Weirton storms past Moundsville
GLEN DALE — Trailing host Moundsville 9-0 after three innings, Weirton never gave up. The end result, a stunning 13-10 victory in Ohio Valley Baseball League action on the toasty John Marshall High School diamond.
The Bobcats and Expos both end the regular season with 9-9 marks and tied for second place behind Barton (13-5). They each also own three victories apiece in the six-game series, however, by virtue of scoring more runs in the head-to-head matchups, the Expos earn home field advantage in the first round of the playoffs which begin Thursday when they host the Bobcats in the best-of-3.
“This (win) is huge for our confidence. We woke up the bats,” Weirton player/manager Jacob Rosnick revealed. “Paul (Runkel) swung the bat really well for us tonight. That’s a big bat to add to our lineup. He can leave the yard at any time.”
Runkel crushed a pair of three-run shots to deep left and also doubled to pace the Bobcats’ 11-hit attack. Larry Belewski also hammered a two-run shot and singled.
The Bobcats, who get the third seed, scored seven times in the top of the fourth, sparked by long balls off the bats of Runkel and Belewski. The uprising came off of Moundsville starter Cubby Varner who was perfect through three innings but couldn’t survive the fourth.
“He (Cubby) even said if he hadn’t had a perfect game going he would’ve told me to take him out,” Moundsville player/manager Matt Carnahan said. “But you can’t take him out in that situation.
“Give Weirton credit,” Carnahan continued. “They smashed the ball all over the place. We still get the No. 2 seed due to the run differential, but it would’ve been nice to get it with a win. This was a tough one to swallow.”
The Expos tallied six runs in the bottom of the first as Brian Campbell singled in one and Tim Mirandy followed with a two-run double to left. Two runs crossed on wild pitches and another on an error.
Moundsville made it 7-0 in the second on a run-scoring single by Mirandy and added two more in the third for a 9-0 reading.
That’s when the wheels fell off the wagon as Varner was touched for seven runs on six hits in the fourth.
A six-run sixth — highlighted by Runkel’s second three-run dinger down the line in left off reliever R.J. Vargo– proved to be the difference. Rosnick and Nick Leonard had RBI singles in the outburst, while Elijah Gillette drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.
“We’re looking forward for Thursday. We’re ready, so we’ll just wait and see what happens.”
Game 2 will be Friday in Weirton at Edwin Bowman Field.
Barton 13, Maynard 4
AT CRESCENT, the Braves toppled their rival Indians for the fourth time in six tries at Pramesa Park’s Henning Field.
Eli Petho singled three times and drove in a run for the winners. Bailey McGrath had a two-run homer and Kade Blomquist accounted for three ribbies. Austin Bassa rapped a run-scoring single.
Hunter Westlake doubled in one run and Tyler Ramsay singled in another for Maynard.
Barton 2, Moundsville 0, 8 inn.
AT GLEN DALE, Bassa and Expos’ Matt Brooks hooked up in a pitcher’s duel.
Bassa allowed just two hits in eight innings, striking out four and walking two. Brooks carried a no-hitter into the eighth but Isaac Rine broke it up with a two-out single. Tyler Blomquist had a two-run bad-hop single three batters later.
Brooks fanned seven and walked three.
Clark Sambuco doubled for Moundsville.
Barton will host Maynard at 6 p.m. Thursday in Game 1 of the best-of-3 playoff series. Game 2 is Friday in Maynard.