CELINA — It was one of the longest games in Lima Locos’ history.
But when it was over, the Locos came away with a 5-1 victory in 17 innings at Grand Lake.
Locos first baseman Dylan Ingram (Mississippi State) slammed a three-run home run in the top of the 17th to give the Locos the 4-1 lead. It was Ingram’s second home run of the year.
Daniel Furuto added an RBI single to make it 5-1 in the 17th. James Naile then closed out Grand Lake in the home 17th.
The game took four hours and 20 minutes to play, after starting at 7 p.m.
In the top of the 17th, Locos pitcher James Naile hit a double. He was batting because the designated hitter had been removed with a switch earlier in the game. Jalen Washington then walked to set up the home run by Ingram.
Naile (Alabama-Birmingham) also earned the victory by tossing the final three innings. He gave up no runs on one hit. He struck out three and walked none.
The Locos stand 22-11 and in first place in the Great Lakes Collegiate League. Southern Ohio is in second, 3 1/2 games back.
The Locos have won four in a row and 12 out of their last 13. The Locos swept the the three-game series over Grand Lake.
The Locos took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning when Matt Furuto had an RBI groundout to score Adam Smith.
Grand Lake tied the game at 1 in the home third on an RBI groundout by Zack Reboulet.
Both starting pitchers were on their game. The Locos went with All-Star Dan Sexton (Tiffin), while Grand Lake countered with right-hander Sean Renzi (Central Michigan).
Renzi was outstanding, giving up only one hit and one run over eight innings. He struck out five and walked three.
Sexton went 9 2/3 innings and gave up one run on six hits. He struck out four and walked one.
The Locos had chances in extra innings, but didn’t score.
In the top of the 10th with Matt Spruill on second and two outs. Daniel Garner singled to right, but Spruill was cut down at the plate by a throw from the Mariners right fielder Tristan Mercadel.
In the 12th, the Locos had the bases loaded with one out and couldn’t get a run home.
The Locos got 1 1/3 innings of shutout relief from Erich Stahl, who came on for Sexton. He was followed by Austin Sexton, who tossed three shutout innings and gave up no runs, one hit and struck out five.