Barton ends Moundsville’s streak
Braves’ Fouty shines with bat, arm in 4-3 win
CRESCENT — Moundsville had won seven straight games to open the Ohio Valley Baseball League season, and appeared to be headed for an eighth consecutive victory until Barton’s Matt Fouty came through not once, but twice.
The Expos held a 3-1 lead after four-and-a-half innings only to see Fouty rally the Braves (3-2) to a 4-2 triumph with his bat and arm at sun-drenched Henning Field inside Pramesa Park.
With Barton on the short end of a 3-2 count and two out in the bottom of the fifth, Fouty blooped a two-run double over third base that proved to be the difference as Aaron Marovich and Jake Probst scored.
“I was looking for a high inside pitch. He had thrown me one before and I popped it up, so I was looking for another,” Fouty said.
Moundsville (7-1) didn’t roll over, however.
The Expos loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the seventh off Barton reliever Drake Dobson. The former Martins Ferry multi-sport standout induced a flyball to right for the second out and when the Moundsville baserunner tagged and tried to tie the game, Fouty rifled a laser to Marovich at the plate to end the game in bang-bang fashion.
“It just feels good to be part of the team. Last year I didn’t get to contribute much, but I’m back and ready this season,” Fouty said.
Veteran Barton manager Billy Timko was proud of Fouty’s clutch effort.
“Matt was with us last year. He’s kind of streaky at the plate, but right now he is hitting the ball really well,” the Braves skipper said. “He also has a great arm, which he showed right there.”
Coming off a no-hitter in his last mound outing at Shadyside, Barton’s Austin Bassa, admittedly, didn’t have his best stuff but he hung in there for five innings. The righty struck out five, walked four and allowed seven hits, but five of those came in the first two frames. Dobson fanned two and walked a trio in earning the save.
“Austin did a good job of getting out of some big jams,” Timko noted. “He didn’t have his best stuff tonight, but he gutted it out for us.”
Moundsville scored single runs in the first two innings and added a third in the top of the fifth. However, it also stranded 13 baserunners, with eight of those being in scoring position. They left the bases loaded in the first and fifth frames, while leaving two on in the third, sixth and seventh.
Barton got its first tally in the second on a groundball out off the bat of Isaac Jozwiak drove home Anthony Zorne, who had doubled with one out and went to third on a wild pitch.
Dobson started the game-winning rally with a single to left leading off. He hustled to third when the left-handed hitting Marovich doubled down the leftfield line. With one out Moundsville elected to intentionally walk Probst to put the potential game-winning run on base. Tyler Blomquist was hit by a pitch top force in a run and, after the second out was recorded, set the stage for Fouty’s dramatics.
“We needed a win like this. That’s a really good ballclub over there,” Timko said gesturing towards the Moundsville side of the field. “They are going to win a lot of games.”
Barton managed just five hits off the Expos Tim Mirandy and Eric Cover, but three of them were doubles.
Moundsville had seven safeties. Cover drove in a run with a single and double, while John Santimarino singled twice. Hunter Cottrell and Ricky Szeligo each had run batted in.
Each team played without several key starters.
Barton entertains Shadyside Friday.