Ironton 10-year-olds win district
A smooth ride, a speed bump, and a shift into high gear.
That's the way to describe the Ironton 10-year-old Little League All-Star team's trip through the District 11 tournament.
Ironton won its first four games in the tournament, then lost and fell into the loser's bracket, but recovered to win the district championship and earn a trip to the state tournament.
Ironton plays North Canton at 4 p.m. Saturday in Hamilton.
Tanner Riley notched the win with a three-hitter as Ironton opened the tournament with a 2-1 win over Wheelersburg. Aaron Lewis doubled and pinch-runner J. J. Lewis scored on a throwing error to give Ironton the win.
Josh Murphy pitched a strong game as Ironton jumped ahead 14-0 and went on to beat Chesapeake 14-3 in the second game.
Ironton posted its second 2-1 victory as Tyler Salyers got the win and
Riley recorded the save as he struck out three straight batters in the bottom of the sixth to beat Rock Hill.
Murphy hurled a two-hitter in Ironton's 7-1 win over Portsmouth. Ironton used a seven-run inning to advance to the finals of the winner's bracket.
But in the winner's bracket showdown, West came up with a 3-1 win and sent Ironton into the loser's bracket.
Riley went the distance and took the loss as two of the three runs were unearned.
In the finals of the loser's bracket, Ironton got another one-run win over Rock Hill at 10-9 and earned a berth in the title series against Portsmouth West.
Anthony Harper came on in the first inning as the third Ironton pitcher and stopped an 8-run uprising.
Ironton mounted a comeback and finally got two runs in the top of the fifth to tie the game.
Josh Murphy walked, Lewis went in as a pitch-runner, and Lewis came all
the way around to score on a wild pickoff throw to first.
The winning run scored in the seventh inning.
Justin Mahlmeister walked, Tres' Wilks sacrificed Mahlmeister to third, and Tyler Salyers grounded out as the runner moved to third base. Harper then hit a ground ball that was fielded by West, but the throw home was late and Mahlmeister scored.
Aaron Allen pitched a scoreless seventh to seal the win.
In the championship series, Riley got the win in a 10-5 victory over West on a four-hitter. Murphy then won the second game 10-2 as Ironton won the district.
The all-stars will conduct fundraisers to defray expenses for the state tournament. The team will collect donations Tuesday at Bartram
& Son Grocery and Pick 'N Save. A "Night Swim" will be held from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. Thursday at Sta-Tan. Admission is $3.
Anyone wishing to make a donation may call Dee Jones at 532-5756.