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Missed chances costly for Ironton

WHEELERSBURG — When opportunity knocked, the Ironton Fighting Tigers couldn’t get the door open.

Ironton failed to get the much-needed clutch hit as the Fighting Tigers lost 6-1 Thursday to the Wheelersburg Pirates.

“It was a pretty well-pitched game both ways, but they were able to take advantage of their scoring opportunities and we didn’t,” said Ironton coach Tobey Schreck.

“We had a lot of chances late and couldn’t get a clutch hit.”

The Pirated got two runs in the first inning on singles by Andrew Elliott, Nick Kemper and Brandon Hall and a double by Dakota Luster.

Ironton cut the deficit to 2-1 in the top of the second inning.

Josh Pancake — who walked twice and was hit by a pitch in three trips to the plate — led off the inning with a walk. Pancake stole second base and scored on a hit by “Tractor” Taylor Barker.

Wheelersburg got the run back in the bottom of the inning on a home run by Bryce Hall.

Ironton (5-3) got two runners on in the third when Darren Dalton reached on an error and Pancake was hit by a pitch, but the inning ended when Dalton was unable to score on a wild pitch against the short backstop fence.

The Fighting Tigers loaded the bases in the fifth on walks to Chris Warner and Preston and a hit by Dalton. But the next batter popped out to end the threat.

Wheelersburg (8-0) scored an unearned run in the bottom of the inning on two hits, two errors and a passed ball.

The Pirates got two runs in the sixth to open up some breathing room when Elliott was safe on an error, Kemper walked, and Brandon Hall doubled.

Ironton threatened again in the seventh when Cameron Miller reached on a passed ball strikeout, Preston was safe on an error and Dalton walked to load the bases. Pirates’ pitcher Bryce Hall struck out the next batter to end the game.

Hall got the win as he allowed only three hits, struck out 10 and walked five. Preston pitched well in defeat as he fanned five and walked just two.

Ironton hosts Jackson at 2 p.m. Saturday in a league doubleheader.

Ironton 010 000 0 = 1 3 3

Wheelersburg 210 012 x = 6 10 2

Ethan Preston and Keith Wetzel. Bryce Hall and Caleb Leach. W-Hall (10-K, 5-BB, 1-ER). L-Preston (5-K, 2-BB, 3-ER). 2B-Wheelersburg: Dakota Luster, Brandon Hall. HR-Wheelersburg: Bryce Hall. Hitting-Ironton: Darren Dalton 2-3, Taylor Barker 1-2; Wheelersburg: Andrew Elliott 2-4, Nick Kemper 1-3, Dakota Luster 1-4, Brandon Hall 3-4, Caleb Leach 1-3, Drew Parsley 1-4, Bryce Hall 1-3.