Whether it was long ball or small ball, the Ironton Fighting Tigers knew how to play both.
Ironton used a home run by Josh Pancake for the long ball and Anthony Harper hit a sacrifice fly for the winning run as Ironton manufactured the winning run in a 4-3 win over the Russell Red Devils Tuesday.
“We did what we had to do offensively to score. We got some big hits and we executed well when we needed a run in the sixth,” said Ironton coach Tobey Schreck.
“I was really pleased with our pitching and defense. (Steve) Easterling is just a freshman and he never hangs his head when things don’t go his way. He just keeps battling. Defensively we had two throwing errors but we caught everything in the field.”
Easterling (3-1) struck out three, walked three and surrendered six hits. Three Russell pitchers combined for five strikeouts, five walks and five hits.
Russell (4-9) took a 2-0 lead in the second inning on singles by Drake Dehoff and Will Rice and a 2-run double by Tanner Locey.
Ironton rallied to take a 3-2 lead in the fifth inning when Pancake cranked a 3-run homer after Howie Lucas doubled and Anthony Harper reached on an error.
The Red Devils manufactured a run of their own in the sixth to tie the game. Dehoff singled, went to second base on a passed ball, stole third base and scored on a throwing error.
But Ironton answered by scoring the winning run in the bottom of the inning.
Chris Warner and Taylor Barker walked to start the inning. Lucas put down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners up and Harper hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score pinch-runner Brandon Leach.
Pancake was 2-4 with three RBIs.
Ironton (10-6) hosts Jackson Wednesday.
Russell 020 001 0 = 3 6 2
Ironton 000 031 0 = 4 5 2
Drake Dehoff, Justin Thompson (6), Jordan Roark (6) and Will Rice. Steve Easterling and Keith Wetzel. W-Easterling (3-K, 3-BB). L-Thompson. 2B-Russell: Tanner Locey; Ironton: Josh Pancake, Howie Lucas. HR-Ironton: Josh Pancake. Hitting-Russell: Drake Dehoff 2-3,WillRice 2-3, Tanner Locey 1-2, Brian Conley 1-3; Ironton: Josh Pancake 2-4, Ethan Preston 1-3, Jonathan Williams 1-2, Howie Lucas 1-2.
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