Suicide squeezes score winning runs for Martin Oil over Juniata VFW

With the score tied 4-4 in the bottom of the sixth inning at Bellwood’s Stadium Drive field, Host Martin Oil scored four times and then hung on for an 8-6 win over Juniata VFW, despite committing nine errors.
Martin Oil had to come from behind three times to get the victory, with the winning margin scoring on two perfectly executed suicide squeeze bunts in the sixth.
Jake Manning opened the home half of the sixth with an infield single. Manning was forced out by Trey Mock for the first out of the inning, and Earnie Kelley was safe on an error that moved Mock all the way to third base. Cameron Irvin, who had a big base hit earlier, beat out an infield hit to load the bases. Chad Coho singled to score Mock with the go-ahead run, and Garrett Rabold, courtesy running for Kelley, scored on a wild pitch. Jimmy Watters walked to reload the bases. Then, with Juniata VFW reliever Andy Lytle going from the full windup instead of the stretch, Adam Kovac bunted, with Irvin running from third on the pitch. Irvin scored what would prove to be the winning run and Kovac was safe with a base hit, when nobody covered first. When Lytle did the same thing, Caleb Stephens dropped down the second straight suicide squeeze, scoring Coho on the play to add some insurance.
“We were up there and started throwing the ball around,” explained Martin Oil manager Ed Davis. “Earnie really hung in there. He had nine errors behind him, making it tough at times to keep the faith, but we did a nice job when it counted at the end.”
Juniata VFW scored twice in the top of the seventh, to draw to within two, 8-6, but Kelley, who tossed the complete-game victory got two straight ground outs to wrap up the Martin Oil win.
Martin Oil scored a pair of tallies in the second inning to take the early lead, only to have Juniata VFW score three unearned runs and jump into a 3-2 advantage in the top of the third.
Watters singled to begin the Martin Oil second, stole second base and continued on the third on an error on the throw. Kovac walked and stole second to put runners at second and third. After Juniata VFW starter Josh Black retired the next two batters, Manning rapped a clutch single to right that scored both runners.
In the third, Martin Oil scored twice to retake the lead. Kelley singled for his second base hit of the game, and Irvin clubbed the second pitch he saw over the 30-feet high fence in left-center field for a two-run dinger that put Martin Oil back into the lead.
Juniata VFW scored a run in the top of the fourth to tie the game, 4-4, and set the stage for the sixth-inning dramatics.
Kelley allowed just one earned run, on seven hits, with 12 strikeouts and two walks, to get the win for Martin Oil.
Lytle and McPhee each had two hits for Juniata VFW, with both of Lytle’s going for doubles.
“Jake Manning had a nice game tonight, and Earnie had another nice night at the plate,” said Davis. “What can you say about Cameron, he hit that big two-run home run, plus a double and single. Chad Coho actually had a couple hits too. The new guys, Adam Kovac and Caleb Stephens put down two beautiful bunts in the bottom of the sixth that got some insurance runs, that turned out to be the winning runs.
“We tell our guys they have to learn to deal with adversity and, I think, we are playing through some adversity now, with everybody away. These younger guys are getting a lot of experience and hopefully that will help us down the stretch.”
Martin Oil (6-4) will play ReMax Realty on Saturday afternoon at Mansion Park, with the first pitch set for 2 p.m.
Martin Oil 8 Juniata VFW 6
Juniata VFW – Weyandt, cf, 4-1-1; Walters, c, 3-0-0; Rispoli, cr, 0-0-0; Lytle, rf-p, 3-2-2; Beasom, 1b, 4-0-0; Black, p-lf-rf, 4-1-1; Partner, ss, 0-0-0; Wineland, dh, 3-0-1; McPhee, 3b-lf, 4-1-2; Kuny, lf, 2-0-0; Plummer, p-3b, 2-0-0; Carruthers, 2b, 3-1-0. TOTALS 32-6-7.
Martin Oil – Ja. Manning, c, 3-0-2; Mock, ss, 4-1-0; Kelley, p, 3-0-2; Rabold, cr, 0-2-0; Irvin, 3b, 4-2-3; C. Coho, 1b, 4-1-2; Watters, cf, 2-1-1; Kovac, rf, 2-1-1; Stephens, lf, 3-0-0; J. Coho, 2b, 3-0-0. TOTALS 28-8-11.
Juniata VFW 003 100 2 6- 7-4.
Martin Oil 022 004 X 8-11-9.
2B: Lytle 2, Weyandt, Irvin.
HR: Irvin.
RBI: Weyandt, Black, McPhee, Ja. Manning 2, Irvin 2, C. Coho, Kovac, Stephens.
SO: Black 5, Plummer 1, Kelley 12.
BB: Black 3, Plummer 2, Lytle 1, Kelley 2.
WP: Kelley LP: Lytle
E: Walters 2, Partner 2, C. Coho 3, Kelley 2, Ja. Manning, Mock, Irvin, Watters.