As one of only four unbeaten teams remaining in the National Baseball Congress World Series, the Peninsula Oilers have prospered courtesy of all-around excellence.
Through Sunday in the 32-team tournament in Wichita, Kan., to crown the champion of amateur summer baseball, the Oilers ranked second in batting average (.364) and third in team earned-run average (1.71), and had committed just one error in its three victories.
The Oilers (3-0) tonight at 7 ADT play the Santa Barbara Foresters (3-0) at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.
Entering tonight, only nine teams remain in the tournament.
Peninsula also ranks first in on-base percentage (.482) and first in on-base plus slugging percentage (1.005).
A principal catalyst has been designated hitter Stephen Branca, who the Oilers picked up from the ABL's Mat-Su Miners for the tournament. Through Sunday, Branca ranked eighth in batting average (.583), was tied for first in hits (7), tied for second in RBIs (7) and tied with teammate and second baseman Chris Mallory for fifth in runs (5).
Another late addition to the club, outfielder Boomer Collins, picked up from the ABL's Anchorage Bucs, ranked fourth in average (.625). And catcher Ryan McChesney, who owns two hits in two games and has walked four times, ranked tied for second in on-base percentage (.750).
The Oilers have three times won the tournament - 1994, 1993 and 1977. They are the most recent club to win back-to-back titles.
Santa Barbara has been one of the top teams at NBC in the past decade, winning titles in 2008 and 2006, and finishing runner-up in 2005.
The Foresters play in the California Collegiate League, where this summer they shared the league championship with the San Luis Obispo Blues.