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Freeman squeezes Ironton past Portsmouth

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

Cole Freeman must be great getting the final drops out of a toothpaste tube.
Freeman squeeze home 2 runs including the game-winner as the Ironton Fighting Tigers rallied in the bottom of the seventh inning to take a thrilling 6-5 Ohio Valley Conference win over the Portsmouth Trojans on Monday.
“That was a gritty win for our team. It was a heck of a game against a solid team,” said Ironton coach Travis Wylie.
“Our seniors Ryan Ashley and Cameron Deere each had big hits and once again Cole Freeman gets it done at the plate.”
Deere was 2-2 with 2 RBI, Ashley 2-4 and an RBI and Freeman was 3-4 with 2 RBI.
Jacob Sloan and Jon Wylie teamed up to keep the Trojans at bay for most of the game. Sloan pitched 5 strong innings giving up 8 hits and 3 earned runs while striking out 5 and walking 2.
Wylie went the final 2 innings and gave up 2 earned runs with 4 strikeouts and one walk.
“Our pitching was solid again. (Jacob) Sloan is a cool customer each time out and Jon (Wylie) came in and gave up a few hits but managed to weather the storm,” said coach Wylie.
Portsmouth drew first blood with 3 runs in the second inning.
Michael Duncan and Zach Ward singled to start the inning. Sloan struck out the next batter but walked Vinnie Lonardo to load the bases but Chris Duff hit into a force play at home. Drew Roe then singled to score Ward and Tyler Duncan singled home 2 runs.
Sloan struck out the next batter to end the inning.
Ironton (6-3, 3-1) got a run back in the fourth when Cameron Deere and Sloan walked, Ryan Ashley singled but Deere was thrown out at home. Freeman then got a bunt single as Sloan scored.
The Fighting Tigers tied the game in the fifth with two outs.
Kyle Howell and Jon Wylie walked and pulled off a double steal. Deere came through with the clutch hit as he belted a 2-run single.
That brings us to the seventh inning as each team set off some fireworks.
Roe singled, went to third on a ground out and Drew Spence walked to put runners on the corners. Spence stole second and Hayden Yerardi singled on an 0-2 pitch scoring both runners and making it 5-3.
Wylie struck out the next batter and got a fly out to end the inning.
Now it was Ironton’s turn and Ashton Duncan started the inning with a base hit. Howell reached on an error and Wylie singled to drive home Duncan.
Deere was hit by a pitch and Ryan Ashley had a clutch one-out RBI single to tie the game.
With bases still loaded, Freeman beat out a squeeze bunt as Wylie scored the game-winning run.
Ironton entertains Fairview, Ky., Tuesday and visits Chesapeake on Wednesday.
Portsmouth 030 000 2 = 5 10 1
Ironton 000 120 3 = 6 10 0
Vinnie Lonardo, Tyler Duncan (5), Daewin Spence (7) and Hayden Yerardi. Jacob Sloan, Jon Wylie (6) and Nate Bias. W-Wylie (IP-2.0, H-2, R-2, ER-2, K-4, BB-1). Sloan (IP-5.0, H-8, R-3, ER-3, K-5, BB-2). L-Duncan (IP-1.1, H-2, R-3, ER-2, K-1, BB-0). Lonardo (IP-4.2, H-6, R-3, ER-3, K-4, BB-6). Spence (IP-0.1, H-2, K-1, BB-0, HBP-1). Hitting-PHS: Drew Roe 2-4 RBI, Tyler Duncan 1-4 2-RBI, Daewin Spence 2-3 3B, Hayden Yerardi 2-4 2-RBI, Michael Duncan 1-1, Zach Ward 1-4, Chris Duff 1-3; Ironton: Kyle Howell 1-3, Jon Wylie 1-3 RBI, Cameron Deere 2-2 2-RBI, Ryan Ashley 2-4 RBI, Cole Freeman 3-4 2-RBI, Ashton Duncan 1-2.