Martin Oil runner Trey Mock slides safely into second base after stealing the bag during Martin Oil’s six-run sixth inning. Mock singled to drive in a run, but Corporal Miller outlasted Martin Oil 12-11. (The Daily Herald/Stacey Manning)
Starting the second inning down 3-0, on Monday, as a result of completing a suspended game from June 27, Martin Oil battled on offense, but struggled while in the field, in a 12-11 loss to Corporal Miller. This was a battle of two teams who started the day separated by a half-game in the Kelley Division of the George B. Kelley Federation with seeding complications in the upcoming playoffs in doubt. Cpl. Miller (11-5) held a half-game lead over Martin Oil (11-6) and the two clubs had split two previous games. Martin Oil defeated Miller 9-6, while Corporal Miller outlasted Martin Oil 16-15 in the second game of the three-game series.
Corporal Miller came out slugging in the bottom of the first on June 27 to take a 3-0 advantage when the second rain of the evening ended the contest on that night. Corporal Miller added three more tallies to that total to take a 6-0 lead after just two innings, when play resumed on Monday evening. Although Martin Oil got their offense in gear, beginning with two runs in the top of the third, Cpl. Miller kept adding runs, scoring twice in the third, fifth and sixth innings to make sure Martin Oil couldn’t put the game away, even after the Bellwood-Antis based squad scored six times in the top of the sixth to take their first lead of the day, 11-10.
Ryan Murphy reached base on a Martin oil, and Jordan Russell walked to lead off the Cpl. Miller sixth. After Justin Miller struckout Dan Pryne for the first out, Matt Gaeto singled to score Murphy and Russell scored on an error. Miller got a defensive gem to get out of the inning, but the damage was already done. Kenny Snyder grounded to third baseman Chad Coho, who threw across the diamond to Earnie Kelley at first base for the second out of the inning, and Kelley fired the ball back to Coho for the tag on Gaeto sliding into third for the inning-ending double play.
In the Martin Oil seventh, Jake Manning singled and went to third when Gaeto, the Cpl. Miller catcher threw the ball into right field, trying to pick him off first base. Winning pitcher Nick Conrad struck out Brian Hostler and Nate Gray, but when the ball danced away from Gaeto in the dirt, Gray was able to reach first base. With runners on the corners, Kelley, who had doubled and tripled and walked twice and driven home four runs, was intentionally walked to load the bases. Conrad got pinch hitter Garrett Rabold to hit a humpback liner to the second baseman, and retired Jared Coho on a bouncer to short for the final outs of the game.
Martin Oil finally got on the board with two runs in the third. With two out, Hostler walked, stole second base and moved over to third on an error. Gray also walked and stole second, before Kelley smashed a triple to score both runners.
In the Martin Oil fifth, Manning singled to right and Hostler beat out an infield hit. Gray singled home Matt Hinton, courtesy running for Manning. Kelley walked, and Adam Kovac scored both Hostler and Gray with a single to center.
A six-run rally in the top of the sixth gave Martin Oil their only lead of the day. Jimmy Watters beat out an infield single to open the frame. Manning ripped a triple to score Watters. Hostler and Gray walked to load the bases. Kelley’s double plated Watters and Jared Coho, courtesy running for Manning. With one down, Trey Mock singled to drive in Gray. Chad Coho hit into a fielders’ choice for the second out. Justin Miller singled to score Coho to give Martin Oil the lead.
Martin Oil will host division leading Barkman Oil (14-3) today, at Stadium Drive Field, in Bellwood, with the first pitch set for 6 p.m.
Corporal Miller 12 Martin Oil 11
Martin Oil – Ja. Manning, c, 5-0-3; Hinton, cr, 0-1-0; Hostler, cf, 2-3-1; Gray, ss, 3-3-1; Kelley, p-1b, 2-1-2; Irvin, 3b, 1-0-0; Kovac, rf, 3-0-1; Rabold, ph, 1-0-0; Mock, 2b, 4-0-2; J. Coho, cr-2b, 1-1-0; C. Coho, 1b-3b, 4-1-0; Miller, rf-1b-p, 4-0-1; Watters, lf, 3-1-1. TOTALS 33-11-12.
Corporal Miller – Henderson, ss, 3-4-2; Durbin, lf, 1-4-1; Criste, 1b, 1-1-0; Cheslock, 1b, 2-0-0; Hopkins, 3b, 3-0-1; Murphy, cf, 4-1-2; Potts, p, 0-0-0; Conrad, p, 0-0-0; Russell, dh, 1-1-0; Pryne, 2b, 4-0-0; Gaeto, c, 3-0-1; Snyder, rf, 4-1-2. TOTALS 26-12-9.
Martin Oil 002 036 0 11-12-4.
Corporal Miller 332 022 X 12- 9-6.
2B: Kelley, Henderson, Hopkins.
3B: Ja. Manning, Kelley, Durbin.
RBI: Kelley 4, Kovac 2, Ja. Manning, Gray, Mock, Hopkins 3, Durbin, Cheslock, Gaeto.
SO: Kelley 3, Miller 6, Potts 3, Conrad 4.
BB: Kelley 4, Miller 4, Potts 6, Conrad 1.
WP: Conrad LP: Miller