• 50°

Fast start propels Ironton to 9-0 win

As Ricky Bobby said in the movie Talladega Nights, “I wanna go fast.”

The Ironton Fighting Tigers decided to go fast out of the starting gate as they beat the Crooksville Ceramics 9-0 Tuesday in the Division III sectional tournament.

“We jumped on them and got a big lead that made it hard for them to come back,” Ironton coach Tobey Schreck said. “We hit the ball pretty well.”

The fast start gave pitcher Chad Miller a big lead and he coasted to the win with a five-hitter. He struck seven and walked four in going the distance.

Miller was a big reason Ironton got the big lead early. He slammed two home runs and drove in four runs.

T.J. Keith and Wes Runyon also went 2-3 as Ironton pounded out 10 hits.

Miller hit a home run to lead off the bottom of the first inning. Keith followed with a double, Tanner Reed and Nick Lewis were hit by pitches to load the bases, and Runyon drilled a two-run single.

The lead went to 4-0 in the second inning when Josh Pancake doubled, moved up on Byron Brammer’s fly ball, and scored when Keith hit a sacrifice fly.

The Fighting Tigers blew the game open with five runs in the third inning.

With one out, Jeremy Moore reached on an error, Runyon and Pancake walked and Brammer had a two-run single. Miller capped the rally with a three-run homer.

“He threw me a curveball and left it up. It felt the same as the first one I hit out. I hit it pretty good, but I hit it high and I wasn’t sure if it would get out,” said Miller.

Crooksville loaded the bases in the second inning with two outs but failed to score. The Ceramics managed to get a runner to second base in the fourth and fifth innings but Miller worked his way out of each threat.

Ironton (11-9) will

play at 5 p.m. Friday at Wheelersburg in the sectional finals.

Crooksville0000000=052

Ironton315000x=9100

Zach Ferguson, Marcus Foster (3) Brandon Daniels. Chad Miller and Tanner Reed. W-Miller (7-K, 4-BB, 1-HBP). L-Ferguson (1-K, 2-BB, 3-HBP, 6-H, 9-ER). SB-Ironton: Chad Miller, Tanner Reed. SF-Ironton: T.J. Keith. 2B-Ironton: T.J. Keith, Josh Pancake. HR-Ironton: Chad Miller 2. Hitting-Crooksville: Aaron Adams 1-4, Marcus Foster 2-4, Brody Payton 1-3, Nate Stewart 1-3; Ironton: Chad Miller 2-3 (4 RBI), T.J. Keith 2-3 (RBI), Tanner Reed 1-3, Nick Lewis 1-3, Wes Runyon 2-3 (2 RBI), Josh Pancake 1-2, Byron Brammer 1-3 (2 RBI). Records: Ironton 11-9, Crooksville 10-12.