Culbertson wins pitching debut for Ironton
By JIM WALKER
Tribune Sports Editor
Hey, there’s nothing to this pitching thing.
Okay, so maybe pitching is one of the most difficult things anyone can do when it comes to baseball, but Ironton sophomore Nick Culbertson made it look easy as he won his first career varsity start on Monday when the Fighting Tigers beat the Raceland Rams 8-1.
“This was the first real chance to pitch Nick and he did a nice job,” said Ironton coach Tobey Schreck. “We finally got to string some games together and we needed someone to throw and he stepped up.”
Culbertston struck out two, walked two and gave up just four hits in going the distance.
Catcher Korey Kellogg backed his battery mate by going 2-3 with a double as Ironton collected eight hits.
Ironton (6-6) got a run in the first inning when Steve Easterling singled, went to third base on a pair of wild pitches and scored on an error.
The lead went to 4-0 in the third.
Easterling and Tommy Waginger both reached on errors and scored on a triple by Jonathan Williams. Brandon Leach followed with an RBI single.
Kellogg doubled, stole third and scored on a wild pitch in the fourth to make it 5-0. Easterling then walked, stole second and scored on a hit by Tyler Salyers.
Two more runs came across in the sixth when Kellogg singled, Salyers walked and Waginger had a two-run double.
Ironton was the victim of two tough losses on Friday and Saturday.
On Friday, Ben Haer had a three-run double in the sixth inning that lifted the Huntington Highlanders to a 4-2 win.
Leach doubled and Jordan McMaster singled to give Ironton a 1-0 lead in the second inning.
Huntington got two runs in the fourth on singles by Elias Haikal, Zach Bailey and Anthony Brunetti and Trace Dempsey’s ground out.
But Ironton tied the game in the fifth when Salyers singled, stole second and Williams had an RBI single.
Haikal and Dempsey walked and Brunetti was hit by a pitch to load the bases in the sixth for Huntington to set up Haer’s two-out hit.
Kellogg was 2-2 and Salyers 2-4 as Ironton out-hit Huntington 8-4.
It was more tough luck on Saturday when Brennan Howard hit a three-run homer to cap a four-run third inning that gave Portsmouth a 4-3 win.
Ironton went up 1-0 in the first on walks to Kellogg and Waginger and Salyers’ base hit.
The Fighting Tigers added a run in the second on a walk to Culbertson, an error and McMaster’s base hit.
After the Trojans took a 4-2 lead, Ironton got a run back in the fourth on a walk to Culbertson and a double by McMaster.
Salyers again went 2-4 and McMaster 2-3 in the loss as Ironton out-hit Portsmouth 8-5.
Huntington 000 203 0 = 4 4 1
Ironton 010 010 0 = 2 8 2
Hunter Smith, Jacob Roberts (6) and Ben Haer. Jonathan Williams, Tommy Waginger (6) and Steve Easterling. W-Roberts. L-Waginger (K-1, BB-2, H-1, R-E, ER-3). Williams K-1, BB-0, H-3, R-2. ER-2. 2B-Huntington: Ben Haer; Ironton: Brandon Leach. Hitting-Huntington: Elias Haikal 1-2, Zach Bailey 1-2, Anthony Brunetti 1-2, Ben Haer 1-3; Ironton: Tyler Salyers 2-4, Tommy Waginger 1-4, Jonathan Williams 1-3, Brandon Leach 1-3, Jordan McMaster 1-2, Korey Kellogg 2-2.
Ironton 110 100 0 = 3 8 2
Portsmouth 004 000 x = 4 5 3
Tommy Waginger and Korey Kellogg. Brandon Wedebrook and Brennan Howard. W-Wedebrook (K-5, BB-6). L-Waginger (K-4, BB-3, HBP-1). 2B-Ironton: Jordan McMaster; Portsmouth: Josh Myers 2. HR-Portsmouth: Brennan Howard. Hitting-Ironton: Steve Easterling 1-3, Tommy Waginger 1-3, Jonathan Williams 1-4, Tyler Salyers 2-4, Nick Culbertson 1-1, Jordan McMaster 2-3; Portsmouth: Josh Myers 2-3, Brandon Wedebrook 1-3, Brennan Howard 1-3, Jeremy Scott 1-3.
Ironton 103 202 0 = 8 8 1
Raceland 000 000 1 = 1 4 4
Nick Culbertson and Steve Easterling. Alec Risner, Drew Darby (5), Justin Ratcliff (7) and Levin Hunt, Joe Miller (5). W-Culbertson (K-2, BB-2). L-Risner. 2B-Ironton: Tommy Waginger, Korey Kellogg. 3B-Ironton: Jonathan Williams. Hitting-Ironton: Steve Easterling 1-3, Tyler Saylers 1-3, Tommy Waginger 1-4, Jonathan Williams 1-2, Brandon Leach 1-4, Nick Culbertson 1-4, Korey Kellogg 2-3; Raceland: Austin Blankenship 1-3, Zack Lyles 2-3, Zane Sammons 1-3.