By Joey Klecka
It’s a good thing the summer solstice is nearly here, because the Peninsula Oilers’ first league game of the year on Wednesday night needed as much daylight as it could get.
A walk-off single by Dillon Dobson with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 13th inning finally ended the game to give the Oilers a 6-5 victory over the Mat-Su Miners at Coral Seymour Memorial park.
The hit brought Taylor Tempel home for the winning run, ending the contest after 4 hours, 23 minutes of gameplay.
Dobson had the stat line of the night, as he hit 2 for 6 with three RBI, including a double. Tempel had two runs, AJ Ramirez was 2 for 4 with one run and a double, and Michael Hoo was 2 for 5.
GJ Strauss received the win on the mound, coming in to pitch the last four innings and getting seven strikeouts with the pressure on high.
A close game throughout, the Oilers never trailed through nine innings, and had seven pitchers try their hand on the mound. Additionally, the Oilers recorded 14 hits against the Miners’ 12.
After scoring runs in the second and third innings, the Oilers were at their best in the bottom of the seventh inning, as Mike Wieland hit a line drive single that scored Andre Mercurio and gave the Oilers the 3-2 lead. Dillon Dobson then stepped up with two outs and nailed a two-run double that brought Kyle Hunt and Wieland home for a 5-2 lead.
In the eighth inning, Michael Coates was brought to the mound for the Oilers, but he found some trouble. Coates walked Christin Stewart with the bases loaded to score a run for the Miners, and A.J. Simcox hit a single to bring R.J. Santigate across home plate, leaving the Oilers dangling with a 5-4 lead.
At the top of the ninth inning, Brody Greer was put on the hill to close the game out, but Stewart was walked again with two outs, which brought Santigate across home plate for the tying run.
The game continued to sway back and forth, and both squads had their chances, but were unable to take advantage. The Miners left a total of 17 players on base in the game, and the Oilers left 15 on base.
In the 13th inning, singles from Kyle Hunt and Tempel and a walk from Wieland left the bases loaded with one out. On the ensuing 2-1 count, Dobson cracked the winning single to right center field to end the game.
The Miners will get a chance to redeem themselves on Thursday at 7 p.m. at Coral Seymour park.