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Fighting Tigers bats silent in loss to Russell

FLATWOODS, Ky. - To score runs, you have to get hits. To get hits, you have to hit the ball.

The Ironton Fighting Tigers did neither.

Austin Taylor and Justin Potter combined for a no-hitter Tuesday as the Russell Red Devils blanked the Fighting Tigers 6-0 in the season opener for both teams.

"You can't do anything if you don't hit the ball," Ironton coach Mark Lewis said. "We only hit a couple of balls out of the infield. But give their pitchers credit. They did a heck of a job."

Taylor, who went the first six innings, and Potter combined for 13 strikeouts. The only balls to leave the infield were fly balls by Patrick Kouns and Ryan Walker. T.J. Keith was the only starter who did not strikeout out.

Lewis said part of the problem was timing. Six starters were on the basketball team and have only practiced between one and three times.

"We had six guys on the field who have been out less than a week. (Brigham) Waginger and (Dennis) Gagai didn't pick up a bat until (Monday)," Lewis said.

Ironton starting pitcher Greg Linn took the loss as he gave up five runs, but four were unearned due to a pair of first inning errors. Adam Ferguson worked four innings and gave up one unearned run.

"Our pitchers weren't too bad. We made two errors on routine balls in the first inning that cost us, but it's the first game. We'll get better," Lewis said.

Russell got four runs in the first inning when Corey Dillow got a base hit, Josh Lemmings put down a sacrifice bunt, and Taylor was safe on an error as a run scored.

An error, a walk and a three-run fly ball double by Trey Edwards capped the rally.

Lemmings walked, stole second and came home when Taylor beat out an infield hit in the second to make it 5-0.

The final run scored in the fifth on two infield hits and an error.

Ironton hosts South Point Thursday.

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Greg Linn, Adam Ferguson and Dustin Preston. Austin Taylor, Justin Potter and Josh Beekman. W-Taylor (12-K, 3-W, 2-HBP). L-Linn (5-R, 1-ER, 1-K, 3-W). 2B-Russell: Trey Edwards.

SB-Ironton: J.J. Johnson 3, Dennis Gagai; Russell: Josh Lemmings, Jacob Sizemore, Kasey Clark. Sac-Russell: Josh Lemmings. Hitting-Russell: Corey Dillow 1-4, Austin Taylor 1-3 RBI, Kasey Clark 1-3, Jacob Sizemore 2-2 RBI, Trey Edwards 1-3 3-RBI.