ATHENS, OH – A disastrous six-run seventh inning was the difference in an 8-6 Steam loss against Southern Ohio as the Copperheads take a 1-0 lead in the GLSCL best-of-three game semi-final series.
The Steam, who came into the game as the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League regular season champion and number one seed in the playoffs, took the lead in the first inning. The three-run inning was highlighted by back-to-back run scoring singles. Selby Chidemo’s (Xavier/Elder) base hit scored two runs and Robby Sunderman (Dayton/Moeller) knocked in the third run with a single.
Steam starting pitcher Kyle Hart (Indiana/Sycamore), who gave the team six strong innings, scattered six hits while giving up just two runs. Hart surrendered a run each in both the second and third innings.
In the fourth inning, the Steam executed the safety squeeze play to perfection scoring the team’s fourth run of the game. Nick Priessman (Eastern Illinois/Colerain) was on third base when Parker Wormsley (Tennessee) laid down a bunt that scored Priessman.
The Steam scored what looked to be two insurance runs in the top of the seventh inning. Chidemo singled in Matt Williams (Cincinnati/CHCA) for his third RBI of the game. Two batters later, Priessman doubled to bring home Chidemo and the Steam advantage swelled to 6-2.
That’s when the bottom of the seventh inning happened. With Hart now out of the game, the bullpen gave up six runs before recording a single out. The big blow was a based loaded double by Southern Ohio designated hitter Blaise Salter that scored three runs. When it was all said and done the Copperheads held an 8-6 and all of the momentum.
Erik Shanahan and GLSCL Relief Pitcher of the Year Josh Roeder slammed the door pitching a scoreless eighth and ninth inning respectively.
The win gave the Copperheads a 1-0 lead as the series now shifts to Western Hills High School. First pitch on Thursday will be at 7:05 pm and it will be the first time the Steam has ever hosted a playoff.
STEAM 3 0 0 1 0 0 2 0 0 - 6 11 2
S.OHIO 0 1 1 0 0 0 6 0 X - 8 12 2
WP – James Range (1-0), LP – Ryan Martin (0-1), SV – Josh Roeder (1)
CIN – LOB 11; Sunderman 3-5, RBI; Chidemo 2-5, 3 RBI; Williams 2-2, 2R; Priessman 1-4, 2B, RBI.
S.OHIO – LOB 10; Fish 3-5, 2B, 2 RBI; Papa 2-3, RBI; Otto 2-4, 2B; Salter 2-5, 2B, 3 RBI.