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Ironton finds way to beat Trojans, 2-0

Sometimes the difference between winning and losing is merely a play or two.

Tuesday, April 03, 2001

Sometimes the difference between winning and losing is merely a play or two. The Ironton Fighting Tigers made those plays Monday as they shutout the Portsmouth Trojans 2-0 behind the combined pitching of Mark Mains and Josh Sands.

Ironton had just two hits but made the most of them to improve its record to 4-1.

"Last year, we would have lost this kind of game," Ironton coach Mark Lewis said. "We would get in a game like this last year and make a mistake that the other team would capitalize on. Now we’re finding a way to win."

Mains went 5.1 innings and notched the win. He struck out six and walked four. Sands picked up his first career save as he struck out two, walked one, and worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth.

Sands also had a sacrifice fly that scored the game’s first run.

"I felt better today. I was able to get looser and throw better," said Sands. "(At the plate) I hit the ball pretty good, I just got under it a little bit."

Lewis was happy with the pitching effort of Mains and Sands.

"Mark Mains is around the plate and keeps you in the game. He battles you," said Lewis. "Sands did a nice job in relief. He got out of a couple of jams."

The game was scoreless until the fifth.

Drew Mains led off the inning by nailing a 3-1 pitch for a base hit to right. Two wild pitches moved him to third and Sands hit a long sacrifice fly to left.

The Fighting Tigers used their baserunning to get an insurance run in the sixth.

With one out, Chad Parker was hit by a pitch. Greg Mountain’s ground ball to third was thrown away at second and the runner went to third.

Tyler Whaley grounded to short and Parker was cut down trying to score. But Mountain went to third on the play, and when pinch-runner Brian Rowe got hung up in a rundown, Mountain was able to score.

Portsmouth threatened in the fourth when Case Kegley walked and Aaron Lodwick singled him to third. But Josiah Young hit a hard ground ball to Whaley at first base who stepped on the bad and threw home to knock off Kegley and complete the double play.

The Trojans (4-2) mounted a major rally in the sixth.

Kegley reached on an error, stole second and went to third on a hit by Jeremy Mathis. Mark Mains struck out the next batter, but Lewis elected to brings Sands on to pitch.

Young walked to load the bases, but Sands struck out Fleming and got Kyle Porter to fly out and end the uprising.

Portsmouth had another chance in the seventh.

Jeff Swords reached on a one-out error but was thrown out at third base when Craig Fletz singled. Sands then struck out Kegley to end the game.

Ironton plays at South Point on Tuesday, then hosts Lawrence County, Ky., Wednesday.