Fighting Tigers fall as T-Wolves dim the light
Just when the Ironton Fighting Tigers were starting to see some light, the Spring Valley Timberwolves extinguished the flame.
Ironton was on the verge of picking up a comeback win Saturday, but Spring Valley rallied to tie the game and then used a big ninth inning to post a 12-7 victory.
"We had some chances late and couldn't capitalize, but we still gave a great effort," Ironton coach Mark Lewis said. "We're seeing some light at the end of the tunnel. Now we just have to build on that."
Ironton managed just five hits with Chris Rakes going 3-for-5.
Justin Maynard, Garrett Smith and Willie Bays all went 4-for-6 as Spring Valley racked up 20 hits.
"Our pitching wasn't bad and we hit the ball even though we didn't have a lot of hits," Lewis said. "Jeff Waginger did a good job. The last inning was just one of those innings that snowball and you just have to get through them."
Smith singled and Bays double to put the T-Wolves up 1-0 in the first. A walk, a hit by Maynard and two wild pitches made it 2-0 in the second inning.
Dustin Huffman had a two-run single in the top of the third inning to make it 4-0, but Ironton got two runs in the bottom of the inning.
With one out, J.J. Johnson, moved up on a wild pitch and scored on a double by Rakes. The second run scored when Troy Allen grounded out and the relay throw home was booted.
Singles by Maynard, Smith and Bays pushed the lead to 5-2 in the fourth inning only to have Ironton tie the game in the bottom of the inning.
Dustin Preston walked, Dennis Gagai singled and the runners moved up on a wild pitch. Patrick Kouns single in one run and an error by the catcher on the throw home allowed Gagai to score and Kouns ran all the way to third base.
Kouns scored to make it 5-5 when Ryan Walker grounded out unassisted to the first baseman on a bang-bang play.
Ironton (2-5) took a 7-5 lead with two runs in the fifth inning.
Allen walked, stole second and went to third on a throwing error. Preston was safe on a two-out error as the run scored. Courtesy runner Chad Miller came home when Gagai reach on a throwing error.
The Timberwolves tied the game in the sixth inning on a two-run double by Bays.
The Fighting Tigers loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning but failed to get a run across.
Neither team threatened until the ninth when Spring Valley scored six runs on seven hits to get its third win in eight games.
Dustin Huffman, Drew Trimboli (5), Austin Pratt (6) and Adam Endicott, Josh Mathews (5). Patrick Kouns, Chris Rakes (2), Jeff Waginger 6) and Dustin Preston. W-Pratt (2-H, 2-K, 0-W). L-Waginger (6-R, 5-ER, 9-H, 1-K, 0-W). WP-Huffman 4. HBP-by Trimboli (Jeff Waginger). SB-SV: Justin Maynard; Ironton: Troy Allen. Sac-SV: Austin Pratt, John Kelly 2. 2B-SV: Willie Bays 3, Dustin Huffman; Ironton: Chris Rakes. Hitting-SV: Justin Maynard 4-6, Garrett Smith 4-6, Willie Bays 4-6, Josh Mathews 1-5, Justin Albert 2-4, John Kelly 1-2, Tim Norris 2-2, Dustin Huffman 2-4; Ironton: Chris Rakes 3-4 (RBI), Dennis Gagai 1-4, Patrick Kouns 1-4 (RBI), Ryan Walker RBI.