CRESCENT - Mark Cisar has been around the diamond a time or two.
When the veteran righthander gave up two runs on three hits to Barton in the first inning of Sunday's Steele and Cook Insurance Ohio Valley Baseball League playoff contest, he knew exactly what he did wrong.
"The walk to Nick (Koval) was big," Cisar admitted after shutting the Braves out the remainder of game one as visiting Maynard rallied for a 6-2 victory before an appreciative crowd at sun-baked Henning Field. "He battled me and that kept things going for them. They did everything with two outs. Great job of battling by them.
"But after that, all I wanted to do was get ahead and make them hit my pitch," the 38-year-old added. "The first inning I left some fastballs up in the zone. I started working down in the zone after that, but I just wanted to get ahead (in the count) and let our guys field the ball."
With the come-from-behind win, fifth-seeded Maynard (15-6) will look to deliver the knockout punch, weather permitting, today at home in game two on the Firemen's Field diamond at 6 o'clock.
Should No. 4 seed Barton (14-7) prevail, game three would be Tuesday night back in Crescent.
"This was a huge win for us," Cisar continued. "We played a pretty good all-around game. We hit the ball when we needed to and we played outstanding defense, especially D.J. Busby at shortstop.
"He not only made the routine plays, but he also made the hard plays look routine."
Dustin Hynes and losing pitcher Mackenzie Koehler rapped back-to-back two-out singles in the first before Koval walked to load the bases. T.J. Sliva came through with a clutch single through the right side of the infield as Hynes and Koehler scored.
However, that would be it for the hosts as they would manage just four hits over the final six frames. Among those were a two-out double by Koval in the third and a Anthony Rocchio triple with two outs in the fourth.
"Mark pitched liked Mark," Maynard manager Laney Simone Sr. said of his ace. "We didn't expect anything different from him."
Cisar finished with a seven-hitter. He fanned three and only issued that one free pass. He threw 101 pitches, 70 of which were strikes. He also fired 20 of 29 first-pitch strikes, including nine to the last 10 hitters.
Maynard scored all the runs it would need in the top of the second inning. Ryan Jarvie drew a one-out walk from Koehler before Logan Hudson drilled an 0-2 pitch to deep left-center. The drive barely cleared the fence to the left of the 354-sign as the visitors drew even.
Laney Simone Jr. kept the inning going with a single to right and, with two outs and Simone Jr. on second after a passed ball, Busby laced a shot to the gap in left-center that resulted in a run-producing double as Maynard led 3-2.
Simone Jr. also came up big in the third when he smacked a two-out single to right that plated Zach Kinnick for a 4-2 margin.
Cory Kotopka concluded the scoring when he connected for Maynard's third run-scoring hit with two outs. His bases-loaded single to shallow right knocked in the final two runs.
"We were good with two outs today," Simone Sr. noted. "We were also pretty good with two strikes, as well."
Busby led the 12-hit Maynard attack with two singles and a double from his lead-off spot. Simone and B.A. Holloway evenly divided four singles.
Koehler worked six-plus innings, surrendering four runs - all earned - and walking three. He struck out one before giving way to Casey Tennant.
Barton recorded seven hits.
"We hit the ball well," Barton skipper Billy Timko allowed. "I told the guys before the game that if we don't make errors and walk people, they won't beat us. Well, we did that, so that's what happens in baseball. Usually it's not the hitting that beats you, it's the errors and walks.
"We looked uncharacteristic, but we'll bounce back in Game Two. Tomorrow's (today) another day," Timko said.
North can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org