A promising start soured in the fourth inning for the Peninsula Oilers Tuesday evening in a 7-3 loss to the Anchorage Glacier Pilots at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai.
After the Oilers scored an early run, the Glacier Pilots responded with four runs in the top of the fourth to take a lead they would never relinquish en route to the Alaska Baseball League victory.
After escaping with a 7-6 win over the Pilots on Monday, Tuesday’s loss pushed the Oilers further along a 2-6 skid, leaving them tied for third place with a 6-6 mark in the ABL — one game behind the Mat-Su Miners — and to 9-10 overall. The Oilers are 2-5 against the Pilots this summer.
However, Peninsula head coach Brian Daly isn’t worried yet.
“I like where we are,” Daly said. “Our approach at the plate is good, we’ve got pop all over our lineup.”
Baylor University freshman Blake Allen started on the mound, and twice had to finagle his way out of a jam in the early going. In the opening frame, Allen had two runners on with one out and both made it to third.
However, neither made it home, as Kyle Watson was picked off at third and Joe Gillette was stranded on a put-out.
In the top of the second, the Pilots put runners on the corners, but a fly out to left field by Dalton Hurd ended the inning. Allen finished with six innings of work, giving up five runs (one earned) on seven hits and four walks while striking out four.
With two batters away in the top of the fourth, Tanner Sanders reached base on an error, then Jack Gerstenmaier doubled to the deep right wall to tie the game at one apiece. Dalton Hurd followed it up with a home run to give the Pilots a 4-1 lead.
Kyle Watson grounded out to end the inning, but the damage was done.
“We just didn’t execute as well as we would’ve liked,” Daly said.
The Oilers twice loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth, but couldn’t finish the job. Jonathan Washam was issued a leadoff walk and Marshall Boggs reached on a single to center field. Austin Piscotty advanced both with a sacrifice bunt, and Jared Huber was walked to load the bases with one out.
Anchorage’s Tyler Lunsford was pulled in favor of Timothy Holdgrafer, and with Seifert up to bat, Washam was tagged out on an attempted steal of home when the pitch hit the dirt. Seifert was eventually walked to load the bases for a second time, but Darius Hill was put out with a bunt to end the inning.
“That was a bit of a miscommunication on our part,” Daly explained.
Piscotty breathed new life into the Oilers with a two-run homer past the left field wall to cut the lead to 5-3.
“I was up in the count three to one, looking for the fastball, and I just got the barrel on the ball,” Piscotty said. “(The Pilots) had a guy that got one earlier on, so I knew it was a good hitting night.”
Piscotty also played a key role in a magnificent tag-out in the third inning, catching a throw that started with Brody Wofford just missing a pop fly in left field. Wofford sprung up fast enough to catch Anchorage’s Dashawn Keirsey Jr. sprinting for a triple. Keirsey was out on a throw from Wofford to shortstop Trey Dawson to Piscotty.
In the top of the sixth, Allen had one out with runners on the corners and Tyrus Greene hit into fielder’s choice that scored RJ Cordeiro and increased the lead to 5-1. Hurd then bunted the ball into play but Allen slipped on the wet grass and could not relay the throw to first. However, Allen struck out Watson to end the inning.
Billy Oxford got the Oilers through the top of the eighth quickly, striking out two to end the inning.
In the bottom of the ninth, Hill and Dawson grounded out, Wofford reached on a single, but DeWitt ended the game with a strikeout.
The Oilers and Pilots pick it back up tonight at 7 p.m. at Coral Seymour.
Pilots 7, Oilers 3
Pilots AB R H BI Oilers AB R H BI
Wtsn, ss 3 0 0 0 Hill, cf 5 0 1 0
Knm, ss 0 1 0 0 Dwsn, ss 4 1 1 0
Krsy, cf 5 0 1 0 Wfrd, lf 5 0 1 0
Glte, rf 4 0 1 2 Dwt, 1b 4 0 0 0
Wltr, dh 4 0 0 0 Wshm, dh 3 0 1 1
Crdr, 3b 3 1 1 0 Bgs, 2b 3 1 2 0
Mrgn, ph 1 0 0 0 Pcty, 3b 3 1 1 2
Rttr, 3b 0 0 0 0 Hbr, c 3 0 0 0
Sndr, 1b 4 1 0 0 Sfrt, rf 2 0 0 0
Grtm, 2b 3 1 2 1
Grne, c 3 1 1 1
Hurd, lf 4 2 3 3
Totals 34 7 9 7 Totals 32 3 7 3
Pilots 000 401 002 —7
Oilers 100 000 020 —3
SH — Piscotty 2. SB — Watson (11), Kinamon (2), Gillette, 2 (3). CS — Washam (2). E — Piscotty 2 (4).
LOB — Pilots 5, Oilers 10.
IP H R ER BB SO
Lunsford, W 5.1 4 1 1 6 2
Holdgrafer 0.2 0 0 0 1 0
Wolf 2.0 2 2 2 0 2
Oldenberg 1.0 1 0 0 0 1
Allen, L 6.0 7 5 1 4 4
Oxford 2.0 0 0 0 0 2
Smith 1.0 2 2 2 0 0
T — 2:34.