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Martin Oil advances to semifinals, knocks off Dick’s Pharmacy 7-4

In scoring position
Martin Oil’s Justin Manning looks up to see where the ball is after stealing second base against Dick’s Pharmacy at Vets Field on Saturday. Manning scored six runs in the two-game series and stole four bases. (The Daily Herald/Stacey Manning)

Martin Oil jumped out to a three-run lead the first time they batted, then allowed Dick’s Pharmacy to tie the game at 3-3 after three innings on Saturday evening.
However, Martin Oil tallied two times in the top of the fourth and twice more in the fifth and held off Dick’s to clinch a semifinal round berth in the George B. Kelley Federation playoffs with a 7-4 triumph. Martin Oil also pounded Dick’s Pharmacy 15-5 in six innings on Friday evening, at Mansion Park, winning the best of three series in two straight ballgames.
Justin Manning, who scored six times in the two games against Dick’s Pharmacy, opened the game, at Vets Field, by beating out a bunt on the game’s first pitch. Manning stole second base and continued on to third base on a throwing error by the Pharmacy catcher. Jake Manning singled up the middle to drive in Justin with the first run of the game. Nate Gray was hit by a pitch. Chad Coho singled to left to score Jared Coho, courtesy running for Jake Manning. Justin Miller drove in Gray with a grounder that was bungled by the Dick’s Pharmacy defense.
Martin Oil starter Nate Plummer breezed through the first two innings, before getting in trouble in the bottom of the third. With one out, Plummer walked leadoff hitter Shane Gillman. Zeke Quirin, who was hitting a hefty .600 against Martin Oil coming into the game, beat out his fourth infield hit in the two games of the playoff. Dave Walter doubled to score Gillman, and Tyler Sweeney replaced him at second base with another double that plated both Quirin and Walter. Plummer was able to get out of the inning, when left fielder Alex Miller caught a deep fly, and threw a strike to shortstop Gray, who in turn delivered a perfect relay to Coho at third base to nail Sweeney attempting to take third on the play. Plummer threw a scoreless fourth inning, and then turned the game over to Justin Miller, who allowed just one run over the final three frames to get a win for Plummer, and earn a save for himself.
“Nate Plummer threw a good ballgame, except for that one inning, when he got the ball up where they could see it too well,” said Martin Oil manager Ed Davis. “We played good defense and helped our pitchers. Justin Miller did a good job in relief. He needs to slow down his windup a little for better control, but was able to close it down for us.”
After Dick’s tied the score in the bottom of the third, Martin Oil came right back with a pair of scores in the top of the fifth to take the lead for good.
Justin Manning walked to begin the at-bat, stole second again and went to third on a catcher’s error again. Jake Manning singled to right to score Justin Manning and allow Martin Oil to take the lead. Gray doubled to put runners at second and third.  With one down, Justin Miller scored Jared Coho courtesy running for Jake to give Martin Oil a two-run advantage 5-3.
Martin Oil upped their lead to 7-3 an inning later, without the benefit of a base hit. With two outs, Justin Manning walked and stole second, and Jake Manning was safe on an error that scored Justin. Jake Manning moved up to third base and scored on a wild pitch.
Dick’s  put one more score on the board in the home half of the sixth. Sweeney singled and moved around to second, third and home on three Miller wild pitches.
The Martin Oil defense helped the pitchers throughout the game. In addition to the double play, Gillman was thrown out Jake Manning to Gray in the first, trying to swipe second, and two runners were picked off first base. Miller caught Calvin Yon leaning too far the wrong way for the last out of the sixth, and Jake Manning got Greg Snyder for the first out of the seventh, each time after the base runner reached on a base on balls.
“Our top five batters in the order all did a super job, especially early. Jake Manning and Chad Cohohad two hits each, and Justin Manning and Jared Coho each scored three runs,” said Davis. “But we need to do better than what we did today over the whole game. We can’t afford to turn it off and on as we go up the ladder in the playoffs. Without a more consistent job of hitting and scoring, we won’t win many ballgames.”
Martin Oil 7  Dick’s Pharmacy 4
Martin Oil – Ju. Manning, 2b, 2-3-1; Ja. Manning, c, 4-0-2; J. Coho, cr, 0-3-0; Gray, ss, 3-1-1; C. Coho, 3b, 4-0-2; J. Miller, 1b-p, 4-0-1; Plummer, p-1b, 3-0-0; Gorby, cr, 0-0-0; Davis, cr, 0-0-0; A. Miller, lf, 3-0-0; Kovac, rf, 3-0-0; Albright, rf, 1-0-0; Mock, cf, 3-0-0; Pankoke, cf, 1-0-0. TOTALS 31-7-7.
Dick’s Pharmacy – Gillman, ss, 3-1-1; Quirin, cf, 4-1-1; Walter, p, 3-1-1; Sweeney, 3b, 3-1-2; Lytle, 1b, 3-0-1; Henry, lf, 2-0-0; Kutruff, rf, 3-0-0; Yon, 2b, 2-0-0; Snyder, c, 2-0-0. TOTALS 25-4-6.
Martin Oil          300 220 0   7-7-2.
Dick’s Pharmacy 003 001 0   4-6-6.
E: Gray, Plummer, Gillman 3, Snyder 3.
2B: Gray, Walter, Sweeney.
RBI: Ja. Manning 2, J. Miller 2, C. Coho, Walter, Sweeney 2.
SO: Plummer 1, J. Miller 4, Walter 6.
BB: Plummer 2, J. Miller 2, Walter 4.
WP: Plummer   LP: Walter  Save: J. Miller