The Kenai Peninsula Oilers were just three outs away from being eliminated at the National Baseball Congress World Series, but the Oilers erupted for 13 runs in the ninth and 10th innings to claim an 18-9 victory over Prairie Gravel of Illinois in a losers' bracket game Monday in Wichita, Kan.
The Oilers, who are the lone Alaska League representative left in the 48-team double-elimination tournament, will play tonight against the El Dorado (Kan.) Broncos in an elimination game. On Friday, the Broncos eliminated the other Alaska League team from the tournament, claiming a 6-3 victory over the Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks.
Rob Conway, a 1996 Juneau-Douglas High School graduate and an Iowa State senior-to-be, is playing designated hitter-third base for the Nevada (Mo.) Griffons, who were scheduled to play a losers' bracket game this afternoon against the Oklahoma City Sox.
Kenai trailed 9-5 entering the top of the ninth inning, but scored four runs to tie the game and force an extra inning. The Oilers then sent 13 batters to the plate in the 10th inning, scoring nine runs to clinch the victory.
Leadoff hitter Danny Garcia led the Oilers with two homers, a triple and a single in six at bats, going 4-for-6 with four runs scored, six RBIs and a stolen base. Jeremy Reed, who batted second in Kenai's order, also homered and doubled, going 3-for-6 with three RBIs and two runs.
Cleanup hitter Luke Simmons went 4-for-5 with three runs scored and an RBI, while Jeff Jones went 3-for-6 with a run and an RBI for Kenai.
Prairie Gravel took a 7-2 lead in the third inning, scoring twice in the second and five times in the third. Mo Dorsey hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning to put Prairie up 9-2, but Kenai responded with three runs in the top of the seventh keyed by a two-run homer by Garcia.
That set up Kenai's four-run comeback in the ninth, led by a three-run triple by Garcia, and the nine-run outburst in the 10th keyed by a three-run homer from Reed.