Barton evens OVBL semifinals
Braves’ 8-1 victory over Maynard sets up Game 3 tonight in Crescent
MAYNARD — With its season on the line, Barton needed just one big inning to extend its summer for at least one more day.
The top-seeded Braves (14-6) tallied five runs on three hits in the top of the third to defeat No. 4 Maynard (6-14) by an 8-1 count Sunday afternoon in an Ohio Valley Baseball League semifinal on the Community Park diamond. With the victory, Barton forced a third-and-deciding game of the best-of-3 series tonight at Pramesa Park’s Henning Field in Crescent at 6.
The winner meets third-seeded Weirton (11-9), which swept No. 2 Moundsville by scores of 6-4 and 8-4, in the best-of-5 championship finals, starting Wednesday night at 6. Should Barton prevail, Game 1 would be in Crescent, however, if Maynard wins, the opener would be played in Weirton.
Barton took advantage of some wildness on the part of Maynard starter Greyson Loweecy in plating the 5-spot. The Braves drew five walks during the outburst, with three scoring. Anthony Zorne cracked a two-run double while Eli Petho had an RBI single. Kade Blomquist and Colton Coss picked up ribbies with bases-loaded base on balls.
“We had to score a bunch of runs today to make sure we had enough because they are still a dangerous team,” veteran Barton skipper Billy Timko said of the Indians. “At any time they can break out their bats.”
Tyler Blomquist went the route on the mound. The righty struck out just one but didn’t walk a batter. He scattered four hits while throwing 77 pitches, with 52 being strikes in the 1-hour, 33-minute game.
“Tyler did a fantastic job on the mound today,” Timko said of the former St. Clairsville High ace. “They (Maynard) had some nice shots today, but they were up in the air. We kept them in the park today.”
The Braves made it 8-0 with three runs in the fourth. It was Anthony Zorne with the big blow again, this time in the form of a two-run, two-out laser over the rightfield fence. Coss added an RBI single.
“What a shot,” Timko said of the left-handed hitters deep drive. “We (the coaching staff) were talking about playing right-handed hitters today because of the short porch in left, but he absolutely crushed that ball.
In addition to Zorne’s two hits, Isaac Rine also singled twice as the Braves collected seven safeties.
Mackenzie Koehler doubled twice and drove in Maynard’s lone run, that coming in the bottom of the fifth.
“They hit the ball well today. You can’t really do too much when they are putting the ball where we ain’t,” Maynard assistant manager Cory Vicker said of Barton. “We’ll bounce back tomorrow.”
While Timko will give the ball to lefty Nicky Zorne, Vicker wasn’t sure who would toe the rubber for the Indians.
It could be Game 1 winner Chris McIntyre.