NEWARK – Total domination.
That’s what the Lima Locos did to Licking County in Game 3 on Thursday.
The Locos steamrolled Licking County 10-1 to sweep the best-of-three semifinal series at Don Edwards Field.
The Locos won the best-of-three Great Lakes Collegiate League semifinal series 2-0. The Locos will open the GLCL best-of-five championship series at home Saturday against the Xenia-Hamilton winner. That series is tied at 1-1.
In Game 3, Connor Curlis, the GLCL pitcher of the year, limited Licking to two hits over 6 2/3 innings and the Lima offense banged out 14 hits.
“That’s a really good team (Licking County), and their starting pitcher (Cody Maw) was the starting pitcher in the All-Star game, and to come out here and do what we did, offensively, and have the pitching that we had, to me it’s the most complete game we’ve had all summer,” Locos coach Chad Ehrnsberger said.
Leading the Locos’ offense was UNOH’s DayFran Ortiz, who went 3 for 5 with two RBI. Ross Adolph had two RBI, while Jason Sullivan was 3 for 5 with two RBI. Kevin Woodall had a solo home run.
The Locos scored three in the first and two in third to go out to a 5-0 lead.
“We stuck to our approach and came out with good results,” Ortiz said. “We knew the guy had a lot of strikeouts and he would either pound the zone or the fastball was going to be there. Most of the time we were trying to hit the fastball and make adjustments for the breaking ball.”
Curlis, 6-0 with a 1.06 ERA during the year, went 6 2/3 innings and gave up one run on two hits. He struck out five and walked three. Curlis threw 92 pitches, 66 for strikes.
“I went with fastball and curve,” Curlis said. “It was huge to get that lead. I just had to go out and get ahead and let my defense play behind me.”
And now Curlis hopes he will be called on to pitch in the championship series.
“It doesn’t matter if I start or come in relief,” he said. “Just as long as we get this ring.”
The Locos went out to a 3-0 lead in the first. Jeremy Johnson led off with a single to center. Johnson then stole second, stole third and came home on a throwing error by Licking catcher Jason Moore. That gave the Locos a 1-0 lead.
Woodall then walked and Sullivan singled. Ortiz’s RBI singled made it 2-0 and when the right fielder couldn’t pick the ball up in right, Sullivan came around to score to make it 3-0.
In the third, Woodall launched a monster solo home run well over the left-field fence. That pushed the Locos’ lead to 4-0. Adolph’s RBI single to left made it 5-0 Locos in the third.
The Locos added two more in the fourth to make it 7-0. Ortiz and Sullivan both had RBI singles.
The Locos’ Tyler Anderson tossed 1 1/3 shutout, no-hit innings of relief. Nick Spear pitched a scoreless ninth with two strikeouts.
The Locos are now three wins away from defending their GLCL title.
“It doesn’t matter who we face,” Ortiz said. “We’ll just go out there and do our best, like we’ve been doing all year, and hopefully we can go and repeat.”
Next up: Game 1 of the GLCL best-of-five championship series will be at 7 p.m. Saturday at Lima’s Simmons Field. The Locos will host Game 1, Game 3 and Game 5, if necessary. Brad Croy (Bowling Green/Ottawa-Glandorf) will start Game 1 for the Locos.
The Lima News sports department can be reached at 567-242-0451.