Photo: Rebecca Zook

Copperheads Blank Locos in Extra Innings

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By Luke O’Roark – Copperheads Staff Writer LIMA — The Southern Ohio Copperheads, presented by Ohio Health O’Bleness Hospital, won 6-0 against the Lima Locos in 10 innings on Monday after an offensive outburst in the top of the 10th.

With hecklers abound at Simmons Field, Monday’s affair saw a scoreless pitching duel throughout between Southern Ohio’s Andrew Gonzalez, Max Kuhns, and Lima’s bullpen.

Gonzalez was effective on the mound Monday — showing good command of his pitches with four strikeouts and just allowing three hits in six frames of work.

Gonzalez said he relied on his confidence and the guys behind him in his third start of the season.

“My last inning, I knew it was my last one, so I just gave it all I got,” Gonzalez said.

“I tried to fill up the zone as much as I could and my fastball wasn’t as fast as it usually is, but I just tried to put it in the zone and let them put it in play and let my guys behind me make plays.”

Max Kuhns relieved Gonzalez, who also had a shut-down outing against the Limas. Kuhns would finish with an eight strikeouts, two hits and no earned runs in four frames of work.

Despite their strong work, zeroes littered the scoreboard through 10 innings and the Copperheads (10-3) mostly struggled against the Locos (7-5) bullpen. It wasn’t until the fourth inning until the Cheads notched a single hit against Lima starting pitcher Tyler Anderson.

Anderson kept Southern Ohio’s batters off center throughout and finished with four strikeouts in his four innings pitched.

“Every guy that came into the ballgame had some swings and misses, because there were some strikeouts between two teams,” Head Coach Jonathon Nichols said.

“When pitching is on like that, it’s hard for you to get a lot of offense going. You’ve got to make your proper incidents at the plate, figure out how each pitcher is pitching and do the little things.”

The Loco’s effectiveness on the mound continued with Ryan Ruggles, whose command never faltered against the Copperheads’ array of strong batters like Ted Williams, Grant Wruble and Connor Callery.

Williams couldn’t garner a hit on Monday against Anderson and Ruggles after the infielder record a Copperheads record five walks on Sunday. The team’s three leading hitters (Williams, Wruble and Callery) finished four for 13 with two runs scored.

Callery, Monday’s “Beer Batter of the Game,” never gave fans the satisfaction, and discounted beverages, of being struck out.

The Copperheads began to put some offense together in the 10th inning, when Will Salter earned a run on a walk, Wruble’s shallow left scored Callery, and Ryan Rippee’s double cleared the bases for three more runs.

“We had great efforts on the mounds, with Gonzalez and Kuhns, they did an unbelievable job,” Rippee said.

“We were hoping to push some across earlier; we would live to give Andrew the win after he pitched such a good game. The game was quick and not much offense until the end here.

The Copperheads will travel to Celina to continue their five-game road trip against the Grand Lake Mariners on Tuesday. First pitch will be at 7:05 p.m.


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