Last updated: August 25. 2013 12:12AM - 236 Views

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Thereís never been a year like this one.


Sure, the Lima Locos have had roller-coaster seasons before, but thereís never been a year with so many players flying through what appears to be a revolving door at Simmons Field.


Twelve players are gone from the Opening Day roster. Four never showed up, including three player from Mississippi State who needed surgery after reaching the finals of the College World Series.


Two others, catcher Andrew Dennis (37th round, Pirates) and pitcher Mark Meadors (21st round, Phillies) signed and joined their professional teams.


The Locos have signed 11 players since the first week and three of those are gone. Closer Justin McCalvin was here for a few weeks, then signed with Bourne in the Cape Cod League.


That adds up to a Locosí record of 26 player transactions over the two month regular season.


In all, 10 players are gone because of injuries. Seven of those were pitchers.


Through it all, the Locos finished the regular season 22-16 and in fourth place in the Great Lakes Collegiate League. They won their final three games.


With the No. 4 seed, the Locos will host Dayton in a one-game quarterfinal playoff game at 7 p.m. tonight at Simmons Field. The winner will meet No. 1 seed Southern Ohio in a best-of-3 series.


The Locos went 3-1 against Dayton this year, including 2-0 at home.


Hereís a look at the Locosí regular-season grade card:


INFIELD


Defensively, the unit has been a plus with Shawn Sanders at shortstop, Matt Britton at second and Jess Posey at third and first. Cody Strong and Matt Furuto have seen plenty of action in the infield and played well.


Offensively, Sanders hit .258 and led the team with 18 RBIs. He also had two triples and six stolen bases. Britton started fast, but finished at .200.


Furuto tied for the team lead with a .333 average and led the team with seven doubles.


Posey signed during the year and got off to a slow start. He batted well over .300 for a stretch to get over .260. He ended at .233 with six doubles and nine RBIs.


First baseman Mackenzie Hampshire was brought in late in June and hit .303 with three doubles and seven RBIs. First baseman Zack Fields led the team with three home runs and hit .231.


GRADE: B-


CATCHERS:


Andrew Dennis hit .294 with four doubles and 11 RBIs, then after 51 at-bats, he signed with the Pirates.


Switch-hitting Casey Schroeder (.267, 6 doubles, 6 stolen bases, 12 RBIs) hit well in the second half. Schroeder also had a team-high 25 walks.


Schroeder and Jose Gonzalez (.156) both did the job behind the plate. Schroeder has a strong, accurate arm.


GRADE: B


OUTFIELD


Tyler Grogg led the way in left field. He set the GLCL record for stolen bases with 41 and also set Locosí records for stolen bases in a game (6) and hit by pitch in a season (13). He finished the year 41 of 44 (93.1 percent) on stolen bases. Grogg batted .320 with five doubles and 22 walks. He also finished second in the league in runs (29).


A.J. Flores erased the hitch from his swing and lifted his average from .160 in June to .333 for the year. He hopes to be ready for the playoffs after running head-first into a center-field fence pole during the final week. Flores was also one of the top defensive center fielders in the league.


Right fielder Jose Cruz hit .276 with five doubles and 15 RBIs. Alex Liquori hit .220 with 10 stolen bases.


The team has only six home runs, with Liquori supplying the lone home run from the outfield.


GRADE: B


STARTERS


There were injuries from Day 1. Then, came a wave of more injuries.


When lefty Will Solomon (2-0, 1.45) went down in mid-July with a season-ending elbow injury, the rotation took one more hit.


It left the Keaton Baker (3-1, 1.78) and Aron McRee (3-4, 3.79, 2 saves) as the workhorses. Baker continues to pitch well through an ankle injury. McRee leads the team in innings (42.2).


Travis Bergen (2-1, 3.69) has been elevated to the No. 3 starter. Bergen leads the team with 34 strikeouts in 24 innings.


Connor Slavich joined the team in late July and compiled a 3.27 ERA in two strong starts.


GRADE: B-


RELIEVERS


It didnít help that closer McCalvin (0.00 ERA, 3 saves) left for the Cape Cod League.


Co-closers Jason Gamble (3.21, 2 saves) and Stephen Glaze (2.51, 2 saves) took over and did a good job at the back end. But both were recently sidelined with arm injuries.


Art Warren (2.70, 4 saves) has taken over the closerís role of late and done well.


Tyler Murphy (3-1, 2.95) has 24 strikeouts in 24 innings, Heís been handed a variety of jobs and roles and performed well in all of them. Ethan McKenney (2-0, 4.50) and Tyler Miller (1-1, 4.50) have been reliable.


Ruben Medina (2-0, 4.37) joined the team late and jumped into numerous roles in the pen.


Engel Diaz (1-1, 3.60) has been inconsistent with his control. In 20 innings, he has 15 strikeouts and 18 walks.


GRADE: B+


OVERALL


The Locos were hitting .192 after the first 10 games. They finished at .260, which ranks first in the GLCL.


The team has little power and needs to move runners over and manufacture runs. Timely hitting has been a concern.


The Locos did rally to win the final three games, including two at Xenia, to clinch the No. 4 seed and a playoff home game.


The teamís ERA is 3.56, which ranks seventh. Injuries have ripped the starting rotation apart, but the bullpen has done a little of everything, including start games.


The defense was a plus on most nights, with 48 errors in 38 games.


GRADE: B

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