IRONTON — The Wheelersburg Pirates put up single points early, then had the eruption late.
By scoring one run apiece in innings one, two and four on Tuesday — followed by their four-run outburst in the seventh — the visiting Pirates defeated the non-league Ironton Fighting Tigers 7-2, and captured their first win of the season to even their mark at 1-1.
Wheelersburg opened its campaign with a 6-3 loss to Division I powerhouse Hilliard Darby on Saturday night inside Chillicothe’s VA Memorial Stadium.
The loss was the first for the Fighting Tigers, which fell to 2-1.
The Pirates posted nine hits as Ironton also committed four errors, as Wheelersburg’s pitching tandem of senior starter Braden Horr and junior reliever Hunter Thomas limited the Fighting Tigers to only five hits and two sixth-inning runs.
Horr, who pitched into the sixth and earned the win before Thomas took over, was charged with those two earned markers — but only allowed two hits and one walk while striking out one.
Thomas gave up three hits and two walks, but most importantly —no runs.
Jacob Sloan, the Ironton ace and the first of three Fighting Tiger hurlers on Tuesday, was charged with the pitching loss.
Eric Green and Cooper McKenzie both went 2-for-4 to pace the Pirates at the plate, as Horr, Case Dyer, Mason Montgomery, Chase Conley and D.J. Horton had one hit apiece.
Green, Dyer and McKenzie —the first three Pirates in the batting order — all doubled, while Horr, Montgomery and Ethan Ison all walked.
Seven separate Pirates scored a run apiece, as McKenzie and Montgomery with two each and Dyer, Thomas and Horton with one apiece all accounted for runs batted in.
Wheelersburg went up 1-0 in its initial at-bat — as Green singled, Dyer hit into a fielder’s choice, McKenzie singled, Horr walked and Ison was hit by a pitch.
In the second, Horton singled and Dyer doubled him home — while in the third Green doubled, Dyer dialed up a sacrifice bunt, and McKenzie scored Green on a sacrifice fly.
Ironton got its two points in the sixth when Cameron Deere singled and Sloan walked, as both advanced on a fielder’s choice before scoring on a Kyle Howell hit.
But the Pirates combined a walk, two Ironton errors and two more hits for their four seventh-inning runs.
Wheelersburg was set to begin Southern Ohio Conference Division II play on Wednesday against visiting Valley — in the Pirates’ home opener for the season.