MAYNARD - After losing to Maynard in the 2013 Steele and Cook Insurance Ohio Valley Baseball League's championship series, Lafferty manager Jordan Barbina knew he needed to add some firepower and pitching to the Dodgers' lineup.
Tuesday night here on the Firemen's Field diamond at the Community Park, two of those additions made the difference in Lafferty's 5-0 whitewashing of Maynard. Left-handed pitcher Momo Felt scattered seven hits in tossing the shutout, while hard-hitting shortstop Alex Stephens singled, tripled, knocked in a run and scored one. He was also involved in three double plays turned by the Dodgers (6-0), who remained in first place.
"Momo pitched a good game and Alex played well," Barbina said of the Linsly products. "We knew we had to bring our A game today, and we did."
LAFFERTY’S Darby Waller scores a run Tuesday night in Steele and Cook Insurance Ohio Valley Baseball League action against Maynard on Firemen’s Field at the Community Park. The Dodgers prevailed, 5-0. Looking on are Maynard catcher Michael Androsko and umpire Sean Hanley.
Felt only struck out two and walked three. He allowed the leadoff runner to reach base in the final five innings, but was continually able to work his way out of trouble. He threw 112 pitches - 35 of those in the last two frames - with 66 being strikes in the 1-hour, 45-minute contest.
"Momo is a hard worker," Barbina said of the Dickinson College sophomore-to-be. "That's what our team is ... hard workers. That's what we did tonight to get this win.
"It's always nice to beat the team that knocked you out last year, but we knew that coming in they were going to be another strong ballclub."
Lafferty scored what would turn out to be the only run it would need in the first. Barbina singled to center leading off and went to second on a ground out. A wild pitch moved him to third with two outs before Tyler McGary dropped a single into shallow right to make it 1-0.
It would remain that way until the fourth when the Dodgers scored a pair of unearned runs against Maynard starter, and tough-luck loser, Greyson Loweecy. Clay Francis singled to center leading off and one-out later, Darby Waller slapped a single to right. When the ball was misplayed, Francis hurried to third. Waller promptly stole second, and when the throw was dropped at second, Francis scurried home for a 2-0 lead. The speedy Waller swiped third on the very next pitch and raced home on Austin Curry's sacrifice fly to center for a 3-0 bulge.
The Dodgers tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the fifth with some two-out lightning. Zeke Wharton singled to right and Stephens blasted a deep drive to center on a hit-and-run that chased Wharton around the bases for an RBI triple. Stephens would come home on an error with the final tally.
"We really didn't play up to our potential today," Maynard manager Laney Simone admitted. "There were some miscues and Lafferty capitalized upon them. We didn't play smart baseball today."
That was evident in the fourth when a pair of baserunning blunders took away what could've been a big inning. Maynard had a runner on second with no outs, but he was erased trying to go to third on a grounder to Stephens at short. Then, with two outs and runners on first and second, the runner on second was caught napping and picked off to end the inning.
The Dodgers turned double plays in the third (1-6-3) and fifth (4-6-3) innings, and then ended the game when Stephens, who played as a freshman at WVU but is transferring to Morehead State University, snagged a popup behind second and rifled a strike to first baseman McGary to end the game with the third twin-killing.
"We played really good defense tonight," Barbina noted.
B.A. Holloway continued to swing a hot bat for Maynard with a single and double. Michael Androsko also doubled.
Lafferty 100 220 0 - 5 7 1
Maynard 000 000 0 - 0 7 3
L-Felt wp (2K, 3W) and Francis; Stephens S, T, rbi; McGary S, rbi; A. Curry SF, 2rbi
M-Loweecy lp (6K, 2W), Koch (7), (1K, 0W) and Androsko; Androsko D; Holloway S, D