LIMA ‚?? Finally.
The Locos‚?? offense broke loose with 10 runs on 11 hits. And, on top of that, a starting pitcher went more than six innings for the first time this year.
Locos right-hander Aron McRee worked eight innings in a 10-3 victory over Dayton on Wednesday the Simmons Field.
Every Locos starter recorded a hit, as the Locos jumped their team batting average from .192 to .205.
The Locos (6-5) swept the two-game series from Dayton (7-4).
‚??Last night we were fortunate to walk in a few runs, which helped us get a ‚??W,‚?? but tonight everybody was seeing the ball well and putting some good swings on the ball and had some good at-bats. And it paid off for us,‚?Ě Locos third baseman/catcher Casey Schroeder said.
McRee (Montevallo) went eight innings and gave up three runs, one earned, on five hits. He struck out seven and walked one. McRee threw his fastball and slider for strikes, in throwing 103 pitches, 68 for strikes. He threw first-pitch strikes to 20 of the 31 batters he faced. He also retired 11 in a row in a stretch from the second to the sixth.
‚??I was lucky to have my stuff working for me and I had my defense behind me working hard,‚?Ě McRee said.
McRee gave up three runs in the second, but only one of those was earned after a fly ball in right-center field was muffed.
‚??In the third inning Ted (coach Stenberg) told me slow down and everything was working from then on out,‚?Ě McRee said.
On June 7 against Lake Erie, McRee threw six innings of one-hit, shutout relief. But the eight-inning effort was his and the team‚??s longest outing. The longest start prior to Wednesday was a six-inning outing by Will Solomon.
‚??The past year I pitched out of the bullpen, so I really never saw more than two innings,‚?Ě he said. ‚??Tonight I felt great. ‚?Ľ My slider was on tonight. I threw my change-up a little bit, but my slider was my go-to pitch.‚?Ě
Added Ehrnsberger, ‚??Eight innings, that‚??s something we needed, to give the bullpen a break. He was throwing strikes, mixing it up. He forced their hitters to make contact and we have a good defense and that‚??s what happened.‚?Ě
The Locos jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first. Tyler Grogg led off with a single and stole second. He came home on and RBI single to right by Ottawa-Glandorf grad Schroeder.
Dayton took a brief lead 3-2 in the second. But the Locos took the lead to stay 5-3 with a three-run second.
Shawn Sanders‚?? RBI single tied the game at 3. Cody Strong scored from third on a wild pitch to make it 4-3. Schroeder again had an RBI single in the second to make it 5-3.
The Locos stretched the lead to 10-3 with a five-run seventh. The big blow was Andrew Dennis‚?? two-run double to give the Locos a 7-3 lead.
‚??The last four or five games we‚??ve had a lot better at-bats,‚?Ě Ehrnsberger said. ‚??It‚??s a gradual thing. It‚??s not like you can flip a switch and all of a sudden be a great hitter. Guys are having better at-bats and are seeing pitches better.‚?Ě
Schroeder went 2 for 3 with two RBIs. Grogg went 2 for 5 with two stolen bases. A.J. Flores was 1 for 1 with two RBIs.
‚??Tonight felt really good,‚?Ě Schroeder said. ‚??It‚??s good to start finding some barrel again and hitting it where they‚??re not.‚?Ě
Locos notes: The Locos will now have Hamilton in Lima at 7 p.m. tonight. ‚?Ľ Jess Posey, Buster Posey‚??s brother, came off the bench Wednesday and went 0 for 1 with a walk and scored a run. ‚?Ľ Tyler Grogg leads the league with 13 stolen bases.