LORAIN — All it took was a little tinkering.
Logan Landon went six innings on the mound and tripled and scored in three at-bats to lift the Lorain County Ironmen to a 5-3 win over Champion City at The Pipe Yard.
Langdon, who could not get out of the fourth inning in his last start while walking seven in a road loss to Richmond six days ago, pounded the zone for most of the evening.
“I felt pretty good on the mound tonight,” Landon said. “I know I had four walks but I was able to command my pitches and keep them in the zone. It’s always good when you have command of the fastball because you don’t have to go to your secondary pitches as much.”
Landon said he had problems with his mechanics that he worked out with the help of his teammates prior to Wednesday’s start.
“I talked to some of the guys in the bullpen, we talked about mechanical stuff,” he said. “One thing they told me was that I was kind of falling towards the plate before I got all the way through my leg kick. They told me to stand more straight up and finish my wind-up before I fall towards the plate. I really think that helped me, especially to keep the ball down in the zone in the first five innings.”
Landon held the Kings (5-9 in the second half, 17-24 overall) scoreless on just four hits through the first five innings, allowing his offense time to get going.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Ironmen (6-9, 17-25) got Landon some runs … and he helped himself in the process. Landon led off the inning with a triple to the corner in right and scored the first run of the game when catcher Tyler Greiner stroked the next pitch from Champion City starter Chris Hunt to the fence in the gap in left-center.
Second baseman Addison Rospert followed with a single to right and center fielder Anthony Bova walked.
Kings manager Brett Neffendorf brought in sub-mariner Evan Dunn in relief, and third baseman Andrew Gronski welcomed him by smashing the first pitch off the fence in right, just inside the foul pole, to drive in a pair and give Lorain County a 4-0 lead.
Gronski scored on Taylor Emody’s ground out to give the Ironmen a 5-0 advantage heading into the sixth.
“I feel really comfortable at the plate and my swing feels good,” Langdon said. “It’s a little different getting back into the swing of things. This league has really good pitching. … I got a good pitch to hit and put a good swing on it. The more at-bats I get the more comfortable I feel at the plate.”
The Kings made things interesting in the top of the sixth.
Leiff Clarkson flied out to center to open the inning before Jake Bennett walked. Chris Perkovich then drilled a 1-1 fastball over the fence in left to cut the lead to 5-2. It was 5-3 one pitch later when Ian Horne homered to right.
That was all the offense the Kings would put together, however, as Kyle Michalik allowed just one hit in two innings before Matt Ellenbest pitched a perfect ninth to record his ninth save of the season.
“I got a little tired in the sixth inning and left a couple of pitches up,” Landon said. “They made me pay for it. It felt good out there. I haven’t played the field and pitched in a long time and I was a little more tired than I usually would be at that point in the game. I think I pitched well and my defense made some plays behind me.”
Contact Mike Perry at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHO: Lorain County Ironmen vs. Butler BlueSox
WHERE: The Pipe Yard, Lorain