Written By Asheboro Copperheads
FOREST CITY -- The Asheboro Copperheads won the CPL West Division first half title Saturday night as they romped to a 12-3 win over the Forest City Owls at McNair Field.
The Copperheads actually clinched the title and a post-season playoff berth when Fayetteville finished off Columbia about 30 minutes before the final out, but the Copperheads put an exclamation point on the evening by pulling away from the Owls for their 18 win in 26 games this season and their fourth straight. They have scored 43 runs total in those four wins.
The Copperheads led only 3-2 after four innings but began to pull away with two runs in both the fifth and sixth innings. They added one in the seventh and then finished off the rout with four more in the top of the ninth.
Right-hander John Tuttle finally gave up an earned run in his fifth start of the season, but the Copperhead bats gave him plenty of working room as he posted his fifth victory without a loss. Tuttle worked seven innings, gave up 10 hits and two earned runs. His consecutive scoreless innings streak ended at 31 2/3 innings when the Owls scored twice in the fourth. He wound up with eight strikeouts and gave up an unearned run in the seventh.
Second baseman K.J. McAlister had another big night with four hits, while Luke Tendler had three hits and Matt Reistetter and Bobby Ison had two each. Ryan O'Shea and Dylan Dickens pitched an inning each. Dickens struck out the side in the ninth.
The Copperheads have now clinched their fourth straight trip to the CPL Petitt Cup playoffs and it was only the second time the franchise has ever won a first or second half title. They finished atop the standings in the second half of the 2001 season and eventually lost to Petersburg in the league championship series that year.