Weirton snatches home field from Lafferty
LAFFERTY – Jordan Barbina is starting to sound like a broken record after the first game of a playoff series.
The quote, “we’ve been here before” resonates throughout the Lafferty players’ heads and they’ll need to channel that once again if they’re to continue their season.
Third-seeded Weirton snatched the home-field advantage away from Lafferty after rallying from four runs down for a 6-4 victory in Game One of their OVBL semi-final series.
“Last year, they had us down 1-0 and we went up there and took game two, so we’ll just need to follow that again,” Lafferty’s Jordan Barbina said. “We have to do it all over again.”
Not only did Lafferty need that recipe during its 2013 playoff run, it needed it in the first round against Marshall County. Weirton, meanwhile, is seeking its first trip to the championship series since winning the 2012 title.
The Red Dons will aim for that berth on Sunday evening when they resume their series at 6. Originally, game two was scheduled for this evening, but Weirton’s field is being utilized by the Beast of the East Tournament and unavailable.
“Getting the first one down here is huge for us,” Weirton’s Rudy Nagy said. “With the Beast of the East going on, there’s nothing we can do (about the schedule change).”
Lafferty seemed to be in total control with a 4-0 lead and Matt Masarick throwing a gem.
However, Nagy, who torched Barton in the first round of the playoffs, picked up right where he left off offensively. He led off the fourth with a laser-shot solo home run to dead center.
That seemed to be the spark the Red Dons needed.
“I think we were sitting back too much and letting Lafferty take advantage of that,” Nagy said. “We finally showed up, basically, and put everything together.”
Weirton added two more runs in the fifth and then surged to the lead with three more in the sixth.
Three Lafferty errors proved to be the undoing for the Dodgers.
Meanwhile, on the mound, Weirton’s Logan Linder, who came on in relief, baffled the Lafferty lineup. He allowed just four hits in four innings of work en route to the win.
Lafferty’s offense was led by a two-run single from Andrew Kowalo and a book-rule double from Alex Stephens. Tyler Grant also drove in a run with a single.
Weirton 000 123 0 – 6 6 2
Lafferty 301 000 0 – 4 6 4
W – Fuscardo (3K, 3BB), Linder wp (4) (3K, 2BB) and Fluharty. Nagy HR, S, 2RBI; Linder 2S, Fuscardo 2S.
L – Masarick lp (2K, 1BB), Dunfee (6) (1K, 1BB) and Kowalo. Stephens, D; Grant S, RBI; Kowalo S, 2RBI.