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Rockets rally past Dragons

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

WELLSTON — If there was such a place, the Fairland Dragons would be living at the Heartbreak Hotel.
In yet another tough loss, the Dragons took a lead in the top of the seventh inning only to lose it in the bottom of the inning as the Wellston Golden Rockets edged Fairland 5-4 in the Division III sectional tournament on Wednesday.
“We’ve had a lot of close ones that we’ve let slip away. Our kids battled all year. They were in a lot of close games,” said Fairland coach Alex Beelen.
Fairland took a 1-0 lead in the first inning.
Jace Vonville walked, stole second, went to third on a throwing error and scored when Eli Bowen walked and Dairus Stapleton hit into a force play.
Wellston got a run in the second on a single, a stolen base, a wild pitch and a ground out to tie the game.
The Rockets went up 2-1 in the third inning on a single, a bunt single, a double steal and a ground out.
Fairland regained the lead with two runs in the third.
Kyle Rankin singled, Gavin Hunt and Reilly Sowards both bunted for base hits, and Dacoda Chapman reached on an error for a run.
Hunt then stole home to give Fairland a 3-2 lead.
Wellston tied the game again in the sixth when Timothy Stanley singled, Zane Ervin put down a sacrifice and a single and an error on the throw home allowed the runner to score.
The Dragons took a 4-3 lead in the top of the seventh.
Tucker Adkins singled, stole second and went to third when Bowen put down a sacrifice bunt that was misplayed for an error. Rankin then squeezed home Adkins.
The Rockets came back with the game-winning two-run rally in the bottom of the inning.
Austin Sharp singled, stole second and Connor Bates had an RBI single and took second on the throw home. After an intentional walk, a wild pitch forced a second intentional walk and then Stanley hit a sacrifice fly to end the game.
Fairland 100 200 1 = 4 4 2
Wellston 011 001 2 = 5 6 2
Garrett Looney, Gavin Hunt (7) and Eli Bowen. Zane Ervin, Zach Dress (4), Michael Graham (5) and Connor Bates. W-Graham. L-Looney (IP-6.0, H-6, ER-5, K-2, BB-4). Hunt (IP-0.0, IBB-2). Hitting-FHS: Tucker Adkins 1-3 r, Dairus Stapleton rbi, Kyle Rankin 1-3, Gavin Hunt 1-4, Reilly Sowards 1-3; WHS: Austin Sharp 2-4, Connor Bates 1-4, Timothy Stanley 1-2 SF rbi.