FAIRBANKS — The Boys of Summer wrapped up their Alaska Baseball League home season Wednesday night in a most exciting fashion.
The Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth to tie the score
3-3 and Kurt Schlangen singled home Kevin Casey with the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the 10th to give the Goldpanners a thrilling 4-3 victory against the Peninsula Oilers of Kenai in front of an enthusiastic crowd at Growden Memorial Park.
Casey, who was 1 for 3 on the night, singled and eventually moved to third when Matt Nadolsky grounded out to second base for the second out of the inning.
Schlangen, who went 3 for 5 with a run scored and two runs batted in, came through with the game-winning hit on the first pitch off Peninsula reliever Mark Garcia.
The win enabled the Goldpanners to take the three of four games from the Oilers. The teams wound up splitting their eight league games as Peninsula opened the season in early June by winning three out of four games in Kenai.
The Goldpanners improved to
16-18 in the ABL, 6 1/2 games behind the league-leading Anchorage Glacier Pilots (23-12). Peninsula fell to 19-17, 4 1/2 games behind.
While the Goldpanners home season is over, they still have plenty of games to play. Alaska has five games remaining at the Chugiak-Eagle River Chinooks and one at the Anchorage Glacier Pilots.
The Oilers appeared to be cruising to victory with a 3-0 lead going into the bottom of the ninth when the Goldpanners came to life.
The winning rally started when Paul Politi singled and moved to third on a double by Nadolski. Schlangen singled in both runners and eventually scored on a wild pitch to send the game into extra innings.
The Oilers got on the scoreboard with two runs in the fifth and added another in the eighth to take what seemed to be a commanding lead, but the Goldpanners had other ideas and sent the hometown crowd home happy for the last time this season.
Patrick Hennessey put the Oilers down one-two-three in the top of the 10th to earn the win for the Goldpanners. Nigel Nootbaar, the third of five Peninsula pitchers suffered the loss.