The Peninsula Oilers could beat any team…any team, that is, except 1: the Santa Barbara Foresters. With a loss against them last night, they’ve brought their season to a close, and with it the NBC World Series and the Alaska Baseball League post-season.
Their loss to the Foresters on Saturday came at an excruciating final score: 1-0. The Oilers used eight pitchers in eight innings but a first-inning run surrendered by Jordan Mills was all it took. With the loss, the Oilers have settled for second place in the tournament. Having to accept a second-place finish is bitter-sweet; it hurts to fall just short of a championship, but to come in second overall is not too shabby.
Many players did pretty well individually, as well. Three Oilers ranked top-10 in RBI: Mike Miller (12, 1st) Stephen Branca (8, T-3rd) and Patrick Wisdom (7, T-7th). Miller ranked first in the tournament with 5 stolen bases also. The Oilers were the best team offensively overall with a tournament-best OPS of .834 and 48 RBIs. The pitching was pretty good as well, with a ninth-best ERA of 2.41.
With it all said and done, looking back, the Oilers have to be pretty satisfied with a good season and a big improvement over a solid 2010 campaign. Last year they came into the NBC as the third-place team and failed to make a serious run at it. This year they were ABL league champions, had a stellar year in Alaska, and then charged all the way to the top of the bracket crushing everyone in their path…except the Foresters.
In any event, that closes the book on another great year of Alaska baseball. I’ll throw in a bit of blog/personal news here and officially announce that I’m transferring schools to UAA to finish my degree and will be taking the next two weeks to move from my home in Montana to my new place in Alaska. That being said, the posts might be slow — but hopefully not completely dead — over the next couple weeks but I have some big ideas for this off-season so don’t go away!