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Preston powers Ironton by Devils

GALLIPOLIS - Eat my Dustin.

Catcher Dustin Preston homered, doubled and drove in three runs as the Ironton Fighting Tigers beat the Galipolis Blue Devils 6-4 Wednesday.

"Dustin has some pop in his bat. He's capable of having big games," Ironton coach Mark Lewis said. "

Ironton had 10 hits including a two-run homer by Brigham Waginger to back the pitching of Dennis Gagai.

Gagai gave up seven hits - three of the infield variety - while striking out seven and walking only two to raise his record to 2-1. Only two of the runs he allowed were earned.

Brad Caudill took the loss.

Preston hit a solo home run leading off the second inning to stake Ironton to a 1-0 lead.

But Gallipolis (10-11) came back with a run in the bottom of the inning when Kyle Burnett hit a soft single to center field, stole second and scored when Staphen Robinson's two-out fly ball was dropped in short right field.

The Blue Devils took the lead with two runs in the fourth inning.

With one out, Luke Haislop singled and stole second and went to third base when the throw went into the outfield. Burnett beat out a slow roller to third base with Haislop holding at third.

After Burnett stole second base, Caudill swung through a squeeze bunt attempt and singled to center field to score both runners.

Now it was Ironton's turn at the comeback.

J.J. Johnson beat out an infield hit to third base, stole second and went to third on a sacrifice bunt by Jeff Waginger.

The bunt proved unnecessary as Brigham Waginger cranked a two-run homer to left field that tied the game at 3-3.

"I told a couple of the guys before I went up that I was going to hit one out. I don't think they believed me," he said.

Chris Rakes followed with a walk, Chad Miller and Gagai singled to load the bases. Preston hit a sacrifice fly and Patrick Kouns singled to drive in the fourth run.

Gallipolis got within 5-4 in the sixth inning when Burnett singled and went to third as the ball got past in the outfield.

Caudill walked and Robinson hit a comebacker that looked like a double play ball. The throw to second got the runner out but the relay throw bounced and allowed Burnett to score.

The Fighting Tigers got the run back in the seventh inning on a single by Troy Allen and a double by Preston.

Ironton, 10-7, hosts Coal Grove Thursday and Minford Friday.

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Dennis Gagai and Dustin Preston. Brad Caudill and Luke Haislop. W-Gagai, 2-1 (6-k, 2-BB, 2-ER). L-Caudill (2-K, 3-BB, 6-ER). 2B-Ironton: Dustin Preston. HR-Ironton: Dustin Preston, Brigham Waginger. Sac-Ironton: Jeff Waginger. SF-Ironton:: Dustin Preston. SB-Ironton: Troy Allen, Brigham Waginger, J.J. Johnson; Gallipolis: Kyle Burnett 2, Luke Haislop. Hitting-Ironton: Brigham Waginger 2-3 (2 RBI), Chad Miller 1-3, Troy Allen 1-1, Dennis Gagai 1-4, Dustin Preston 2-2 (3 RBI), Patrick Kouns 2-4 (RBI), J.J. Johnson 1-3; Gallipolis: Matt Mooney 2-4, Luke Haislop 1-3, Kyle Burnett 3-3, Brad Caudill 1-2 (2 RBI).