Thanks to solid pitching in their 3-1, 11-inning victory over the host Mat-Su Miners in Alaska Baseball League play on Thursday night, the Peninsula Oilers could sleep a little better Thursday night.
That’s good, because the Oilers are going to need all the sleep they can get.
After defeating the Miners in extra innings, the Oilers had to hustle up to Fairbanks to play the Goldpanners at 7 p.m. Friday.
The Oilers’ fielding was subpar Thursday, with four errors. One of those errors led to the only run of the game for the Miners.
The Oilers’ hitting was so-so, with Peninsula collecting 10 hits in the 11 innings.
But the Oilers’ pitching was lights out, holding the Miners to just five hits and no earned runs.
The Oilers dropped the Miners out of first place, with Mat-Su falling to 7-4 in the league, a half game behind the first-place Anchorage Bucs. At 4-4, the Oilers are two games behind the Bucs with the always tough series in Fairbanks set to commence.
Logan McAnallen got the start for the Oilers and went five innings, giving up just two hits and the unearned run. The run scored in the fifth inning, when Nash Knight scored on a throwing error by catcher Mike Wieland.
That error tied the game at 1. The Oilers had taken a 1-0 lead in the top of the third when Andre Mercurio doubled to score Tim Proudfoot.
After the fifth, it was up to the Oilers bullpen to hold the Miners down until Peninsula could scratch out a run or two.
Dylan Silva pitched two scoreless innings, giving up just one hit.
Michael Coates then pitched the next three innings, eventually earning the win for allowing just two hits.
Brody Greer then shut the door in the 11th inning, striking out the side for the save.
The Oilers’ bats warmed up in the 11th inning to make a loser out of Drew Smith.
Wieland led off the inning with a walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Adam Sonabend.
Noah Holmes then finished off a 2-for-2 day by doubling in Wieland. Kyle Hunt then singled to score Holmes and give the Oilers a little breathing room.
It was the third time in four games the Miners and Oilers went to extra innings this year. The Oilers have won two of the three extra-inning contests. The Oilers-Miners season series is now tied at 2 apiece.