Seth Hunter continued his mastery of Dick's Pharmacy as Martin Oil took the early lead in the George B. Kelley Amateur Baseball Federation playoff championship series Thursday.
Hunter gave up only three hits in six innings and regular-season champion Martin Oil beat Dick's Pharmacy, 6-1, in the opening game of the best-of-five title series at Veterans' Memorial Field.
Game 2 will be played today at 5:30 p.m. at Vets.
Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski
Chris Sinisi from Dick’s Pharmacy steals second base as Martin Oil’s Tanner Snyder applies the tag.
Hunter, a recent graduate of Bellwood-Antis High School who will attend Cedarville College in Ohio, also beat Dick's twice during the regular-season. The right-hander struck out seven, walked one and hit two batters yesterday.
"Our defense is probably going to be our key here," Hunter said. "Plus, we got the bats out tonight and that helped. We hit the ball when it mattered."
"It's always good to get the first one under your belt," Martin Oil manager Rob Mock said.
"Seth Hunter did a great job for us tonight," Mock said. "He hasn't pitched in quite a few days and did an excellent job. Then Danny [Beech] came in and closed it as usual for us."
Beech, a lefty, pitched the last inning. He gave up one hit and also hit a batter but struck out the side. Martin Oil has a couple players on vacation but the Bellwood team was able to score in three of its six at-bats.
"When we have kids away [on vacation], we have other kids who can step up," Mock said.
Jake Stapleton tripled with one out in the third and scored ahead of teammate Tanner Snyder whose two-out fly ball to right field was turned into a home run on errors that put Martin ahead, 2-1. After Tristan Lingafelt walked, Beech and Trenton Creppage rapped back-to-back singles to score Lingafelt and make it 3-1.
Matt Stewart's groundout scored Lingafelt for a 4-1 lead in the fifth and Martin tacked on two insurance runs in the sixth. With two outs, Haden DeGennaro doubled, Snyder walked and Lingafelt chased both home with a single to left.
"It's one of those things with kids," Dick's manager Pat Yon said. "Sometimes you have it, sometimes you don't, and the other team wanted it more today."
Dick's actually scored first, pushing over a run in the top of the first inning when Chris Sinisi was hit by a pitch, stole second and raced home on an error.
However, the regular-season runnerup didn't score again, even though it had several chances and wound up stranding nine base runners.
"When you strand a lot of runners, it doesn't do much good," Yon noted.
"I throw that drop ball," Hunter said. "This is the third time I've pitched against them and it [drop] gets them every time."
DICK'S PHARMACY (1): Sinisi ss 312, J. DeGennaro c 300, Oswalt cf 301, Knott 1b 400, Wolfe 3b 200, N. Lytle p-lf 201, B. Lytle 2b 300, Martynuska rf 100, McElhinney ph 200, Futrell rf 000, E. Adams lf-p 100, Johnson lf-rf 200, Kyle ph 100. Totals - 27-1-4. Totals - 27-1-4.
MARTIN OIL (1): H. DeGennaro cf 411, Snyder 2b 320, Lingafelt ss 221, Beech rf-p 402, Creppage c 301, Stewart 1b 300, Soellner 3b 300, Zitterbart 3b 000, Hunter p 300, Mock rf 000, Stapleton lf 312. Totals - 28-6-7.
SCORE BY INNINGS
Dick's Pharmacy100 000 0-1 4 4
Martin Oil003 012 X-6 7 3
E-Sinisi, Oswalt, Martynuska, Adams, Lingafelt, Creppage, Soellner. 2B-H. DeGennaro. 3B-Stapleton. RBI-H. DeGennaro, Lingafelt 2, Creppage, Stewart. WP-Hunter. LP-N. Lytle. SO-Hunter 7, Beech 3, N. Lytle 4. BB-Hunter 1, N. Lytle 2. HPB - Lingafelt (by N. Lytle), Sinisi, Oswalt, (by Hunter), Wolfe (by Beech). SB - Sinisi 3, Snyder, Lingafelt.
Umpires - Jim Cushion (HP), Brett Shover (1b), Dave Gildea (3b).