Photo by Kelly Sullivan/ Peninsula Clarion Peninsula Oiler's umpire Lukas Hermanson gets Fairbanks Goldpanner's Renae Martinez out at home base Thursday, June 11, 2015, at Coral Seymour Ballpark in Kenai, Alaska.

Photo by Kelly Sullivan/ Peninsula Clarion Peninsula Oiler's umpire Lukas Hermanson gets Fairbanks Goldpanner's Renae Martinez out at home base Thursday, June 11, 2015, at Coral Seymour Ballpark in Kenai, Alaska.

Oilers top Panners in season-opening exhibition

Less than a week into his first summer in Alaska, California native Brian Ruhm is still getting used to the long days and (relatively) colder weather.

“The sun never sets, so it’s something I’m gonna have to get used to,” Ruhm said. “I’m still tired by the time I get home.”

However, if there’s one thing Ruhm is accustomed to, it’s finding ways to make contact on a baseball.

Thursday evening at Coral Seymour Memorial Ballpark, Ruhm broke up a scoreless game in the fifth inning with a go-ahead single through the middle that helped the Peninsula Oilers open their 2015 season with a 2-0 victory over the Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks. The game was nonleague exhibition contest that will not count on the Oilers’ Alaska Baseball League season record, but the seven-inning event provided valuable game time to shake down the teams.

Hailing from Yucaipa, California, Ruhm currently attends California Baptist University in Riverside, where he batted .245 this past season. In his two prior seasons, while at U.C. Davis, Ruhm recorded a grand slam.

Thursday, Ruhm grounded the ball up the middle to bring Billy Wilson in to score the game’s first run. Wilson got on base with a walk, and was followed by Jordan Washam taking a walk to put runners on first and second base. The 20-year-old outfielder said he saw Fairbanks pitcher Steve Shaver deliver a fastball on his first pitch, so he swung.

“I was just looking for a ball I could square up and hit up the middle, keep it away from the corners to give our guys the best chance to score,” Ruhm said.

First-year Oilers coach Kevin Griffin said he was not surprised to see the game go into the fifth inning without a run by either team.

“They played hard, and I knew the bats were gonna be a little slow for both teams,” Griffin said. “Usually the pitchers are going to be a little ahead of the hitters. But our pitchers did good, threw strikes and we did fine.”

Ruhm was joined by Ted Boeke, Jimmy Galusky and James Fowlkes as the only players to record hits for the Oilers. The Panners ended with six hits total, led by Riley Roberts’ 2-for-3 day.

“Some of these guys have been sitting for a couple weeks, so once they get more bats, you’ll start seeing more offense,” Griffin said.

Palmer native Kevin Bovy earned the win on the mound for the Oilers, pitching two innings and giving up one hit, no walks and striking out one. Brandon VanStone started the game and went three innings with three hits, one walk and two strikeouts.

Shaver took the loss for Fairbanks, tossing the final five innings against the Oilers for four hits, two runs and five walks.

Prior to Ruhm’s RBI double, both teams had their chances. Renae Martinez was tagged out at home plate trying to score for the Panners in the top of the second, after Roberts used a check swing to put the ball in play. Roberts was put out at first base for the double play.

In the top of the fifth, a booming hit by Shaver looked to have enough power to clear Oilers center fielder Billy Wilson. Instead, Wilson executed a diving catch just short of the warning track and came up with the ball to rob Shaver of a big play. The Oilers and Panners face off again tonight at 7 p.m. in the official ABL season opener.

Thursday

Oilers 2, Goldpanners 0

Oilers AB R H BI Panners AB R H BI

Wshm 2 1 0 0 Rnds 3 0 0 0

Bke 3 0 1 0 Crlo 3 0 1 0

Ruhm 3 0 1 1 Nlsn 3 0 1 0

Fwks 2 0 1 1 Vrln 3 0 1 0

Olvr 1 0 0 0 Mtnz 3 0 0 0

Glky 3 0 1 0 Lees 3 0 1 0

Mreu 2 0 0 0 Rbts 3 0 2 0

Hrms 1 0 0 0 Btlr 2 0 0 0

Wlsn 1 1 0 0 Shvr 3 0 0 0

Wlfg 2 0 0 0 —

Diaz 1 0 0 0 —

Totals 21 2 4 2 Totals 26 0 6 0

Oilers 000 020 0 —2 4 1

Panners 000 000 0 —0 6 2

IP H R ER BB SO

Oilers

VanStone 3.0 3 0 0 1 2

Bovy, W 2.0 1 0 0 0 1

Stanton 1.0 2 0 0 0 0

Medeles 1.0 0 0 0 0 1

Panners

Bennetts 1.0 0 0 0 0 0

Shaver, L 5.0 4 2 2 5 0

Photo by Kelly Sullivan/ Peninsula Clarion Emmie Showalter (left) and Kelsie Bliss (right) cheer on the Peninsula Oilers Thursday, June 11, 2015, at Coral Seymour Ballpark in Kenai, Alaska. The pair comes to the team's opening game every year, Showalter said.

Photo by Kelly Sullivan/ Peninsula Clarion Emmie Showalter (left) and Kelsie Bliss (right) cheer on the Peninsula Oilers Thursday, June 11, 2015, at Coral Seymour Ballpark in Kenai, Alaska. The pair comes to the team’s opening game every year, Showalter said.

Photo by Kelly Sullivan/ Peninsula Clarion Peninsula Oiler's Ted Boeke makes it safely to first plate while Fairbanks Goldpanner's first baseman unsuccessfully tries to get him out Thursday, June 11, 2015, at Coral Seymour Ballpark in Kenai, Alaska.

Photo by Kelly Sullivan/ Peninsula Clarion Peninsula Oiler’s Ted Boeke makes it safely to first plate while Fairbanks Goldpanner’s first baseman unsuccessfully tries to get him out Thursday, June 11, 2015, at Coral Seymour Ballpark in Kenai, Alaska.

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