LIMA – There are some wins that aren’t very pretty.
But all baseball coaches will admit they will take them, anyways.
The Lima Locos’ 13-11 victory Monday night against the visiting Lexington Hustlers in Great Lakes Collegiate League action at Simmons Field, could very well be described as one of those lesser attractive wins.
Despite giving up 14 base hits and committing six errors in the field, the Locos got key hits when they needed them and were able to survive a Lexington comeback.
The Locos (14-9) led 6-1 after four innings. However, Lexington (12-17) cut the deficit to two runs in the fifth, tied the game in the sixth and then took the lead in the seventh, 9-6.
However, the Locos scored six runs in the home half of the seventh on just three hits to pull back out to the lead for good. The Hustlers had their meltdown, defensively, in the seventh, committing three errors (six for the game).
With Monday’s win, the Locos have now won three straight games.
“When we look at the scoreboard tonight or look at the standings, all it’s going to show is that we won tonight,” Locos coach Chad Ehrnsberger said. “No one is going to watch the replay of the game and say, ‘Hey, they played horrible and they probably didn’t deserve it’.
“But, I thought we played well when we needed to. Obviously, we did some bad things, but a win’s a win.”
The Locos managed to get seven hits against the Hustlers. AJ Flores (William Patterson) led Lima with two hits, including a successful squeeze bunt in the sixth that scored a run.
Probably the most bizarre play on the night for the Locos was a single by Shawn Sanders (St. Johns RiverState) in the sixth that produced three runs, thanks in part to two errors on the same play by Lexington’s center fielder David Simmons. Simmons misplayed the single by Sanders and then when he finally got to the baseball, he overthrew the third baseman, allowing all three base runners to score.
I’m proud of the guys for that (getting the clutch hits),” Ehrnsberger said. “We got down a couple times and both times we came back. So, that showed a lot of determination on their part.”
Another rarity in Monday’s game was having nine batters in all, getting hit by a pitch.
Lexington starting pitcher Joey Batuello hit a total of six Lima batters, including four in the fourth inning. Batuello would leave the game in the fourth.
Lexington used two other pitchers to close out the game.
Engel Diaz (University of NorthwesternOhio) got the starting nod on the mound for the Locos. Diaz worked 3 1/3 innings before being lifted. Diaz gave up one run (unearned) on one hit, while striking out three, walking four and hitting two batters. He threw 54 pitches.
Ethan McKenney (Bowling GreenStateUniversity) came in to take over for Diaz in the fourth. McKenney worked 2 2/3 innings, giving up five runs on six hits.
Ruben Medina (UNOH) came in to relieve McKenney in the seventh. Medina, who got the win, pitched 2 2/3 innings, giving up four runs, while striking out two and walking two.
Stephen Glaze (Mercer) came in to pitch the final out and garnered the save for the Locos.
Ehrnsberger was most pleased at his team’s effort, when it lost its lead.
“It was good to see that when we got down that it lit a fire under them and they were ready to accept the challenge,” Ehrnsberger said
The Locos return to action today when they travel to LickingCounty for a doubleheader. First game is slated for 4 p.m.