Oilers Stun Fish With Walk-Off Come From Behind 9th Inning Victory In 1st of 4 Straight On Peninsula

Blue was not a good color for the Chinooks as they lost another close one, this time to the Peninsula Oilers in Kenai.

Blue were the jerseys of the visitors from Chugiak-Eagle River. Blue were the faces of some of the players from warmer climes who shivered in temperatures flirt- ing with 50 degrees and a light sea breeze stirring the air. And blue were the fish fans as they saw things go from high to low in the bottom of the ninth.

It was a pitching game for starters from both teams, with Asa Johnson on the mound for the Chinooks and Logan McAnallen hurling for the Oilers. Johnson was the first to suffer when in the bottom of the fourth number nine-hole hitter Taylor Tempel doubled into left then was sacrificed to third. He scored on a one-ball pitch poked safely by Jake Alvarez.

Johnson was relieved in the bottom of the fifth with two on and two out. Devin Stanton came on in relief and made short work of the Oiler threat, getting the strike- out on a two-two pitch. He gained another red star in the very next inning after striking out the first batter he faced, giving up a single to the second hitter, then im- mediately erasing the side by snaring a comebacker, firing the ball to second- baseman Griffin Roark who threw a strike to Tyler Krahn at first.

The Chinooks still down 1-0 to open the eighth, Krahn doubled to right with one out. After the next batter flew out to center, it seemed that still another inning would end with runners left on base. That thought did not occur to catcher Daniel Salters, however. After taking a pitch down low, he jumped on a strike from Oilers reliever Michael Coates and sent it sailing over the right field fence at Coral Sey- mour Park.

Andrew Klausmeier took the hill to face the hometown team in the top of the eighth. Despite two batters making it on base via a single and a walk, he sat the last two men down with no damage done.

The top of the ninth was unproductive as the Chinooks were sent back to the bench, one, two three. With a 2-1 lead, only three outs were needed in the home half of the frame to preserve the win. Alas, it was not to be.

Lance Phillips was called in to close, but the bottom fell out. The first hitter up, the eight-hole hitter, doubled, the next batter walked and the Oilers’ lead-off man singled to load the bases. There was hope when Salters corralled a popup behind the plate in an effort to preserve his winning RBI. That hope was dashed, though, when the Peninsula team’s designated hitter walked to score the run that tied it up. The Oilers walked off victors when the second pitch to their catcher was driven into right field with the bases loaded. It ended 3-2, Oilers.

This was the first of a four game set on the Peninsula. The next three will all be at 7 p.m. The fish return home on Saturday to take on the Mat-Su Miners at 7 p.m.

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