Sophomore tandem lift Ironton
The Young Guns were loaded.
Sophomore Howie Lucas handled the pitching and sophomore Josh Pancake had the key hit as the Ironton Fighting Tigers slipped past the Portsmouth Trojans 3-2 Wednesday in a Southeastern Ohio Athletic League game.
Lucas pitched a six-hitter as he struck out 10 and walked five in going the distance. Pancake went 2-for-3 and hit a solo home run to decide the outcome.
“Howie pitched a heck of a game and Josh stepped up when we needed it. They’re just sophomores, but they played last year and that has helped them,” said Ironton coach Tobey Schreck.
Portsmouth scored a run in the first inning on a walk to T.J. Arrowood and hits by Howard Harcha and Josh Myers.
Ironton tied the game in the bottom of the inning when Ethan Preston walked, moved up on a ground out, stole third and came home when the throw went into left field.
The Trojans regained the lead at 2-1 in the second inning.
With one out, Taylor Lacy walked and Alex Coakley and Arrowood singled.
The Fighting Tigers (1-1) tied the game in the third inning.
Pancake singled and went to third base on an outfield error. Preston grounded out as Pancake scored.
Pancake broke the tie leading off the fifth inning as he crashed his second home run in as many days.
Ironton had a chance to add an insurance run in the inning as Nick Lewis walked and Jeremy Moore singled, but the next two batters struck out to end the threat.
Geoff White and Jon Schweickart each went 1-3 as Ironton got five hits.
The Fighting Tigers host Gallipolis at Dow Chemical field Thursday in a league game rescheduled from Monday.
Chase Scott and Howard Harcha. Howie Lucas and Geoff White. W-Lucas (10-K, 5-BB). L-Scott 6-K, 4-BB). HR-Ironton: Josh Pancake. Hitting-Portsmouth: T.J. Arrowood 2-3, Matt Harcha 1-4, Howard Harcha 1-4, Josh Myers 1-3, Alex Coakley 1-2. Ironton: Josh Pancake 2-4, Jeremy Moore 1-3, Geoff White 1-3, Jon Schweickart 1-3.