Errors prove costly as Ironton falls in district finals

Published 9:21 pm Friday, May 26, 2023

Ironton Fighting Tigers’ third baseman Hunter Freeman (5) tries to get out of the way of the runner as the umpire signals out. Wheelersburg won the Div. 3 district finals game 9-3 (Tim Gearhart sports photo for The Ironton Tribune)





Ironton Fighting Tigers’ shortstop Chaydan Kerns (24) runs back to make a nice catch. Ironton fell to Wheelersburg i n the district finals.


By Jim Walker

CHILLICOTHE — The Ironton Fighting Tigers were just way too generous.

Ironton gave up 5 unearned runs in a 9-3 loss to the Wheelersburg Pirates in the Division 3 district finals on Friday at Paints Stadium.

Ironton Fighting Tigers' Trevor Kleinman (9) just misses out an infield hit as he in an infield system. Kleinman's foot is just shy of the base while the ball just hits into the math. (Tim Gearhart Photo for The Ironton Tribune)

Ironton Fighting Tigers’ Trevor Kleinman (9) just misses out an infield hit as he in an infield system. Kleinman’s foot is just shy of the base while the ball just hits into the first baseman’s mitt. (Tim Gearhart Photo for The Ironton Tribune)

Ironton (14-7) was guilty of 5 errors that helped fuel the Pirates scoring.

Trevor Kleinman was the tough-luck losing pitcher. He had a complete game allowing 8 hits, 4 earned runs with 6 strikeouts and 3 walks.

Wheelersburg (22-7) will face Lucasville Valley at 11 a.m. on Thursday at Paints Stadium in the regional semifinals. The Pirates won both regular season games against the Indians.

After a scoreless first inning, the Pirates started a one-out rally to take the lead.

Jake Darling singled with one out and Kolton Salyers singled to put runners at the corners. Owen Young walked to load the bases and Rowdy Watkins singled to drive a pair.

Connor Estep reached on an error as a run scored  and an outfield error on the same play sent Estep to third as Watkins scored the fourth run of the inning.

Ironton (14-7) answered in the top of the third.

Braydon Baker beat out an infield hit and Ian Ginger tripled to centerfield scoring Baker.

Chaydan Kerns flied to left but Ginger stayed at third base. Brady Moatz then singled as Ginger scored and the Fighting Tigers trailed 4-2.

But the Pirates came back to score 2 runs in each of the fourth and fifth innings to go up 8-2.

In the fourth, Watkins and Estep got one-out singles. Caden Conn grounded out as the runners moved up. Watkins and Estep both scored on a passed ball.

In the fifth, Lane Hutchinson led off with a base hit, Creed Warren put down a sacrifice bunt and Darling doubled to score the run.

Salyers followed with another double to score Darling and it was 8-2,

Each team got a run in the sixth.

Kleinman led off with a single, stole second and scored on a 2-out single by Tanner Moore.

The Pirates got another unearned run as Estep reached on an error, was sacrificed to second by Conn, stole third and scored on a throwing error.

Ironton went down in order in the seventh to end the game.

Ginger was 2-4 with a triple and RBI for Ironton. Moore and Moatz each went 1-3 with an RBI while Kleinman was 1-2 and Baker 1-3.

Darling not only got the pitching win but went 2-2 with a double and RBI. Salyers was 2-3 with a double and RBI, Watkins 2-3 with 2 RBI while Estep and Hutchinson each went 1-4.

Darling went the distance as he gave up 3 earned runs and 6 hits with 4 strikeouts and one walk.

Ironton     002 001 0 = 3 6 5

Wheelersburg 040 221 x = 9 8 2

Trevor Kleinman and Cole Freeman. Jake Darling and  OwenYoung W-Darling (IP-7.0, H-6, R-3, ER-3, K-4, BB-1, WP-1).  L-Kleinman (IP-6.0, H-8, R-9, ER-4, K-6, BB-3). Hitting-Ironton: Ian Ginger 2-4 3B RBI, Brady Moatz 1-3 RBI, Trevor Kleinman 1-2, Tanner Moore 1-3 RBI, Braydon Baker 1-3; Wheelersburg: Connor Estep 1-4 RBI, Lane Hutchinson 1-4, Jake Darling 2-2 2B RBI, Kolton Salyers 2-3 2B RBI, Rowdy Watkins 2-3 2-RBI.