Martin Oil takes final two weekend games over Tyrone Legion to advance to Kelley semifinals

Tyrone Legion showed on Friday night that they were more than ready to play in the first round George B. Kelley Federation playoffs against Martin Oil. After being swept by Martin Oil in the season series-two games to none, Legion jumped on Martin Oil for three quick runs and never let Martin Oil get in rhythm in an 8-2 opening game triumph.
Unfortunately for the Tyrone club, Martin Oil got the pitching they lacked in game one from Troy Brunner on Saturday and Dustin Harris on Sunday to eliminate Tyrone Legion from the playoffs.
With Harris on the mound, in the rubber match on Sunday, Martin Oil jumped on Jamie Levinson for four first-inning runs and went on to take the series two-games to one with a 12-8 victory that featured lots of mistakes and even more hits and runs.
Earnie Kelley drew a walk to lead off the bottom of the first. Harris was hit by a pitch, and Brandon Beech dropped a bunt down the third base line to load the bases. Levinson got Troy Brunner to pop up and struck out Chad Coho, but then walked Andy Alley to force in the first score of the game. With the bases still full, Blaze Winterstein singled to score Harris and Beech, and Alley also scored on an error on the play.
In the second, Martin Oil moved up 5-0 when Chris Alley beat out an infield hit, but Levinson picked him off first for the first out. Kelley walked, and moved all the way home on two separate errors.
After being set down on just a Levinson single by Harris, over the first two innings, Tyrone Legion exploded in the top of the third to tie the score. Mike Romano walked to begin the inning. Designated hitter Andy Ashcroft and Ben Lynn both beat out infield hits to load the bases with nobody out. A wild pitch scored Romano and a walk to Tyler Golden reloaded the bases. Consecutive infield hits by Justin Schopp and Shayne Tate got Romano and Ashcroft home. Levinson singled and Jess Hertzler delivered the biggest blow of the at-bat, singling to left to score both Lynn and Golden to knot the score at 5-5.
“Errors have hurt us the last two days,” said Tyrone Legion manager Mike Boytim, who watched his team make nine errors in the final two games of the series. “The errors hurt, but we fought back on Sunday to tie the game.”
Martin Oil scored in the bottom of the inning to edge out to a 6-5 advantage. Coho doubled to open the frame and with two outs and the bases loaded, Kelley singled to score Coho with the go-ahead tally.
The Bellwood-Antis-based Martin Oil squad pushed three runs across in the fourth to increase their lead to 9-5. With one out, Brunner was hit by a pitch, moved to second on a wild pitch and third on a passed ball. Coho lined out to short and in trying to double up Brunner, Tyrone shortstop Golden threw the ball away, allowing Brunner to score. Andy Alley, Winterstein and Alex Miller singled, with Miller’s base hit driving in Alley. Miller and Winterstein then pulled off a double steal, with Miller going to second and Winterstein coming home on the delayed steal.
“The effort to come back and tie the game took a lot out of us,” said Boytim, “and then we made more errors to give Martin Oil more runs. I think, that really deflated us.”
Harris kept Tyrone legion from adding to the score, but pitched out of trouble in both the fourth and fifth to do it.
In the top of the fourth, Ashcroft singled and went to third on a single by Golden, but Harris got a fielder’s choice by shortstop Brandon Beech to end the inning. Then, an inning later Tate beat out his second infield hit, stole second and after Levinson walked, the runners moved up to second and third with no one down. Harris struck out two straight batters and got an infield grounder to escape without a score.
“Our kids aren’t quitters,” said Martin Oil manager Ed Davis, in explaining his team’s effort to retake the lead after Tyrone Legion wiped put their big earlier advantage. “We just told the kids ‘If you play like you did Friday, your season is over. It’s up to you to take it forward.’ Fortunately they stepped up and did it.”
Then to close out the game, each team scored three times in their final at-bat to give Martin Oil the 12-8 win.
In the bottom of the sixth, Martin Oil took a 12-5 lead. With Golden now on the mound for Tyrone Legion, Garrett Rabold singled with one out. Winterstein was hit by a pitch, and Miller walked. Chris Alley was hit by a pitch to force in Rabold with the first run of the frame. Kelley walked to bring home Winterstein, and after Golden Struck out Harris, Beech walked to force home Miller.
Tyrone Legion wouldn’t go down without one last fight however. Schopp and Tate both drew free passes to lead off the seventh. Harris fanned Levinson for the first out, but then the Martin Oil defense, which had committed just two errors in the past 11 innings, suddenly had two in a space of three batters.
Hertzler was safe on an error by Beech that scored Schopp, Doug Morrow scored Tate with a sac fly, and an error by Brunner on a Mike Romano bouncer allowed Hertzler to score. Ashcroft walked, but Harris reached back and struck out Lynn to end the game.
Harris scattered 10 hits, giving up eight runs, five earned with 10 strike outs and six walks to pick up the win.
Levinson gave up nine runs, five earned with three walks and three strike outs to post the loss. Golden walked three and struck out two, giving up three runs on two hits.
On Saturday. Troy Brunner was in command from the first pitch, until the last, ending the game by striking out the side in the bottom of the fifth on the minimum nine pitches in an 11-0 Martin Oil triumph.
In between. Brunner gave up a total of three hits, fanned six and didn’t walk a batter and got plenty of help from his teammates.
Brandon Beech drilled a three-run bases-loaded double in the second inning to get Martin oil on the scoreboard and Alex Miller had a pair of singles to drive home three more runs. The bottom of the Martin Oil lineup rose to the occasion. Chad Coho, Andy Alley, Blaze Winterstein and Miller each cracked two hits, and scored eight runs between them.
Justin Schopp had an infield single and double for Tyrone Legion, for two of the three base hits allowed by Brunner.
Martin Oil (20-7) will begin their best-of-three semifinal series tonight at 8:30 p.m. at Vets Field against top seed ReMax Realty (20-2). In the first contest at 5:30 P.M., second seed Barkman Oil (20-4), will battle third seed Corporal Miller (18-5).
Martin Oil 11 Tyrone Legion 0, 5 inn.
Martin Oil – Kelley, 1b, 3-1-1, Harris, cf, 2-2-1; B. Beech, ss, 3-0-1; Brunner, p, 2-0-0; C. Alley, 2b, 3-0-0; Rabold, cr-rf, 1-0-0; Coho, 3b, 3-2-2; A. Alley, rf-2b, 3-3-2; Winterstein, c, 2-1-2; Miller, lf, 2-2-2. TOTALS 24-11-11.
Tyrone Legion – Lynn, rf, 3-0-0; Hertzler, p-3b, 1-0-1; Schopp, c, 2-0-2; Levinson, ss, 2-0-0; Tate, 3b-p, 2-0-0; Morrow, 1b, 2-0-0; Ashcroft, 2b, 2-0-0; Romano, cf, 1-0-0; Oswalt, ph, 1-0-0; T. Conrad, rf, 1-0-0; Perry, rf, 1-0-0. TOTALS 18-0-3.
Martin Oil 042 14 11-11-1.
Tyrone Legion 000 00 0 -3- 3.
2B: B. Beech, Schopp.
RBI: B. Beech 3, Miller 3, Kelley, Winterstein.
SO: Hertzler 1, Brunner 6.
BB: Hertzler 4, Tate 2.
WP: Brunner LP: Hertzler
Martin Oil 12 Tyrone Legion 8
Tyrone Legion – Lynn, lf-2b, 5-1-1; Golden, ss-p, 3-1-1; Schopp, c, 3-1-1; Tate, 2b-lf, 3-2-2; Levinson, p-ss, 3-0-2; Hertzler, 3b, 4-1-1; Morrow, 1b, 3-0-0; Romano, cf, 3-1-0; T. Conrad, rf, 0-0-0; Ashcroft, dh, 3-1-2. TOTALS 30-8-10.
Martin Oil – Kelley, cf, 2-2-1; Harris, p, 4-1-0; B. Beech, ss, 4-1-2; Brunner, 1b, 4-1-0; Coho, 3b, 4-1-1; A. Alley, rf, 2-2-1; Rabold, cr-rf, 1-1-1; Winterstein, c, 2-2-2; Miller, lf, 3-1-1; C. Alley, 2b, 3-0-1. TOTALS 29-12-10.
Tyrone Legion 005 000 3 8-10-6.
Martin Oil 411 303 X 12-10-3.
2B: Coho. RBI: Hertzler 2, Schopp, Tate, Morrow, Kelley 2, Winterstein 2, B. Beech, A. Alley, Miller, C. Alley.
SO: Levinson 3, Golden 2, Harris 10.
BB: Levinson 3, Golden 3, Harris 6.
WP: Harris LP: Levinson