Note: This recap appears in the Tuesday, July 9 newspaper on Page A6.
A winning week helped the Southern Ohio Copperheads make a move in the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League standings.
The Copperheads spent the Fourth of July holiday on the road, playing three games at Xenia and three games at South-Division leading Cincinnati.
Southern Ohio won the final two games of the series at Cincinnati to go 4-2 on the Southwest Ohio road swing. The Copperheads won two out of three against both Xenia and Cincinnati.
As a result, Southern Ohio is just one game out — in the loss column — of first place in the division.
Cincinnati still leads the South Division at 18-12, followed by Licking County (17-12), Hamilton (15-12) and Southern Ohio (16-13).
The Copperheads helped to further tighten a GLSCL race that was already nip and tuck. Southern Ohio also has the best record of all teams in the division in its last 10 games — 7-3.
Cincinnati was trying to run away with the division, but the Copperheads won on Saturday and Sunday to end the Steam’s five-game winning streak.
The offense led the way on Saturday in a 15-4 triumph. Southern Ohio scored nine runs in the top of the second and never looked back, finishing the game with 19 hits.
The Copperheads added two in the third and two in the fourth for a 13-0 edge.
Lucas Nasonti had a monster gamer batting lead-off. He was 5 for 6 with a run and RBI.
Southern Ohio got home runs from Zyon Avery and Daniel Cruz. Avery was 2 for 4 with five RBIs and two runs, while Cruz was 2 for 6 with two runs and two RBIs. Sebastian Fabik also enjoyed a three hit day, adding a double and two RBIs.
Southern Ohio blew the game open with a nine-run second. Nasonti started things with an RBI single, followed by Reese Trahey’s two-run single. Fabik followed with another RBI single, and it was 5-0 after Tanner Johnson drew a bases-loaded walk.
Cincinnati made a pitching change, lifting starter Jordan Menfee for Ethan Doty. Avery quickly greeted Doty by hitting a grand slam, making it 9-0, and the rout was on.
Zach Iverson pitched seven innings to move his record to 4-0. He allowed four unearned runs on six hits and a walk, striking out nine batters.
Iverson’s fourth win is tied for the GSLCL lead, and his 48 strikeouts are tops in the league. His 0.92 ERA ranks second.
Early offense again allowed Southern Ohio to play from ahead in the series finale on Sunday against Cincinnati. The Copperheads scored six runs in the first and two more in the second to lead 8-0.
Tanner Glass’ two-run single got Southern Ohio on the board. Jared Heard hit a bases-loaded double to drive in three runs for the 6-0 advantage.
Glass finished the game 3 for 5 with two runs and two RBIs. Heard was 2 for 3 with five RBIs, a run and a walk. He added a solo home run in the fifth inning.
Braxton Kelly (1-0) got the win by pitching six innings on the mound. He only allowed an earned run on five hits and five walks, striking out eight.
Cade Spikes (1-2) took the loss for the Steam. He only pitched an inning and was charged with six earned runs on three hits. He walked two.
Southern Ohio led 9-0 before Cincinnati scored single runs in the sixth and eighth innings. The Copperheads led 10-2 before the Steam scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth.
Southern Ohio has one game remaining in Southwest Ohio before returning home. The Copperheads play a single game at Hamilton on Tuesday, at 7:05 p.m. at Foundation Field.
The Copperheads will then make their return home on Wednesday. They will host Hamilton for two games. Wednesday’s game is slated to begin at 5:05 p.m., while Thursday’s game is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
Southern Ohio will close the week with a three-game series against Xenia inside Bob Wren Stadium. Friday and Saturday’s first pitches are scheduled for 7:05 p.m., while Sunday’s game is 5:35 p.m.
The team will then enjoy the all-star break before returning home for four more home games.
The GLSCL All-Star game will be held in Mason on Tuesday, July 16. The Copperheads will send Iverson, Fabik, Chris Gambert and Scott Combs to the game.
The Copperheads will have a chance to continue making a move up in the standings. After Tuesday, their next eight games will be at home. Southern Ohio won’t play another road game until July 21.
TEAM W L
Lima 20 9
Muskegon 15 15
Michigan 15 15
St. Clair 13 13
Grand Lake 12 15
TEAM W L
Cincinnati 18 12
Licking County 17 12
Hamilton 15 12
Southern Ohio 16 13
Xenia 14 16
Richmond 10 19