LIMA – The Lima Locos rolled out plenty of dominating pitching with Tyler Miller and Trent Vietmeier.
But Galion had the clutch hitting down the stretch in the second game to help notch a doubleheader split.
Miller turned in a strong performance in a 6-1 Locos’ victory over Galion in the opening game of a doubleheader Sunday before 712 fans at Simmons Field.
Galion rallied with a two-run home run by Austin Hathaway (Charleston) in the sixth inning to post a 4-3 victory in the second game of the doubleheader.
The Locos (8-5) are in first place in the Northern Division. Galion is 9-4 and stands in second place in the Southern Division.
“We wanted to walk out of here with two wins,” Locos coach Jared Gaynor said. “Splitting at home was not the way we wanted to do it. Tonight we had an opportunity to win both. It hurts a little bit, but we’re going to come back on Tuesday ready to go.’’
In the second game, the Locos held a 2-1 lead after five when Vietmeier was done for the day.
That’s when Galion rallied behind Hathaway to take the 3-2 lead.
The Locos had only four hits in the second game and failed to fully capitalize on five walks over four innings by Galion starter Gavin Sinisgalli.
Locos right-hander Miller (Texas A&M/Corpus Christi) started the opener.
Miller had a moving 89 mph fastball, according to the radar gun. He mixed in a few nose-diving sliders.
Miller worked six innings and gave on one run, earned, on four hits. He struck out four and walked one.
“Tyler was terrific tonight,” Gaynor said. “He’s starting to get in a groove in his last couple of starts. Him and Vietmeier were riding their fastball.”
Miller threw 92 pitches, 59 for strikes.
“I didn’t really have all my pitches so I went out and threw a lot of fastballs tonight,” Miller said. “I had a slider, but I couldn’t really figure it out so I relied on my fastball and I let the hitters get themselves out.’’
The Locos stole six bases in six at-bats.
John Privitera (Missouri State) went 2 for 4 with two stolen bases.
Cole Boloso (LSU) was 2 for 2 with an RBI.
The Locos scored four unearned runs in the second to take a 4-0 lead.
Nathan Fancher reached on an error on the Galion third baseman. Judd Ward reached on an error on the Galion second baseman.
Braden Doughty put down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners over to second and third.
Fancher came home from third on a wild pitch and it was 1-0.
Jess Davis lined an RBI double to left and it was 2-0.
Michael Diffley had an RBI single to center and it was 3-0.
Beloso’s RBI single to center kicked the lead to 4-0. It was Beloso’s second hit in two innings.
“We got ahead early, then we let our defense get the outs and came away with the win,” Miller said.
The Locos made it 5-0 in the fourth by flying around the bases.
Davis walked, stole second, then stole third. He came home on a wild throw to third by the Galion catcher to make it 5-0.
In the second game, the Locos took a 1-0 lead in the second inning.
Daniel Series doubled and came home on an RBI double down the right-field line by Mark Castelblanco.
The Locos made it 2-0 in the fourth when Brad Croy walked and came around to score from third on a wild pitch.
Galion scored an unearned run in the top of the fifth to get within 2-1.
Locos right-hander Vietmeier (LSU) started the second game and was dominate with his 91 mph fastball.
He went five innings, giving up one unearned run on four hits. He struck out 10 and walked none.
Vietmeier threw 89 pitches, 60 for strikes.
“Trent had 20 to 25 swing and misses on just his fastball alone, which is incredible,” Gaynor said. “He’s fun to watch because you know he’s going to compete on every single pitch.’’
Jordan Marks came on for the Locos in the fifth and hit Juan DeLa Cruz to start the fifth.
Hathaway then launched a two-run home run down the left-field line to give the Graders a 3-2 lead.
“We got that two-run lead and we just sat on it,” Gaynor said. “We didn’t bury that team.’’
Locos notes: The Locos are at Licking County (Newark’s Don Edwards Field) at 7 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. … The Locos return home at 7 p.m. Thursday vs. Muskegon (Mich.) at Simmons Field.
Locos right-hander Jordan Marks (South Carolina-Upstate) ranks seventh in the league in ERA (2.46) and is seventh in strikeouts (15). … Lefty A.G. Ayala (Texas A&M/Corpus Christi) is 2-0 with a 3.27 over two starts. He has 12 strikeouts in 11 innings.
Catcher Daniel Seres (Kennesaw State) is eighth in the league in hitting (.400). … John Privitera (Missouri State) ranks fourth in stolen bases (9), while Tyler Simon (Kennesaw State) is sixth (7). … Case Beloso (LSU) is 14th in RBI (10).
The Locos are scoring 8.4 runs-per game and are giving 6.4 per game. … The Locos rank third in the league in hitting (.300) and are sixth in ERA (5.84).
Locos right-hander Brad Croy (Bowling Green/Ottawa-Glandorf) is sidelined from pitching. He is available to hit.