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TL Photo/KIM NORTH Barton second baseman Dylan Busby waits for a pitch as Martins Ferry‘s Chase Goff tries to steal a base during the second inning of Monday night’s Ohio Valley Baseball League game at- above the purple city. Goff was absent and the Braves won 5-3.

MARTINS FERRY — Barton hit the .500 mark behind a pitching performance from Tyler Blomquist in a 5-3 victory over Martins Ferry in Ohio Valley Baseball League action at Purple City on Monday night .

Blomquist, a former St. Clairsville High, Post 159 and West Liberty ace, hadn’t taken the mound since last summer, but he showed minor effects from the layoff. He struck out six, walked a half-dozen and allowed seven hits on a road outing. He threw 116 pitches, including 69 strikes.

With the win, the Braves (7-7) are keeping pace for the coveted second or third place finish in the five-team league as the regular season draws to a close. Meanwhile, the River Dogs (4-11) remain competitive.

“I didn’t feel bad there, a little rusty but it felt good to be back on the mound,” said Blomquist. “I had to make a few throws there a few times. It’s been a while since I’ve had to do this, but it was fun.

Barton’s veteran coach Billy Timko couldn’t have been more proud of Blomquist’s efforts.

“For his first outing this year, he pitched really well,” Timko said. “I really didn’t want him to stay that long, but he said he had it, so I let him go.

“With Tyler going the distance I haven’t had to use my bullpen so Gaeten (Sinisgalli) is ready for Wednesday,” he added from the Braves’ game against the Wheeling Pioneers at West Liberty.

Barton scored three times on a single hit in the top of the second. Sinisgalli drew a tee shot and Zac Taylor’s sacrifice bunt was thrown wild first. After both runners had a double steal, Matt Fouty walked to charge the bases. Aaron Marovich hit an 0-1 pitch from Dom Brncic across the right side of the infield as Sinisgalli and Taylor scored. With one out, Jacob Rosnick failed as Fouty headed home.

Martins Ferry broke the ice late in the fourth with a point, but the damage could have been worse.

Kobe Hill threw a right single, and after a line out, Hill was caught stealing by Taylor, the second base runner he downed in the game.

“Zac has a gun over there,” Timko said of the former Brooke star and current Otterbein University squad member. “Not many guys can run on his arm.”

Mason Goddard drew a later walk and Chase Goff beat a bouncer to third who was thrown wildly as Goodard went to third and Goff to second. With the count 3-0 over Brendan Baire, Timko opted to put him in to charge the goals. Cody Hamilton’s infield single allowed Goddard to score, but Blomquist earned a late inning strikeout to leave the bases full.

The Braves scored an unearned run in the top of the fifth as the River Dogs committed two errors, making it 4-1.

Gian Degenova ripped a double on the third base line with two outs late in the fifth that chased Hill for a 4-2 read, but Degenova was caught trying the third to end the inning.

Barton added an insurance run in the top of the seventh on Sinisgalli’s sacrificial volley to center right. Nick Scott scored on the play for a 5-2 margin.

The River Dogs scored once in their last at bat, but left the bases loaded.

“We didn’t put in much at the start and we gave up some early runs that we shouldn’t have had,” Martins Ferry manager Andy Sutak lamented. “We just need that big hit when we have runners, but we just can’t get it. This is the story of our season.

Brncic worked in the seventh before making way for Jackson Romshack. Brncic struck out five, walked three and gave up seven hits.

“Dom threw a good game. He kept us in the game. He really did. Sutak praised.

IN ANOTHER action, Maynard lost a 4-2 decision to the Wheeling Pioneers.

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