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Walks help Dragons edge Tigers

Ironton Fighting Tigers’ shortstop Gage Salyers (left) puts the tag on Fairland Dragons’ baserunner Reilly Sowards on a play at second base during the third inning of Tuesday’s Ohio Valley Conference game. Sowards was successful in his attempt to steal season base. (Kent Sanborn of Southern Ohio Sports Photos)

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

PROCTORVILLE — The pitchers made runs and hits hard to come by, but a few errors ruined the battle.
Fairland Dragons Reilly Sowards and Ironton Fighting Tigers’ Ryan Ashley both turned in strong pitching efforts, but a few errors and some walks were the deciding factors as the Dragons managed a 3-1 Ohio Valley Conference win on Tuesday.
Sowards gave up three hits and an earned run with six strikeouts and no walks.
Ashley went 5.1 innings allowing five hits, four runs — one earned — with four strikeouts and three walks. Reliever Kyle Howell struck out one but walked three in two-thirds of an inning.
Fairland (6-2, 4-0) got both its runs in the bottom of the first inning.
Gavin Hunt led off with a single, Dacoda Chapman walked and Sowards singled to load the bases. Tucker Adkins hit a ground ball that was booted for an error scoring Hunt. An out later, Kyle Rankin was hit with a pitch to force in the second run.
Ironton (5-5, 2-2) didn’t score until the sixth inning.
Ashley singled and went to second on an outfield error and scored on a one-out single by Brycen Thomas and it was 2-1.
Ironton had a chance to tie the game when Gage Salyers was hit by a pitch and Ethan Duncan singled. But Thomas tried to score on the play but was thrown out at home.
The Dragons managed a run in the bottom of the sixth.
Alex Rogers reached on an error, Bryan Defoe put down a sacrifice and Brennan West singled to put runners on the corners.
Hunt, Chapman and Adkins all walked to force home two runs.
Ironton 000 001 0 = 1 3 3
Fairland 200 002 x = 4 5 2
Ryan Ashley, Kyle Howell (6) and Brycen Thomas. Reilly Sowards and Bryan Defoe. W-Sowards (ER-1, K-4, BB-0, HBP-1). L-Ashley (IP-5.1, H-5, R-2, ER-1, K-4, BB-3, HBP-1). Howell (IP-0.2, K-1, BB-3). Hitting-Ironton: Brycen Thomas 1-3, Cameron Deere rbi, Ethan Duncan 1-3, Ryan Ashley 1-2; FHS: Gavin Hunt 1-2, Reilly Sowards 2-4, Bryan Defoe 1-2 2B, Brennan West 1-3.