Homefield advantage not enough in OVBL playoffs
CRESCENT — It’s a well-known fact that when a pair of rivals meet, no matter the sport, you can throw the records out the windows. Such was the case Thursday night.
Two former Barton Braves teamed up to lead No. 4 Maynard past the top seeds, 3-0, on Henning Field inside Pramesa Park. Chris McIntyre tossed a two-hit complete game shutout and Chris Leasure launched a mammoth two-run homer to spark the victory.
“Excellent outing by Chris on the mound and a big home run by the other Chris,” Maynard player/manager David Vicker praised. “Mackenzie (Koehler) had a clutch hit and we played very good defense. We played all three phases of the game tonight. We played excellent tonight.
“I don’t think we are beatable when we play like we did today.”
He will get to find out tonight as the Indians (6-13) host the Braves (13-6) in Game 2 at the Community Park diamond. First pitch is at 6. A win propels Maynard into the championship finals.
McIntyre has had one good outing and one bad outing against Barton previously this season. Last night he was not to be outdone with five strikeouts and a walk.
“I’ve been thinking about this game all day long,” McIntyre stressed. “They got me the last time. I knew what I had to do. I had a great catcher, great defense and a big home run from Chris.”
The righthander needed just 91 pitches (60 strikes) on the steamy night.
“I just knew I had to keep the ball outside on them because they are a very good hitting team,” McIntyre allowed. “I did just that. B.A. called a great game.”
Maynard struck in the second inning as Mason Ramsay doubled to left leading off. Koehler then laced a single back up the middle that plated Ramsay.
The Indians added to their lead an inning later when Leasure sent a towering drive to left that was halfway up the trees, making it 3-0.
“Don’t throw me fastballs,” he said. “I expect to see nothing but curveballs from now on.”
Bailey McGrath had a double for Barton.
Ben Taylor took the loss. He fanned seven, issued just one free pass and yielded half-a-dozen hits while throwing 104 pitches, of which 74 were strikes.
“They have nothing to lose. They are the worst team in the league and they can go up there and just swing the bats,” Barton manager Billy Timko said. “Chris pitched a great game.”
Vicker will give the ball to Greyson Loweecy tonight. Barton will counter with Tyler Blomquist.
Weirton 6, Moundsville 4
At Glen Dale, Larry Bielewski homered for the fourth straight game. He hit a grand slam in a five-run fourth inning that sparked the No. 3 Bobcats (10-9) past the No. 2 Expos (9-10). His shot was caught by John Santimarino, but his momentum carried him into the fence, jarring the ball loose as it went over the fence.
Andrew Kowalo hit a two-run homer for Moundsville.
The teams meet again tonight at Moundsville with Weirton being the home team.