnam came in and allowed a hit and a sacrifice fly for a 4-3 game, with the tying run on first base with two outs.