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Barkman/Russell wins slugfest in semifinal against Martin Oil

DOA
Martin Oil shortstop Nate Gray tags out Barman Oil base runner Drew Ebersole in the second inning of the first semifinal series game at Vets Field, on Tuesday night. Ebersole was attempting to steal second base, but was thrown out on a perfect throw from Martin Oil catcher Jake Manning. (The Daily Herald/Stacey Manning))

It was the kind of game many would have suspected in this rematch of the 2007 championship finalists. Martin Oil and Barkman Oil/Russell Trucking battled tooth and nail for seven long, and very offensive innings, before a hit batsman and a single coupled with a bad hop enabled Barkman/Russell to pull out an 11-10 victory in Game One of their George B. Kelley Federation semifinal playoff series, at Vets Field, on Tuesday night.
The two clubs battled back and forth with frequent lead changes, before Martin Oil reliever Chad Coho hit number nine batter and opposing pitcher Tyler Nash in the foot, with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. Turning the lineup, with right fielder Jon Ewart hitting, Ewart lined a single to left, which took a big hop over the head of Martin Oil left fielder Mike Albright to allow Nash to score the winning run.
“We should have been in a better position on that play,” said Martin Oil manager Ed Davis. “But the game did not come down to one play. We had opportunities that we didn’t capitalize at bat, and we gave away too many runs that were put on base by walks or hit batters.”
“This is the kind of game that we expect every time we play these guys. They are a fast-ball hitting team, with a lot of lefties and that is kind of unusual in this league. If you have to try to beat them and all you bring is heat, then you will have a big problem.”
Martin Oil pitchers walked four batters and hit one, and all five came around to score in the most obvious statistic of the game.
Martin Oil struck immediately in the top of the first to take the first lead. With one out, Jake Manning lined a single to center. Nate Gray rapped a double to put runners on second and third. Chad Coho scored Manning with a sacrifice fly, and then Jimmy Watters ripped a triple to the power alley in right center to score Jared Coho, courtesy running for starting pitcher Gray. Watters scored on a wild pitch from Nash for a 3-0 lead for defending champion Martin Oil.
That margin didn’t last long however. Barkman knocked Gray out, without registering an out. All of the first five Barkman batters reached base, three on walks, plus a two-run double by Drew Ebersole, who had four hits, including a pair of doubles, and a run scoring single by Jordan Saylor. After Chad Coho replaced Gray, Wes Flaugh singled to score two more runs and put Barkman on top 5-3 after one inning.
Both teams kept scoring after that, with the second inning, the only frame that neither team pushed any runs across the plate.
Martin Oil retook the lead in the top of the third, with a single by Jake Manning, a walk to Gray and an error that put Coho on base. With two outs, Justin Miller delivered a clutch bases loaded double to right that cleared the sacks.
Barkman scored twice in the bottom half of the inning to take the lead again, the big blow, a two-run single by Josh Greenleaf.
In the fourth, Trey Mock walked with one out for Martin Oil, and Justin Manning drove him home with a double. Manning continued on to third on a throwing error and scored on a perfectly executed sacrifice squeeze by Jake Manning.
RBI singles by Tyler Simpson, who was 3-for-3, and Wes Flaugh, who went 3-for-4, gave Barkman back the lead in their half of the fourth, 9-8.
Martin Oil tied the game with a run in the fifth, when Nate Plummer singled to score Justin Miller, and both teams scored once in the sixth to bring the contest to the seventh inning.
Justin Manning reached on an error, to begin the sixth for Martin Oil, and stole second base. With one out, Gray was safe on an error that scored Manning.
Jared Snowberger walked for Barkman, in the last half of the sixth, Ebersole moved him up to second with his fourth hit of the game, and Simpson singled to tie the score, 10-10.
“We didn’t play perfect baseball, but we showed ourselves that we can play with anyone in this league,” explained Davis. “Now we have to go out tomorrow  and take it one step further.
“Jake Manning had a big night at the plate, and Nate Plummer had two hits. Justin Miller got a huge hit that scored three runners with two outs, to put us back in the game. Chad Coho pitcher a nice ballgame, coming on in the first inning and pitching the rest of the game against a hard-hitting offense. Both teams refused to quit and kept clawing back. It was the kind of baseball that makes it worthwhile to come out and see.”
Barkman Oil 11  Martin Oil 10
Martin Oil – Ju. Manning, ss-2b, 4-2-1; Ja. Manning, c, 3-2-2; Gray, p-ss, 3-1-1; J. Coho, cr, 0-1-0; C. Coho, 3b-p, 3-0-1; Watters, cf-rf, 4-1-1; J. Miller, rf-1b, 4-1-1; Albright, lf, 2-0-0; A. Miller, cr-ph, 1-1-0; Plummer, 1b-3b, 4-0-2; Mock, 2b-cf, 3-1-0. TOTALS 31-10-9.
Barkman/Russell – Ewart, rf, 4-1-1; Snowberger, 2b, 2-2-1; Ebersole, 3b, 4-2-4; Saylor, ss, 3-1-1; Neil, c, 0-0-0; Simpson, dh, 3-3-3; Flaugh, 1b, 4-1-3; Greenleaf, lf, 3-0-1; Hardy, cf, 3-0-0; Nash, p, 2-1-0; Russell, ph, 1-0-0. TOTALS 30-11-14.
Martin Oil           303 211 0  10- 9- 1.
Barkman/Russell 502 201 1  11-14-5.
E: Watters, Saylor 2, Hardy 2, Ebersole.
2B: Ju. Manning, Gray,  J. Miller, Ebersole 2, Flaugh.
3B: Watters, Saylor.
RBI: J. Miller 3, Ju. Manning, Ja. Manning, C. Coho, Watters, Plummer, Ebersole 2, Flaugh 3, Simpson 2, Greenleaf 2, Ewart, Saylor.
SO: C. Coho 4, Nash 7.
BB: Gray 3, C. Coho 1, Nash 3.
WP: Nash    LP: C. Coho