Big fourth inning helps Barton blow by Lafferty
LAFFERTY – Age won out over youth Wednesday night.
The aging Barton Braves – appropriately wearing their all gray uniforms – broke a close game open with four runs in the top of the fourth inning in securing an all-important, 12-3, Steele and Cook Insurance Ohio Valley Baseball League victory over reeling Lafferty at the Community Park.
The game was called after six innings due to darkness.
The Braves, who had four players in their starting lineup with a combined 109 years of OVBL experience, kept their playoff hopes alive with the victory, improving to 9-9 with four games remaining in the regular season. They are currently percentage points ahead of the Wheeling Toppers for the eighth – and final – playoff berth.
Although the four graybeards really didn’t figure in the scorefest (2-12, 2rbi), they did comprise 40 percent of the lineup.
“With guys working and college kids with summer jobs, you don’t get your whole team here all the time, but when you do, you have a good team sometimes,” veteran Barton manager Billy Timko assessed. “And sometimes you don’t. We had the more core players here tonight than they did.”
Both teams featured patchwork lineups, with the Dodgers, who have dropped four of their last six outings after a spotless 13-0 start, fielding just nine players.
“It’s tough when you can’t get your (starting) personnel and you have to use a patchwork lineup,” Lafferty player/manager Jordan Barbina said. “We had not-everyday guys in different spots tonight, but we were in the game until we pulled our starter.”
Barton led 3-2 before exploding for four runs in the fourth that ended Dodgers starter Matt Masarick’s night on the hill. The Braves tacked on five runs in the sixth off a pair of relievers.
The Braves slugged 13 hits off the Lafferty mound trio, with leadoff hitter Jourdan Yager recording two singles, a double and drove in three runs, while also scoring three times. The next three hitters – Ryan Kreiter, Nick Rocchio and Dustin Hynes – combined for six hits and a like number of runs batted in. Hynes knocked in three with a pair of one-base raps, while singled and tripled to drive in two more. Kreiter singled two times and drove in one.
Nick Koval contributed a two-run double, and winning pitcher Tyler Kurtz singled in two more.
Kurtz, who started off slow, finished strong in just his fourth appearance. He struck out nine, including six of the final nine Dodgers he faced, and didn’t walk a batter. He scattered five hits in tossing 105 pitches (69 strikes) in the 2-hour-4-minute affair.
Paul DeMarchi tripled for the Dodgers. Zach Palmer singled twice to drive in a run. Derrick Phillips knocked in another with a sacrifice fly.
Barton returns to Henning Field in Crescent Friday night. The Braves will honor the first-ever Barton team. Meanwhile, Lafferty hosts Shadyside the same night.
- The four Barton oldtimers were Timko (34 yrs.), Kirk Smolenak (31), Joel Atkinson (23) and Koval (21).
Barton 12, Lafferty 3
(game called because of darkness)
Barton120 405 – 12 13 2
Lafferty011 001 – 3 5 1
B-Kurtz wp (8K, 0W) and Hynes; Yager 2S, D, 3rbi; Kreiter S, D, rbi; N. Rocchio S, T, 2rbi; Hynes 2S, 3rbi; Koval D, 2rbi; Kurtz S, 2rbi
L-Masarick lp (4K, 2W), Phillips (6), (0K, 3W), A. Curry (6), (1K, 1W) and DeMarchi; E. Dunfee S, rbi; DeMarchi T; Palmer 2S, rbi; Phillips SF, rbi