Barton nips Maynard in OVBL action
MAYNARD — Barton and Maynard renewed the oldest rivalry in the Ohio Valley Baseball League Thursday night in a pitcher’s duel supreme. When the dust had settled, the visiting Braves debuted with an impressive 2-1 victory over the struggling Reds (1-3) on Firemen’s Field inside the Community Park.
“This is the kind of baseball you want to see in the OVBL,” veteran Barton manager Billy Timko said. “We want 1-0 or 2-1 games that are interesting. Games like this is what makes this league so competitive. Two rivals playing hard and nobody arguing or fighting.
“Both pitcher’s pitched very well. Both teams played very well.”
With both hurlers in mid-season form despite the league just beginning its campaign, runs would be at a premium.
Maynard drew first blood with a run in the bottom of the second. However, the Reds would end up stranding half-a-dozen runners, with five of those coming in the fourth through sixth frames.
Mackenzie Koehler would reach on an infield single leading off. However, when the former St. Clairsville standout slid headfirst into the bag, Barton first baseman Darrin Heatherington came down on his left hand. Koehler had to leave the game and be transported to the hospital with what appeared to be a serious injury. David Vicker took over at first for Koehler and advanced to second when a double play was botched, but the out was recorded at first. A wild pitch moved him to third and, with two outs, Eric Banal legged out an infield single on a bang-bang play at first as Vicker scored.
It looked like that might be enough run support for wily veteran Mark Cisar as the Magnolia grad retired the first nine Braves. He allowed a leadoff single to his mound counterpart Ryan Lovette in the fourth, but Lovette was erased on a nifty 1-6-3 double play. The twin killing proved fruitful as the next batter — Colten Coss — also singled, but Cisar fanned the next hitter to get out of trouble.
Trailing 1-0 after five innings, Barton had the top of its order due up in the sixth, marking the third time they had seen Cisar.
The left-handed hitting Lovette went opposite-field for a single leading off. He was erased on Zac Melton’s fielder’s choice grounder, but Coss singled sharply to left to put runners on first and second. Tyler Blomquist followed with a single to center that scored Melton easily. However, when the ball was misplayed in the outfield, Timko didn’t hesitate in waving Coss around. The former Linsly and Morehead State athlete beat the throw for a 2-1 lead.
“We come back with the top of the order for the third time in the sixth and I think it was a charm,” Timko said.
Maynard threatened in the bottom of the sixth with two on and one out, but Lovette, who played his high school ball at Shenandoah, wiggled out of the jam unscathed. The Reds also put the lead runner on in the seventh, but Coss came on in relief to shut down the rally as catcher Bobby Stewart threw out the potential tying run trying to steal second to end the game.
“Three hits won’t win you many games,” Maynard rookie manager Joe Goletz said. “The pitching was good on both sides, but an error here and there made the difference. That’s the way the ball bounces sometimes.”
Cisar struck out four, walked one and allowed six hits. Lovette fanned five, walked five and scattered three singles. Coss earned the save with a strikeout.
Barton hosts Hannibal tonight at Henning Field at 6.
Barton 2, Maynard 1
Barton 000 002 0 — 2 6 1
Maynard 010 000 0 — 1 3 1
B–Lovette wp (5K, 5BB), Coss sv (7), (1K, 0BB) and Stewart; Lovette 2S; Coss 2S; Blomquist S, rbi
M–Cisar lp (4K, 1BB) and Hynes; Banal S, rbi