XENIA, OH – The Xenia Scouts came back to defeat the Hamilton Joes 9-8 to go just one game back from the sixth and final playoff spot behind the Lake Erie Monarchs.
The Hamilton Joes took a 4-0 lead after the first inning when Caleb Bryson hit a grand slam, his fifth home run of the season. Xenia cut the lead in half by scoring two runs in the bottom of the fourth when Collin Radack singled home Buck Harris and Christian Demko worked a bases loaded walk that scored Taylor Kaprive.
In the sixth, Colton Simbeck homered and Tommy Ricciardi singled to score Jeff Smith, which put a couple more runs on the board for the Joes, but Xenia added two as well when Pat Vickery swatted a hit to the outfield that was misplayed by the center fielder, which scored Jonatahn Popadics and Chandler Brock. This make the score 6-4 in favor of Hamilton.
In the seventh, Hamilton added to the lead with a run when Austin Downing scored on a Bryson fielder’s choice, but Xenia tied it up 7-7 when Collin Radack swatted a two-run homer and Christian Demko came around on a Popadics sacrifice fly.
Hamilton looked like they had the game wrapped up when Tucker Tubbs scored on a Bryson double. Xenia seemed to be going down easy when they got two outs to leadoff the inning, but Justin Fahy got to first after being hit by a pitch. Popadics followed it up with a single and when Chandler Brock popped up to the right fielder, the fielder dropped it, scoring both runners and winning the game for the Scouts.
Xenia had just five hits, but forced 15 walks. Radack had two hits, including a home run, three RBI and a run. Harris had three walks and a run scored and Kaprive one-upped him with four walks and two runs scored. Vickery had no hits, but two RBI. Hamilton had 11 hits, with homers from Bryson and Simbeck. Bryson finished with two hits, one run and six RBI. Simbeck had the other RBI to go with his RBI and run scored. Downing and Tubbs had two runs scored apiece.
Xenia’s Joshua Spears improved to 3-1 for throwing the ninth inning and allowing just one run on two hits with one walk and one strikeout. Hamilton’s Blake Thomas took the loss for allowing five runs, two earned, on four hits in the last three innings of the game. He also walked three and struck out three.
Xenia keeps battling for that sixth and final spot to get into the playoffs Friday night against the Southern Ohio Copperheads at 7:30. As for Hamilton, they try to play spoiler to the Cincinnati Steam’s hopes for a high seed when they play at 7:05 Friday as well.