It seems overtime games are all the rage nowadays, between the professional leagues nationwide and local leagues on the Kenai Peninsula.
On Wednesday at Coral Seymour Memorial park, the Peninsula Oilers topped the Mat-Su Miners 6-5 after 13 innings, but on Thursday, it was the Miners getting the better of the Oilers 2-1 in an 11-inning affair.
The game ended when Turner Clouse was caught stealing second base with two outs, a call that had the Oilers fan base up in arms.
“I thought he was safe,” said Oilers coach Kyle Richardson. “That was a call I wasn’t really happy about, but what are you going to do? The game’s over, you can’t argue it, it just seemed like a call that was like, let’s end it and get home.
“It’s a tough way to end it, but I like the aggression. I like the idea of trying to force something, but I would’ve liked a better outcome.”
The loss leaves the Oilers with a 1-1 Alaska Baseball League record.
Andre Mercurio hit 1 for 5 with a double, and had the lone RBI for the Oilers. Mercurio hit a single down the first-base line in the seventh inning, putting him out but scoring Brody Greer to tie the game up.
The Miners had scored first, in the top of the second inning, when R.J. Santigate hit a sacrifice single that brought Nash Knight across home plate.
“Hats off to the Oilers, they play unbelievably hard and they never give up,” said Miners coach Ben Taylor. “We have to play very well to play a game like that against a quality ballclub.”
Taylor understandably was happy with the final call, not only because it won them the game, but because he was glad to get out of the visitors dugout, which was facing a cold wind.
“I saw a great jump and I saw our guy make a great throw,” Taylor said. “It’s just great baseball.”
Logan McAnallen pitched the first six innings for the Oilers, striking out five batters, but Brandon Warner received the loss, as he pitched the next 4 1-3 innings, with one earned run.
When the extra innings began, it became a Warner versus Warner showdown, as the Oilers’ Brandon Warner and the Miners’ Mitch Warner each took the mound.
After a brief stint on the mound from Dylan Silva, Travis Barnes was put in at the top of the 11th inning, but found some trouble.
With the bases loaded for the Miners, Barnes walked Spencer Mahoney, which allowed A.J. Simcox to score the ultimate winning run.
Soon after, Clouse was caught with the game-ending steal.
Clouse hit 1 for 5, Greer hit 1 for 3 with a run, and Jake Alvarez and Adam Sonabend both went 1 for 4.
Richardson said for Friday’s game against the Miners, they will be putting Billy Strode on the mound. Strode is an anticipated pitcher, coming out of Florida State, which was recently eliminated from the College World Series. The contest begins at 7 p.m. at Coral Seymour park.