Barton romps past Moundsville, 13-0, in Game 1 of OVBL playoff semifinals
GLEN DALE — After struggling for most of the regular season with a patchwork lineup, Barton put it all together Tuesday night as the Ohio Valley Baseball League playoff semifinals began.
The defending champion Braves (10-7) pounded out 13 hits and scored a like number of runs in a 13-0 rout of top-seeded Moundsville on Bob Montgomery Field at John Marshall High School. Barton is the fourth seed.
“We hit the ball very well tonight and Tyler pitched his best game of the summer,” veteran Barton manager Billy Timko said of Tyler Blomquist. “We finally got our lineup straightened out and the guys really wanted this game. We played well.”
Blomquist was on the top of his game. He struck out just three, walked a pair and scattered a trio of singles in his 80-pitch performance, of which 60 were strikes. He threw a first-pitch strike to an eye-popping 22 of the 26 Expos (13-6) he faced.
“I was sick over the weekend and I didn’t know whether I’d be able to go today, but I felt better on Monday and today I felt fine,” the righthander revealed. “I told Billy I wanted to go and I was on. I don’t know any other way to describe it.”
While he was mowing down the Moundsville hitters, his Barton teammates were supplying him with plenty of run support. The Braves tallied six times on the same number of hits in the second inning when they sent 11 batters to the plate against Moundsville starter Isaac Hines. Dmitri Collaros singled home Kaden Blomquist to make it 1-0 and Niko Petrides walked with the bases loaded, making it 2-0. Red-hot Isaac Rine bumped the count to 4-0 when he drove in a pair with a single to left. Jacob Probst’s shot off of Hines scored Petrides and Colton Coss’s sacrifice fly capped the outburst.
Rine trotted home when Coss hit another sacrifice fly in the fourth, making it 7-0.
Another six-run inning — this time in the sixth — was highlighted by a pair of two-run homers off the bats of Kaden Blomquist and Dillon Sunnafrank. Coss added an RBI double and Bailey McGrath knocked in a run with a sacrifice fly.
Rine recorded three singles and drove in a pair as all but one Barton starter had at least one base rap. Coss, Kaden Blomquist and Sunnafrank all finished with two safeties. Coss had three RBI while the other two registered two each.
While Tyler Blomquist was doing his thing on the mound, he was quick to credit the job Rine does behind the plate.
“Ever since I threw the no-hitter at West Liberty, Isaac and I have called all of our games ourselves,” Tyler Blomquist said. “I’ve always felt comfortable with Isaac back there. He and I kind of know what pitch we want to throw in certain situations. I rarely have to shake him off.”
He retired the first five Expos he faced before Erik Cover lined a single to center. He then set down the next four and finished strong by retiring 11 of the final 14.
“My slider was working really well early on, but I lost it. However, my curveball came around about the same time,” he explained. “Once we got the big lead I just wanted to challenge the hitters with my fastball.”
Moundsville was missing a couple of key performers, but team spokesman John Santimarino offered no excuses.
“We were shook at the start because they had a lot of different guys, but we’ll bounce back on Thursday,” he said.
Game Two will be played on Thursday at Henning Field inside Pramesa Park. A Braves victory would send them to the championship series, while a Moundsville win forces a third-and-deciding game on Friday back in Glen Dale.
Game One of the other semifinal, pitting second-seeded Maynard (12-6) against No. 3 Weirton (8-6), was rained out Tuesday in Maynard. It is rescheduled for tonight on Firemen’s Field inside the Community Park. Game Two of that series is set for Thursday on Edwin J. Bowman Field in Weirton.
All contests have 6 p.m. starts.