The Peninsula Oilers saw their season end with a 6-2 loss to the Mat-Su Miners on Thursday at Hermon Brothers Field in Palmer in the Top of the World Series semifinals.
The Miners, the top seed, and the Oilers, the No. 4 seed, had split the first two games of the best-of-three series. Mat-Su will play the No. 2 seed Anchorage Glacier Pilots for the league title.
Sunday, after the final game of the regular season, Oilers head coach Larry McCann said the team did not have the pitching depth to hold up if the series went three games. The Oilers had a number of pitchers leave due to injuries or reaching pitch counts set by their schools.
Mose Hayes, a product of Homer High School and the American Legion Twins program, stepped up and took the ball for the Oilers.
Hayes had pitched the ninth inning to record the save Wednesday. He also had worked eight shutout innings Saturday to record the win in a 4-1 victory at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai. Hayes finished the regular season 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA.
He was able to keep the Miners off the board for four innings Thursday, but Mat-Su then got a run in the fifth and three runs in the sixth to take a 4-0 lead.
The Oilers finally got to Mat-Su starter and winner Ethan Lyke for a pair of runs in the seventh. Lyke went eight innings and gave up nine hits while walking two and striking out four.
With one out, Ty Thomas, Ryson Ujimori and Brett Grupe singled to load the bases.
Cole Nachreilner and Owen McElfatrick then each singled, each knocking in a run, to keep the bases loaded with one out.
Theo Forshey then hit into a double play. The Oilers, who matched the Miners in the hits column at nine, hit into four double plays on the day.
The Miners stretched out the lead to 6-2 in the seventh against Nick Costello, a position player who worked the last two innings for the Oilers.
Eight of the nine Oilers recorded hits, with Nachreilner leading the way at 2 for 3.