After Wednesday night’s batting lineup blunder, it can be certain that Peninsula Oilers head coach Kyle Richardson will be double-checking his batting lineup for every game this summer.
After mistakenly swapping first baseman Ethan McGill and catcher Drake Zarate in the seventh and eighth positions in Wednesday’s lineup, Richardson was hoping the first-inning gaffe would not come back to bite his squad.
“I would have felt terrible, but our pitchers picked us up, so that’s fine,” Richardson said. “I can live with a mistake here and there.”
Luckily, the Oilers used several brilliant fielding plays to shut out the Oceanside (San Diego) Waves 2-0 and win the first of a four-game exhibition series. The win improves the Oilers season to 6-1-2 overall. The same two teams play tonight at 7 p.m. at Seymour Park.
The mixup came in the bottom of the first with the Oilers leading 2-0. With the bases loaded, McGill struck out for the second out of the inning. Next up, Zarate walked to bring Hernandez across home plate for the third run of the game, but Waves coach Arona Taele Jr. alerted the umpires, who promptly ended the inning by awarding the Oilers a third out and erasing Hernandez’s run.
Richardson said he accidentally wrote Zarate and McGill’s names down in the wrong order on the lineup card he had pinned up in the Oilers’ dugout, which differed from the one he gave to the Waves and the officials. With the two different lists hanging on the dugout walls, Waves general manager Mike Studer said he waited for the Oilers to notch a scoring play before notifying the umps.
“The kid who was keeping the book noticed the different numbers, and that’s how we found it,” Studer said. “We were waiting for the at-bat to play out, and once the at-bat was over, we called them on it, and that caused the out.”
Richardson walked out to argue his case with the umpire to no avail. But it ultimately ended up being a moot point, since the Oilers pitching staff and supporting cast put together a clean, crisp game.
“I was just hoping we could score more and it wouldn’t be an issue,” Richardson said. “Our pitchers went out and threw really well. Once we got to the sixth inning, I knew what we had in the pen and I started feeling a lot better.
“Once I saw Jimmy (Nesselt) settle down, and we were in the sixth inning, I felt better.”
Nesselt (2-0) ended the day with the win, pitching six innings with only three hits and no runs, and striking out six for an ERA of 1.39. Nesselt is averaging 1.38 for the summer so far.
“We got those two early runs and were able to shut them down from there,” Nesselt said. “If all you need is two runs, we’ll take it.”
Nesselt said his fastball worked well from the mound.
“I stayed on both sides of the plate and I was hitting my spots well,” Nesselt said. “Drake was calling a great game, and we had a really great rhythm working, and we were getting sliders in there now and then, and some changeups to distract the hitters.”
With the bases loaded with one out in the top of the fourth, Zarate caught a crucial throw from McGill to tag Jeff Nellis at home plate and keep the game scoreless for Oceanside. One batter later, Jake Sandlin executed a wild catch in center field to record the third out and end the inning scoreless.
In the top of the sixth, all three outs were impressive. Sandlin notched another great catch for the first out, second baseman Carter Yagi flung a turnaround throw to McGill for the second, and left fielder Jordan Sanford had the third out on a diving catch.
Jeff Paschke came out in the ninth inning to record the save, pitching a perfect inning.
Oilers 2, Waves 0
Waves AB R H BI Oilers AB R H BI
Fnio rf 4 0 0 0 Sdln cf 4 1 1 0
Nls ss 4 0 1 0 Snfd lf 2 1 0 0
Afnr cf 4 0 0 0 Pske dh 3 0 0 0
Snky dh 4 0 1 0 Hrdz 3b 2 0 0 0
Mrtnz lf 3 0 0 0 Jnes ss 0 0 0 0
McWm 1b 3 0 0 0 Rbwz 2b 2 0 1 1
Vrga 3b 3 0 0 0 Rose rf 2 0 0 1
Crwl c 3 0 1 0 Zrte c 4 0 1 0
Hth 2b 3 0 0 0 McGl 1b 3 0 1 0
—- — — — — Yagi 2b 4 0 2 0
Totals 31 0 3 0 Totals 26 2 6 2
Oceanside 000 000 000 —0
Oilers 200 000 00X —2
SB — Rubanowitz, Rose. CS — Sanford, Paschke. E — McGill. LOB —Waves 4, Oilers 11. DP — Waves 2.
IP H R ER BB SO
Nunn, L 1 1 2 2 4 1
Murray 5 3 0 0 4 3
Shul 2 2 0 0 1 1
Nesselt, W 6 3 0 0 0 6
Rogowski 1 0 0 0 0 0
Sheridan 1 0 0 0 0 0
Paschke, S 1 0 0 0 0 0
PB — Carswell. HB — Murray, Shul.