Meet the Peninsula Oilers, including a Trout fan who likes to fish and a utility player who misses his pups

Summer is officially in full swing and for many sports fans, that means baseball.

The Alaska Baseball League features college players from all over the United States. While a few of the players in the league are from Alaska, a great majority are from the Lower 48.

This week Anchorage Daily News is talking to a few players from each of the five ABL teams. We asked them what they’ve liked about Alaska, what they miss from back home and what else they’re into. Today we talked to a trio from the Peninsula Oilers and tomorrow we will hear from players from the Anchorage Bucs.

Jacob Shaver

Shaver is a 21-year-old utility player/right-handed pitcher who spent the last three years at University of Arizona but is currently in the transfer portal “looking for a new place to play.”

Hometown: Salt Lake City, UT

Q. What are you most excited to do in Alaska when you aren’t playing baseball?

HAS. Fishing and getting to know my host family and the guys on the team a little bit better.

Q. What will you miss most about your hometown/college town while you are in Alaska?

HAS. My family, friends and dogs.

Q. Favorite MLB player or team?

HAS. The (Houston) Astros and my favorite player is Alex Bregman.

Q. What made you want to participate in the ABL?

HAS. I just love playing baseball and I thought it’d be cool to play baseball in the state of Alaska and in this league. I’ve had some friends that have played here before and I just reached out to the coaches on the Oilers and they let me come on.

Q. What preconceived notions did you have about Alaska before getting here?

HAS. I didn’t come into Alaska with any expectations really but I love the state and I love the mountains and water. It’s exceeded everything I could’ve hoped for.

Q. Favorite genre of music?

HAS. I’d have to go with country and reggae.

Q. Favorite series to binge watch?

HAS. I like the “Ozark” series a lot and I like “Game of Thrones” a lot.

Will O’Neil

O’Neil is a 19-year-old left-handed pitcher from USC going into his sophomore season.

Hometown: Newport Beach, California

Q. What are you most excited to do in Alaska when you aren’t playing baseball?

HAS. Just experience Alaska life, go fishing a lot and experience being away from home.

Q. What will you miss most about your hometown/college town while you are in Alaska?

HAS. My friends, family, the beach and my coaches from home too.

Q. Favorite MLB player or team?

HAS. I’m an Angels fan and I got to go with Mike Trout.

Q. What made you want to participate in the ABL?

HAS. My pitching coach told me to come here and thought it would be the best fit for me and it’s been great so far.

Q. What preconceived notions did you have about Alaska before getting here?

HAS. None really.

Q. Favorite genre of music?

HAS. I kind of like all sorts of music. I like EDM music and country music. I’ve kind of gone away from rap a little bit but I like old school music. Tom Petty and stuff like that. I like Black Eyed Peas a lot. That was the first music I got introduced to when I was younger.

Q. Favorite series to binge watch?

HAS. I really like the show “All American” and “Outer Banks” is good too.

Casey Burnham

Burnham is a 23-year-old centerfielder who spent his first four years at Kansas University but is now a graduate transfer at Nebraska University.

Hometown: Grand Island, Nebraska

Q. What are you most excited to do in Alaska when you aren’t playing baseball?

A. Definitely go fishing.

Q. What will you miss most about your hometown/college town while you are in Alaska?

A. Just being with family and friends but these guys out here make it good.

Q. Favorite MLB player or team?

A. The (Boston) Red Sox and Enrique Hernandez.

Q. What made you want to participate in the ABL?

A. One of my assistant coaches talked to me about it and it seemed like a good experience. I’m excited to be out here.

Q. What preconceived notions did you have about Alaska before getting here?

A. I didn’t really come into it with any expectations but it’s exceeded all of them.

Q. Favorite genre of music?

A. I like country and rap.

Q. Favorite series to binge watch?

A. I’m watching “Ozark” right now.

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