Martin Oil eliminates Tyrone Legion two straight in first round playoffs

Martin Oil and Tyrone Legion battled over the weekend in the first round of the George B. Kelley Federation League playoffs. Martin Oil won the best-two-of-three round with a 5-0 win on Saturday at Vets Field then followed up with a 15-3 win on Sunday at Mansion Park.
The two local teams opened their first round playoff on Saturday night with a couple solid pitching performances in which Martin Oil’s Adam Plummer outdueled Tyrone Legion’s Nick Friling for a 5-0 win for the Bellwood-Antis-based club.
Plummer notched the shutout, allowing four hits, striking out five and walking one, while Friling gave up five runs, four of them earned on just seven hits, with six Ks and two base on balls. Martin Oil has scored less then seven runs in only one game of the 22 they have played this season before playoffs.
“You got to hit,” explained Tyrone Legion manager John Harlow. “If you don’t hit, you don’t win. Nick Friling pitched a great game for five innings and then Max Soellner came in and pitched a good sixth inning. Martin Oil just got the hits when they needed them. Adam Plummer pitched a great game, had our kids off balance all night. The first couple innings, all we were doing was popping the ball up chasing his high stuff. Then he started snapping his curve ball off late in the game and we were either swinging at a 58-foot curveball or driving it right at somebody. Nobody really hit the ball tonight. Both teams were off balance. Nick held Martin Oil to seven hits. Martin Oil has a team of hitters, that was a good pitching performance.”
Jordan Taylor led off for Martin Oil in the bottom of the first at Vets Field, with a single up the middle on Friling’s first pitch, stole second and third and scored on a Troy Beaver single that took a hop over Tyrone Legion first baseman Barry Gummo’s outstretched glove for a 1-0 lead.
Martin Oil kept up a steady pressure on Friling, but the Tyrone Legion lefty was equal to the task in the second and third innings.
Zach Stere drew a walk to begin the second and Derrick Miller was safe on a one-out error. In the third Nate Carlson singled and went to second on a throwing error by Friling and Adam Plummer walked, but in each case, Friling stranded the runners without any further damage.
In the fourth, Stere led off for Martin Oil by belting a double to left center. Derrick Miller singled a batter later and Damion Miller walked with two outs. Taylor singled to center to score both Stere and Derrick Miller to open up a little more room, 3-0.
“Adam probably had the best game he’s pitched all season,” said Martin Oil manager Ed Davis. “He really controlled his pitches, was dominating on the mound. The kids played real good defense behind him, The kids made some outstanding plays behind him. Zach Stere made about three phenomenal plays at second base. Damion made a nice catch in right field. Troy played well at short. Pitching and defense is what gets you there and that’s what we did tonight, we didn’t really hit that well. I thought there for a little bit, we might be going to see a 1-0 game. Jordan Taylor had a couple hits and Zach not only played good defense, but ripped a double and a triple.”
Martin Oil put the final pair of runs on the board in the fifth. Beaver was hit by a pitch and stole second base. When a strike three went down in the dirt, Tyrone Legion catcher Max Soellner threw Adam Plummer out at first with Beaver scooting to third on the play. Stere unloaded a triple to deep right center scoring Beaver. Matt Plummer, pinch running for Stere, scored when Derrick Miller’s fly ball ticked off the top of right fielder Matt Germino’s glove.
“Hopefully tomorrow we hit the ball well,” said Harlow. “We like to play at Mansion Park. We play well up there. We need to hit the ball well and play well tomorrow. This is only one game, hopefully we will do better.”
On Sunday at the Mansion Park field, Tyrone Legion took advantage of Martin Oil errors to score a pair of unearned runs in the third to take a 2-0 lead through the first half of the game before Martin Oil scored three times in the top of the fourth and sent a dozen batters to the plate in the fifth to score seven more on the way to a 15-3 win that eliminated Tyrone Legion from the best-of-three first round playoffs in two straight games.
Tyrone center fielder Nick Friling reached base on a one-out error. Friling was forced out by Will Russell’s fielder’s choice. Max Soellner singled to left and Russell advanced to third and Soellner to second on an error by the left fielder. Third baseman Chris Barth singled to score both runners for a 2-0 lead.
Martin Oil quickly came right back with three tallies to take a 3-2 lead in the top of the fourth.
“It looked bright for awhile,” said Tyrone manager Harlow. “Our kids never gave up. We made some mistakes. Martin Oil also made some mistakes to get us in the game. One thing I have to say is that Martin Oil is probably the most fundamentally sound team in the league. They were even backing up throws to the pitcher from the catcher. With the team we had, we had some holes in the field throughout the year. There were some kids who said they would be here that weren’t, but you have to play with what you have. Justin Clark did his best, No one gave up. Even to the final out, Nick Friling is on third in the bottom of the seventh with two outs, trailing 15-3. I’m telling him thanks for the season and he says, ‘it isn’t over yet,’ They tried hard, we were a couple kids short this year. There wasn’t a kid on this team didn’t give 110 percent. Sometimes their heads got the best of them and they tried to do more than what they could. It’s a game where they should do their best and have fun.”
Troy Beaver doubled down the right field line for just Martin Oil’s third hit of the game in the fourth. Adam Plummer drove in Beaver with the first of three RBI singles, but was erased at second on a fielder’s choice by winning pitcher Zach Stere. Derrick Miller was safe on one of Tyrone Legion’s seven errors in the game and Shawn Weiand followed with a two-run double scoring Ryan Rhoades, courtesy running for Stere and Miller for a 3-2 lead.
In the fifth, Martin Oil batted around to score eight times. Plummer singled in Jordan Taylor, Stere walked to force home Dan Houser, Miller’s single plated Beaver, who had two basehits in the inning, Nate Carlson singled in Rhoades, again running for Stere, and Miller, Sprankle singled in Matt Albright running for Weiand, and Beaver’s second hit brought in Carlson and Sprankle.
‘It took a while to get our bats uncorked,” said Martin Oil’s Davis. “Fortunately for us Zach Stere pitched a whale of a ballgame. He deserved to be out in front a lot earlier than what we got him. If it wouldn’t have been booting the ball around, he would have had a shutout like Adam Plummer did last night. I don’t think he walked more than one or two. Hitting-wise everybody contributed. Jordan, Adam, Troy, Derrick. Thad Sprankle came off the bench and played sound defense and had three big hits and scored a couple runs. We have been preaching to them all year. ‘It takes everybody, we win as a team or we lose as a team.’ Tonight, I think was an example of that. Everybody played, everybody hit, everybody contributed one way or another. That’s the way we have to play ball.”
Tyrone Legion added another unearned run off Stere in the sixth when Soellner reached base on a two-out error by Martin Oil who totaled six miscues, one less that Tyrone Legion and scored on a single by Barth, who knocked in all three of his teams’ total.
Martin Oil put four final runs up in the seventh. Sprankle beat out an infield hit, moved to second on a passed ball, to third on an error by the catcher and came home on a miscue by the first baseman. Jordan Taylor scored on Plummer’s third RBI single, Beaver walked and scored on another error and Plummer scored on an RBI groundout by Stere.
Zach Stere pitched the complete-game victory allowing three runs, all unearned, scattering seven hits, striking out four and walking just one. Max Soellner took the loss although, Martin Oil scored 15 times, just seven of the total were earned and without the rest, it easily could have been a different story.
“I really want to thank Will Russell,” acknowledged Harlow. “It’s been a pleasure to have Will on this team for the last three years. Will is as good a ballplayer as there is in this league. He struggled a bit this year and didn’t pitch as much as I wanted, because we had some holes and I needed him to solidify the infield. Juniata College is getting a good ballplayer. Here’s a kid, we’re down 15 runs and making errors all over the field, Will Russell is not criticizing anybody, he’s picking everybody up. If he’s struggling at the plate, he will make a great defensive play to make up for it. Will Russell is a ‘difference maker’. If whoever makes it out of this league to the NABF Tournament doesn’t pick up Will Russell, they are dumb. Chris Barth came to our team this year, just moving to Tyrone. He gave 110 percent every game. He wanted to play ball and he showed it. He went out and busted his butt to make himself and his team better. Those are the two 18-year olds we lose. We played the nine best players tonight, because we only had nine. We lost Garrett Desch to injury earlier this year. Some of the other 18-year olds showed up when they felt like it. A couple should have been here tonight. I won’t even mention who they are, because they don’t deserve to. That’s a poor excuse for the responsibility of kids these days who don’t show up, when they make a commitment to play ball.”
Saturday at Vets 8 p.m.
Martin Oil 5 Tyrone Legion 0
TYRONE LEGION- Ba. Gummo, 1b-cf, 3-0-0; Friling, p-1b, 2-0-0; Russell, ss, 3-0-0; Soellner, c-p, 3-0-0; Barth, 3b, 3-0-1; Dan. Miller, cf-c, 3-0-0; Cushion, 2b, 3-0-0; Wilson, lf, 2-0-2; Germino, rf, 2-0-1; Clark, rf, 0-0-0. TOTALS 24-0-4.
MARTIN OIL -Taylor, cf, 4-1-2 Carlson, 1b, 4-0-1; Beaver, ss, 2-1-1; A. Plummer, p, 2-0-0; Sprankle, cr, 0-0-0; Stere, 2b, 2-1-2; M. Plummer, pr, 0-1-0; Houser, lf, 3-0-0; Der. Miller, 3b, 3-1-1; Weiand, c, 3-0-0; Dam. Miller, rf, 2-0-0. TOTALS 25-5-7.
Tyrone Legion 000 000 0 0-4-4.
Martin Oil 100 220 X 5-5-1.
2B: MO- Stere 1.
3B: MO- Stere 1.
RBI: MO- Taylor 2, Beaver 1, Stere 1.
SO: TL- Friling 6, MO- A. Plummer 5.
BB: TL- Friling 2, MO- A. Plummer 1.
WP: A. Plummer LP: Friling
Sunday at Mansion Park 5 p.m.
Martin Oil 15 Tyrone legion 3
MARTIN OIL- Taylor, cf, 3-2-2; Houser, lf, 4-1-0; Beaver, ss, 4-3-3; A. Plummer, 1b, 5-1-3; Stere, p, 4-0-0; Der. Miller, 2b-3b, 3-2-2; Rhoades, cr-3b, 2-2-0; Weiand, c, 3-0-1; Albright, cr-ph, 1-1-0; M. Plummer, 3b, 2-0-0; Carlson, 2b, 2-1-1; Sprankle, rf, 4-2-3. TOTALS 37-15-15.
TYRONE LEGION- Ba. Gummo, c, 4-0-1; Friling, cf, 4-0-0; Russell, ss-p, 4-1-0;Soellner, p-ss, 4-2-2; Barth, 3b, 4-0-2; Cushion, 2b, 3-0-0; Wilson, lf, 2-0-0; Clark, rf, 3-0-2; Germino, 1b, 3-0-0. TOTALS 31-3-7.
Martin Oil 000 380 4 15-15-6.
Tyrone Legion 002 010 0 3-7-7.
2B: MO- Beaver 1, Weiand 1.
RBI: MO- A. Plummer 3, Beaver 2, Stere 2, Weiand 2, Carlson 2, Der. Miller 1, Sprankle 1, TL- Barth 3.
SO: MO- Stere 4, TL- Soellner 3, Russell 3.
BB: MO- Stere 1, TL- Soellner 2, Russell 2.
WP: Stere LP: Soellner