Peninsula Oilers top Anchorage Glacier Pilots in rain-shortened game
The rain kept falling Saturday. The Peninsula Oilers kept hitting.
The Oilers slapped 11 base knocks and each starter reached base at least once in a rain-shortened, 6-3 Alaska Baseball League victory over the Anchorage Glacier Pilots at Coral Seymour Memorial Park.
Peninsula improves to 18-9 in the ABL, holding a three-game lead over the Anchorage Bucs (16-13) for the league's top spot. The Mat-Su Miners are four back at 15-14, while the Pilots are six back at 15-18. The Athletes in Action Fire sit in the cellar, 9 1-2 behind at 10-20.
The Oilers face the Miners at 6 p.m. today at Hermon Brothers Field in Palmer for the first of three games away from Kenai. Ben Griset will start for Peninsula.
Saturday's first pitch was delayed 25 minutes because of rain and the game was called in the bottom of the sixth after another 30-minute delay.
Not that the soggy conditions slowed Peninsula's bats.
"Hitting is contagious," said Peninsula third baseman Patrick Wisdom, who was 2 for 3. "It's a lot harder to hit (in the rain), but you've got to make the best of it."
That's exactly what the Oilers did a night after they managed three hits in a dim 3-1 loss to the Pilots.
Peninsula banged out seven singles and scored five runs in sending nine men to the plate in the bottom of the fourth, erasing a 3-1 deficit.
Anchorage starter and loser Derek Dingeman allowed five of the singles before he was yanked from the game, allowing eight hits over 3 1-3 innings.
Wisdom and Troy Channing started the rally with back-to-back singles before Tanner Rust struck out.
Ryan McChesney, Jeff Yamaguchi and Greg Anderson then hit consecutive singles, with Anderson's hit scoring two runs.
After a Nate Ring fielder's choice, Mike Miller and Chris Mallory capped the rally with a pair of hits, each earning RBIs as the Oilers claimed a 6-3 lead. Miller was tagged out between second and third on Mallory's single, which ended the inning.
"It was good to see them string some hits together," Oilers coach Dennis Machado said of the singles. "A hit's a hit."
The outburst helped erase a mediocre performance from Peninsula starter J.D. Salles, who allowed four extra-base hits through three and was eventually pulled with one out in the top of the fourth.
The right-hander struck out four and didn't walk a batter on 69 pitches, but allowed seven hits and three runs. He left many of his pitches up in the strike zone.
"When you leave pitches up in the zone against a good team, they are going to make you pay," Machado said. "J.D. is a competitor and always give it everything, but tonight he couldn't keep the ball down."
After Rust hit a solo home run over the fence in right field to tie the game at 1 in the second, the Pilots captured the lead in third.
Kevin Hall hit a home run to left to give the Pilots a 2-1 edge. Matt Vinson and Dustin Torchio then hit back-to-back doubles to make it a two-run game.
Cameron McVey entered for Salles, earning the win in pitching 2 2-3 scoreless innings. He struck out four and didn't walk a batter.
The rain began to fall hard in the fifth and didn't stop into the sixth. After a 30-minute delay, the umpires called the game.
It goes down as a win for the Oilers because once a game reaches the sixth, it becomes official.
"It feels good," Wisdom said of the win. "We're just going to try to win as many games as we can down the stretch and hopefully gain some momentum."
Oilers 6, Pilots 5, 5 1-2 inn.
Oilers AB R H BI Pilots AB R H BI
Mllr ss 3 0 1 1 Vinsn lf 3 1 1 0
Mllry 2b 3 0 1 1 Trchio 2b 3 0 2 1
Wsdm 3b 3 1 2 0 Hohl ss 3 0 0 0
Chnng 1b 2 1 1 0 Brkmyr dh 3 0 0 0
Rust rf 3 1 1 1 Judge rf 3 1 1 0
McChn c 2 1 1 1 Torres 1b 3 0 1 0
Ymgchi dh 2 1 2 0 Keyes 3b 2 0 0 1
Andsn lf 2 0 1 2 David c 2 0 1 0
Ring cf 2 1 1 0 Hall cf 2 1 1 1
Totals 22 6 11 6 Totals 24 3 7 3
Anchorage 012 000 -3
Peninsula 010 5x -6
E- Vinson. DP - Pilots 2. LOB - Pilots 4, Oilers 3. 2B - Judge, Vinson, Torchio, Wisdom. HR - Hall, Rust. SB - Torchio 2. CS - Ring. S - Keyes.
IP H R ER BB SO
Salles 3.1 7 3 3 0 4
McVey, W 2.2 0 0 0 0 3
Dingeman, L 3.1 8 5 5 0 1
Grunewald 1.2 3 1 1 1 1
HP - by Dingman (McChesney).