Martin Oil coasts into federation playoffs routing ReMax 16-4

Following Tuesday’s 7-3 win over ReMax in the first game of the best-of-three semifinal series, Martin Oil Manager Ed Davis talked of being worried about his team’s lack of hitting. The team must have read that column, because in Wednesday’s 5:30 p.m. start for game two of the series everybody in the starting lineup had at least one hit when Martin Oil opened with eight runs in the top of the first before ReMax had a chance to bat and kept up a steady flow of runs across home plate that eased Martin Oil into the championship finals for the second straight season with a 16-4 win.
Jordan Taylor opened the game with a double over the head of ReMax centerfielder Jon Milliron. Pitcher Dan Houser, who led Martin Oil with four hits in five at bats lined a triple down the rightfield line to score Taylor with the first tally. After two infield pops, Martin Oil bunched together seven straight hits to jump out to an 8-0 lead.
Zach Stere delivered a two-out single to plate Matt Plummer, courtesy running for Houser. Nate Carlson singled to center and Derrick Miller beat out an infield hit to load the bases. Martin Oil catcher Shawn Weiand quickly unloaded the sacks, drilling a double to left center that scored Stere, Carlson, and Miller. Damion Miller’s single scored Cory Daly, courtesy running for Weiand. Damion stole second base and Taylor singled up the middle to get him home. Taylor continued on to second on the play and scored the eighth run of the inning on a single by Houser.
“We were real fortunate to go out and get eight runs in the first inning,” Davis responded. “It really helped take the pressure off the pitcher and gave us a little bit of breathing room. You are not afraid to go all out without thinking about making mistakes.”
In the second, Martin Oil added a pair of unearned runs. Adam Plummer was safe when his line drive bounced off Milliron’s glove. Carlson was safe on an infield error. Weiand had his ground ball thrown away with Plummer scoring. Damion Miller got Carlson in with a single to left.
Damien Wiliams and Greg Geist socked back-to-back doubles to begin the bottom of the first for ReMax. A promising start was cut short when a perfect right fielder Damion Miller-to-second baseman Zach Stere-to-third baseman Derrick Miller relay nailed Geist trying to stretch his basehit into a triple, for the first out. Houser then fanned Shane McConnell and Adam Salyards, ReMax’s number three and four hitters to end the threat.
Dan Houser pitched the complete-game win for Martin Oil, allowing four runs on seven hits, striking out six while walking four in the five-inning game, shortened because of the 10-run mercy rule, which does count in the playoffs.
“All-in-all, Danny pitched a real solid five innings for us tonight,” said Davis. “We needed that. Going into the championship series (the best of five, which could go five straight days and exhaust a pitching staff), you just can’t live with only three pitchers. Danny showed us tonight, he really wants the ball. That’s what we needed to see.”
Keeping the pressure on, Martin Oil scored four times in the third inning to run their lead to 14-1. Batting around for the second time in three at bats, Martin Oil began when Houser reached on a error and Troy Beaver scratched out an infield hit. Adam Plummer worked McConnell to a two-ball, two strike count before fouling a liner down the right field line. Plummer drilled the next pitch for a three-run homerun over the right field wall. Stere walked and with the help of an error on a line shot from Damion Miller, came around to score.
With the majority of the starters on the bench, Martin Oil added a pair in the fourth. Houser dropped his fourth basehit in front of the ReMax leftfielder and advanced to second when the outfielder bobbled the ball. Ryan Myers drilled a double to get Ryan Kenawell, running for Houser home. An infield single by Thad Sprankle put runners at the corners. The ReMax second baseman couldn’t handle a hard-hit grounder by Matt Plummer that allowed Myers to score.
ReMax was able to mount a mini-comeback with three runs over the final two innings, but Houser got a fielder’s choice and infield fly to end the sixth inning with two runs in and the bases loaded, then fanned the final two ReMax hitters with a run in and runners on first and third in the seventh.
“We needed to get out of the hitting slump we were in,” explained Davis. “We had 18 hits tonight and Danny Houser had four of them, in addition to his pitching, so he had quite a night. Jordan had two more hits. Ryan Myers had a couple and so did Damion Miller and Nate Carlson. Adam Plummer had a big three-run homer. We played a pretty nice ballgame. Everybody got in and got to bat a couple of times. We definitely have a positive attitude going into the championship series.”
Martin Oil’s opponent in the finals will be determined tonight when McMullen Furniture and Altoona First play the deciding game of their semifinal series at 7:30 p.m.. The best-of-three series is tied at one game apiece.
Martin Oil 16 ReMax 4
MARTIN OIL – Taylor, cf, 5-2-2; Houser, p, 5-1-4; Beaver, ss, 3-1-1; Daly, cr-ss, 1-1-0; A. Plummer, 1b, 3-2-1; Myers, 1b, 2-1-2; Stere, 2b, 2-2-1; Rhoades, 2b, 2-0-0; Sprankle, lf, 1-0-1; Carlson, dh, 3-2-2; Der. Miller, 3b, 3-1-1; M. Plummer, cr-3b, 1-1-0; Weiand, c, 3-0-1; Albright, c, 1-0-0; Dam. Miller, rf, 3-1-2; Kenawell, cr-rf, 1-1-0. TOTALS 39-16-18.
REMAX- Williams, 2b, 3-1-1; G. Geist, c-p, 2-0-1; McConnell, p-1b, 3-0-0; Salyards, rf, 1-0-0; Dayarmin, c, 1-1-1; Milliron, cf, 2-1-1; Knapp, 3b, 2-1-1; Glunt, lf, 0-0-0; D. Geist, lf, 3-0-0; Zeak, 1b, 0-0-0; Green, dh-rf, 3-0-0; Campbell, ss, 2-0-2. TOTALS 22-4-7.
Martin Oil 824 20 16-18-0.
ReMax 100 21 4-7-5.
2B: REM- Williams 1, G. Geist 1, MO- Taylor 1, Weiand 1, Myers 1.
3B: MO- Houser 1.
HR: MO- A. Plummer 1.
RBI: MO- A. Plummer 3, Weiand 3, Houser 2, Dam. Miller 2, Taylor 1, Stere 1, Sprankle 1, REM- Williams 1, G. Geist 1, Campbell 1.
SO: MO- Houser 6, REM- G. Geist 5.
BB: MO- Houser 4, REM- G. Geist 2.
WP: Houser LP: McConnell