Weirton rallies late vs. Barton to force Game 5
WEIRTON — Faced with a win-or-go-home scenario Monday night, Weirton rallied for five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to extend its Ohio Valley Baseball League season.
The third-seeded Bobcats (13-11) trailed 3-1 entering that fateful frame, but put up a 5-spot that allowed them to pocket a 6-3 victory over No. 1 seed Barton (17-8) on Edwin J. Bowman Field.
With the come-from-behind win, Weirton forced a winner-take-all Game 5 Wednesday night on Henning Field inside Pramesa Park in Crescent. The first pitch is slated for 6.
“We started hitting the ball in the gaps. We hit it hard all game, but sometimes it was right at them,” Weirton player/manager Jake Rosnick said. “Our backs were against the wall and we played our best (game) tonight.”
Michael Mills scattered five hits while striking out a pair and issuing three base-on-balls. His lone mistake was a pitch that Dmitri Collaros hit to right for a three-double in the top of the fifth.
“I thought we played really well tonight. We had a couple of mental lapses, but the guys had my back tonight,” Mills said after throwing an even 100 pitches in a route-going effort, 57 being strikes. “We’ve been a comeback team all season. You can never count us out.”
Mills is one of eight former Weir High players who were on the 2017state runnerup team in 2017. The righthander pitched the regional title tilt.
“We’ve been playing together for a long time, so we’re pretty close,” he offered.
On the wrong end of a 3-1 count after five-and-a-half innings, Larry Bielewski drew a leadoff walk from Barton starter Tyler Blomquist that ended his night on the hill. Austin Bassa relieved and was greeted by a RBI double by Chris Gillette and a single by Nick Leonard, who took second on the throw to the plate. Pinch-hitter Connor Hyndman drew a two-out walk to keep the inning going and Elijah Gillette roped a two-run single up the middle for a 4-3 Weirton lead. Geno Pierro and Rosnick followed with back-to-back RBI singles.
“Chris Gillette had two big hits for us and Elijah Gillette had a big hit that put us ahead,” Rosnick noted. “Our bats finally woke up.”
The former doubled twice while the latter laced a pair of base hits after being dropped from the second spot to No. 9 in the order.
Weirton recorded 10 hits, with with Pierro adding a double to his aforementioned single. Leonard also had two singles.
Isaac Rine had two singles for Barton.
“Tyler pitched really good despite a hamstring injury,” Barton manager Billy Timko said. “He did well.”
Blomquist struck out four, walked one and allowed five hits.
Timko will hand the ball to Game 2 winner Ben Taylor on Wednesday. Rosnick will counter with Game 1 winner Matt Komorowski.
The Braves will be seeking their third title since 2012. They also won two years ago. Meanwhile, Weirton is looking for its first championship since 2011 when it played as the Red Dons.