Monarchs edge Braves in thriller

CRESCENT – After being no-hit Sunday against Weirton, Marshall County limped into Henning Field on Monday night hoping to gain some momentum as the Steele and Cook Insurance Ohio Valley Baseball League’s regular season winds down.

All it took was one inning.

The Monarchs batted around in the fourth, pounding out six hits and scoring six runs before holding off Barton, 8-7, in what turned out to be a thriller under sunny skies in Belmont County.

”We were actually playing with a couple of guys we picked up (Monday),” Marshall County Player/Manager Aric Robbins explained. ”Our starting team really wasn’t here. So, it’s not a bad win. This is a pretty good Barton team.

Both squads entered play at 8-8 and tied for fifth in the OVBL standings. The top 8 teams advance to the postseason, with the top 4 teams earning homefield advantage in the first round.

”We’ve been struggling the last few games,” Robbins continued. ”So to come in here and hit the ball well was big.”

Scott Edge and Caleb Seabright both drove in three runs for the Monarchs, with both each plating two during the pivotal fourth frame. Seabright’s came on a double, which was the only extra-base hit of the inning.

All of Marshall County’s runs in the fourth came with one out, and five were scored with two down.

”One big inning,” Braves manager Bill Timko lamented. ”I give them credit. Two years ago they couldn’t win a game. They stayed with the league and improved and got better and better. I’m proud of them.”

Timko was also proud of his own players, who came back with three runs in the fifth to pull within two at 8-6.

There, Dillon Sunnafrank walked to start inning and Nick Koval reached on an error by the rightfielder. Nick Rocchio followed with a double to right that made the score 8-4. Later, with the score 8-5, Anthony Rocchio doubled in Nick Rocchio for the final run of the frame.

The score stayed that way until the bottom of the seventh.

Nick Rocchio doubled to the fence in left center to start the inning. Next, Joel Atkinson sent a chopper up the middle that scored Rocchio, bringing the Braves to within one at 8-7. Atkinson went to second on the throw home in an attempt to get Rocchio.

Anthony Rocchio’s sacrifice bunt – the first out of the inning – advanced Atkinson to third and left the tying run 90 feet away.

Ryan Kreiter stepped to the plate and lined a shot to third, but it was caught for the second out. Leadoff batter Jourdan Yager popped up to end it.

”We did what we had to do during that last inning,” Timko said. ”We got the bat on the ball. That’s all you can ask for. Sometimes it works for you, and sometimes it doesn’t.”

Nick Rocchio finished with three hits and an RBI, including two doubles.

Linescore:

Marshall Co. 8, Barton 7

Mar. Co.200 600 0 – 8 9 5

Barton 210 030 1 – 7 9 4

M – Edge wp (3K, 1W) and Lucas. Convoy S, rbi; Carnahan 2S; Edge S, 3rbi; Seabright D, 3rbi; Taylor S, rbi.

B – Wildes lp (4K, 1W), Sunnafrank (4) (5K, 1W) and Hynes. Yager 2S; Koval D, rbi; N.Rocchio 2D, S, rbi; Atkinson 2S, rbi; A.Rocchio D, rbi.