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Fighting Tigers jolt Jeeps for sectional title

SOUTH WEBSTER – Okay, so making the Ironton Fighting Tigers the underdog was a mistake.

Thursday, May 10, 2001

SOUTH WEBSTER – Okay, so making the Ironton Fighting Tigers the underdog was a mistake.

The South Webster Jeeps were the fourth-seeded team in the Division III sectional tournament and Ironton was seventh. But none of that made a difference Wednesday as the Fighting Tigers crushed the Jeeps 17-1 in five innings to win the sectional championship for the fourth straight season.

Ironton roughed up South Webster ace Matt Craft for 12 of their 15 hits along with 15 earned runs. The Fighting Tigers had six extra base hits including three home runs, one a grand slam by Tyler Whaley.

"We hit the ball real well again. (Craft) threw the ball pretty hard, but we were able to catch up with him and hit the ball hard. We had a good effort and now we move on," Ironton coach Mark Lewis said.

Ironton, 13-9, will now play No. 6 ranked Minford at 5 p.m. Tuesday in the district semifinals at the University of Rio Grande.

Chad Parker ran his record to 4-3 as he gave up four hits, struck out three, and walked just one. Parker also went 2-for-3 with a home run, a double, and four runs batted in.

"Chad wasn’t throwing as hard as he did the past couple of games, but he gave us a good effort. The thing that has impressed me is his control. He only walked one today and that’s the way he’s been throwing lately," said Lewis.

Mark Mains was 2-for-3 while Drew Mains, Josh Harmon, Greg Mountain, and Josh Sands all went 2-for-4. Sands had a home run and a double to go with four RBI.

Michael Coriell went 2-for-2 as he got half of the South Webster hits.

Neither team scored in the first, but then Ironton erupted for nine runs in the second.

Matt White and Mark Mains singled and then Sands hit a three-run homer that just cleared the fence in right-center.

"I wasn’t sure if it was going out or going to fall in front of the fence, so I just kept running. I got excited and I almost ran past Mark (Mains)," said Sands.

Kevin Williams singled, stole second, took third on a ground out, and scored on a hit by Harmon. Parker walked, Mountain had an RBI single, and White walked to load the bases and set the stage for Whaley’s grand slam that capped the rally.

"I knew it was gone when I hit it," Whaley said.

Drew Mains singled and Parker homered in the third to extend the lead to 11-0.

The Jeeps got their only run in the bottom of the fourth when Coriell singled, moved up on a wild pitch, and scored on a double by Justin Craft.

The Fighting Tigers got six insurance runs in the fifth to secure the mercy rule win.

Williams and Drew Mains walked to start the inning, Harmon beat out an infield hit and Williams scored on a throwing error. Parker then doubled to the deepest part of the park as two more scored. Mountain singled home a run, Whaley was hit by a pitch, and Mark Mains hit into a force play at second, but the run scored when the relay throw to first sailed into the dugout.

Sands doubled to drive in the final run.

Ironton 092 06 – 17 15 0

So. Webster 000 10 – 1 4 3

Chad Parker and Matt White. Matt Craft, Michael Coriell (5) and Justin Craft. W-Parker (3-K, 1-W, 1-ER). L-Matt Craft (7-K, 5-W, 12-H, 15-R, 15-ER). WP-Parker, Matt Craft 2, Coriell. HBP-by Parker (Les Claxon), by Matt Craft (Mark Mains), by Coriell (Tyler Whaley, Chuck Murnahan). SB-Ironton: Josh Harmon 3, Kevin Williams. LOB-Ironton 6, Minford 4. 2B-Ironton: Mark Mains, Chad Parker, Josh Sands; Minford: Justin Craft. HR-Ironton: Josh Sands, Tyler Whaley (GS), Chad Parker. Hitting-Ironton: Drew Mains 2-4, Josh Harmon 2-4 (RBI), Chad Parker 2-3 (4 RBI), Greg Mountain 2-4 (2 RBI), Matt White 1-3, Tyler Whaley 1-3 (4 RBI), Mark Mains 2-3, Josh Sands 2-4 (4 RBI), Kevin Williams 1-2; Minford: Michael Coriell 2-2, Justin Craft 1-1 (RBI), Derek Hall 1-2.