Oilers cruise in opener of National Baseball Congress World Series
The Peninsula Oilers' opening round game of the National Baseball Congress World Series was postponed a day because of thunder, lightning and rain.
When they finally took the field Thursday morning at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium in Wichita, Kan., the Oilers bats provided the storm.
Peninsula used 11 hits in a 14-1 drubbing of the Northwest (Wash.) Honkers to advance in the winner's bracket of the 64-team tournament. The game was called after five innings because of the 10-run mercy rule.
The Oilers face the San Diego Force on the same field at 7 p.m. ADT Friday. The game can be heard on 1140 AM. Jordan Mills will get the start.
Starting pitcher John Maciel earned the win Thursday, allowing one run on three hits in five innings.
He walked three and struck out seven - and received plenty of run support.
The 14-run effort was Peninsula's highest output this season. The outburst was sparked by newcomer Stephen Branca, a designated hitter recently acquired from the Mat-Su Miners.
In his first plate appearance, Branca drilled a three-run double to the wall off Northwest starter Jason Salers in the top of the first.
That was only the beginning of the nightmare for Salers, who lasted one-plus inning and gave up 10 runs on six hits, walking six and striking out one.
Peninsula scored seven runs in the second, beginning with a two-run, ground-rule double from Chris Mallory. Patrick Wisdom followed with a two-run home run to make it 7-0.
After Troy Channing and Tanner Rust walked, Branca roped a single to left field. The left fielder made a wild throw on the play, allowing Channing and Rust to score.
Manny Acosta capped the rally with a sacrifice fly to score Branca, who finished 3 of 4 with three RBIs and two runs.
Peninsula catcher Ryan McChesney got into the action with a two-run double in the fourth, bumping the lead to 12-1.
Nate Ring was then hit by a pitch, and Mike Miller drove in two more with a double down the line in left field.
Every Peninsula starter except Acosta scored at least one run, and seven of them notched hits.
The Oilers are seeking their fourth NBC World Series championship. They won the Alaska Baseball League regular-season title for the first time since 2006.