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White#039;s home run spoils Fighting Tigers comeback bid

WHEELERSBURG - For all their hard work, the Ironton Fighting Tigers walked away with an empty feeling.

After battling back to take the lead in the top of the seventh inning, Ironton saw its hopes of a victory disappear when Brandon White hit a 3-run homer with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning to rally the Wheelersburg Pirates over the Fighting Tigers 9-7 Tuesday.

"You're never happy with a loss, but I was pleased with our effort," Ironton coach Mark Lewis said. "We had trouble hitting the ball, but we hung in there and battled and scratched and clawed for everything we could get. No one ever quit."

Ironton (2-3) had erased a 6-5 deficit by scoring twice in the top of the seventh inning without the aid of a hit.

Chad Miller struck out but reached first base when the ball bounced past the catcher. T.J. Keith put down a sacrifice bunt and Dennis Gagai grounded out as Miller went to third base.

Dustin Preston walked and J.J. Johnson went in to run. Ryan Walker struck out on a 3-2 pitch, but again the pitch bounced away from the catcher and Miller raced home to tie the game.

Walker beat the throw to first base and Johnson came home on the throw and it was 7-6.

But Drew Sampson and Alex Wamsley singled with one out in the bottom of the inning and White followed with his home run to left center field.

The Fighting Tigers (2-3) scored five runs in the top of the first inning with the aid of three Wheelersburg errors.

Miller was safe on an error, Keith walked, and Gagai reached on a throwing error to load the bases. Preston was safe on an error as a run scored, Patrick Kouns singled to drive home a run, Greg Linn grounded out as a run scored. Brigham Waginger got an infield hit to score the fourth run, and Waginger got hung up in a rundown as the final run scored.

Wheelersburg (3-0) got a run back in the bottom of the inning as Wamsley walked and White and Tyler Suter singled.

The Pirates added a run in the third on hits by Sampson, White and Suter.

The lead dwindled to 5-4 in the fourth inning on a sacrifice fly by Wamsley and an RBI double by Suter.

Wheelersburg ace Brandon Russell got the win as he pitched a three-hitter striking out 12 and walked four. He also had three wild pitches and hit a batter.

Kouns, Waginger and Preston had Ironton's three hits.

White was 4-for-5 with three runs batted in, Suter 3-for-4 and Sampson 3-for-5 to lead the Pirates 15-hit attack.

Ironton travels to Jackson Friday for a 5 p.m. game.

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Chad Miller, Jeff Waginger (4), Chris Rakes (7) and Dustin Preston. Brandon Russell and Brandon White. W-Russell (12-K, 4-W, 0-ER). L-Rakes. SB-Ironton: J.J. Johnson 2. HBP-by Russell (Ryan Walker). 2B-Wheelersburg: Tyler Suter. HR-Wheelersburg: Brandon White. SF-Wheelersburg: Alex Wamsley. Sac-Ironton: T.J. Keith; Wheelersburg: Devin Miller. Hitting-Ironton: Dustin Preston 1-3, Patrick Kouns 1-3 (RBI), Brigham Waginger 1-3; Wheelersburg: Drew Sampson 3-5, Alex Wamsley 1-2, Brandon White 4-5 (3 RBI), Tyler Suter 3-4 (RBI), Devin Miller 1-3, Jeep Apel 1-3 (RBI), Brandon Jackson 1-4.