Rain suspends Ironton-Valley semifinals

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 18, 2004

McDERMOTT - It was like reading a great suspense novel and then finding out someone tore out the final chapter.

The Ironton Fighting Tigers and Lucasville Valley Indians were tied 3-3 after six innings Monday in the Division III district semifinals, but rain and lightning forced play to be suspended until 5 p.m. Wednesday.

"You never like to stop a game and have to start back up, so waiting a day before we can finish is even worse. You don't know how you're going to react," Ironton coach Mark Lewis said.

Email newsletter signup

The first chapter had a major plot twist. Ironton starting pitcher Kevin Williams collided with the Lucasville catcher Logan Crabtree while scoring the game's first run in the top of the first inning.

Crabtree was blocking Williams' path to home plate despite not having the ball. Williams attempted to get around Crabtree when they collided and Williams ended up with a swollen ankle.

Williams, the team's leading hitter, was forced to leave the game before ever throwing a pitch. Dennis Gagai became the emergency starter and threw six strong innings. He allowed only five hits and one earned run.

"Gagai pitched one heck of a ball game," Lewis said. "That's no easy task to come on unexpectedly and pitch, let alone pitching in the district semifinals."

Williams walked stole second and scored when Josh Adkins reached on an error to start the game.

The Fighting Tigers added a run in the second inning with a two-out rally.

Chris Collins and Greg Linn walked, a passed ball sent Collins to third base and Adkins delivered a base hit.

The Indians got a run in the fourth inning when Crabtree got a bloop double and Dustin Schneider reached on an error.

Ironton got the run back in the fifth inning on a bases loaded walk to Collins after Patrick Kouns reached on an error, Dustin Preston singled and Brigham Waginger walked.

Valley (20-3) closed the gap to 3-2 in the fifth inning on a double by Corey Gulley and a two-out single by David Myers.

The Indians tied the game in the sixth with a two-out rally. Schneider singled and came all the way home on a long single by John Gambill.

Ironton (13-9) has left 10 runners on base through six innings including the bases loaded in the fifth.

"We couldn't come up with a clutch hit to blow the game open," Lewis said.

The Ironton-Valley winner will play at 5 p.m. Friday in the district finals against Federal Hocking, which beat Unioto 7-2 at Jackson.



Game suspended after six innings due to rain.

Dennis Gagai and Dustin Preston. Brandon Turner, Ryan Dwyer (2) and Logan Crabtree. PB-Crabtree. SB-Ironton: Kevin Williams, Nick Collins. Sac-Ironton: Patrick Kouns. 2B-Valley: Logan Crabtree, Corey Gulley. Hitting-Ironton: Josh Adkins 1-4 (rbi), Dennis Gagai 2-4, Dustin Preston 1-3; David Myers 1-3, Logan Crabtree 1-3, Dustin Schneider 1-3, John Gambill 1-3, Ryan Dwyer 1-3, Corey Gulley 1-2.