Blomquist pitches Barton past Weirton for key win
CRESCENT — With four games in five days, veteran Barton manager Billy Timko knew his starting pitching had to eat up some innings, while also being effective as the Braves try to stay out of the No. 4 spot as the Ohio Valley Baseball League enters the homestretch.
Tyler Blomquist did just that Tuesday in the second of the four outings. The St. Clairsville High and West Liberty University graduate scattered five hits and carried a shutout into the seventh as Barton (6-6) defeated visiting Weirton, 7-2, on sun-drenched Henning Field inside Pramesa Park in a rematch of last summer’s thrilling championship series.
“Tonight was an important win because we don’t want to get caught in that one-game playoff,” Timko said of the fourth-vs.-fifth place winner-take-all contest to get in the semifinals. “We’ve got Weirton again here Friday, so they are all big at this point.”
With the loss, the Bobcats fell to 8-6. They return to Belmont County tonight to face second-place Maynard.
Blomquist struck out 10, walked three and hit one while also battling the steamy weather conditions.
“I asked him how he was doing after the fifth inning and he said, ‘I’ll try (to finish),'” Timko recalled. “Then we made some changes in the field and he had to finish. It seemed like he had a lot left in the tank.”
The righthander threw 114 pitches, with 79 being strikes. From the third through sixth innings, Blomquist retired 10 straight and 11 of 12.
He lost his shutout in the seventh when Jesse Padlow doubled in Conor Hyndman with two outs. Padlow then scored on an error.
“I started to get a little tired at the end, but it seems I get a little better as the game progresses,” Blomquist said of his outing. “My first two or three innings are usually my roughest, but then I settle into a groove.”
Dmitri Collaros, playing his first game of the season, walked leading off the bottom of the second. With two outs, Jacob Probst laced a triple to the fence in left-center as Collaros easily scored for a 1-0 lead. Dillon Sunnafrank knocked in a run in the third and another crossed via an error as the margin grew to 3-0.
Collaros and Niko Petrides, both former Steubenville High products, had consecutive RBI singles in the fifth as the lead ballooned to 5-0. A sixth tally scored on an error. Collaros singled in Kaden Blomquist in the sixth to run the lead to 7-0.
Probst, Isaac Rine, Kaden Blomquist and Collaros all had two hits each, with Rine and Kaden Blomquist recording singles and doubles. Collaros had a pair of runs batted in. Anthony Zorne singled and walked three times, while Blomquist scored three times.
“We’re finally getting all of our players together,” Timko stressed. “For one reason or another, we’ve been playing without three or four guys for most of the season. Tonight we were only missing Colton, but he will be back.”
Timko was also pleased with the fact that he was able to get everyone in the game.
“Some of these guys started during most of the season, but know that we’re getting our other players showing up, they are going to have to be role players. They have to accept that, and they have. Their time is coming. It just isn’t yet.”
Like his manager, Blomquist is glad to see all the players starting to come together.
“It felt like we had the whole team back,” Blomquist said. Only starting shortstop Colton Coss was not in attendance.
Barton will try to string together back-to-back victories as Shadyside invades Pramesa Park tonight at 6.