Copperheads Clinch Playoff Berth

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By Ian Ording – Copperheads Staff Writer

In front of 1,010 fans, the Southern Ohio Copperheads, presented by OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital, clinched a playoff berth with a 6-5 victory in the “Civil War” against Northern Ohio Baseball Club. Northern Ohio (6-26) quickly took the lead, managing a run in the top of the first inning that resulted from an error on a throw to first base.

The Copperheads (21-15) came right back and tied it on the feet of leadoff hitter shortstop Ted Williams — who stole second after a single — and an RBI double from second baseman Connor Callery.

The third inning inspired a bit of controversy when Northern Ohio’s Forrest Perron launched what could have very well been a home run over the left field wall. The umpire called the ball foul, but it was contested by the team’s manager.

Northern Ohio continued knocking on the Copperheads’ proverbial door with a monstrous two-run home run to center field from Daniel Watson.

Copperheads left fielder Brett Impemba had a towering home run to center of his own and started a four-run inning in the fifth. Right fielder Tyler Pagano and centerfielder Chris Osborne also added RBIs.

Osborne finished the night with two RBIs, including one in the sixth that brought Southern Ohio’s lead to 6-4 and ultimately decided the game.

“I felt pretty good today, everyone contributed pretty well and we got a few clutch hits there that eventually put us on top,” Osborne said.

The Copperhead pitching was a bit hit-or-miss at on the night. Starter Eddie Fitzpatrick and relievers Robert Kemer, Joe Buchalski, and Zach Moore combined to allow five runs but recorded 13 strikeouts, including seven from Fitzpatrick.

“Eddie kind of struggled with his command early on, but he was able to get into a groove there until that two-run homer,” Head Coach Jonathon Nichols said.

“The relief pitchers did well. There was some bad luck for Robert (Kemer) in his first inning. It was just one of those things, but I’m glad everyone played pretty well, especially in front of probably the second-biggest crowd we’ve had all summer.”

Northern Ohio made moves late in the game to bring the score to within one, but closer Zach Moore maintained the Copperhead win in the top of the ninth.

The Copperheads final home game of the regular season is against Northern Ohio on Friday at 7:30.


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