Taylor pitches Barton past Maynard
MAYNARD — Ben Taylor pitched seven strong innings and Barton made quick work of homestanding Maynard Monday night in Ohio Valley Baseball League action.
The Braves (7-6) scored two runs in each of the second and fifth innings, a solo tally in the third and Taylor only needed 1-hour, 26-minutes in a 5-1 victory on the sun-baked Firemen’s Field diamond inside the Community Park.
With the victory, the defending champions kept their hopes alive of not finishing fourth and having to compete in the play-in game against No. 5 Shadyside just to reach the playoffs.
Maynard will make the short trek down the creek tonight to complete the home-and-home series on Henning Field inside Pramesa Park. The first pitch is set for 6.
The Indians (10-6), meanwhile, lost ground on front-running Moundsville (13-4), which rolled past the winless Casketmakers, 14-1, Monday night.
“We are starting to hit our stride and it is coming at the right time,” veteran Barton manager Billy Timko said. “All of our guys know their roles and everyone is contributing.”
He was spot-on with the last comment as seven of the nine Braves recorded a base hit — all singles — as Colton Coss drove in two with his. Bailey McGrath and Drake Dobson also had run-producing base knocks.
While his teammates were giving him enough run support, Taylor was doing what he does best, pound the strike zone. The Fairmont State righthander struck out five, walked a pair and scattered seven hits in going the distance. He threw 85 pitches, with 56 finding the strike zone. He was also the beneficiary of some bad baserunning on part of the Indians.
“Ben did a great job. He had good control tonight and Isaac (Rine) did a good job of calling the game,” Timko noted. “Ben is starting to work himself into going six or seven strong innings after not pitching for a while.”
In his last outing, Taylor no-hit Maynard for five innings before pulling himself on a self-imposed pitch count.
“I felt good out there tonight. I was mixing my pitches up, especially my changeup and slider,” Taylor, who only threw four pitches in the first inning, said. “It was hot. Thankfully I wasn’t out there long in the first.”
Maynard manager/player David Vicker said poor baserunning was the difference in the game.
“Errors on the basepaths. Mackenzie (Koehler) did a good job on the mound again, but we had some unfortunate things happen on the bases,” he lamented. “Then we had a bad-hop in the outfield that put us down 2-0 in the second.”
Dobson lined a 2-1 pitch to right with two outs in the second to give Barton a 1-0 lead. The ball skipped past the right fielder as Dillon Sunnafrank, who had reached on a fielder’s choice, circled the bases with the second tally.
The Braves played small ball in the third to increase their margin to 3-0. Left-handed Jacob Probst looped a leadoff single down the left field line and went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Isaac Rine. A Coss groundout to the right side move Probst to third and McGrath ripped a single back up the middle to score Probst.
Maynard got on the board in the fourth when B.A. Holloway laced a single to center to plate Tyler Ramsey. However, for the second time in the game, a Maynard baserunner got hung up between second and third before being tagged out. It also happened in the first.
“We’ve got some speed on the team but sometimes we’re just being too aggressive on the bases,” Vickers said.
Barton bunched three of its hits in the fifth to cap the scoring. Matt Fouty bunted for a leadoff single and was sacrificed to second by Probst. Rine singled through the right side as Fouty stopped at third. After Rine went to second without a throw, Coss, who had been in a long slump, also found the hole between first and second as Fouty scored easily and Rine somehow eluded the tag of a diving Holloway for the final run.
All told, Maynard had two runners erased in rundowns; one doubled off second on an inning-ending line drive that was snagged by Fouty; and another thrown out stealing.
“Defensively, we are very solid,” Timko stressed. “Matt Fouty is a fantastic defensive player.”
Timko will hand the ball to Tyler Blomquist tonight. Vicker wasn’t sure between Joe Myers or Jeff McIntyre who pitched two perfect innings of relief Monday.
Moundsville 14, Shadyside 1
AT GLEN DALE, Matt Carnahan hit two home runs and singled to drive in six runs for the Expos.
Moundsville banged out 13 hits, with John Santimarino also recording three singles. Eric Cover doubled twice and knocked in two runs. Tim Mirandy also had a pair of ribbies.
Greyson Loweecy went six innings for the win, striking out six, not walking a batter and giving up three hits.
Zeke Merryman’s sacrifice fly accounted for the Casketmakers’ lone run.