The Mat-Su Miners won their ABL leading 15th win of the season after beating the Peninsula Oilers 5-2 on Wednesday night at Hermon Brothers Field. The team was carried by the arm of starting pitcher Trevor Bettencourt who picked up the win and improved his record to 2-1 on the year.
Bettencourt went 7 and 2/3 innings of shut out baseball. His ERA dropped to 2.57 on the summer and earned his first win since June 25th. Bettencourt was pulled after 3 and 2/3 inning in his previous outing, but was able to bounce back against the Oilers.
“Last start coach even asked me, ‘how’s your confidence’ and I said it’s down in the drain right now,” Bettencourt said. “I talked to BT [Ben Taylor] and Bakes [Brad Baker] about mechanics, mental stuff and everything and came out and had a great day and felt good.”
The Miners scored the first runs of the game on an RBI double from Brenden Farney and sacrifice fly from Patrick McGrath. Mat-Su gave Bettencourt three more runs in the 7th to make the score 5-0 that included a two-run double from Christin Stewart and an RBI double from Gio Brusa. The Oilers scored two runs in the top of the 9th to breakup the shutout.
Eight of the nine players in the Miners’ batting order recorded a hit. Leadoff hitter Spencer Mahoney went 2-5 on the night. Mahoney was move to the top of the lineup back on July 6th and has gone 9-23 (.391) in six games there.
“Instead of looking to drive runners in, I’m looking to get on base and score runs,” Mahoney said. “I’m pretty comfortable in the spot I’m in; I did it all through high school.”
Mahoney extended his hitting streak to eight games after his multiple hit day on Wednesday night.
On the mound, Bettencourt did not walk a batter for the first time this season. In addition to not giving out any free passes, the San Jose, California native struck out 12 Oilers.
“It feels like I’m in high school again,” Bettencourt said. “I knew I struck out a few guys but I didn’t know it was double digits and after when they showed me the line it was kind of eye opening.”
Drew Smith relieved Bettencourt and picked up his fourth save of the year. The Miners team will have its first off days on Thursday and Friday since June 24th.
“Eighteen games in 16 days isn’t easy; it takes a toll on the body” Mahoney said. “We get to take a step back [and] see a little bit of the state.”
The Miners have nine league games remaining after the off days. The team sits one game out of first place behind the Alaska Goldpanners.
“We’ll’ be fighting for a first place finish,” Mahoney said.