Martin Oil first baseman Chad Coho stretches to make the out on ReMax Realty hitter Anthony Williams during the opening game of the Kelley Federation championship finals. ReMax won 9-8. (The Daily Herald/Stacey Manning)
If it seems like every game Martin Oil plays comes down to the final inning, you can add one more to the number. On Friday evening at Vets Field, ReMax Realty refused to allow Martin Oil to remain in the lead after a quick start, forced Martin Oil to come from behind, and then won the contest on a walkoff single by Adam Johnson for a thrilling 9-8 victory for the second seeded ReMax club.
Martin Oil scored twice each in the first and second innings, but the usually solid defense gave up three runs that tied the game 4-4 after two.
Justin Manning started with an infield single and Jake Manning singled to right. With one out, Nate Gray singled to score Justin Manning and after Jimmy Watters hit into a fielder’s choice for the second out, Justin Miller lined a single up the middle to drive in Jake Manning.
In the second frame, Trey Mock walked with one out, and Justin Manning tripled him home. Jake Manning delivered his twin to the plate with a sacrifice fly.
ReMax scored once in the first and three times in the second off Martin Oil starting pitcher Mike Albright, but only one score was earned, due to a pair of errors, one in each inning.
ReMax took the lead against Albright with one tally in the fourth and three in the fifth, all off Ian Pankoke, who gave up just one hit, but four runs. ReMax third baseman Chris Perry, son of former B-A teacher Greg Perry drilled a shot to right in the fifth with runners on first and third. Both runners scored easily, but Perry dropped to the ground, just a step away from home plate, injuring his knee, out at first.
Down 8-4, Martin Oil came back in the top of the sixth to tie the score. Pankoke and Mock opened the inning with singles and Justin Manning walked to load the bases. With one out, Gray walked to force in Pankoke. Coho singled to get both Mock and Justin Manning home. Watters drove in the tying score with a sac fly that plated Gray.
After Martin Oil was retired on just a Trey Mock single in the top of the seventh, ReMax got leadoff hitter Jordan Novasel open the bottom half of the seventh on base by virtue of a base on balls by Justin Miller. Tony Zelnosky singles to put runners at the corners. Miller fanned Travis Hammaker, but Johnson singled past Coho into left field to drive in the winning run.
“We have to stop putting ourselves in trouble, every inning. If it’s not the pitcher walking or hitting guys, it’s the defense, or the hitting,” said Martin Oil manager Ed Davis. “We just have a lot of trouble putting everything together that you need to do to win ballgames. Justin Manning, Jake Manning, Chad Coho, Justin Miller and Trey Mock all had two hits tonight. Mike Albright deserved a better fate on the mound, but the defense fell apart around him. He did a decent job, pitching the first three innings. He should have had a lead, instead of us having to fight for our lives later.”
Game Two of the championship series is set for tonight at 7 p.m. at Vets Field, followed by Game Three, Sunday, at the same field and time.
ReMax Realty 9 Martin Oil 8
Martin Oil – Ju. Manning, 2b, 4-3-2; Ja. Manning, c, 3-1-2; Gray, ss, 2-1-0; C. Coho, 3b-1b, 4-0-2; Watters, rf-cf, 3-0-1; J. Miller, 1b-rf-p, 4-0-2; A. Miller, lf, 0-0-0; Plummer, dh, 4-0-0; Albright, p, 2-0-0; Pankoke, p-rf, 2-1-1; Mock, rf-3b, 3-2-2. TOTALS 31-8-12.
ReMax – Hammaker, ss, 4-1-0; Perry, 3b, 3-2-1; Johnson, cr-1b-rf, 1-0-1; Williams, p-3b, 4-0-1; Folcarelli, cr, 0-0-0; Vaughn, 1b-3b, 4-1-2; Gearhart, c, 3-0-0; Tomassetti, lf, 4-0-1; Gehret, rf-p, 2-2-0; Novasel, cf, 2-3-2; Zelnosky, 2b, 2-0-1. TOTALS 29-9-9.
Martin Oil 220 004 0 8-12-4.
ReMax 130 130 1 9-9-3.
E: Gray 2, Ju. Manning, Mock, Perry, Tomassetti, Zelnosky.
3B: Ju. Manning, Vaughn.
RBI: C. Coho 3, Ju. Manning, Ja. Manning, Gray, Watters, J. Miller, Perry 3, Johnson, Williams, Gearhart.
SO: Albright 1, Pankoke 1, J. Miller 2, Williams 4, Gehret 1.
BB: Albright 4, Pankoke 2, J. Miller 1, Williams 5.
WP: Gehret LP: J. Miller