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Hornets win slugfest 12-11

COAL GROVE — What a difference a year makes.

With a veteran team returning, the Coal Grove Hornets reacted differently to a situation and it made coach John Jones happy.

After a grand slam home run in the second inning gave Ironton a 6-2 lead, the Hornets responded by tying the game and eventually holding on for a 12-11 win Tuesday.

“The difference in the game was last year we would have laid down after the grand slam and this year we came back and hit the ball and didn’t give up,” said Jones.

Conversely for the young an inexperienced Fighting Tigers, coach Tobey Schreck had mixed feelings about his team’s performance.

“We found some things out,” said Schreck. “Even though we didn’t play well, we had the tying and winning runs on base at the end of the game.”

Ironton got a run in the top of the first when Ethan Preston singled, Nick Lewis walked, a passed ball and Jeremy Moore’s sacrifice fly.

Coal Grove came back with two runs in the bottom of the inning.

Alex Johnson tripled with two outs, Taylor Dean walked and stole second. Shannon Goodwin walked with Johnson scoring on passed ball during the at-bat. David Bridges then singled to score Dean.

Ironton rallied for five runs in the second.

Geoff White singled, Keith Wetzel walked, and Byron Brammer got an infield hit to load the bases. Josh Pancake followed with a grand slam.

Preston was then hit by a pitch, stole second, took third on a ground out and came home on a wild pitch.

The Hornets came right back with four runs to tie the game in the bottom of the inning.

Roger Ramey and Oakie Haynes singled, Zack Murphy walked to load the bases, and Jake Murphy singled in a run. A bad throw on the play scored two more runs and Jake Murphy ended up a third base.

Goodwin hit into a fielder’s choice to score the run.

Coal Grove regained the lead with two runs in the third.

With two outs, Haynes singled and Zack Murphy tripled. Jake Murphy singled home his brother and it was 8-6.

In the fifth, Wayne Sparks singled and Ramey homered to make it 10-6. Haynes got a base hit and Zack Murphy had an RBI double. Jake Murphy’s ground out scored Zack Murphy.

Ironton got within 12-9 in the sixth.

Brammer and Pancake were safe on errors to start the inning. An errant pickoff attempt scored Brammer but Pancake was thrown out on the play.

Preston then walked and Nick Lewis cranked a two-run homer.

The Fighting rallied for two runs in the seventh.

With one out, White, Ryan O’Leary and Wetzel all walked to load the bases. Brammer walked to force in a run. Pancake hit a sacrifice fly for the second run.

But the next batter struck out to end the game.

Ironton hosts Portsmouth in a league game Wednesday at Dow Chemical field. Coal Grove hosts Portsmouth Clay on Thursday.

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Jon Schweickart, Wes Runyon (2), Josh Pancake (6) and Geoff White. Wayne Sparks, Zack Murphy (6), David Bridges (7) and Taylor Dean. W—Sparks (4-K, 4-BB, 4-ER). L-Runyon (0-K, 0-BB, 3-ER). 2B—Ironton: Nick Lewis. CG: Zack Murphy. 3B-CG: Alex Johnson, Zack Murphy. SF-Ironton: Jeremy Moore, Josh Pancake. HR-Ironton: Josh Pancake (GS), Nick Lewis; CG: Roger Ramey. Hitting-Ironton: Josh Pancake 1-4 (5 rbi), Ethan Preston 1-2, Nick Lewis 2-3, Jon Schweickart 1-4, Byron Brammer 1-3, Geoff White 1-3. Coal Grove: Zack Murphy 2-3, Jake Murphy 1-4, Alex Johnson 1-3, David Bridges 1-4, Wayne Sparks 1-3, Daniel “Oakie” Haynes 2-4, Roger Ramey 2-4