Red-hot Maynard rolls
LAFFERTY – The last time Maynard ventured to the Community Park here, it left with the 2013 Steele and Cook Insurance Ohio Valley Baseball League championship trophy.
Friday night in western Belmont County, the defending champions avenged an earlier loss this season by pounding out 11 hits and taking advantage of four errors by the host Dodgers (13-2) in a 12-4 rout.
With the victory, Maynard (13-4) has won nine straight games after a four-game losing streak in late May.
“I like the way we are playing right now,” Maynard manager Laney Simone Sr. said with a huge smile. “We’re starting to pull a lot of things together, and when that happens, good things can happen as a result.
“There’s times when you get off your game a little bit and start giving the opposition a run here and there. We’ve stopped being in the giving mood.”
After going in order in the first inning against Lafferty starter Andrew Kowalo, a Wheeling Park grad and current member of the Potomac State squad, Maynard plated three runs in the second and tacked on three more in the fourth for a commanding 6-0 advantage.
Chris Ciatti, Maynard’s No. 7 hitter, chased the first run home with a double to deep left that knocked in B.A. Holloway with one out. Two batters later, Dane Koch sent a rocket through the right side of the infield that found the right-centerfield gap for a two-run double. Koch was thrown out at third trying for a triple, but it was 3-0.
Logan Hudson doubled to left-center leading off the fourth and Ryan Jarvie went to the exact same place for a run-producing two-bagger and a 4-0 lead. The fifth run scored via an error and D.J. Busby’s fielder’s choice got in the sixth tally.
That was plenty of run support for wily veteran Mark Cisar as he breezed through the first four innings in a mere 43 pitches (35 strikes). He allowed a pair of two-strike singles before running into trouble in the fifth.
Darby Waller, one of a handful of former players for Cisar at Union Local, worked his mentor for 10 pitches leading off the fifth before grounding out. Uncharacteristically, Cisar then walked back-to-back hitters before recording the second out. However, Paul DeMarchi singled to center to score Kowalo and end the shutout bid. Jordan Barbina reached on an infield single to load the bases, but Cisar struck out the next batter to get out of the jam.
“Give Darby credit,” Cisar said. “He worked me tough. I couldn’t put him away. Then I struggled to find the strike zone a little bit. I was ahead in the strike zone all game long, and then I have to pitch from behind.
“I got tired,” he admitted. “I ran out of gas a little bit, but they (Lafferty) have a good hitting team. I coached most of those guys and coached against some of the others. That makes a big difference knowing what (pitches) they are sitting on.”
A four-run sixth put the game out of reach as four base-on-balls and a huge error paved the way as Maynard only mustered one hit in the frame. Ciatti and Michael Androsko each picked up a run batted in on bases-loaded walks.
“They are a very good hitting ballclub,” Lafferty player/manager Jordan Barbina said of Maynard. “I’m just glad we got a split with them.”
Holloway and Jarvie had run-scoring hits in the seventh. Between the two, they combined for six hits (3 singles, 3 doubles) and three RBI. Jarvie had a pair of doubles and a single that drove in two runs. Holloway, meanwhile, singled twice and doubled in a run. Cisar had two singles and Ciatti picked up a pair of ribbies.
“The bottom of our lineup needed to start hitting the ball for us to be successful, and we’ve started doing that,” Simone Sr. added. “You can’t rely on your first five hitters to carry you through games. The bottom of the order needs to come through and they did just that tonight.”
Cisar worked the first six innings, striking out five and yielding five hits. he walked three and threw 93 pitches (69 strikes). He also threw a first-pitch strike to 18 of the 26 batters he faced.
“Mark was real relaxed and pitched well tonight,” Simone Sr. praised. “He’s a veteran and he pitched like it.”
Alex Stephens had three of Lafferty’s seven hits, a pair of singles and a triple that drove in a run. Kowalo had a run-producing double.
Maynard strengthened its hold on third place with the win. It travels to Patterson Field in Elm Grove Sunday to meet the Wheeling Cardinals (14-2), who moved ahead of Lafferty and into first place Friday night. The Dodgers, meanwhile, have lost two straight after starting the season with 13 consecutive victories. They travel to Jefferson County Sunday.
Maynard 12, Lafferty 4
Maynard 030 304 2 – 12 11 0
Lafferty 000 011 2 – 4 7 4
M-M. Cisar wp (5K, 3W), Koch (7), (1K, 0W) and Ciatti; Busby rbi; M. Cisar 2S; Holloway 2S, D, rbi; L. Hudson D; Jarvie S, 2D, 2rbi; Ciatti D, 2rbi; Androsko rbi; Koch D, 2rbi
L-Kowalo lp (3K, 1W), A. Curry (5), (0K, 6W), Stephens (6), (0K, 0W), Waller (7), (1K, 0W) and Masarick; Stephens 2S, T, rbi; Kowalo D, rbi; DeMarchi S, rbi
North can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org