Thackston pitches Dragons to season-opening game win

Published 2:57 am Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Tribune Sports Editor

PROCTORVILLE — Alex Thackston was getting all the breaks.

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Well, breaking balls, that is.

Thackston used an excellent curveball to keep the Ironton batters off-strike as the Fairland Dragons opened the season with a 10-2 win over the Fighting Tigers.

Thackston gave up only one hit in six innings as he struck out 13 and walked three to get the win.

“He was pretty sharp,” said Fairland coach Bryan Ward. “He had his curveball breaking and he was throwing it for strikes. When he does that he’s hard to hit.”

Fairland got a run in the first inning when Jon Baise walked, stole second, moved up on a ground out and scored on Chad Fisher’s sacrifice fly.

The game remained 1-0 until the bottom of the fifth when the Dragons scored four runs with the help of two Ironton errors.

Cory Barker and Baise had one-out singles and Thackston was safe on an error as a run scored. After a strikeout, Matt Campbell reached on an error to score a run. Eric Riley was hit by a pitch and Jonathan Holbrook capped the rally with an RBI single.

Ironton got a run in the sixth on Brandon Barker’s run-scoring single, but the Dragons scored five times in the bottom of the inning.

Tanner Schenewark singled, Barker walked and Baise singled in a run. Thackston walked to load the bases, Fisher had a two-run single and Riley hit into a fielder’s choice as a run scored.

The Fighting Tigers added a run in the seventh when Nick Culbertson and Steve Easterling doubled.

Baise was 2-3 as Fairland had eight hits. Schenewark was 1-1, Holbrook, Riley and Barker 1-2 while Thackston and Fisher were 1-3.

Culbertson and Barker were 1-3 and Easterling 1-4.

Jonathan Williams started for Ironton and took the loss. He struck out five, walked three and gave up five hits in 4.2 innings. Four of the five runs he allowed were unearned.

On Tuesday, Ironton plays at Coal Grove while Fairland travels to Ashland, Ky., in a 5:30 p.m. start.

Ironton 000 001 1 = 2 3 3

Fairland 100 045 x = 10 8 2

Jonathan Williams, Lawless (5) and Steve Easterling. Alex Thackston, Jon Baise (7) and Matt Campbell. W-Thackston (13-K, 3-BB, 1-H, 1-R). L-Williams (5-R, 5-H, 5-K, 3-BB). 2B-Ironton: Nick Culbertson, Steve Easterling. Hitting-Ironton: Nick Culbertson 1-3, Brandon Barker 1-3, Steve Easterling 1-4; Fairland: Jon Baise 2-3, Alex Thackston 1-3, Chad Fisher 1-3, Eric Riley 1-3, Jonathan Holbrook 1-2, Tanner Schenewark 1-1, Cory Barker 1-2.