LORAIN — It hasn’t exactly been the friendly confines this summer for the Lorain County Ironmen.
For only the third time in 15 games at The Pipe Yard, the Ironmen found a way to win a game as they edged Danville, 5-4, Thursday on a walk-off, bases-loaded, two-out single by Baldwin Wallace’s Kyle Chontos in the bottom of the ninth.
“He was throwing hard,” Chontos said of Danville closer Cam Wysocki. “I got two strikes on me. I just put my foot down and tried to put the bat on the ball. Luckily, it stayed fair.”
Chontos was mobbed by his teammates after driving in Lucas Raley for his third run batted in for the night. His opposite-field liner down the left-field corner was his fourth hit of the game.
“It’s kind of how our season’s went,” Chontos said, still soaking wet from the Gatorade his teammates showered him with. “We’ve lost so many games by one run. It feels good to come out on top by one run. It’s a huge weight off our shoulders. We’ve only won two or three games here and had a lot of bad luck. Hopefully, this gets us going.”
Lorain County (12-19 overall) won for only the first time in four second-half games. Danville (19-15 overall) is still looking for its first win of the second half.
“It was good baseball,” said Ironmen manager Joe Rhomberg. “We hit the ball, we pitched well. We played good defense for most of the game.”
Lorain County’s defense nearly cost it in the top of the ninth. Medina’s Matt Ellenbest was trying to nail down his seventh save but two errors by Billy Salem — one fielding and one throwing — gave Danville the tying run as pinch runner Brandon Shirley scrambled home as Salem’s throw got past first baseman Tyler Bires on what could have been the final out.
Salem had committed only four errors all year before the ninth inning Thursday. He had a chance to drive in the game-winner in the bottom of the ninth but his bases-loaded shot to first turned into a force at home of Nate Langhals.
“We were able to overcome that,” said Langhals, who had two hits, reached base four times and scored three runs for the Ironmen. “We kept grinding through it. Stuck the course. Billy battled his butt off. All you can do is hit it hard with two strikes. He hit it right at him.”
Starter J.T. Brubaker was outstanding on the mound for Lorain County — giving up only one earned run before an error and a single ended his night with two out in the eighth inning. Brubaker fanned four, walked three and gave up just six hits.
Contact Tim Gebhardt at 329-7135 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.