The Peninsula Oilers emerged victors of a 3-2 game over the Anchorage Glacier Pilots thanks to a stellar outing on the mound by Connor McCord.
McCord pitched seven no-hit innings for the Oilers before being pulled, helping the Kenai club to its fifth win in the last eight games.
The Oilers (12-19) remain in fourth place and 9.5 games behind the Alaska Baseball League leaders Anchorage Bucs (21-9) in the standings, while the Pilots (14-15) sit third and the Mat-Su Miners (18-11) are second. The Oilers are two games ahead of the Chugiak/Eagle River Chinooks (9-20) for the final playoff spot.
McCord struck out four but also issued four walks, including one scoring in the bottom of the third on a Malcolm Tipler RBI groundout. Tipler’s play scored Jackson Oboy, who reached on a walk.
McCord lowered his ERA to 2.77 this summer with the Oilers after reaching 108 pitches on the night, and said in a postgame interview on ESPN 1140 AM that he didn’t feel his accomplishment brewing until the sixth inning.
“I was just cruising on the mound, trying to stay in the zone, trying to get outs,” McCord said. “I noticed when the ball was hit in play, it bounced in the direction of the scoreboard. I looked up and saw zero in the hits column.
“It was a great feeling.”
The Oilers bats woke up in the top of the fifth with a two-run triple by Victor Carlino to put Peninsula ahead 2-1. Carlino’s big hit came after a leadoff double by Jaden Fein and a walk by Giancarlo Servin.
Paul Steffensen plated Carlino on a sac fly to centerfield to add an insurance run in the fifth.
The Pilots got one back in the eighth with a solo homer by Daylen Calicdan, but that would be all they would muster.
Drew Thorpe closed the door in the bottom of the ninth with a perfect inning to earn the save, his second of the summer and first since June 7. Thorpe went the final two frames Tuesday with one run given up on two hits and one strikeout. Thorpe’s ERA now stands at 1.93 in 23 1/3 innings with the Oilers this summer.
The Oilers and Pilots return to action tonight at 7 p.m. in the second game of a three-game series.