LORAIN — A stunning pummeling.
The Lorain County Ironmen had a record-setting performance Tuesday in a 17-2 win over the West Virginia Miners. The Ironmen (2-3) set franchise records with the runs and 19 hits.
According to Ironmen catcher and former Amherst Comet Connor Weir, the team knew it was close to having a breakout game.
“We felt that we were on the cusp of breaking out the bats,” said Weir, who went 4-for-6 with three RBIs. “Once we got things going it was contagious. We were feeding off of each other and it just trickled down the order.
“We got loose and started having fun.”
The Ironmen led 3-0 entering the bottom of the fifth inning, and shortstop Michael Burke led off with a single to left field. Miners pitcher Jared Messer (1-1) retired the next two batters and appeared to have things in control.
But center fielder Andrew Kubuski (Elyria Catholic) ripped a triple that brought home Burke. Kubuski scored on a passed ball and Weir kept the inning alive with a single. Nate Tomaszewski doubled home Weir to put the Ironmen up 6-0.
They added another pair of runs to extend the lead to 8-0 and chase Messer from the game.
After Ironmen pitcher Adam Beach (Vermilion) retired the side in the top of sixth, the bats again came to life.
Michael Greico was hit by relief pitcher Kendrick Epling with one out. Kubuski walked, and Weir cleared the bases with a two-run triple that put the Ironmen up 10-0. Tomaszewski walked and Westlake native James DiBiasio brought Weir and Tomaszewski home for a 12-0 lead.
Sam Alvis followed with an RBI single and Nolan Neuschaefer (Elyria) walked. Burke and Blair were hit by Epling to load the bases. The umpires warned both benches, and Miners manager Gary Epling was ejected.
None of that derailed the Ironmen as Greico brought in a pair of runs on a double to push the lead to 16-0 and send Kendrick Epling to the dugout.
The Ironmen scored another run on a Weir single to increase the advantage to 17-0.
“It seemed like we were close the first couple of games but we couldn’t break through,” said Ironmen manager Joe Rhomberg. “We didn’t have good situational hitting, but it seems like this group is coming around a bit. They are really starting to relax and not be as tense at the plate.
“We’ve been swinging the bats but not scoring runs. So I’m sure they will be feeling pretty good about what they did tonight.”
Beach got his first win of the season, allowing just one hit over six innings and striking out five.
“I had no worries when we started getting runs,” said Beach, who pitched in Indiana last year. “It’s nice to be able to pitch 10 minutes away from home. We have the ability to score runs and when we do that my job gets a lot easier.”
Eight of the 10 batters the Ironmen sent to the plate got at least two hits and nine of them scored runs. The bullpen gave up one hit and two runs while striking out five over three innings.
Amherst native Ryan Rua (Lake Erie College) was drafted by the Rangers and has likely played his last game for the Ironmen. His spot on the roster may be filled by Weir, who was with the team on a short-term basis. Rhomberg expects to discuss Weir’s situation with the front office before making a final determination.
- Who: Lorain County Ironmen vs. West Virginia Miners
- Time: 7:05
- Where: The Pipe Yard, Lorain
Contact Hans Schneider at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.