Barton would like to make quick work of West Liberty's Toppers in opening round play of the Ohio Valley Baseball League playoffs. The Braves are halfway home.
Behind the superb pitching of Tyler Kurtz, Barton was a 6-1 Tuesday night victor in game one at Crescent's Henning Field.
West Liberty hosts game two this evening (6:00). The Toppers must prevail to remain alive in the best-of-three format. A potential deciding third game would be played Friday evening back at Crescent.
KURTZ stopped WL on but three hits in a dominant outing. The righthander racked up nine strikeouts and issued a pair of walks.
Toppers' starting pitcher Joel Jarrett deserved a much better fate. Four of Barton's six tallies came a result of fielding errors charged to the West Virginians.
Barton's Jordan Barbina was at second base in the bottom of the second when Jarrett's attempted pickoff thow sailed into centerfield. When the ball was bobbled in the outfield, Barbina raced home and it was 1-0.
In the Braves' third, catcher Dustin Hynes singled and swiped second base. Jarrett got Barton's Jordan Yager on a swinging third stike, but when the ball rolled away, Yager reached on a throwing error past first base. That allowed Hynes to score for a 2-0 lighting.
West Liberty was able to pull within 2-1 in the fourth. Leftfielder Tim Mirandy singled and came around to score on a gap-shot RBI double off the bat of catcher Josh Edwards.
The visitors, however, would manage just one more hit for the game's duration.
Barton answered in its half of the fourth. Barbina and Anthony Rocchio were in scoring position with two out when what appeared an inning-ending ground ball evolved into a two-base throwing error and a 4-1 issue. Nick Rocchio followed with an opposite-field ribbie double which plated Ryan Kreiter.
In the Braves' sixth, Kreiter reached on a fielder's choice and again scored on Rocchio's second consecutive RBI double to right field.
Hynes hammered three Barton singles and swiped two bases. Barbina also recorded a pair of steals and scored twice.
Jarrett struck out five and walked one in four innings of work. Reliever Robbie Hartman issued one base on balls.
WL 000 100 0 - 1 3 5
Barton 011 301 x - 6 7 1
Batteries: Jarrett, Hartman (5) and Edwards. Kurtz and Hynes.
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