Miners 7, Oilers 2
By Joey Klecka
The Peninsula Oilers don't usually make a lot of mistakes, but they did on Friday, and it cost them badly.
The Oilers suffered a malady of blunders that led to a 7-2 loss against the Mat-Su Miners at Coral Seymour Memorial park.
Oilers coach Kyle Richardson had two words to describe the game.
"Walks and errors," Richardson said. "You can't win baseball games making errors. You can't, it's impossible. All you do is put yourself in a hole."
The loss left the Miners with a 2-1 series lead against the Oilers in the three days they competed this week. The Oilers stand with a 1-2 season record which places them fifth in the six-team Alaska Baseball League standings. The Anchorage Bucs lead with a perfect 5-0 record.
The loss also ruined the pitching debut of Billy Strode, out of Florida State University. Strode recorded the loss, pitching the first three innings with four hits, five runs and two strikeouts.
"You just gotta grind it out," Richardson said. "You move on to the next day, and take each individual day as a challenge. The players that are really good at this game can isolate events, and can compartmentalize events, and if they're having a bad day defensively, they don't carry it to the plate."
The Oilers led 2-0 early after Andre Mercurio scored both runs off a single from Adam Sonabend and a double from Kye Hunt and in the first and second innings, respectively.
It was the third inning that gave the Oilers all the trouble.
Christin Stewart hit what should have been a single, but second baseman Jake Alvarez overthrew to Dillon Dobson on first, so not only did Stewart get to second, but it allowed Josh Williams and Ben Wylly to make it home. In addition, an erroneous throw to Noah Holmes at third allowed A.J. Simcox to score a third run.
For the Miners, Simcox hit 2 for 3 with two runs and one RBI, and teammate Wylly hit 1 for 3 with two runs.
Sonabend led the Oilers by hitting 2 for 3 with an RBI. Hunt went 2 for 4 with an RBI, and Michael Hoo went 1 for 2.
Two more runs were scored in the same inning, leaving the Oilers trailing 5-2.
"We knew that we had to play with a lot of energy because the Kenai team is such a good ball club," said Miners coach Ben Taylor. "The story for me was the quality performance that Ty Schlottmann put in. We got a good seven innings from him. After a rough first inning, he settled down and really allowed us to play well."
Schlottmann got the win by pitching seven innings with two runs and four strikeouts.
In total, the Oilers committed six errors, while the Miners only had one. Each team had eight hits.
The Oilers next game will be on the road against the Anchorage Glacier Pilots, on Sunday at 4 p.m