Peninsula Oilers second baseman Cole Dawson makes a play Saturday, June 22, 2024, at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Peninsula Oilers second baseman Cole Dawson makes a play Saturday, June 22, 2024, at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Saturday: Miners avoid 5-game sweep by topping Oilers

The Mat-Su Miners defeated the Peninsula Oilers 9-4 on Saturday in Alaska Baseball League play at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai.

Mat-Su avoided getting sweeped by taking the final game of the five-game series.

The Anchorage Bucs lead the league at 7-2, while the Oilers are 5-4, the Miners are 5-5, the Chugiak-Eagle River Chinooks are 4-6 and the Anchorage Glacier Pilots are 4-8.

After allowing eight runs in the first four games of the series, Oilers pitchers walked 10 batters and hit another three.

Seven of the nine runs scored by the Miners came from runners who reached on walks.

“You can’t give up free runners and expect to win,” Oilers head coach Larry McCann said after his team outhit Mat-Su 8-7. “Eventually, they’re going to come out of their shell and swing the bat a little bit.”

Miners head coach Tyler LeBrun said his team started playing better in Friday’s loss, then got back into gear Saturday.

Kyle McCausland was 2 for 3 with two doubles, two runs and three RBIs. Ryker Schow and Brandyn Durand, who was 2 for 5, also had big hits to drive in runners who had reached on walks.

“The first three or four games of this series, we just struggled with getting timely hitting,” LeBrun said. “We talked with our guys. The more that happens, you kind of tighten up.

“We told them you have to embrace that moment and face it. They did a great job of that today.”

The Miners got to starter Aaron Morris for three runs in 2 1-3 innings and Cameron Teper for three runs in two innings in leading 6-1 after the top of the fifth.

Peninsula did have chances to make in interesting. In the fifth, the Oilers had runners on second and third with one out, but Tucker Timmerman finished his start by striking out two. Timmerman gave up a run on five hits.

“Tucker Timmerman was great out of the gates for us,” LeBrun said.

In the sixth, the Oilers loaded the bases with two outs but Nolan Murphy, who worked one scoreless inning, got a strikeout to end the threat.

“We had three guys strike out with runners in scoring position,” McCann said. “That’s disappointing, but like I said, it’s going to happen at some point.

“You’re not going to be successful like we were the last four days every day.”

Cody New gave the Oilers 2 2-3 scoreless and hitless innings after flying in from California several hours before the game.

“He came from California, so it wasn’t that big of a deal,” McCann said. “But just the fact that he said, ‘Coach, I’m ready to go,’ was good.”

The Oilers did cut it to 6-4 in the seventh when Miners reliever Aidan Dolinsky allowed three runs in an inning.

But Oilers reliever Brock Wirthgen, normally a catcher, allowed three runs without getting an out in the eighth.

Hayden Hattenbach and Drew Koenen each had a scoreless inning for the Miners to close the game. Ty Thomas had two scoreless innings for the Oilers.

Blake Balsz walked three times for the Miners and scored twice. Dom Patrizi walked twice and scored twice.

Kyle McDaniel was 3 for 5 for the Oilers, while Zakary Farris was 2 for 4.

McCann said it was still a successful series.

“Shoot, you go four of five against anybody it’s good — I don’t care if it’s the Miners, Bucs or Chinooks,” he said. “If we can do this next week, we’ll be in a good spot going into that road trip.”

The Bucs come to town for games Tuesday, June 25, through Saturday, June 29, at Seymour Park. All games are at 6 p.m.

Peninsula Oilers reliever Cody New delivers to the Mat-Su Miners on Saturday, June 22, 2024, at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Peninsula Oilers reliever Cody New delivers to the Mat-Su Miners on Saturday, June 22, 2024, at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Mat-Su Miners shortstop Ryan Richard makes a force out against the Peninsula Oilers on Saturday, June 22, 2024, at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Mat-Su Miners shortstop Ryan Richard makes a force out against the Peninsula Oilers on Saturday, June 22, 2024, at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Mat-Su Miners starter Tucker Timmerman delivers to the Peninsula Oilers on Saturday, June 22, 2024, at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Mat-Su Miners starter Tucker Timmerman delivers to the Peninsula Oilers on Saturday, June 22, 2024, at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

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