The Peninsula Oilers parlayed a five-run fourth inning Saturday night into a 6-3 victory over the Chugiak-Eagle River Chinooks that vaulted the Kenai-based team into a tie for first place in the Alaska Baseball League.
The Oilers' third straight win improved their ABL record to 13-9, which deadlocks them with the Anchorage Glacier Pilots (11-7), although the Pilots lead by percentage points, .611 to .591.
In other ABL action, the Anchorage Bucs snapped a season-worst, four-game losing streak with 4-2 seven-inning victory over the Fairbanks Goldpanners at Mulcahy Stadium. But the Panners earned a split of the doubleheader with a 6-4 win in the seven-inning nightcap.
In Kenai, the Oilers blew open a 1-1 game in the fourth, when they loaded the bases, with no outs, on three consecutive walks. Jeff Yamaguchi delivered a two-run double, Jake Alvarez and Nate Ring followed with RBI singles, and a Chinooks error on Jordan Hein's ground ball loaded the bases again. Josh Delf's sacrifice fly gave the Oilers a 6-1 cushion.
Trey Richardson hit a solo home run for the Oilers, who received six strong innings from left-handed starter Jordan Mills. Mills allowed six hits and two runs, and struck out six.
The Chinooks (10-10 ABL) received an RBI groundout from Kristopher Kwak, an RBI double from Adam Humes and a solo homer from Brent Fukushima.
In the first game of the Bucs-Goldpanners doubleheader, Bucs left-handed starter Ben Doucette went six innings, surrendered just five hits and one unearned run, and struck out four to improve to 2-0 and lower his earned-run average to 1.42. Braden Shipley struck out two and gave up an unearned run in the seventh to pocket his fifth save.
Brenden Kalfus went 2 for 3 for the Bucs (10-10 ABL), scored one run and drove in a run. He went 4 for 7 in the doubleheader, with three doubles, two runs scored and two RBIs.
The Goldpanners (8-10 ABL) bounced back in a heartbeat, using a terribly rough start from Bucs right-hander Nick Piscotty to rack four first-inning runs. Piscotty faced five batters -- he surrendered Brady Renner's leadoff triple and walked four -- before he got the hook. Fairbanks' Michael Zeblo and Paul Politi added RBI singles.
Renner added an RBI fielder's choice in the sixth and scored a seventh-inning run courtesy of two Bucs errors. That offset a two-run homer by Anchorage's Collin Ferguson in the sixth inning.