It may not count toward the Alaska Baseball League chase, but the Peninsula Oilers are gaining steam as the summer season heads towards the All-Star break.
The Oilers broke out the bats Tuesday night in a 16-3 nonleague victory over the San Francisco Seals at Coral Seymour Memorial Park. The Oilers notched 17 base hits, including five doubles.
“It’s just an attitude thing,” explained Oilers hitting coach Eli Silverman. “They had time to let loose, go up there and swing freely.”
The win was the fourth consecutive for the Oilers, who improved to 17-16 overall. The team is 12-12 in ABL play, two games behind the Mat-Su Miners.
The Oilers snapped a 3-all tie in the bottom of the fifth inning with a Jonathan Washam RBI single, then proceeded to score three runs in the sixth and six in the seventh. Washam led the Oilers with five RBIs on 2-for-5 hitting, including a double.
“He’s having a heck of the summer,” Silverman said. “He’s a very proud hitter. He’s been a catcher and was moved to first base, and was a designated hitter with his college team (Louisiana Tech University).”
Leadoff hitter Darius Hill hit 3 for 6 with a double and three RBIs, Daniel Szpik hit 3 for 6 with two doubles and two RBIs, and local product Jake Darrow hit 2 for 3 with a double. Silverman said he was glad to see Darrow get quality time at the dish.
“He was doing a lot of sitting, but he’s got some time in and he’s gotten good hits against good pitchers,” Silverman said.
In all, Peninsula cycled through 49 batters at the plate and drew 11 walks from San Francisco pitchers.
Silverman added that recent shutouts over the ABL-leading Mat-Su Miners helped to spur the team’s offense. The Oilers beat the Miners with scores of 4-0 and 1-0 Saturday night and Sunday afternoon, respectively, and nearly got a no-hitter from Justin Montgomery in the latter contest.
“Our rotation and pitching set the stage for it,” he said.
The Oilers went up 3-0 in the bottom of the fourth on a two-out line drive single from catcher Jared Huber that scored Andrew Bash. Huber also had a good day from behind the plate, twice picking off a Seals baserunner at first base.
However, the Seals rallied back in the top of the fifth, starting with an RBI single by Dakota Conner. Ty Koehring then brought in two runs on a single to left field that he stretched into a double on fielder’s choice.
Szpik responded with a one-out double in the bottom of the frame, which put him in position to score on a hit by Washam, giving the Oilers a 4-3 lead. Shih-Tsung Wang had an RBI ground-out to put the home team ahead 5-3 by the end of the frame.
In the bottom of the sixth, Bash and Jeff Chapuran both drew lead-off walks, than Huber loaded the bases with a single. Darrow’s two-RBI double to left field left the Oilers leading 7-3 on the first pitch off of San Francisco reliever Miguel Villafane.
Washam then added to the Seals’ misery in the bottom of the seventh with a three-RBI double to center field that raised the score to 14-3.
The Oilers will get a rest day today after their originally scheduled 7 p.m. game against San Francisco was canceled due to travel arrangements. Peninsula will face the Chugiak Chinooks Thursday at 2 p.m. at Lee Jordan Field in Chugiak.