Ironton’s upset bid of Pirates falls just short

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 28, 2000

Ironton’s field goal attempt in overtime was wide right, thus giving the Wheelersburg Pirates.

Friday, April 28, 2000

Ironton’s field goal attempt in overtime was wide right, thus giving the Wheelersburg Pirates…

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Hold it. This was baseball. It only looked like a football score.

Unbeaten Wheelersburg, ranked No. 1 in the baseball coaches’ poll, was taken to the limit Thursday as the Pirates outscored the Ironton Fighting Tigers 17-15 in nine innings.

Not only were the Pirates taken to the limit, they were down for the count before rallying to tie the game and force extra innings.

Ironton (8-6) had a 14-10 lead in the seventh inning but couldn’t hold on as the Pirates tied the game. Each team got a run in the eighth only to have Wheelersburg score twice in the ninth and then choked off Ironton’s rally in the bottom of the inning.

"We had our chances to win, we just made too many mistakes and you can’t do that against a good team and expect to win," Ironton coach Mark Lewis said.

"But you can’t fault our effort. We were down two or three times in the game and we fought back. I’ve said it all season, this team likes to compete. There’s no quit in them."

The game produced 34 hits, 18 by Ironton and 16 by the Pirates.

Clark Cooper was 4-for-5 with two runs batted in, Chad Parker 3-4 with four RBI, Josh Harmon 3-5, and Jon Sites 3-6 to lead Ironton.

Wheelersburg (16-0) was led by Dustin Woodrum who was 4-6 with a grand slam and four RBI. Jeremy Williams was 3-5 with three runs knocked in and Adam Conn had a solo home run.

"That was some kind of game," Pirates coach Jack Branon said. "Both teams made a lot of mistakes, but neither one was going to back down. That was a good win for us."

Wheelersburg got its winning rally going with one out in the ninth.

Dan Sutton walked, Chad Newsom was hit by a pitch, but Conn struck out. Woodrum hit an infield roller for a hit to load the bases, and Williams singled to center as the go-ahead runs scored.

Ironton tried to rally in the bottom of the ninth when Matt Johnson and Drew Mains walked with two outs. But Pirates pitcher Seth Morrison got a called third strike on the next batter to end the game.

Each team scored a run in the eighth to keep the slugfest going.

Wheelersburg got its run when Conn walked, stole second, took third on a bad pickoff throw, and came home on a hit by Williams.

Ironton came right back as Drew Mains walked, Cooper singled, and Sites had an RBI double.

The Fighting Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the first when Drew Mains walked, Cooper put down a sacrifice bunt, and Parker delivered an RBI single.

Conn’s two-out home run in the second tied the game at 1-1.

Ironton went ahead 3-1 in the third on singled by Cooper and Sites and a two-run double by Parker.

Wheelersburg took a 4-3 lead with three unearned runs in the fourth.

Branon reached on an error, Sutton walked, Conn was safe on an error as Branon scored, and a wild pitch scored Sutton. Williams walked and Perkins reached on an error to score Conn.

The Pirates came back to score six runs in the fifth to take what appeared to be a commanding 10-3 lead.

Josh Newman tripled and Branon hit a sacrifice fly to start the rally. The Pirates then loaded the bases and Woodrum hit the first pitch for a grand slam home run. Williams doubled and Perkins singled for the final run.

Despite the seven-run deficit, Ironton didn’t blink. Instead, the Fighting Tigers scored eight times in the bottom of the inning to take an 11-10 lead.

Cooper singled, Sites doubled, and Parker singled for a run. Harmon singled home a run, Mark Mains singled to load the bases, and Jimmy Peyton had a two-run single. Greg Mountain’s base hit scored a run and it was 10-8.

Johnson put down a sacrifice bunt, but the throw to first went down the right field line as two runs scored. The relay throw went into the Pirates dugout allowing Johnson to score.

Ironton increased its lead to 14-10 in the sixth.

Harmon singled, Mark Mains was safe on an error, Mountain and Drew Mains walked to force in a run, and Cooper had a two-run double.

But Wheelersburg tied the game in the seventh.

Woodrum singled, Perkins and Davis had one-out walks, Newman hit into a force play as a run scored, Branon singled in a run, and a throwing error sent home Newman. Sutton’s base hit to left scored Branon with the tying run.

Ironton played Rock Hill Friday morning and traveled to Ashland, Ky., Friday afternoon.

Whelrsbrg 010 360 412 – 17 16 4

Ironton 102 083 010 – 15 18 5

Dan Sutton, Cody Piguet (5), Seth Morrison (6) and Lance Davis. Chad Parker, Mark Mains (8) and Jon Sites. W-Morrison (4-K, 5-W, 2-H). L-Mains (4-K, 3-W, 1-HBP). 2B-Wh: Jeremy Williams; Ironton: Chad Parker, Jon Sites 2, Clark Cooper. 3B-Wh: Josh Newman. HR-Wh: Adam Conn, Dustin Woodrum (GS). LOB-Wheelersburg 11, Ironton 12. DP-Ironton 1. WP-Sutton, Parker 2. HBP-by Mains (Chad Newsom). SB-Wh: Adam Conn; Ironton: Matt Johnson, Jimmy Peyton. SF-Wh: Michael Branon. Sac-Ironton: Matt Johnson 2, Clark Cooper 2, Josh Harmon. Hitting-Wh: Michael Perkins 2-6, Lance Davis 1-4, Josh Newman 2-6, Michael Branon 2-5, Dan Sutton 1-3, Adam Conn 1-4, Dustin Woodrum 4-6 (4 RBI), Jeremy Williams 3-5 (3 RBI); Ironton: Clark Cooper 4-5 (2 RBI), Jon Sites 3-6 (RBI), Chad Parker 3-4 (4 RBI), Josh Harmon 3-5 (RBI), Mark Mains 1-6, Jimmy Peyton 1-6 (2 RBI), Greg Mountain 2-4 (RBI), Matt Johnson 1-3.