CRESCENT - Shadyside manager Patrick O'Donnell had an ace up his sleeve Sunday night.
Mike Meintel hadn't pitched since facing Texas A&M in the first round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament on the Aggies' home field in College Station. The 26-year-old showed no signs of rust as he tossed a 1-0 shutout in leading the Casket Makers (3-1) past homestanding Barton on the Henning Field diamond in Steele and Cook Insurance Ohio Valley Baseball League action. He struck out five, walked only one and scattered five singles, two of which were infield base hits, in 1-hour, 35-minutes.
"I'm tired ... just exhausted," the Shadyside High and Wright State University product revealed after his 101-pitch effort. "I haven't thrown forever."
SHADYSIDE’S Mike Meintel fires to the plate during Sunday night’s Steele and Cook Insurance Ohio Valley Baseball League game with Barton at Henning Field in Crescent. He scattered five hits in a 1-0 victory. Looking on is first baseman Michael Oberdick.
Meintel, who is an account manager for a trucking company in Dayton, was glad to help the Casket Makers.
"I just came out her to have fun with the guys and to see some friends I haven't seen in a while," he explained. "It was fun."
Fun indeed. He seemed to get stronger as the game went on, retiring the final 11 batters he faced. In that stretch was four of his five strikeouts, including the final two outs of the game.
"Mike Meintel pitched a great game today," O'Donnell said. "We couldn't have asked for any more than he gave us."
In addition to his mound achievements, he helped his own cause with a single and double. He scored the game's lone run.
He greeted Barton reliever Joel Atkinson with a double to the fence in left-center leading off the third. He advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on O'Donnell's two-out looper down the rightfield line.
"It's always a good thing when I'm swinging the bat like that," Meintel said with a smile.
Atkinson, a veteran of OVBL action, was forced to the mound after Braves starter Mike Muklewicz suffered a serious injury to his right index finger while attempting to bunt leading off the bottom of the second. He was taken to a local hospital by ambulance for further evaluation.
"Joel did a good job coming in cold like that," Barton manager Billy Timko praised. "He's a veteran. I can't fault his effort."
Muklewicz had fanned three in his two innings, and Atkinson did the same in his five frames.
O'Donnell said this is a huge win for his team.
"Barton has an established program, so to come here and get a win is very big for us. No matter who is playing for Barton, it's good to get a win."
The Braves played without three starters, but Timko said his team has to re-group and get back to Barton baseball.
"Shadyside has a lot of good, young ballplayers," he said. "For us to make it a 1-0 game without three starters, I think we did a heck of a job."
Barton only threatened once against the hard-throwing Meintel, that being in the first inning when the Braves had runners on second and third with two outs, but Meintel's first strikeout ended that. They never got a runner past second base after that.
Zach Melton had two hits for Barton (1-2). The Smolenak father-son combination of Kirk and Shane also had singles.
Shadyside 001 000 0 - 1 6 1
Barton 000 000 0 - 0 5 0
S-Meintel wp (5K, 1W) and Marling; O'Donnell 2S, rbi; Meintel S, D
B-Muklewicz (3K, 0W), Atkinson lp (3), (3K, 0W) and Hynes; Melton 2S
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