Copperheads Light-Up Lima 12-5

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By Jack Hurley – Copperheads Staff Writer

CELINA, Ohio — The Southern Ohio Copperheads, presented by OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital, took on the first place Lima Locos on Monday night and won by a score of 12-5. The game was moved from Simmons Field in Lima to Montgomery Field in Celina, where the Grand Lake Mariners play, due to poor field conditions in Lima.

Jake Rudnicki of Ohio University started for the Copperheads (19-14) while Lima (20-7) countered with Travis Edgar out of Butler County Community College. Rudnicki went seven innings while allowing six hits, five earned runs, and five strikeouts while Edgar was pulled after just a third of an inning allowing four hits, five earned runs, and three walks.

The scoring opened up in the first inning when Copperhead third baseman Trevor Ezell knocked in an RBI single, scoring Connor Callery from second. Later in the inning, with the bases loaded and two outs, up stepped catcher Stephan Hernon. Hernon blasted a moonshot over the left field fence for a grand slam, making the score 5-0 Southern Ohio through just a half-inning of baseball.

“On that one I was just trying to protect the plate and he left it up, I just got into it,” Hernon said.

The top of the second was along the same lines for the Copperheads. After a single from GLSCL All-Star Conner Callery, the bases were loaded for Ted Williams who grounded into a fielder’s choice, scoring Joe Becht and making the score 6-2. Ezell singled again, scoring college teammate Chris Osborne to make it 7-2 in favor of the Copperheads.

In the bottom of the third, the Locos loaded up the bases and after a wild pitch from Rudnicki, the locos closed the gap to 7-3, but Rudnicki was able to get out of the jam.

The Copperheads again found themselves with the bases loaded and no outs in the top of the 6th inning, when Charlie Watters walked to bring in his team’s ninth run of the game. With two outs in the inning, Callery repeated the feat and stretched out Southern Ohio’s lead to 11-3.

Conor Bowers finished off Rudnicki’s win with scoreless eighth and ninth innings on the mound.

“Offensively we did things differently which is good,” Head Coach Jonathan Nichols said. “We’ve done a lot better at the plate tonight with runners in scoring position this road trip.”

“It’s all about being focused at the plate. If we get good starting pitching, we can win a lot of ball games as we did earlier in the season.”

Hernon said that his team’s mindset played a big part in the offensive explosion on the road trip. The team scored 38 runs in three games.

“We just came into this road trip relaxed,” Hernon said. “We play our best baseball when we are relaxed up at the plate.”

The Copperheads have the day off on Tuesday due to the GLSCL All-Star Game. Callery will join pitchers Andrew Gonzalez, Trent Astle, and Zach Moore as All-Stars.

On Wednesday, Southern Ohio has a double-header against the Lake Erie Monarchs beginning at 5:30.