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Martin Oil eliminates Tyrone Legion, moves on to semifinals against ReMax

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Martin Oil hitter Earnie Kelley hits first base with an infield single, while Tyrone Legion first baseman Jamie Levinson goes up for the throw. Kelley and Levinson both had two hits in the game, which Martin Oil won 11-6, at Vets Field on Saturday night. (The Daily Herald/Stacey Manning)

Rundown

Martin Oil runner Jimmy Watters (15) is caught in a rundown between third base and home during the sixth inning on Saturday at Vets Field, while Martin Oil third base coach Tim Kovac watches the throw by Tyrone Legion pitcher Matt Brooks. Somehow, Watters was able to survive long enough to make it safely back to third base. (The Daily Herald/Stacey Manning)

It wasn’t the prettiest win the fans have ever seen. As a matter of fact in Martin Oil manager Ed Davis opinion, it was “just plain ugly.” Davis will nonetheless take the Martin Oil 11-6 triumph over Tyrone Legion that eliminated the Legion and moves Martin Oil into the semifinal round of the George B. Kelley Federation playoffs.
Martin Oil scored once in the top of the first at Vets Field and after Tyrone Legion retaliated to tie the score, put six big markers on the board in the second and one more in the third to jump out to an 8-1 advantage, that made it extremely tough for Tyrone Legion to come back.
“We have had only nine players at our games for most of the season, which makes it hard to do much changing around,” explained Tyrone Legion manager Mike Boytim. “It is hard to not loose focus when you get down that many runs. To our guys credit they didn’t quit, we didn’t get 10-runned. Once Matt Brooks got to the game, he did a good job pitching for us. If we could have started him, it could have been a very different ballgame. That has pretty much been the story of our season. It hasn’t always been the same nine, but with work schedules and other things, we seldom had more than just nine starters with no one on the bench to put in.”
Cameron Irvin began the big second inning for Martin Oil with a single to right. Chad Coho followed with a base hit to left to put runners at first and second. Tyrone Legion starter Donnie Hunter got Justin Miller on a ground out that moved the runners up a base, and Jimmy Watters walked to load the bases. Hunter struck out Jake Manning for the second out, but Brian Hostler delivered a clutch single to left center to drive in Irvin and Coho. Starting pitcher Nate Gray’s single scored Watters, and Earnie Kelley scored Watters on an infield single. Trey Mock singled to knock in Gray and Kelley scored on a wild pitch.
Martin Oil started the game with a single tally in the top of the first, when Manning walked and was replaced by courtesy runner Jared Coho, who stole second base. Coho moved up 90 feet to third base on a Hostler groundout and scored on the first of Kelley’s two consecutive infield hits.
Tyrone Legion came right back to knot the score in the home half of the first. With one down, Gray hit Randy Hoover with a pitch and after getting Jamie Levinson on a come-backer to the mound, walked Aaron Cunningham. Gray threw a wild pitch to move Hoover to third base and then another to allow Hoover to score.
With both right fielders having trouble seeing the ball in the twilight, Martin Oil took advantage of the problem to score a third inning-run. First, Justin Miller lofted a ball that Tyrone Legion right fielder Dave Rodland lost in the twilight and ended up on third with a triple. Then, two hitters later, Manning also hit a fly to right that ended up being a double that scored Miller.
Tyrone Legion began a comeback attempt by scoring five runs over the fourth-through-sixth innings.
Tom Sims walked with one gone in the fourth, moved over to third base on two errors on the same play by Hostler, on a grounder from the bat of Mike Moore, and scored on a fielder’s choice RBI grounder by Matt Brooks. In the fifth frame, Levinson led off with an infield single. Cunningham tripled to right field to score Levinson, and scored when Legion catcher Brock Anders hit an RBI fielder’s choice. Josh Clark was safe on one of five Martin Oil errors, to open the sixth inning. After a groundout and wild pitch moved him over to third, Clark scored on a single by Levinson. A wild pitch advanced Jamie to second, where he scored on a Chad Coho error.
Martin Oil committed five errors, hit two batters, and walked 11 Tyrone Legion hitters to keep the game always in sight for the Tyrone Legion crew, who had just one error, a large part of why Davis referred to the game as “ugly.”
While the pitching and the defense kept trying to give the game away, the Martin Oil offensive attack hammered out 15 hits, the 12th time in 13 games the Martin Oil offense has been in double digits in hits to keep the win on the Martin Oil side of the ledger.
“Our offense has been carrying us the last part of the season,” said Davis. “We had six guys come through tonight with two hits each. Jake Manning has been in a little slump lately, but came through with two hits. Earnie Kelley used his speed to leg out two hits in the infield and each scored a run for us. Chad Coho and Justin Miller have been hitting the ball well the later part of the season after slow starts, and Trey Mock and Brian Hostler chipped in two hits each as well.
“Our pitching and fielding let us down tonight, but we were able to do enough hitting and score enough runs to win the ballgame.”
Gray pitched five innings giving up four runs, three earned, with seven strike outs and eight walks to pick up the win, and Hostler tossed the last two innings, giving up two unearned runs with one strike out and three walks.
Hunter took the loss for Tyrone Legion, with relief from Josh Clark and Matt Brooks.
Miller singled to begin the Martin Oil fifth and moved to second on a error. Manning drove in the run with a single to center. In the sixth, Kelley and Mock started the at-bat off with walks. Kelley stole second base and both runners advanced on a wild pitch. Kelley scored on a second wild pitch and Mock came home on a single by Watters.
“At the beginning of this season, Jamie Levinson and Brock Anders were the only two starters we had back from last year,” said Boytim. “For us to win 10 games and qualify for the playoffs shows how far the guys have come over the course of the season. I am extremely proud of our kids and the job they did this year in the federation.”
Levinson was the only Tyrone Legion player with two hits.
Tyrone Legion (10-14) concludes their 2007 federation season, while Martin Oil (15-9) moves on to the semifinal series with an 8:30 p.m. game tonight at Vets Field to begin a best-of-three series against top seed ReMax Realty.
Martin Oil 11 Tyrone Legion 6
Martin Oil – Ja. Manning, c, 4-0-2; J. Coho, cr, 0-1-0; Hostler, ss-p, 5-1-2; Gray, p-ss, 4-1-1; Hinton, cr, 0-0-0; Ju. Manning, cr, 0-1-0; Kelley, cf, 4-2-2; Mock, 2b, 4-1-2; Kovac, rf, 0-0-0; Irvin, dh, 3-1-1; C. Coho, 3b, 4-1-2; Miller, 1b, 4-2-2; Watters, lf, 2-1-1. TOTALS 34-11-15.
Tyrone Legion – Clark, cf-p, 4-1-1; Hoover, ss, 3-1-0; Levinson, 1b, 4-2-2; Cunningham, lf-cf, 4-1-1; Anders, c, 3-0-0; Hunter, p-lf-rf, 3-0-0; Sims, 3b, 01-0; Moore, 2b, 3-0-0; Rodland, rf, 1-0-0; Brooks, p, 2-0-0. TOTALS 27-6-4.
Martin Oil 161 012 0 11-15-5.
Tyrone Legion 100 122 0 6- 4- 1.
2B: Ja. Manning.
3B: Miller, Cunningham.
RBI: Hostler 2, Kelley 2, Ja. Manning, Gray, Mock, Watters, Levinson, Cunningham, Brooks.
SO: Gray 7, Hostler 1, Hunter 1.
BB: Gray 8, Hostler 3, Hunter 4, Clark 1, Brooks 2.
WP: Gray LP: Hunter