Hamilton Joes rally to win home opener

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

HAMILTON — A two-out rally was just what the Hamilton Joes needed Wednesday night.

And it was a big one.

Liam McFadden-Ackman’s two-RBI triple sparked an eight-run seventh inning, and the Hamilton Joes came back to beat the Southern Ohio Copperheads 10-7 in front of a home-opening crowd of 537 at Foundation Field.

“We will never be out of a game,” McFadden-Ackman said. “We will never hang our head. A lot of crazy stuff can happen in this game.”

He’s right.

There were 21 total left on base, 15 total walks and four total hit batsmen in a game that took 3:07. The Joes’ seventh-inning onslaught lasted 25 minutes.

“It feels like there’s baseball,” Hamilton Joes manager Tyler Thamann said. “We’re going to come out no matter what the score is, and we’re going to keep playing the whole time with 100% effort. We came out on top.

“I was waiting for the bats to come out,” Thamann added. “I knew they were going to come out sooner or later. They happened to come out on the second game of the year.”

The Joes (1-0) saw its road season opener against the Xenia Scouts get suspended due to inclement weather on Monday. The Joes led 2-1 in the fifth, and that game will resume at 5:05 p.m. on June 14 before the two teams play again at 7:05 p.m. at Xenia.

“I’m excited about what they can do the rest of the year,” Thamann said.

Caden Crawford singled Jack Dupuis and Jake Agarwal to give the Copperheads a 2-0 lead in the top of the third.

Southern Ohio (0-2) added another run in the top of the fourth when Jake Agarwal singled home Marcus Graham, who reached on a walk.

McFadden-Ackman was hit by a pitch to start the bottom of the fourth, advanced to second on a Christopher Hoffman single and stole third. Jake Paulick’s sacrifice fly brought McFadden-Ackman home to put the Joes on the board.

Carter Rust got plunked in the bottom of the fifth and later came around to score on a passed ball to pull the Joes to within 3-2.

The Copperheads tacked on three runs thanks to a couple of Joes’ errors to increase their lead to 6-3 in the top of the sixth.

“We started down. We had a couple errors out there in the field that led to some runs,” McFadden-Ackman said. “But we never hung our heads. We got back in the dugout and worked at-bats — one pitch at a time to get guys on base.”

The Joes used their eight-run seventh inning to bounce back.

McFadden-Ackman’s two-run triple started the scoring spree with two outs to bring the Joes to within 6-5. Hoffman next doubled to score McFadden-Ackman to tie it, 6-6, and AJ Swader singled in Hoffman to give the Joes their first lead at 7-6. Michael Sizemore later capped off the inning with a two-run single.

“We’re going to swing the bat,” Thamann said. “We’ve got a little bit of speed on the bases. They’ve got to get comfortable with me and how aggressive I am as a coach — where we’re going to try to run and get as many extra bags as can. So, I hope they’re ready for that the rest of the year.”

The Joes had eight players record at least a hit and a run. Sizemore finished 2 for 5 with two RBIs and a run, while Hoffman went 2 for 5 with an RBI and a run.

Dawson Hargrove (1-0) got the win on the mound and Shawn Parnell got the save. Jack Taczy (0-1) took the loss for Southern Ohio.

The Joes return to action on Thursday at Grand Lake at 6:35 p.m. before starting a three-game homestand against the Richmond Jazz (Friday, 7:05 p.m.), Licking County Settlers (Saturday, 7:05 p.m.) and Cincinnati Steam (Sunday, 7:05 p.m.).

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