Juniata VFW hands Martin Oil first loss

It was a case of too little, too late for Martin Oil against Juniata VFW at Juniata on Tuesday evening. The host VFW club jumped out with four runs in the bottom of the second against Martin Oil right Trey Mock and then cruised to a 5-3 win.
It was the first win after three straight losses for Juniata VFW (1-3), while Martin Oil (2-1) suffered their first loss after opening the George B. Kelley Federation season with a pair of wins over the weekend.
Down 4-0, Martin Oil finally got on the scoreboard against Juniata VFW starter Andy Lytle with a run in the top of the third inning, only to have the VFW club get that score back with one of their own in the home half of the inning.
Mock led off the third with a walk and with one down, Brian Hostler beat out an infield hit. Justin Manning drew a walk to load the bases. Earnie Kelley scored courtesy runner Cameron Irvin, running for Mock, with a sacrifice fly, but Manning was thrown out in a rundown for the final out of the inning.
An inning later, Martin Oil closed to within 5-3 with a pair of scores in the top of the fourth.
Garrett Rabold drilled a double to left center with one gone. Jimmy Watters worked a two-out walk to put runners at first and second. Mock singled to score Rabold and when Juniata VFW threw the ball around, Watters came home as well, with Mock going to second.
With Martin Oil down to their final at-bat, Mock and Jake Manning opened the seventh inning with singles, and Hostler was safe when his bunt attempt was thrown away, to load the bases with nobody out.
Lytle reached back and took control of the situation, striking out Justin Manning on a 3-2 pitch, inducing Kelley to line a shot to third that Wes Plummer knocked down and threw home for the force out of Mock, and then getting Chad Coho on a ground out to Plummer.
Kelley pitched the final four innings for Martin Oil, limiting Juniata VFW to no runs, on just one hit, with seven strikeouts and no walks.
Lytle gave up three runs on seven hits, with nine strikeouts and three walks to pick up the complete-game win.
“We just ran out of gas at the end,” explained Martin Oil manager Ed Davis. “Earnie came in and shut the door, holding everything to the status quo – five runs. We pecked away a little bit and had the bases loaded down only 5-3, and couldn’t get the key hit in the top of the seventh. A couple other places, we needed hits, we didn’t get them. We’ll just have to come back tomorrow and try again.”
Martin Oil will host Sheetz at Stadium Drive field in Bellwood at 6 p.m. this evening.