Irish knot regional series with Martins

TAKING A DIVE — Fairmont Martins catcher Blake Crawmer (right) dives to tag out Milroy Irish runner Derek Riley for the second out of a double play during Game 2 of a Region 13C best-of-3 amateur baseball semifinal series Friday night at Herb Wolf Field in Fairmont. (Photo by Greg Abel)

FAIRMONT — The Martins’ bats never heated up.

The No. 1-seeded Milroy Irish took Game 2 of the best-of-3 Region 13C semifinal amateur baseball series 10-4 Friday night at Herb Wolf Field.

Milroy plays host to the No. 4-seeded Martins (22-6) in the deciding Game 3 of the postseason season at 2 p.m. Sunday at Irish Yard.

Milroy built an early lead and never trailed for the duration.

In the first inning, the Irish strung together four hits and took advantage of two fortunate ground balls. The first took a late high hop and bounced off Fairmont third baseman Dalen Keltgen’s shoulder. The next grounder stayed low and forced an error as Milroy used the back-to-back lucky hops to build a 3-0 lead.

Fairmont fought back in the bottom half of the first with two runs of its own.

Levi Becker took a walk to become the first Martin on base before Tyler Tennyson hit a two-out single that took a fortunate bounce of its own off the pitcher’s mound to score Levi Becker.

Christian Petschke followed with a single down the right-field line to put runners on first and third before a wild pitch allowed Tennyson to score.

The Irish regained their three-run advantage in the next at-bat.

Dominic Dolan led off with a double just over the outstretched glove of Adam Schmidt in right field before scoring on Tyler Peterson’s single to left. Peterson came around to score when Brady Lanoue hit a line-drive double down the right-field line.

The Irish built an 8-2 lead with three runs in the third off two singles, a double and a hit batter.

Fairmont player/coach Levi Becker said the Martins were not able to dig their way out of the early deficit.

“We dug ourselves a hole there early and it was hard to come out of,” Levi Becker said. “We chipped away a little bit, but we just couldn’t find that one inning to break through.”

Both teams’ bats went quiet through the middle innings, with Martins reliever Ethan Hurn and Irish starter Cody Mather combining to get 11 consecutive outs before an Irish walk ended the streak.

The Martins looked to start a comeback in the bottom of the fifth.

Blake Crawmer reached on an error when he bunted back to the Irish pitcher and Mather couldn’t handle a high hop. Crawmer then moved to second on Lance Becker’s sacrifice bunt, took third on Spencer Chirpich’s infield single between short and third, and scored on Levi Becker’s sacrifice fly to center.

Chirpich turned on the jets to go from first to third on a wild pitch, before scoring on Hurn’s single to left.

The Martins were not able to push another run across, while the Irish added one insurance run in the seventh inning and one in the eighth. The seventh inning had the makings for a crooked number for the Irish, but after Derek Riley and Tyler Patterson reached base, Luke Dolan looked to sacrifice bunt. On the bunt attempt, Martin first baseman Petschke charged and tipped the ball to pitcher Hurn, who dove to tag Patterson, before quickly getting to his feet and firing to Crawmer behind the plate to tag Riley going home for the double play.

Tennyson started on the mound for the Martins, pitching 2 1/3 innings and allowing eight runs, six earned, on nine hits and a walk. Hurn came on in relief and pitched 5 1/3 innings, surrendering two runs on three hits, two walks and a hit batter, while striking out two. Matt Lytle pitched the final 1 1/3 inning for the Martins, giving up no runs on one hit and one walk, while striking out one.

Mather pitched six-plus innings for the Irish and allowed four runs on seven hits, three walks and a hit batter, while he sent six Martins to the bench with a strikeout. Tyler Peterson came on for the final three innings and allowed no runs on one hit, while striking out four.

Chirpich had a single, a walk and a run scored for the Martins, whie Levi Becker walked, scored a run and collected an RBI on his sacrifice fly.

Hurn reached base three times with two singles and a hit by pitch, Tennyson walked and singled, while Petschke and Schmidt each singled.

Dominic Dolan had four hits, including two doubles, and three runs scored for the Irish, while Peterson had two hits, Lanoue had a single and a double and Jake Plaetz had two hits.

Levi Becker said with a chance to clinch a state trip on the line Sunday, the Martins will come ready to play.

“We love playing at Milroy,” Levi Becker said. “It’s a great atmosphere, there will be a lot of people there. We’ll be ready, we’ve still got pitching, they’ve still got pitching. It will be a good game.”

Milroy 323 000 110 — 10 13 1

Fairmont 200 020 000 — 4 8 1

Cody Mather (WP), Tyler Peterson (7) and Brady Lanoue. Tyler Tennyson (LP), Ethan Hurn (3), Matt Lytle (8) and Ethan Hurn, Blake Crawmer (3).

LOB–Milroy 11, FMT 9. 2B–Dominic Dolan (MIL) 2, Brady Lanoue (MIL). SAC–Lance Becker (FMT). SF–Levi Becker (FMT).