Defense helps Ironton outlast Lawrence County

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 29, 2005

The hitting was there and the pitching remained good, so the Ironton Fighting Tigers added a little defense.

Ironton used all facets of its game to beat the Lawrence County (Ky.) Bulldogs 11-7 Wednesday.

"That was a good win. Lawrence County always has a good team. They really hit the ball. They forced us to stay on top of our game," Ironton coach Mark Lewis said.

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"But we continued to hit the ball and we played good defense. Our defense has been pretty good all year. Greg (Linn) threw strikes and we made the plays behind him."

Ironton, 7-5, had 11 hits with Josh Adkins going 3-for-4 with three runs batted in. Dustin Preston was 2-2 with a home run and two RBI.

The Bulldogs didn't take long to get on the scoreboard with a run in the first inning on doubles by Ashton Kirk and A.C. Wells.

Kirk doubled, Cory Humphrey put down a sacrifice bunt and Wells reached on an error to make it 2-0 in the third inning.

Ironton rallied in the bottom of the inning to take the lead for good.

With one out, Adkins singled, Dennis Gagai singled and Dustin Preston walked to load the bases. Patrick Kouns beat out a roller to second base for a run and Ryan Walker hit into a bang-bang force play at second base to drive in the second run.

Walker then got caught in a rundown long enough for courtesy runner T.J. Keith to score the go-ahead run.

The Fighting Tigers made it 5-2 in the fourth inning.

Chad Miller singled, Brigham Waginger walked and Chris Rakes beat out an infield hit. Adkins then smacked a two-run single.

Lawrence County (11-6) got a run in the fifth on singles by Adam Preston, Compton and Kirk.

But the Fighting Tigers answered the call with six runs in the bottom of the inning.

Walker was hit by a pitch and scored on a triple by Miller. Greg Linn singled to drive in Miller.

Rakes was safe on an error and Adkins cranked a two-run double. Dennis Gagai hit a sacrifice fly and Dustin Preston followed with a long two-run homer.

Lawrence County refused to quit with a three-run rally in the seventh.

Wells and Blevins singled and Mynnier had a two-run double. Mynnier scored after two wild pitches.

Jeff Waginger then came on to retire the side and save the win. Linn went the first six-plus innings to get the win.

The Fighting Tigers host Russell, Ky., Thursday and Jackson Friday.

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Nathaniel Dials, A.C. Wells (4), Jeff Cyrus (5), Dustin Kingsmore (6) and Timmy Hayes, Brad Lancy (6). Greg Linn, Jeff Waginger (7) and Dustin Preston. W-Linn 3-1 (7-R, 6-ER, 13-H, 2-K, 1-W, 1-WP). Save-Jeff Waginger (1-W, 2-WP). L-Dials (4-R, 4-ER, 5-H, 2-K, 2-W). SB-Ironton: Brigham Waginger, Dennis Gagai. Sac-LC: Cory Humphrey 2. SF-Ironton: Dennis Gagai. 2B-LC: Ashton Kirk 3, Steve Blevins, Sammy Mynnier; Ironton: Josh Adkins. 3B-Ironton: Chad Miller. HR-Ironton: Dustin Preston. Hitting-LC: Ashton Kirk 4-4 (RBI), A.C. Wells 2-4 (RBI), Steve Blevins 3-4 (RBI), Sonny Mynnier 1-4 (2 RBI), Adam Preston 2-3, Michael Compton 1-4; Ironton: Chris Rakes 1-4, Josh Adkins 3-4 (3 RBI), Dennis Gagai 1-3 (RBI), Dustin Preston 2-2 (2 RBI), Patrick Kouns 1-3 (RBI), Ryan Walker RBI, Chad Miller 2-4 (RBI), Greg Linn 1-2 (RBI). Records: Lawrence County 11-6, Ironton 7-5.