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Keep up on all the action as the Lorain County Ironmen bat their way through their inaugural season.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Ironmen split daytime doubleheader

LORAIN — It was the tale of two games on Monday afternoon at the Pipe Yard. The Lorain County Ironmen could do little wrong in the opener as they cranked out 17 hits to destroy the Chillicothe Paints, 17-3 in Prospect League play. The second game was a different story. Both teams cranked out nine hits but the Paints won 10-1 as the Ironmen left 12 men on base.

The 17 runs in the first game tied the team record, which was set last Tuesday in the Ironmen’s 17-2 beatdown of the West Virginia Miners.

Lorain County had six players who had two or more hits led by designated hitter Nate Antone. Antone went 3-for-5 and drove in four runs, while second basemen James DiBiasio went 3-for-4 with 2 RBIs and two runs scored in the No. 9 spot.

DiBiasio, a Westlake native, who came into the game hitting .250, credited his day to extra work with hitting coach Joe Charboneau.

“I was working earlier in the day with Joe and we talked about staying inside the ball,” DiBiasio said. “The last couple games I was flying my front shoulder out, so I tried to keep everything on the back side and everything worked out.”

The Ironmen were aided early on by a couple of errors by Chillicothe shortstop Justin Trent. His error in the first inning allowed Zak Blair to score and gave the Ironmen a 2-0 lead.

In the second, Trent dropped a fly ball by Antone that allowed Nolan Neuschaefer to score and make 5-0. On the previous play Neuschaefer and Sam Alvis advance to second and third on a passed ball. The Ironmen sent nine men to the plate in the inning and lead 6-0.

After tacking on three more runs in the third, the Ironmen blew the game wide open in the fourth.

They sent 14 batter to the plate and scored eight runs on eight hits. DiBiasio had two hits, 2 RBIs and scored a run in the fourth.

DiBiasio said it was important the team took advantage of the Paints’ miscues.

“It always helps because Chillicothe is a good team,” DiBiasio said. “It really helps when one guy starts hitting because it becomes contagious. The top of the lineup was getting on base and we were able to capitalize on their errors.”

For the second time in as many starts Ironmen pitcher Adam Beach benefitted from the team’s offensive explosion. He got the win against the Miners and pitched five solid innings on Monday.

Beach got into some trouble in the second and fourth innings, but was able to minimize the damage. He had runners at first and third, with no outs, in the second but struck out the side to get out of the jam.

In the fourth, the Paints scored three runs off him, but the Ironmen were ahead 9-0 before the inning started.

Beach said he didn’t feel great on the mound, but the early runs helped a lot.

“You turn into a ground ball pitcher, instead of a strikeout pitcher when you get into a situation like that,” said Beach, who had seven strikeouts. “You just try not to give up as many runs. I left a couple of balls up and they took advantage of it, but I just kept making them put the ball in play.”

Ironmen manager Joe Rhomberg said he was happy the way his team kept hitting the whole game.

“A couple of nights ago we were up 4-0 and we sat on that lead,” Rhomberg said. “Today it seemed we had more energy throughout the whole game. You never know how these guys are going to react to these 11 a.m. games. I was definitely pleased the way we came out.”

Romberg joked saying he wished he could pitched Beach more if his offensive continues to respond when he’s on the mound.

“He throws strike and keeps everyone in the game,” said Rhomberg about Beach. “He’s real easy to play behind and I know the players enjoy being on the field when he’s on the mound.”

In the second game, Chillicothe (4-7) scored five in the third, two in the fourth and three more in the sixth to jump out to a 10-0 lead. Lorain (5-6) scored their only run in the sixth with Connor Weir driving in Jeff Cola. Casey Weber (2-0) picked up the win with five scoreless innings of work. Michael Clarke (0-3) took the loss.

Courtesy of Anthony Rios

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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sunday afternoon game postponed

LORAIN - Today's Ironmen game at The Pipe Yard was postponed.

It will be part of a doubleheader on Monday starting at 11 a.m.


Saturday, June 11, 2011

Weir’s single wins it for Ironmen

LORAIN — After a rough stretch in the eighth and ninth innings, Amherst graduate and Lorain County Ironemn catcher Connor Weir came through in the end.

Weir’s single to center with one out in the bottom of the 12th inning scored James DiBiasio to give Lorain County a 5-4 Prospect League win over Slippery Rock on Saturday at the Pipe Yard.

With the win, the Ironmen get their first win over the year over the Sliders and improve to 4-5.

"I was just hoping for an opportunity after that (eighth and ninth innings)," Weir said. "I don’t know what it was — just not seeing the ball. I just didn’t do my job I let a few guys advance and they scored. I was looking to put the ball in play."

With the Ironmen leading 4-1, Slippery Rock scored two runs in the eighth inning off of reliever Ben Bokor. The Sliders tied the game in the ninth inning when James Lundstrom, who was pinch-running for Brooks Schneider, scored on a pass ball. Lundstrom reached third after two wild pitches by Cameron Palmer.

Nate Tomaszewski led off the 12th by getting hit by a pitch. He went to second on Michael Burke’s fifth hit of the game. DiBiasio was brought in to pinch-run for Tomaszewski before Weir came to bat. Battling Sliders Shelby Dixon, Weir worked the count to full. On the next pitch, he lined a shot into center to score DiBiasio.
Dan Poskocil (Elyria) pitched two scoreless innings to pick up his first win of the season.

Ironmen pitcher Sean Blackburn made his first start of the season, but it turned out to be very short. He left after just two batters after he was hit with a line drive by Tell Taylor in the right bicep.

Jason Pascuzzi, who just joined the team from the University of Cincinnati, relieved Blackburn with runners on first and second, He got out of the inning without any runs being scored.

The Sliders were able to score in the second inning with Radley Haddad, who reached after being hit by a pitch, scoring on Mason Dillon’s single to left.

The Ironmen took advantage of a couple of Slippery Rock errors to explode for four runs in bottom of the third inning.

Zak Blair’s single to left brought home Andrew Kubuski, who reached on an error, to tie the game at one.

Slippery Rock pitcher Jeff Barto got Cody Koch (Perkins) to line into a double play. However, he walked Brad Hallberg t re-load the bases. Jeff Cola hit a grounder to Sliders second baseman Chris Vopinek, who saw the ball go between his legs, to allow Alvis and Blair to score.

Michael Burke singled to right to score Hallberg and give the Ironmen a 4-1 lead.
Pascuzzi allowed just one hit over his last three innings of work. He went six strong innings, allowing just the one run and scattered five hits.

Ironmen pitcher Ben Boker walked two batters with two outs. Haddad’s triple scored Jon Capasso and Michael Durham to cut the Ironmen’s lead down to 4-3.

The Ironmen will continue their home stand when they host the Chillicothe Paints toady at 2:05 p.m.

Courtesy of Scott Sommers

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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Sliders shutout Ironmen

SLIPPERY ROCK, PA - The Lorain County Ironmen ran into a hot pitcher in Slippery Rock on Thursday night and fell 3-0 to the Sliders.

Nick Umberger worked a quick and efficient eight innings, allowing just three hits and striking out 10.

Andrew Revello started for the Ironmen. He pitched seven innings, allowing three runs -- two of them earned. Revello fell to 0-2 on the year.

The Ironmen offense was limited two just four hits. Two each from Jeff Cola and Jon Koepf. Despite only recording four hits, the Ironmen left eight runners on base.

Dan Poskocil relieved Revello and pitched a scoreless eighth inning. Chase Byerly earned his third save of the season for Slippery Rock.

The Ironmen travel to Butler on Friday for a 6:35 start time at Pullman Park. They will be back at the Pipe Yard Saturday night when the host the Sliders on Cedar Point Saturday Night.

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Ironmen can’t dig out of early deficit

LORAIN — A day after scoring 17 runs, the Ironmen’s bats went cold against the West Virginia Miners in a 10-1 loss at The Pipe Yard.

Control issues plagued Ironmen starter Michael Clarke (0-2) in the second inning. The southpaw walked in two runs, hit another batter with the bases loaded and allowed seven runs.

Miners designated hitter Rhett Stafford, the ninth batter of the inning, capped off the rally with a three-run double down the left field line.

Clarke did not pitch during the college season, spending the year at North Carolina State as a red-shirt.

“(Clarke) was a little wild and slowed down the play of the game,” Ironmen manager Joe Rhomberg said. “I don’t know if that affected how the other players played, but that’s how the game goes. We’ve got a game tomorrow and hope we can do better.”

Two errors prolonged the inning: first baseman Nate Tomaszewski mishandled a hard line drive and catcher Connor Weir, an Amherst graduate, dropped a throw to the plate after getting bumped by a base runner.

Prospect League rules state a runner can’t make contact with a fielder unless in the process of sliding.

Rhomberg spent several minutes discussing the play with the umpires.

“I’m new to this league, but I plan on talking to the head umpire or the commissioner sometime soon,” Rhomberg said. “We should have been able to bounce back from that, but we didn’t.”

Outside of the second inning, Clarke retired 13 of the 14 batters he faced. He went five innings, striking out three and walking three.

West Virginia starter Zack Smith (1-1) cruised through most of his six innings. The left-hander scattered six hits, struck out two, walked two and hit two batters.

Getting runners on base wasn’t too much of a problem for the Ironmen. The first two batters of the game reached, but the first inning ended on a 6-4-3 double play by Zak Blair.

James DiBiasio also grounded into a double play to end the third inning.

With runners on the corners and two outs in the fourth inning, Weir hit a hard line drive right at the shortstop for the third out.

On Tuesday night, the Ironmen recorded a 17-2 win over the Miners (4-2).

“Yesterday we swung the bats well — but that’s the game of baseball,” Rhomberg said. “They had a good pitcher on the mound, and we got to him. Today their lefty came out throwing hard and pitched a good game.”

Blair scored the first run for the Ironmen in the sixth inning. Blair led by drawing a walk. He went to second after a single by Mike Grieco, stole third and scored on a sacrifice fly to left by Weir.

Right fielder Sam Alvis, who recorded zero at bats as a pitcher this season at Louisiana Tech, reached base three times with two doubled and a walk.

“We got a lot of big hits — doubles and extra base hit — but tonight it didn’t happen,” Rhomberg said. “It’s only been five games. (Hitting coach) Joe Charboneau has been working hard with the team, and we will see how they respond to the loss.”

Rhett and Gray Stafford, brothers who play college ball at Marshall, each had two hits and a double for the Miners.

Rhett Stafford was drafted by the Oakland A’s in the 22nd round of this week’s draft.

The Ironmen travel to play the Slippery Rock Sliders at 7:05 p.m. tonight. They will host the Sliders in their next home game at 6:35 p.m. on Saturday.

Written by Cory Schuett

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Ironmen clobber West Virginia for first Pipe Yard win

LORAIN — The Ironmen entered the game fresh off their first win of the season on Sunday.

On Tuesday night, the Ironmen put together their first two-game winning streak of the season, as they scored a franchise-high 17 runs on 18 hits in their 17-2 rout over the West Virginia Miners in Prospect League play at The Pipe Yard.

The Ironmen exploded with two big innings, a nine-run sixth inning and a five-run fifth. After scoring eight runs through four games, the Ironmen scored 14 runs over those two innings.

Amherst graduate Connor Weir, who went 4-for-5 with three RBIs, hit a two-run triple, while James DiBiasio hit a two-run double in the big inning that lasted nearly an hour. Sam Alvis then hit an RBI single, before Nolan Neuschaefer drew a walk and Michael Burke was hit by a pitch. Zak Blair was then hit by pitch with the bases loaded before Michael Grieco hit his second double of the game, good for two more runs. Weir added another RBI on a single that scored Blair to make it 17-0.

“The whole team just kind of got contagious today,” Weir said. “One guy started hitting and it just went through the whole order. We scored about triple the runs than we’ve had the whole season. We knew we had it in us. It was just a matter of time before it came out … After I got destroyed in my first at-bat (a strikeout), I just tried to hit fastballs the rest of the night. I was seeing the ball well tonight.”

Vermilion graduate Adam Beach was in a rhythm on the mound. He pitched six shutout innings, allowing just one hit, while striking out five batters.

“Anytime your team puts up 17 runs, you can pitch all day after that,” Beach said. “I finally started getting ahead after the first couple innings and my defense made nice plays … It’s nice being home. It makes it a lot easier for sure.”

Beach allowed a fourth-inning single to John Spirk, but then settled down, pitching to one batter over the minimun. Shane Sullivan came in to pitch a 1-2-3 seventh before Burke came on to pitch the eighth and despite striking out the side, allowed two runs. Alvis closed it out in the ninth, retiring 3 of 4 batters he faced.

The Ironmen added five runs - all with two outs - in the fifth. Kubuski roped an RBI triple that scored Burke, who led the inning off with a single. He then scored on a passed ball. After Weir singled, he scored on an RBI double by Tomaszewski - his second double of the game. DiBiasio then beat out an infield single that scored Tomaszewski, who had advanced to third on a throwing error by the leftfielder. Alvis joined in the hit parade, as he kept it going with an RBI double that scored DiBiasio, who stole second and went to third on a throwing error by the catcher.

The Miners pitching staff entered the game with a team ERA of 2.14, only allowing 12 runs through the first four games, but that didn’t faze the Ironmen as they scored 17 runs - more than the Miners gave up all season. That more than doubled their team ERA.


• After ending last season with the worst pitching staff in the Prospect League with a 5.36 ERA, the Ironmen entered Tuesday night’s game leading the Prospect League with a team ERA of 1.53.

• Amherst graduate Ryan Rua, who was going to play with the Ironmen this season, was drafted by the Texas Rangers on Tuesday.

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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Ironmen nab first win of season

Richmond, Indiana — The Lorain County Ironmen fell behind Richmond early, but came storming back in the sixth inning to grab their first win of the season, defeating the River Rats, 4-1 in Prospect League play on Sunday.

After allowing an unearned run in the second inning, Ironmen starter Kevin Hughes settled in and didn’t allow another run through six.

Andrew Kubuski walked with the bases loaded to bring in Mike Burke to tie the game at one in the sixth inning.

The Ironmen, who improved to 1-3, took the lead in the seventh inning when Jon Koepf led off with a single. Sam Alvis and Nolan Neuschaefer followed with back-to-back singles. After a lineout, Zak Blair reached base on an error to drive in Koepf with the go-ahead run. Mike Grieco followed with a two-run single to right field to score Alvis and Neuschaefer.

Dan Poskocil relieved Hughes in the seventh inning and faced six batters over two innings and retired all six in order. Cameron Palmer followed in the ninth and also had a 1-2-3 inning for his first save of the year.

The Ironmen return to the Pipe Yard on Tuesday to host the West Virginia Miners at 7:05 p.m.

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