Ironton’s comeback falls just short in district semifinals

Published 12:18 am Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Ironton Fighting Tigers’ senior pitcher Chaydan Kerns threw 4.2 innings of shutout baseball in the Division 3 district semifinals on Tuesday. Ironton dropped a 4-3 heartbreaker to the Huntington Huntsmen. (Tim Gearhart Sports Photos/For The Ironton Tribune)

By Jim Walker

CHILLICOTHE — The Ironton Fighting Tigers dug themselves an early hole and couldn’t quite get out of it.

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Ironton fell behind 4-0 after two innings and then shut down the Huntington Huntsmen the rest of the game only to lose 4-3 in the Division 3 district semifinals on Tuesday at Veterans Stadium.

Huntington (20-6) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning.

Braylon Leach led off with a double and scored on a one-out double by D.J. Cocker. Brayden Elliott and Seth Throckmorton followed with singles for the second run.

Ironton (15-11) threatened in the top of the second.

Brady Moatz walked, Connor Kleinman reached on a force out, Chaydan Kerns was safe on an error but Elliott got the next two batters on a fly out and a strikeout.

The Huntsmen got a run in the second on singles by Frankie Hirsch, Braylon Leach and Mitchell Willis.

Crocker was hit by a pitch and Throckmorton singled to make it 4-0.

Ironton came back with a run in the third inning.

Tanner Kleinman led off with a walk, Ian “Snap” Ginger reached on an error and stole second.

An out later, Jon Wylie hit a deep fly ball for a sacrifice fly.

Ironton had a major threat in the top of the fifth but only managed to get one run.

Tanner Kleinman reached on an error, Ginger singled and Tyler Roach beat out a bunt single to load the bases.

Wylie hit a deep fly ball that was caught for a sacrifice fly and it was 4-2.

But the next bat popped out to the pitcher on a hit-and-run and the runner was doubled off base to end the inning.

In the top of the sixth, Kerns hit a deep drive for a double and an outfield error sent him to third base. Braydon Baker bunted for a hit as Kerns scored and it was 4-3.

The Fighting Tigers threatened to tie the game in the top of the seventh only to come up short.

With one out, Roach singled, went to second on a passed ball and took third on a ground out. Brady Moatz was hit by a pitch to put runners on the corners but Elliott struck out the next batter to end the game.

The loss wasted a strong pitching effort by Kerns who came on in relief in the second inning and pitched 4.2 innings of scoreless baseball. He gave up a single in the second but then retired the final 13 batters he faced as he struck out 5, walked none and hit a batter.

Ironton had 5 hits with Roach going 2-4, Kerns 1-3 with a double, Baker 1-3 with an RBI, Ginger 1-4 and Wylie had 2 RBI on sacrifice flies.

Elliott picked up the complete game win as he struck out 8, walked 3, hit a batter and all 3 runs were unearned.

Leach was 2-4 with a double and Throckmorton 2-3 with 2 RBI to lead the Huntsmen.

Ironton     001 011 0 = 0 4 0

Huntington 220 00x x = 3 7 1

Tommy Sheridan, Chaydan Kerns (2) and Brady Moatz. Brayden Elliott and D.J.Crocker. W-Elliott (IP-7.0, H-5, R-3, ER–0, K-8, BB-3, HBP-1). L-Sheridan (IP-1.1, H-7, R-4, ER-4, K-0, BB-0, WP-1). Kerns (IP-4.2, H-1, R-0, K-5, BB-0, HBP-1). Hitting-Ironton: Ian Ginger 1-4, Tyler Roach 2-4, Jon Wylie 2-RBI, Chaydan Kerns 1-3 2B, Braydon Baker 1-3 RBI; Huntington: Braylon Leach 2-4 2B, Matthew Willis 1-3 RBI, D.J. Crocker 1-2 2B RBI, Seth Throckmorton 2-3 2-RBI, Frankie Hirsch 1-3.