West Liberty blanks Barton, 1-0

CRESCENT – Some nights you’ve got it, some nights you don’t.

Just ask Barton skipper Billy Timko whose Braves experienced the best (and worst) of both worlds in back-to-back OVBL games this week.

A resounding 21-0 winner Wednesday at Warren Township, the Braves could have used some of that offense Friday evening at Henning Field.

“We come up with 15 hits Wednesday. Tonight, we couldn’t get a guy to third base,” Timko exclaimed following Barton’s 1-0 loss to invading West Liberty.

In fact, the hosts mustered all of one hit off WL ace righthander Josh Graham who worked a strong six innings.

“That’s baseball,” Timko added. “Give their guy credit. He was on and kept us off-balance all night.”

On almost any other day, Barton’s Ryan Romick emerges victorious. The former Akron University athlete shut out WL for six and two-thirds’ innings only to be done in by his mound opponent.

WL catcher Chris Ciatti singled leading off the top of the seventh. Romick came back to record two outs before Graham literally won his own game, driving a Romick offering to the fence in deep left for a double.

Ciatti scored easily, accounting for the evening’s lone tally.

Graham’s teammate at WLU, knuckle-balling Eric Schneider, came on to work a 1-2-3 bottom of the seventh as WL improved to 3-2.

“We’ll bounce back. We have a good core group of players,” Timko declared.

Barton, now 2-2, has an opportunity to do so today when Wheeling visits Henning Field for a Steele-Cook Insurance OVBL tilt scheduled for 2:00. The Braves then welcome Shadyside, Sunday at 1 p.m.

Graham was dominant Friday, recording nine strikeouts and four walks. Barton’s George Laase grounded a two-out single to right field for the hosts’ only hit in the fourth frame. Schneider struck out a pair in relief.

Romick fired a five-hitter in taking the tough loss. He fanned five and permitted one walk.

Barton’s only legitimate scoring threat came in the fifth when Graham issued free passes to Joel Atkinson and Mike Muklewicz. But WL’s righthander then recorded an inning-ending K.

West Liberty next sees action Sunday at St. Clairsville.

Line score:

WL 000 000 1 – 1 5 0

Barton 000 000 0 – 0 1 1

BATTERIES: Graham, Schneider (7) and Ciatti. Romick and Young.

Gibson may be reached at rgibson@timesleader-online.com