Fighting Tigers comeback falls short

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 3, 2001


Thursday, May 03, 2001

LOUISA, Ky. – The Ironton Fighting Tigers came thisclose to a major upset and a miracle comeback.

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Playing one of the top teams in Kentucky, Ironton saw a seventh inning rally falls just short in a 10-9 loss Wednesday to the Lawrence County Bulldogs.

Down 10-5 heading into the seventh, Ironton scored four times and had the potential tying and winning runs on base when the game ended.

"I was proud of the way our guys didn’t quit and battled back," Ironton coach Mark Lewis said. "You never like to lose, but to hang in there and battle the way we did, that’s something positive we can take from this game."

Lawrence County is now 22-2 on the season while Ironton falls to 11-9. The Fighting Tigers play at 5 p.m. Friday at Coal Grove in the Division III sectional tournament.

"Lawrence County is probably the best team we’ve played. They don’t beat themselves. If a couple of things go our way, we could have beaten them. We had our chances," said Lewis.

Drew Mains led off the seventh inning with a solo home run. Josh Harmon then drew his third walk of the game and the Bulldogs changed pitchers.

Chad Parker and Greg Mountain both beat out infield hits to load the bases, and then Matt White singled to center to score Harmon.

Tyler Whaley’s base hit scored the fourth run, but the raly died and the comeback had fallen just short.

Ironton started the game with a run in the top of the first when Harmon walked, stole second, and came home on Mountain’s base hit.

The Bulldogs came right back in the bottom of the inning with two runs to take the lead.

Adam Blevins walked, T. J. Caudill doubled, and Kyle Barnette had a two-run single.

The Fighting Tigers regained the lead with three runs in the second.

Mark Mains singled with one out and Josh Sands cracked his first career home run and it was 3-2. Nick Collins followed with a base hit, went to second on a wild pitch, and scored on a double by Drew Mains.

But Lawrence County pushed across seven runs in the third inning to take the lead for good.

Adam Kirk singled, Steve Blevins was hit by a pitch, and Casey Howard and Chris Pope walked to force in a run. Adam Blevins single to drive in two runs, Caudill doubled home Pope, Bub Castle had a two-run single, and Kirk singled in the final run.

Parker clubbed a one-out solo home run in the fifth to cut the deficit to 9-5, but the Bulldogs got what proved to be the winning run in the sixth.

Barnette walked and went to third when Steve Blevins reached on an error. Eric Parker hit a soft liner that pitcher Kevin Williams picked off and threw to first base to complete the double play.

But Fred Wilson walked and the Bulldogs used the stop-steal to scored Barnette.

Drew Mains, Parker, and Mountain were 2-for-4 as Ironton outhit the Bulldogs 11-8. Adam Blevins was 2-for-3 while Caudill and Kirk each went 2-for-4.

Ironton 130 010 4 – 9 11 2

Law. Co. 207 001 x – 10 8 1

Josh Harmon, Matt Spears (3), Kevin Williams (3) and Matt White. Casey Howard, Fred Wilson (6), Chris Pope (7) and Eric Parker. W-Howard (5-R, 5-ER, 6-H, 2-W). L-Harmon 7-R, 7-ER, 5-H, 0-K, 4-W). SB-Ironton: Josh Harmon; LC: Bub Castle. LOB-Ironton 5, Law. Co. 7. DP-Ironton 6th. WP-Harmon, Howard 2. HBP-by Harmon (Bub Castle, Steve Blevins). 2B-Ironton: Drew Mains; LC: Adam Blevins, T. J. Caudill 2. HR-Ironton: Josh Sands, Chad Parker, Drew Mains. Hitting-Ironton: Drew Mains 2-4 (2 RBI), Chad Parker 2-4 (RBI), Greg Mountain 2-4 (RBI), Matt White 1-4 (RBI), Tyler Whaley 1-4 (RBI), Mark Mains 1-2, Josh Sands 1-2 (3 RBI), Nick Collins 1-3; Lawrence County: Adam Blevins 2-3 (2 RBI), T. J. Caudill 2-4 (RBI), Bub Castle 1-3 (2 RBI), Adam Kirk 2-4 (RBI), Kyle Barnette 1-3 (2 RBI).