Oilers’ Noah Hennings (24) celebrates his home run against the Anchorage Glacier Pilots with Dalton Bowling on Friday, June 24, 2022, at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Oilers’ Noah Hennings (24) celebrates his home run against the Anchorage Glacier Pilots with Dalton Bowling on Friday, June 24, 2022, at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Pilots move to 6-0 against Oilers

The Anchorage Glacier Pilots defeated the Peninsula Oilers 8-2 on Friday in Alaska Baseball League play at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai.

The Pilots are now 6-0 against the Oilers this season, including 3-0 in the current five-game series. The series concludes with a 6 p.m. game today and a 2 p.m. game Sunday.

Anchorage moves to 9-4 in the league and is in second place behind the 13-3 Mat-Su Miners. The Anchorage Bucs are in third place at 7-9, while the Oilers still sit in the fourth playoff spot at 4-10. The Chugiak-Eagle River Chinooks are in last place at 3-10.

A big part of the difference in the game is how the two teams handled bases-loaded situations, and the fact that Oilers pitchers walked nine and hit two batters, while the Pilots walked just one. This allowed the Pilots to win despite getting outhit 7-5.

In the bottom of the second, James Shimashita started the inning with a triple, then Dalton Bowling singled to cut Anchorage’s lead to 4-1. Casey Burnham then walked and Jacob Shaver loaded the bases with no outs by reaching on an error on a sacrifice bunt.

Pilots starting and winning pitcher Omar Serrano then avoided further damage by striking out three straight batters.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Oilers cut the gap to 4-2 when Noah Hennings greeted reliever Bryan Webb by ripping a home run to left field. Shimashita then reached on a bunt with nobody out, then stole second, but Bowling was called out on batter’s interference and Shimashita had to go back to first, stopping the rally. It was the second straight inning the Oilers lost a batter to batter’s interferance.

Any momentum the Oilers had was then permanently gone when the Pilots loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth against reliever Max Miller. Cole Fontenelle forced in a run with a walk after coming back from an 0-2 count. Grayson Sterling then fouled off three two-strike pitches before doubling in three runs for an 8-2 lead.

Nick Welch took the loss for the Oilers, going four innings and giving up four runs — three earned — on three hits while walking four and striking out one. Mason Kokodynski had three scoreless innings in relief. Miller gave up the four runs in an inning, while Jacob Shaver had a scoreless inning.

Shimashita finished 3 for 3 with a double and a triple.

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