Martin Oil outlasts Juniata VFW

Martin Oil began their game at Juniata on Tuesday as if they weren’t ready to play defense or pitch. Juniata VFW scored six times in the first three innings, and four of the six reached base on walks or by getting hit by a pitch.
Martin Oil did have immediate offense, scoring in every inning, but the seventh to edge Juniata VFW 9-8.
Earnie Kelley opened the game with a single to center, then stole second base and advanced to third on a error. With one down, Brandon Beech lofted a sacrifice fly to score Kelley.
In the second, Chad Coho and Blaze Winterstein drew back-to-back walks with one out. Kyle Drost lined the first of three straight base hits to score Coho to temporarily tie the score 2-2.
Back a run, 3-2, Martin Oil retied the game in the third inning. Dustin Harris walked with one out and stole second base. With two outs, designated hitter Troy Brunner caught Juniata VFW napping, by dropping a bunt down the third base line. By the time Juniata VFW pitcher Andy Lytle picked it up and threw to first baseman Ryan Beasom, Brunner was safe at first. Harris, who never stopped running, beat both the throw from Beasom, and catcher R. J. Payne to the plate to score from second on Brunner’s bunt single.
Juniata VFW scored three in the bottom of the third to jump back into the lead again. Bryan Partner opened the frame with a double, Marcus Townsend singled home Partner, Andy Lytle walked and Black unloaded the second double of the inning to score both Townsend and Lytle.
Martin Oil starter Winterstein got two ground outs to end the third inning and then, with the help of a catcher Troy Brunner to shortstop Brandon Beech caught stealing, retired the next six batters in a row.
Martin Oil took advantage of that chance to score five times to take a lead they would never give up.
In the fourth, with two out, Drost singled to left. Alex Miller singled to right and when the ball got past right fielder Chad Mills, Drost scored all the way from first and Miller ended up at third. A Kelley single scored Miller to slice the Juniata advantage to 6-5.
Then, an inning later, again with two outs, Brunner was safe on an error. Chris Alley and Coho singled to load the bases. Winterstein walked to force in Brunner to tie the game. Drost’s third single of the ballgame brought both Alley and Coho home.
In the top of the sixth, Martin Oil added one more that proved ultimately to be the winning run of the game.
Kelley and Harris walked to lead off the inning. Beech bounced a ball to third baseman Black, who stepped on third for the first out of the inning, but then threw wildly trying to double up Beech. Harris came around to score, before Beech finally was thrown out trying to advance to second base.
Down 9-6, Juniata VFW loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth. Drew Gallardy singled up the middle to score Black. Martin Oil manager Ed Davis brought in Harris in relief of Winterstein. Harris struck out Bryant Partner, who had doubled earlier, to end that threat, then gave up one run in the seventh before securing the save, by getting the final two batters looking at third strikes to end the game.
Winterstein pitched five and 2/3 innings, giving up seven runs, five earned with five strikeouts, but kept it interesting with nine walks. Harris finished up the final inning and 1/3 with three hits, three Ks and no walks.
“I feel like we stole one away there,” said Martin Oil assistant coach John Schmittle. “We didn’t really win that game. It was more who was willing to lose that one first, it seemed. We were able to put a couple runs together in the fifth inning and happened to keep the lead. Dustin Harris did a nice job closing the game down. On to tomorrow, hopefully, we will bring our bats.”
Martin Oil (16-6) travels to Prospect Field today, to play Dick’s Pharmacy at 6 p.m.
Martin Oil 9 Juniata VFW 8
Martin Oil – Kelley, cf, 3-1-2; Harris, rf-p, 2-2-0; B. Beech, ss-rf, 3-0-0; A. Alley, c, 0-0-0; Brunner, dh-c, 3-1-1; C. Alley, 2b, 4-1-1; Coho, 3b, 3-2-1; Winterstein, p-ss, 2-0-0; Schilling, cr, 0-0-0; Drost, 1b, 4-1-3; Miller, lf, 3-1-1. TOTALS 27-9-9.
Juniata VFW – Eck, 2b, 3-1-0; Mills, rf, 1-2-0; Beasom, 1b-p, 2-0-1; Jacobs, cr, 0-0-0; Gallardy, lf, 4-0-1; Partner, ss, 3-1-1; Townsend, cf, 4-2-2; Lytle, p-1b, 2-1-1; Black, 3b, 4-1-2; Payne, c, 3-0-0; Moschella, ph, 1-0-0. TOTALS 27-8-8.
Martin Oil 111 231 0 9-9-3.
Juniata VFW 213 001 1 8-8-2.
2B: Partner.
RBI: Drost 3, Kelley, B. Beech, Winterstein, Townsend 2, Beasom, Gallardy.
SO: Winterstein 5, Harris 3, Lytle 1, Beasom 1.
BB: Winterstein 9, Lytle 4, Beasom 3.
WP: Winterstein LP: Lytle S: Harris