Southern Ohio Copperheads

Southern Ohio’s Daniel Cruz swings at a pitch during a game against Lima. Cruz had a hit in Friday’s 8-3 loss at Cincinnati.

CINCINNATI — The Southern Ohio Copperheads weren’t able to cool off the Cincinnati Steam, at least on Friday.

Southern Ohio dropped the opener of a three-game series at Cincinnati’s McLeary Field, 8-3.

It was Cincinnati’s fifth win in a row, as it improved to 18-10. The Steam currently lead the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League South Division standings.

The Copperheads’ second loss in a row dropped their GLSCL record to 14-13, 3.5 games behind Cincinnati.

Cincinnati scored three runs in the first, and two more in the fifth to lead 5-0. The Copperheads scored single runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings to make it 5-3, but the Steam responded with a three-run seventh.

Nick Kaiser took the loss for Southern Ohio, pitching the first six innings. He allowed five earned runs on eight hits, striking out eight and walking two.

Andrew Noelker earned the win for Cincinnati with five innings of work. He only allowed one run on five hits and a walk, striking out two.

Southern Ohio finished with 10 hits. Zach Iverson, Reese Trahey, Ty Crittenberger and Jared Heard each had two-hit games.

Braydon Runion led Cincinnati with a 3 for 5 day, driving in three runs and scoring two runs.

Runion got the Steam going with a two-run home run in the first inning. Eddie Pursinger followed with a solo home run to give Cincinnati back-to-back blasts.

The series continued Saturday and Sunday in Cincinnati. Sunday’s series finale is scheduled to start at 6:05 p.m.

Copperheads win series at Xenia

Southern Ohio started its week by winning two out of three games at GLSCL South Division rival Xenia.

Southern Ohio clinched the series win with Wednesday’s 7-0 shutout.

Jackson Mandella (3-2) pitched a complete-game, three-hit shutout against Xenia.

Mandella worked around four walks, striking out six in the win to lower his ERA to 1.86.

Mandella walked two batters with one out in the bottom of the ninth, but got Ben Closson to hit into a 4-6-3 double play to end the game.

The Copperheads gave Mandella all the run support he needed with a four-run fourth inning. Tanner Glass hit a two-run double in the inning, with Daniel Cruz added a run-scoring ground-rule double to make it 4-0.

Southern Ohio added on with single runs in the fifth, seventh and eighth innings.

The Copperheads took advantage of three Xenia errors to score five unearned runs in the win. Timothy Watkins (2-2) took the loss, giving up five runs on seven hits in six innings of work. Only one run was earned, as he struck out four and walked two.

Xenia avoided the sweep with a 9-6 Independence Day victory on Thursday.

Southern Ohio scored three runs in the top of the first, but saw the Scouts score two runs in each of the first three innings, then add three more in the fourth for a 9-3 lead.

Jake Hansen (2-2) took the loss for Southern Ohio. He surrendered nine runs — seven earned — on nine hits and four walks in four innings.

Glass was strong in relief, pitching four no-hit innings. He walked two and struck out one.

Andy Hammond got the win for Xenia with seven innings of work. He allowed five earned runs on eight hits, walking two and striking out three.

Zyon Avery was 3 for 4 at the plate for Southern Ohio, hitting a double to go with a run and RBI.

The top four hitters in Xenia’s lineup all had two hits. Lead-off hitter Brett Williams was 2 for 2 with a run, two RBIs and two walks.

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