Oilers relief pitcher Blake Reilly delivers to the Anchorage Glacier Pilots on Thursday, June 23, 2022, at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Oilers relief pitcher Blake Reilly delivers to the Anchorage Glacier Pilots on Thursday, June 23, 2022, at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Pilots shut out Oilers

The Anchorage Glacier Pilots defeated the Peninsula Oilers 1-0 on Thursday at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Alaska Baseball League play.

The difference in the game was a home run in the sixth by Caden Kendle, pushing the Oilers to 0-5 against the Pilots this season.

The Oilers dropped to 4-9 in the ABL with the loss, while the Pilots improve to 8-4.

The Mat-Su Miners lead the league at 13-3, while the Pilots are second, the Anchorage Bucs are third at 6-9, the Oilers are fourth and the Chinooks are fifth at 3-9. The top four teams in the league make the playoffs.

Peninsula got solid pitching from Conner Kershaw, Blake Reilly and Drake Frize.

Kershaw took the hard-luck loss, going six innings and giving up a run on three hits while walking one and striking out one.

Reilly pitched two innings of scoreless relief, striking out three, while Frize pitched a scoreless ninth.

“We pitched today,” Oilers head coach Larry McCann said. “We did a good job. We have all the guys in our rotation now, so it’s getting better.”

In a 13-3 loss in seven innings to the Pilots on Wednesday, the Oilers gave up seven unearned runs in the seventh inning. The Oilers did not commit an error Thursday.

“We had a different vibe today,” McCann said. “We talked to the kids yesterday after the game and we had a much better effort today. Hopefully that will continue.”

At the plate, the Oilers were able to manage just three hits, two from Trey Becker and one from Casey Burnham. The best chance to score came in the first, when Becker led off with a triple, but was thrown out trying to score on a ground ball from Shunsuke Sakaino.

After playing their second game at Seymour Park, McCann said it’s time for Oilers hitters to adjust.

“I tried to explain to the kids, when we got here, that line drives play,” McCann said “Balls in the air, especially here, don’t play. The ball doesn’t travel that well. You’ve got to be a line drive hitter and hit the ball on the ground.”

McCann is also going to try to score runs by putting pressure on the defense by doing things like stealing.

“We try to put pressure on the defense, and some of our guys are not accustomed to it,” McCann said. “Some of the guys who have good speed and actually could be good base stealers still are a little tentative about their approach, getting their lead and reading pitchers.”

The Oilers host the Pilots again today at 6 p.m.

Oilers shortstop Trey Becker gets ready to tag out Grant Weiss of the Anchorage Glacier Pilots on Thursday, June 23, 2022, at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

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