Copperheads Take First Game Of Hustlers Doubleheader< < Back to
With key hits at the right time and even more timely defensive plays, the Copperheads were able to take the first game of a doubleheader against the Lexington Hustlers, 3-1.
Trailing 1-0 after two innings, the Copperheads offense helped erase the deficit in the top of the third, thanks to some solid hitting all around the lineup.
Matt Glomb and Matt Lopez both started off the third with base hits, putting pressure on Lexington pitcher Jackson Deyer.
Joe Sturino hit a ground ball in the infield and a poor throw allowed him to reach safely and more importantly, allowed Glomb to score and tie the game.
The hitting didnʼt stop there.
Aaron Novak crushed one off the centerfield wall for a double to put runners on second and third.
Matt Borgschulte took advantage of the scoring opportunity with an RBI single in right field.
Zak Esposito found himself in a couple of jams after the Cheadsʼ big inning, but stayed cool and collected, always finding ways to get out of the tough situations.
In the fourth inning, Esposito found himself pitching to Ryan Akins with the bases loaded and only one out.
After getting two strikes, Akins was finally able to make contact, but it was a ground ball to the third baseman Glomb. Glomb and the other Cheads infielders made the 5-4-3 double play look easy and the Cheads were able to hold the lead.
“I felt good and just went out there with confidence,” Esposito said. “In the tough situations I was just trying to get a ground ball or a fly ball.”
“It was really important for him not only to give us a quality start but just to give us quality innings. It took a little heat off of our bullpen. For him to go out and do that was fantastic,” head coach Chris Moore said.
The Copperheads added some insurance in the fifth.
Lopez singled and stole second to open up the inning.
Sturino grounded out, but Lopez was able to reach third.
Borgschulte got his second RBI of the game with a grounder which was a fielderʼs choice.
Although there were a handful of strikeouts for the game, the batters made contact with the ball when they needed to most.
“I had a pretty easy situation,” said Borgschulte.” I had a runner on third with less than two outs so all I had to do was hit the ball to the right side or hit the ball in the air to the outfield, and I was able to do that.”
Cody Mizelle came into relief in the sixth inning and was also able to weasel out of a jam of his own.
He allowed Sam Kidd to reach first safely.
After a balk by Mizelle, Kidd was able to advance to second and put himself in a good position to cut into the Cheadsʼ lead.
Mizelle showed the same composure Esposito did, and was able to retire the next three batters he faced.
Lexington wasnʼt able to get anymore runs thanks to a save from Erik Shannahan, and the Copperheads snapped their three-game losing streak with a 3-1 victory, improving to 17-11.
“I think itʼs good. We went through a tough spell there but I think weʼre back on track,” Borgschulte said. “At this point in the year every game that we win can put us a step closer to the postseason,” Moore added. “Iʼm not sure how many wins itʼs going to take to get into the postseason but I donʼt want to have to scoreboard watch.”
Michael Garr is an intern with the Southern Ohio Copperheads media.