Martin Oil squeaks out win in game 3
By Dan Isenberg
After overcoming a week of rain and handing Tyrone Legion a loss for the first time this season in Thursday’s game 2, Martin Oil was in a position Saturday night to steal momentum and push ahead in the George B. Kelley Federation championship series at Vets Field.
The perennial Federation power had to overcome a couple of early errors and a 2-0 deficit, but thanks to an RBI base hit from Blake Johnston in the sixth, Mason Akers scored to tie the game, and an errant throw by Tyrone Legion shortstop David Lang in the next at-bat allowed Mark Stewart to score the go-ahead run to give Martin Oil a 3-2 win in game 3 and a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five championship series.
“Besides that inning, we made the plays we had to,” Martin Oil manager Brock Anders said. “I wish we could eliminate the mistakes completely, but like I said the last time — put the ball in play and let them make the mistakes. Fortunately for us, tonight things went our way.”
While Nevin Wood was credited with the win and Johnston gave Martin Oil the lift it needed late, a bad throw by Wood and two more missed throws for Johnston put Tyrone up 2-0 by the end of the third inning.
While Aden Coleman and Matt Savino were steady on the mound for Tyrone, both pitchers were forced into deep count situations, putting strain on their arms and giving Martin Oil a chance in the late innings.
Anders said he preached patience to the players.
“Last game, we were out trying to get a hit first pitches. I just told them to be patient and try to drive something they’ve got. We did put the ball in play again today, but I think, hopefully soon, they’re going to find a spot.”
Anders says that the hitting has picked up of late, especially at the bottom of the order where Johnston was able to lift them up late.
“Blake’s been coming through huge for us this year. He’s doing what we’re asking him. And Nevin’s Nevin. He’s been in this league a long time, so it’s always nice to see him get a win.”
Tyrone manager Kevin Soellner said both teams were able to capitalize on each other’s mistakes in game 3, but according to Soellner, it comes down to who’s asking whom.
“I’m sure if you asked them, they out-played us, and if you ask us we out-played them, but both teams were giving runs away,” Soellner said. “We made mistakes to get theirs, they made mistakes to get ours.”
Soellner also said that both Coleman and Savino having to go deep into counts hurt Tyrone.
“There’s not a pitch count in this league, but it definitely does wear. But we don’t teach striking them out, we teach pitch contact, and yes, we kept going to full counts, and we’d talked to (Coleman) about not doing that. But he’s 14. He still wants to strike everybody out. We’ll work on that.”
Game 4 is scheduled to be played tonight at Vets Field, beginning at 7 p.m.
MARTIN OIL (3): McFarland cf 301, Wood p 400, Whaley rf 300, Showalter c 110, Akers 2b 111, Stewart 3b 211, Johnston ss 301, Wertman 1b 300, Tro. Walker eh 200, Shaulis lf 200. Totals — 24-3-4.
TYRONE LEGION (2): Gearhart lf 301, Lewis dh 210, Coleman p 000, Lang ss 000, Pearson cf 000, Lehman c 301, Vipond cr 000, Lucas 3b 300, Savino ss-p 310, Light 1b 200, Stoner rf 300, Hoover 2b 301. Totals — 23-2-3.
SCORE BY INNINGS
Martin Oil 000 102 0–3 4 5
Tyrone Legion 011 000 0–2 3 1
E–Lang (T); Wood, Johnston 3, Stewart (MO). RBI–Johnston (MO). WP–Wood. LP–Savino.
MO: Wood 7 IP, 3 K, 2 BB
TL: Coleman 3 • IP, 2 K, 4 BB, Savino 3ª IP, 3 K, 1 BB
Martin Oil leads series 2-1.