ILL heads for state
The Ironton Little League All-Stars have come to expect the unexpected.
Although they weren't among the favorites when the tournament began, Ironton beat South Point's 11- and 12-year-old All-Stars 8-3 Thursday to win the District 11 championship.
"The kids played really hard and really well," Ironton coach Steve Lewis said. "They weren't one of the favorites to win this, so it was a nice accomplishment for this bunch."
Lewis said Portsmouth, Wheelersburg, and South Point loomed as the favorites prior to the tournament, but Ironton put together an excellent run that pulled off the upset.
A total of 17 teams were in the district which began with pool play. Ironton won its pool that included Rock Hill, Minford, Coal Grove, and Lucasville Valley.
In the single elimination district tournament round, Ironton beat Fairland,
Portsmouth, and South Point in the finals 8-3.
Ironton used a 6-run second inning to blow the game open and cruise to the district championship.
Jon Monnig and Lukas Morris walked, and Jeremy Moore doubled home the both runners.
Chad Harvey was hit by a pitch and Seth Keuhne singled in a run. The throw home left runners at second and third.
Chris Rakes then doubled to drive home two more runs and Nick Lewis capped the rally with an RBI double.
Ironton got a run in the third when Morris doubled and Keuhne singled.
South Point came back with a run in the bottom of the frame.
Jordan Fletcher and Ryan Plants singled and Kyle Hughes doubled in a run.
A ground out scored the second run.
The eighth run scored in the fourth when Drew Keuhne, Wes Runyon and Ethan Preston all singled.
Rakes went the distance to get the win. He struck out five, did not issue a walk, hit a batter, and allowed seven hits.
Ironton banged out 12 hits with Rakes going 2-3 with a double, Lewis 2-4 with a double, and Seth Keuhne and Drew Keuhne 2-4.
Zach Woody, who went 3-3, hit a solo home run in the sixth inning for South Point's final run.
The Ironton All-Stars will play Thursday in the state tournament at Hamilton.
Anyone interested in making a donation should contact Steve Lewis at 533-0293.
Ironton hitting: Seth Keuhne 2-4, Chris Rakes 2-3 (2B), Nick Lewis 2-4 (2B), Drew Keuhne 2-4, Wes Runyon 1-1, Lukas Morris 1-1 (2B), Ethan Preston 1-1, Jeremy Moore 1-1 (2B). South Point hitting: Ryan Plants 1-3, Kyle Hughes 1-3 (2B), Ryan Riggs 1-3, Tyler Smith 1-3, Zach Woody 3-3 (HR), Jordan Fletcher 1-2. Jim Walker/The Ironton Tribune