Fighting Tigers rally late to upset Portsmouth West
By JIM WALKER
Tribune Sports Editor
After playing giveaway, the Ironton Fighting Tigers decided to play a little takeaway.
Six Ironton errors led to five unearned runs through six innings and left the Fighting Tigers trailing 5-3.
But Ironton scored three times in the bottom of the sixth inning as they rallied to beat the Portsmouth West Senators 6-5 on Wednesday.
“Our pitching was pretty good and our kids showed some mental toughness and battled back. Our defense wasn’t very good, but we hung in there and battled through it,” said Ironton coach Tobey Schreck.
Sean Lawless went 5.1 innings and gave up just two hits but five runs. Steve Easterling came on to work the final 1.2 innings and got the win. He gave up one hit and struck out one as he faced five batters.
Ironton (12-11) cranked out 10 hits with Trevor Easterling and Derek Battise going 3-4.
West — ranked sixth in the coaches’ poll — went up 1-0 in the first on three errors.
The Fighting Tigers took 2-1 lead in the third inning. Steve Easterling was safe on an error and Trevor Easterling and Battise ahd RBI singles.
West got three runs in the fourth on walks to Alex Lewis and Adam Bricker and two Ironton errors.
Ironton got a run back in the fifth when Lawless was hit by a pitch, Battise singled him to third and Cody Roberts hit a sacrifice fly.
The Senators went up 5-3 in the top of the sixth when Taylor Bailey reached on a two-out error, stole second and came home on a bloop single by Bricker just out of reach of the shortstop.
But Ironton answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning.
With one out, Nick Culbertson and Korey Kellogg singled to put runners on the corners. Maurice Phillips grounded out as a run scored.
Steve Easterling, Trevor Easterling and Lawless all followed with base hits for two more runs to give Ironton the lead.
Steve Easterling retired West in order in the seventh to seal the win.
Ports. West 100 301 0 = 5 3 2
Ironton 002 013 x = 6 10 6
Taylor Bailey, Adam Bricker (3) and Brady Knittel. Sean Lawless, Steve Easterling (6) and Maurice Phillips. W-Easterling (IP-1.2, H-1, K-1, BB-0). Lawless IP-5.1, H-2, R-5, ER-0, K-1, BB-3. LP-Bricker (IP-4, H-6, K-4, BB-1, HBP-1, R-4, ER-4). 2B-PW: Brady Knittel. SF-Ironton: Cody Roberts. Hitting-PW: Adam Bricker 2-3, Brady Knittel 1-4; Ironton: Steve Easterling 1-3, Trevor Easterling 3-4, Sean Lawless 1-3, Derek Battise 3-4, Nick Culbertson 1-3, Korey Kellogg 1-3.