Maynard slips past Barton on walk-off base-on-balls
MAYNARD – Laney Simone Sr. has been around the game of baseball for a long, long time.
Friday night, however, the veteran Maynard skipper experienced something for the first time in his diamond days … a walk-off win.
Kevin Brown, Maynard’s (5-2) No. 9 hitter, drew a bases-loaded walk on a 3-2 pitch with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning at chilly Firemen’s Field to give the hosts a 4-3 victory in Steele and Cook Insurance OVBL action.
“I’ve never won a game like that,” Simone admitted. “I was like ‘what just happened?’ It was a shock.”
With two outs and Max Schimmel on first base, Michael Androsko belted a double to left-center as Schimmel chugged to third. Barton manager Billy Timko elected to intentionally walk Ryan Jarvie to set up a force at any base. However, the strategy backfired when Braves’ starter Mackenzie Koehler’s 3-2 offering was high and out of the strike zone.
“That was the only decision to make,” Timko said. “We walk the No. 8 hitter and setup the force at any base. It just didn’t work out.”
Maynard grabbed the early lead when Androsko sent a towering drive over the fence in deep center with one out in the bottom of the second. It scored B.A. Holloway who had walked leading off.
“Michael changed bats and it has seemed to work,” Simone said of his catcher. “He went to a lighter bat and I think he is seeing the ball better right now. He’s really on.”
The Braves (3-2) drew even in the third as Anthony Rocchio drew a leadoff walk and was sacrificed to second by Ryan Kreiter. Rocchio went to third on a grounder to the right side, and raced home when Jourden Yager’s bouncer was thrown wildly to first. Dustin Hynes ripped a double down the left field line chased home Yager.
Mark Cisar’s RBI single through the left side of the infield in the fourth with one out allowed Maynard to take a 3-2 lead.
With their backs to the wall, the Braves battled back to tie things in the top of the seventh. Anthony Rocchio walked for the second time in the game while leading off. Kreiter executed his second perfect sacrifice bunt. A wild pitch moved Rocchio to third. He would scoot home on older brother Nick’s groundout.
“This was your typical Barton-Maynard game,” Simone noted. “They are a great team, but we battled and came out on top. We’ve really been hitting the ball well of late.”
Timko echoed Simone’s sentiments.
“That was a great baseball game. Both teams played well even though it was cold.”
Cody Hudson, a former Shadyside and current Wheeling Jesuit mound ace, went six innings for Maynard. He struck out four and walked one while yielding five hits. He gave way to Cisar to start the seventh. He walked one and fanned one.
Yager and Hynes both had multi-hit games. Koehler suffered the loss as he walked eight, struck out four and gave up eight hits.
Schimmel and Androsko each had two hits.
Barton 002 000 1 – 3 5 0
Maynard 020 100 1 – 4 8 1
Batteries: Koehler and Hynes. C. Hudson, M. Cisar (7) and Androsko
North can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org