Behind timely hitting, the Portsmouth Trojans were able to come back from a 3-0 deficit after two innings of play by using a five-run fourth inning to roll on to a 7-3 victory on Tuesday evening at Hatcher Field in Portsmouth.
The Trojans utilized a five-run fourth inning, aided by some base on balls and wild pitches, to take the lead. The Portsmouth pitching did the rest, holding Ironton scoreless the final four innings.
After a four-pitch first inning by Portsmouth starting pitcher, Reese Johnson, Ironton was able to manufacture a run in the second frame. Jacob Koerper started the inning with a single and followed by stealing second and third, which set the stage for Ironton pitcher Larry Morris, who helped his own cause with a RBI single to score Koerper.
Ironton added two more runs in the third inning. Gage Shepherd tripled to right-field lead-off the inning. After a groundout and a pair of hit batsmen, Koerper roped a double into right field scoring Shepherd and Garrett Carrico who was hit by the pitch.
After nine straight Trojans came and went in order, the Portsmouth lineup’s second go-around proved to be much more fruitful.
The Men of Troy struck with ferocity in the fourth inning as back-to-back walks to Vincent Schwamberger and Ryan Williams started the rally, and Mikey Potts followed by loading the bases on an error. Reese Johnson and Bryce Wallace then followed by cutting the score to a 3-2 margin by advancing on a walk and a hit by pitch, and Potts added the tying run moments later by scampering home on a wild pitch, with Johnson advancing to third on the same play. Trojans on top with a RBI groundout from Zach Kinney. Wallace scored the final run of the inning when a ball squirted out of the catcher’s mitt and allowed Wallace to score from third base.
Following the crazy sequence of events, Reese Johnson was able to put the Trojans ahead for good by scoring on a RBI groundout from Zach Kinney. Wallace then scored the final run of the inning on a passed ball to complete the comeback as Portsmouth took a 5-3 lead after four innings of play.
“We came out kind of slow,” Portsmouth head coach Matt Roy said. “We came out and got a couple runs on wild pitches, which opened it up a little bit, and from there, our guys threw strikes.”
“In the fourth inning, we just had a bad frame,” Ironton head coach Red Burcham said. “We only gave up one hit but he had four walks, four wild pitches, hit one batter if you give up five runs on only one hit that’s not good. We need a better mental approach to the game.”
In the fifth inning, the Trojans added some insurance runs. A single and a stolen base by Jack Workman allowed Williams to knock him in with a RBI single. After Williams stole a base of his own, Potts brought him home with a RBI base knock to complete the final margin.
Ironton tried to make some two-out thunder in the seventh inning as the Fighting Tigers loaded the bases, but Williams showed no signs of panic as the senior induced a fly ball to end the game and preserve the four-run win.
Ironton 012 000 0 – 3 5 1
Portsmouth 000 510 X – 7 6 1