XENIA — Now things are getting fun!
The Xenia Scouts defeated the previously division leading Cincinnati Steam for the third straight time, keeping themselves in the hunt for the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League South division crown, and creating a logjam at the top.
With Xenia’s 4-3 win July 11 at Grady’s Field, five of the six teams in the GLSCL South are within a game and a half of each other in the battle for first place.
Presently, the Licking County Settlers (18-14) are in the division lead by a half game over the Hamilton Joes (16-13), Southern Ohio Copperheads (17-14) and the Steam (now 18-15).
Xenia now has the league’s longest current winning streak at three games, and the Scouts are a game and a half out of first at 17-16.
Thursday’s game saw Xenia score its four runs on just three hits. The Scouts took advantage of some Steam miscues defensively, particularly in the bottom of the eighth inning when Auburn University senior Jackson Henderson singled, advanced to second base on an error by the Cincinnati pitcher and reached third on that same error. Henderson then scored on yet another Steam error, this time by the team’s first baseman.
Cincinnati had the tying run at third base, but Xenia reliever Samuel Willis of Trinity International University got the next batter to fly out to first base, then the next Steam hitter flew out to right field to end the game.
Brett Carson went six innings and gave up five hits and three runs, two earned with a pair of walks and a pair of strike outs. Willis did not give up a run in his two innings of relief work. Xenia’s three hits were by Whitman College’s Brett Williams, Henderson, and fellow Auburn Tiger Jarrett Eaton.
Xenia now will play three straight contests in Athens, Ohio against the Southern Ohio Copperheads at Ohio University’s Bob Wren Stadium. The Friday, July 12 and Saturday, July 13 games are both 7:05 pm. starts, then Sunday’s series finale is scheduled for a 5:35 p.m. start.
The GLSCL will have their All-Star Game on Tuesday, July 16 at Prasco Park in Mason. The Scouts then will play their final home series of the regular season July 18-20 against the last-place Richmond Jazz (12-20). Each of those home contests at the Athletes In Action Sports Complex’s Grady’s Field have 7:05 p.m. starting times. Xenia then finishes out with a three-game road series July 21-23 against the Hamilton Joes at Foundation Field.
The top three teams in the GLSCL’s two divisions will qualify for the postseason playoffs, with the two regular season division champs avoiding a single-elimination play-in game.