Maynard sweeps to title
By KIM NORTH
Times Leader Sports Writer
LAFFERTY – Twenty-six years ago, Laney Simone Sr. guided Lafferty to the Ohio Valley Baseball League championship.
Monday night here, Simone became a two-time titlist as Maynard captured the 2013 Steele and Cook Insurance OVBL crown with a hard-earned, 6-5, victory over, ironically, Lafferty on the sun-splashed Community Park diamond.
The championship was Maynard’s first in more than two decades.
“This team is tough,” Simone said moments after receiving the obligatory water cooler dousing. “We started this eight years ago. We’ve been to three finals, but we finally got it done tonight.”
The championship didn’t come easy, even though it appeared to be that way for 5 innings.
Maynard (21-8), the No. 5 seed, scored twice in the first inning and tacked on four more in the second for a comfortable 6-0 advantage.
Mark Cisar, who was named the finals’ MVP, blooped a single to right with one out in the first. Zach Kinnick’s reached when his smash went off of Mark Smyth’s glove at third. B.A. Holloway’s smash to third was also to hot to handle as the bases were loaded. Max Schimmel’s slow roller to short resulted in a fielder’s choice at second, but a run scored. The throw to first was off target, as Kinnick raced home.
Winning pitcher Logan Hudson doubled to deep center leading off the second. He moved to third on a groundout and scored when D.J. Busby’s single up the middle caromed off the second base bag for a 3-0 reading. Cisar singled to left and, with two outs, Holloway slapped an RBI single to center and Schimmel came up with a clutch two-run single up the middle that upped the count to 6-0.
“We were feeling pretty good about ourselves,” Simone said. “We had a big lead and life was good.”
That all changed in the bottom of the sixth when the third-seeded Dodgers (20-9) made their only charge of the contest.
Tyler McGary singled to center leading off and Paul Demarchi was inserted as the pinch runner. He promptly stole second, but it looked as though he would get no further as the next two batters were retired.
However, Tyler Grant singled up the middle to plate Demarchi and Bernie Thompson reached when his fly ball to right was dropped. Mark Smyth followed with a RBI single to left that ended Hudson’s outing on the mound with a 6-2 lead.
Cisar, the wily veteran, came on in relief, but was rudely greeted by a run-scoring single to right by Travis Stephens. Jordan Barbina’s single to left loaded the bases, and Myron Jellison’s base rap to left chased home two runs, cutting the deficit to one.
“Give them credit,” Simone said of Lafferty. “We gave them an inch and they took a mile. They battled, but I expected that knowing the personnel on their team.”
Cisar retired McGary on a grounder to escape without further trouble. He then set down the Dodgers in order in the seventh to preserve the win and earn the save.
“They made it very interesting,” Cisar allowed. “Oh my God, did they. They hit four or five ropes off me, but that’s good because they knew I was coming in to throw strikes.
“This feels really great, especially for Laney,” Cisar, who was 3-for-3 and walked twice Monday night, said. “He’s been at this a long time and this is a nice reward for him.”
In addition to Cisar’s three singles, Schimmel had an outstanding game with three runs batted in. He had a pair of singles, while Hudson helped himself out with a single and double.
On the hill, Hudson, who battled all game after undergoing a minor out-patient surgical procedure Monday morning, struck out six and walked three. He allowed four hits and threw 114 pitches.
Grant singled and doubled for Lafferty.
“That’s what I most proud about,” Lafferty player/manager Barbina noted. “The guys kept fighting and that’s what we’ve been about all year. I told the guys in the sixth inning that we lose with class, we win with class and we’re not going to show our asses.
“The guys battled and battled, but give Maynard credit, they deserved to win. They played well,” Barbina added.
The game was delayed approximately 12 minutes in between the fifth and sixth innings when home plate umpire Tim Frazier was overcome by the intense heat. Base umpire Dan Butts finished the game behind the plate, while Sean Hanley came out of the stands to do the bases.
Frazier reported after the game that he was feeling better.
The contest drew a crowd of nearly 200.
Web Gems went to second baseman Schimmel for his fully extended diving grab of a liner off the bat of Stephens in the fourth. No. 2 was turned in by Kinnick with another sliding catch down the rightfield line. The third was a backhanded stop by Cisar at third. He knocked the ball down, picked it up and pegged a strike to first for the out.
Lafferty’s Cameron Smith was dealt his first loss of the season. However, it wasn’t all his fault as his defense wasn’t at its best early on. He worked four innings, striking out one, walking two and allowing nine hits.
Maynard 420 000 0 — 6 11 2
Lafferty 000 005 0 — 5 6 3
Batteries:?Hudson, M. Cisar (6) and Androsko. Smith, Egri (5) and Jellison.
North can be reached at email@example.com