LIMA – For the third straight game the Lima Locos ripped the game away from Grand Lake in the late innings.
This time Locos catcher Stephen Dobbs lined an RBI single to right in the home sixth inning to lift the Locos to a 3-2 victory over Grand Lake in the first game of a seven-inning doubleheader Saturday at Simmons Field.
But Grand Lake came away with a doubleheader split and snapped the Locos’ eight-game winning streak with a 7-4 victory in the second game for a doubleheader spilt.
“Taking three out of four is obviously an accomplishment this weekend, but I didn’t think we came out with the best effort in the second game,” Locos coach Brian Garman said. “Hitting’s hard and I think we’ll get our hitting back on track.’’
Grand Lake right-hander Derek Martin (Louisiana-Monroe) limited the Locos to one hit in five innings of the second game.
“I was thinking of being aggressive,” Dobbs said of his game-winning hit. “I thought if I get that first pitch over the plate, go ahead and pull the trigger.’’
And that’s what happened on the first pitch.
“He’s been working away most of the game and he gave me a first pitch fastball on the outer half of the plate,” Dobbs said. “I just took it the other way. My other two at-bats he (pitcher Eric Mullet) had been throwing the fastball on the outer half of the plate.’’
The Locos posted two late come-from-behind victories over Grand Lake on Saturday.
“Today we didn’t have a hit until the fourth inning (in the first game) and you wouldn’t have known in the dugout,” Dobbs said. “We know we can win and we have a lot of confidence in ourselves.’’
In all, the Locos took three out of four games from Grand Lake in the pair of doubleheaders over the weekend.
The first-place Locos (19-6) stand six games ahead of second-place Grand Lake (13-12) in the Central Division of the Great Lakes Collegiate League.
With the game tied at 2 in the first game, Jack Barrie led off with a single to left. Parker Upton went in to run for Barrie and stole second. Upton came sliding home with the game-winning run on the RBI single to right by Dobbs.
Locos lefty Joe Taylor earned the win with 1 2/3 shutout innings of relief. He gave up one hit and struck out four.
Isaiah Gonzales Montoya (Alabama-Birmingham) started the opener for the Locos and went 5 2/3 innings, giving up two runs, both unearned, on seven hits. He struck out one and walked one.
“I just tried to get ahead, trust my stuff and pound the zone,” Gonzales Montoya said.
Added Dobbs, who also caught Montoya in college, “His fastball has a major sink and run. It’s almost a big-league sinker. We really worked off that. He throws 85 percent fastballs just because it has so much movement.’’
In the opener, Grand Lake took a 1-0 lead in the third. Joe Aeilts had the RBI single.
The Locos scored two in the home fourth to grab a 2-1 lead.
Will Kilgore led off the fourth with his ninth double of the season. Jack Barrie’s RBI single to left brought home Kilgore to tie the game at 1. Barrie went to third on Josh DeBacker’s double. Barrie scored on a wild pitch to give the Locos a 2-1 lead.
Grand Lake tied the game at 2 in the sixth on a RBI single by Nate Ostmo.
In the second game, Grand Lake’s Blake Buckman hit a two-run home run in the second to give the Mariners a 2-0 lead. Buckman went 3 for 3 with a walk.
Grand Lake led 3-1 after three, then added three more in the fourth to pull out to a 6-1 lead. Aeilts had a two-run double to make it 6-1.
Martin held a no-hitter until one out in the fifth when DeBacker broke it up with a double to right.
DeBacker went 2 for 3 with two doubles.
Martin went five innings and gave up one run, earned, on one hit. He struck out five and walked none. Martin threw 81 pitches, 52 for strikes.
Locos notes: Locos right-hander Robbie Knox (Chipola) has gone home for the year. He had tendinitis in his right shoulder.