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Oilers’ Peel, Plett strong on the mound

They’ve been tasked with a big job this year

Veteran pitchers Jeff Peel and Curtis Plett give the Virden Oilers a lot of confidence when they take the mound.
As of Monday, the senior squad had a 5-2 record in the South West Baseball League. Plett had earned wins in three of those victories. Peel had the other two wins plus a save.
“They’ve been tasked with a big job this year as we are short on pitchers,” Oilers catcher Brady Potter said last week. “They know going into every game that they need to give us a strong seven innings for us to have a chance at a win. So far this year they’ve done it every game. ... They come out every start and put it all on the line. I think the guys in the field see that and they make that extra effort when called upon to make the plays needed.”
Peel and Plett enjoy pitching in front of this local group.
“I know they will give their best effort behind me,” Plett said. “We have an offence that is capable of putting up runs at any point in the game. We all hate to lose, which is important to me. I hate losing as much as I enjoy winning, which I feel they all do as well. It just feels like a cohesive group with everyone pulling in the same direction.”
Peel first suited up for his hometown team as a teenager. Plett played many seasons in Wawanesa before joining the Oilers. They both continue to compete at a high level. Peel has a 2.47 earned run average this season, while Plett’s is 3.35. 
“Pitching is a lot of fun for me,” Peel said. “It gives me an opportunity to be extremely competitive, something that I miss a lot.
“I also enjoy the challenge of pitching. There are a pile of great hitters in this league and I consider every batter a challenge. It is a big strain on my arm and body, and I like to see how I can push myself to pitch as well and as long as possible. As a pitcher, you are always in the play and that is a ton of fun. It's great to work with catchers to try and get a game plan going that will help us beat teams in this league.”
Last week the Oilers went 2-1. On June 14, they beat the visiting Wawanesa Brewers, 9-6. Virden trailed 4-3 going into the bottom of the second. The Oilers scored six runs in that frame to take a 9-4 lead and hung on for the victory. Potter drove in three runs in the game. Keifer Johnston had two RBIs. Peel struck out 11 while allowing 12 hits.
On June 17, the Boissevain Centennials scored four runs in the sixth inning to overcome a 3-2 deficit en route to a 6-4 victory. Jace Freeman started for the host Oilers. He allowed two hits in three innings of work. Mat Strain took the loss in relief. He surrendered four hits over four innings.
The Oilers romped past Oak River, 13-3, on June 19. The victory included a seven-run second inning. Tanner Lewis and Johnston each drove in three runs. Plett and Elisha Bambridge each had two RBIs. Plett struck out seven while earning the win.
This week the Oilers are on the road. They were to play in Hamiota on Tuesday, Reston on Friday, and Boissevain on Sunday. 
Reston Rockets
The Rockets fell 8-6 on the road on June 17 to the Hamiota Red Sox. Reston scored three runs in the seventh inning but were unable to complete the comeback. John Patmore had four RBIs. He took the loss on the mound after allowing seven runs on seven hits in four innings and striking out six.
The Rockets host a trio of contests this week. On Tuesday, the Rivers Comets came to town after the Empire-Advance deadline. The Oilers visit on Friday and the Wawanesa Brewers in Reston on Sunday.