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No doubt about it; Martin Oil sweeps Barkman to capture Kelley title

Celebration!

Martin Oil baseball players celebrate on the mound, following their 11-1 win over Barkman Oil that clinched the George B. Kelley Federation championship. Martin Oil and Barkman Oil will both participate in the NABF Regional beginning on Thursday at Vets Field and Mansion Park. (The Daily Herald/Stacey Manning)

Putting the bat on the ball

Martin Oil shortstop Nate Gray smacks a double during his team’s 11-1 triumph over Barkman Oil on Saturday at Vets Field. Gray also tripled and had a sacrifice fly. (The Daily Herald/Stacey Manning)

Safe

Jake Manning slides by Barkman Oil catcher John Ewart to score a run in the second inning at Vets Field on Saturday. Manning walked three times in the 11-1 Martin Oil victory that clinched the Kelley Federation championship. Home plate umpire Jim Cushion watches the play, signaling that Manning was safe. (The Daily Herald/Stacey Manning)

From the second game of the George B. Kelley Federation semifinals on, Martin Oil was a team with a purpose. The Bellwood-Antis based team completed that purpose on Saturday evening. Leaving no doubt, Martin Oil scored six times over the first two innings, on the way to a stunning three-game sweep of Barkman Oil with an 11-1 triumph that was stopped after five innings by the 10-run Mercy Rule.
After ReMax Realty, the number one seed, embarrassed Martin Oil 10-0 allowing just one hit, in the first semifinal contest, the protégés of Martin Oil manager Ed Davis simply refused to lose.
On Saturday, Davis handed the ball to 18-year old right-hander Brian Hostler, who had been quoted in an area newspaper saying his team was going to “bring out the brooms” for Saturday’s contest, wrapping up the championship finals and the league title in three straight games.
“We were tormenting Hostler about his comments,” said Davis. “So, I said, ‘Here’s the ball, back it up’ and that’s what Brian went out and did.”
Hostler took advantage of his teammates offensive display, limiting Barkman Oil to one run and three hits in four innings to pick up the win. Hostler struck out four and didn’t walk a batter, retiring the final eight batters he faced to pick up the win.
Jake Manning led off the game with a walk, and was forced out by Hostler, on a fielder’s choice. Nate Gray ripped a triple to score Hostler, and Earnie Kelley followed with the first of three straight singles to score Gray for a quick, 2-0 lead.
In the second inning, Chad Coho, Jimmy Watters and Justin Miller all drew basees on balls to begin the frame, and end the evening on the mound early for Barkman starter Derek Forshey. Reliever Josh Greenleaf walked Jake Manning, the first batter he faced, to force in Coho with a run. Watters scored on a wild pitch. Hostler scored Miller with an RBI fielder’s choice, and Manning came home on a sacrifice fly by Gray. Kelley singled to right and Trey Mock dropped down a two-out bunt that he beat out for a base hit. Cameron Irvin singled up the middle, for the third consecutive base hit, but Barkman Oil was saved further damage when Kelley was thrown out at home trying to score.
Barkman Oil had Hostler on the ropes in both of the first two innings, but he was able to tightrope his way through giving up just one run. From that point on, the Martin Oil defense and pitching staff nailed the door completely shut for any Barkman Oil chances.
Hostler hit two batters and gave up a single by designated hitter Drew Ebersole in the first, but got Cody Stiffey on a high and deep, but easily catchable fly ball for the final out of the inning. Then, in the second, Jordan Saylor doubled and Jared Snowberger singled him home with one down for what proved to be Barkman’s last offensive highlight.
After Hostler got all of the next eight hitters, Kelley was absolutely lights out in the fifth, closing out the championship by striking out the side.
“It was a tremendous help for our young pitching staff to have Earnie Kelley as a veteran on this team. We were hoping to get through the first two games of the series with a split to get to Kelley and Hostler with rest,” explained Davis. “But Nate Gray came out and threw such a good ballgame the first night and we had a chance to win it, I just couldn’t wait to bring Earnie. And the same thing happened yesterday when Trey Mock threw that outstanding game. I just wasn’t about to give it up, so we brought Earnie again to close out the win. Then today, after tormenting Hostler about his comment,, Brian came through and Earnie shut it down again the final inning.”
Leading 6-1, Martin Oil batted around for the second time in the game, in the fourth to score five runs. With one out, Gray doubled and scored on a Kelley single. Kelley ended up on third base on a Barkman error, then scored on a single to left by Mock. Irvin was safe on an error, and with two down, Watters tripled both Mock and Irvin home, and scored later, on a wild pitch.
In the fifth inning, winning 11-1, Davis was able to empty his bench, giving everybody the chance to get an at-bat as five straight pinch hitters batted.
“The kids are really on a roll, right now they think they can beat the world,” said Davis, whose team knocked out ReMax, the top seed, outscoring them 18-1 in the final two games, and then bested second seed Barkman Oil three straight in the finals. “We played the solid defense, as we have the past week. We pounded the ball pretty good tonight and the pitching was excellent again this evening. I was glad we could get everybody in. It was really great for everybody to get a chance to swing the bat in the clinching championship game. That’s something those kids will remember for the rest of their lives.”
Martin Oil 11 Barkman Oil 1, 5 Inn.
Martin Oil – Ja. Manning, c, 1-1-0; Hostler, p-cf, 4-1-0; Gray, ss, 2-2-2; Beech, ph, 1-0-0; Kelley, cf-p, 3-1-3; Stephens, ph, 1-0-0; Mock, 2b, 3-1-2; J. Coho, ph, 0-0-0; Kovac, rf, 0-0-0; Irvin, dh, 3-1-1; Ju. Manning, ph, 0-0-0; C. Coho, 3b, 2-1-1; Hinton, cr-ph, 1-0-0; Watters, lf, 2-2-1; Miller, 1b, 2-1-1. TOTALS 25-11-11.
Barkman Oil – Nash, rf-1b, 1-0-0; Russell, ph, 1-0-0; Dick, 2b, 2-0-0; Hardy, ph, 1-0-0; Simpson, 1b-2b, 2-0-0; Ewart, c, 0-0-0; Ebersole, dh, 2-0-1; Greenleaf, lf-p-rf, 1-0-0; Stiffey, cf, 2-0-0; Saylor, ss, 2-1-1; Forshey, p-lf, 2-0-0; Snowberger, 3b, 1-0-1; Brumbaugh, ph, 1-0-0. TOTALS 18-1-3.
Martin Oil 240 50 11-11-0.
Barkman Oil 010 00 1-3-4.
2B: Gray, Miller, Snowberger.
3B: Gray.
RBI: Snowberger, Gray 2, Kelley 2, Watters 2, Ja. Manning, Hostler, Mock.
SO: Hostler 4, Kelley 3, Forshey 1, Dick 1.
BB: Forshey 4, Greenleaf 1, Dick 2.
WP: Hostler LP: Forshey.