Barton blanks Maynard
MAYNARD — Pitchers have long memories. Dillon Ketter is no exception.
It had been more than two years since Ketter had hurled a complete game, but the 2016 St. Clairsville graduate vividly remembered it Tuesday night after going the route as Barton blanked Maynard, 3-0, in Ohio Valley Baseball League action at cloud-covered Firemen’s Field inside the Community Park.
“It was my senior year of high school and we beat Wheeling Park, 5-3, so it’s been awhile,” Ketter, who plays club baseball at Kent State, said after scattering five hits, striking out five and issuing a pair of free passes. He needed just 80 pitches, with 51 going for strikes.
“Once I zoned in, I tried to keep the ball low, pitch to contact and let my defense do the rest,” Ketter explained. “I’m not overpowering, so I have to hit my spots.”
Barton (6-4) first baseman Tanner Werkman gave Ketter all the run support he would need when he launched the first pitch he saw with two outs in the top of the second well over the fence in left.
Ketter stranded four Maynard baserunners in the first two innings on three singles and a walk. After yielding a base hit to Mitch Viakley with two outs in the second, the righthander retired 16 of the final 18 batters he faced.
“He’s not powerful and doesn’t have that (high) velocity, but he puts the ball where he wants to put it,” Barton manager Billy Timko said of Ketter. “A big part of pitching is putting the ball where you want to and letting your fielders do their jobs. They (Maynard) had some shots, but our outfield did a good job of tracking them down.”
The Braves would added a pair of insurance tallies in the sixth. Nick Bilyeu led off with a single and went to second on a wild pitch. One-out later, he moved to third when Bobby Stewart reached on an error. Shane Smolenak’s safety-squeeze got Bilyeu home for a 2-0 reading. Colton Coss’s groundout scored Stewart.
“One run was good, but when we got those extra two runs, I felt that much more confident,” Ketter admitted.
Maynard did threaten in its last at-bat as it had runners on first and second with two outs, but the runner on second got tricked by the old hidden-ball trick to end the game.
“We’re on a nice roll right now,”Timko said after watching his squad win for the fourth time in a row. “This is a big week for us with four games scheduled. The complete game was huge.”
Maynard’s Greyson Loweecy was the tough-luck loser. The righty fanned seven, walked a pair and yielded just four hits, two coming in the seventh.
“Greyson pitched a great ballgame,” Maynard manager Laney Simone Sr. said. “But when you can’t string together some hits, you’re not going to score any runs. And if you don’t score runs, you’re not going to win games. Simple as that.”
Timko echoed Simone’s thoughts.
“Loweecy pitched really well. He gave up that home run to Werkman, but we had to really work for whatever else we got.”
Mackenzie Koehler and Viakley each singled twice for Maynard (4-6-1).
Barton returns to Henning Field in Crescent tonight to host the Wheeling Cardinals at 6. Maynard remains at home as Shadyside visits, also at 6.