Fighting Tigers notch 20th regular season win
It was quite a day for lofty numbers.
Matt White posted his ninth win and went 4-for-4 at the plate with a home run as the Ironton Fighting Tigers notched their 20th regular season win for the first time since 1977 in an 8-1 win over the Portsmouth Trojans.
Ironton is 22-3 overall with two wins coming in the sectional tournament. Ironton has had eight 20-win seasons since 1967, the most recent in 1998 when the Fighting Tigers reached the Division III state championship game, but 20 regular season wins hasn't occurred since Ironton turned the trick in 1977 under coach Mike Burcham.
"That's quite an accomplishment," Ironton coach Mark Lewis said. "First, you have to play a lot of games and you're at the mercy of the weather to do that. And then you have to be good enough to win. Give all the credit to the players. They've done a great job."
White did a good job on the mound as he went four innings to improve his record to 9-1. He struck out three, did not walk a batter, gave up six hits, and allowed one run.
Kevin Williams finished up for the save. He struck out two, walked one, and gave up one hit.
"Our pitching has been good all year. We're hoping that it continues at the next level," said Lewis.
Ironton plays Wellston at 5 p.m. Tuesday in the Division III district semifinals at the University of Rio Grande.
Portsmouth wasted little time getting the scoring underway with a run in the top of the first.
Tyler Hammond singled, Scott Click had a sacrifice bunt, Brad Porter grounded out sending Hammond to third, and Jeremy Mathis had a run-scoring single.
But Ironton came right back in the bottom of the inning to take the lead with a pair of runs.
With one out, Derek Moore walked, stole second, and took third on White's base hit. Chad Parker then doubled to the fence in left-center to score both runners.
The score remained that way until the fourth when Ironton added a run.
Josh Sands singled and went to third on a wild pickoff throw. Chris Collins followed with a sacrifice fly.
The lead went to 4-1 in the fifth when Moore and White singled and Tyler Whaley doubled.
The Fighting Tigers used the long ball to put the game away in the fourth.
Williams doubled and White slammed a long home run down the left field line to make it 6-1. Parker walked and Whaley cranked a two-run blast to left-center.
Moore went 2-3 and Whaley 2-4 with three RBI as Ironton banged out 11 hits.
Mathis and Craig Felts each went 2-3 for Portsmouth (14-12).
Billy Payne, Scott Click (4), Derek Wales (6) and Brad Porter. Matt White, Kevin Williams (5) and Greg Williams. W-White 9-1 (3-K, 0-W, 6-H, 1-ER). Save-Williams (2-K, 1-W, 1-H). L-Payne (1-K, 3-W, 2-ER, 4-H). SB-Portsmouth: Brad Felts; Ironton: Derek Moore, Chris Collins. 2B-Portsmouth: Billy Payne; Ironton: Chad Parker, Derek Moore, Tyler Whaley, Kevin Williams. HR-Ironton: Matt White, Tyler Whaley. SF-Ironton: Chris Collins. Hitting-Portsmouth: Tyler Hammond 1-4, Brad Porter 1-4, Jeremy Mathis 2-3 (RBI), Billy Payne 1-3, Craig Felts 2-3; Ironton: Kevin Williams 1-4, Derek Moore 2-3, Matt White 4-4 (2 RBI), Chad Parker 1-2 (2 RBI), Tyler Whaley 2-4 (3 RBI), Josh Sands 1-2. Jim Walker/The Ironton Tribune