LIMA – Locos first baseman Cade Beloso was pumped.
Spencerville’s Sophia Becker was grinning ear-to-ear.
Beloso delivered a home run for cancer-patient Becker to power the Locos to a 13-8 Game 1 victory over Richmond in the opener of a doubleheader Sunday at Simmons Field.
“I get chills just talking about it,” Beloso said. “She’s battling stage two cancer right now and it’s awesome that we could do anything to help her out. She’s truly an inspiration to us.’’
The Locos swept Richmond with a 7-3 victory in the second game.
The Locos are 16-9. Richmond is 9-16.
Becker, who is an LSU fan, threw out the first pitch prior to the game. She was eager to meet and chat with Locos’ LSU players Beloso, pitcher Trent Vietmeier and catcher Braden Doughty.
“That’s so awesome (that she likes LSU),” Beloso said. “We found out about her yesterday and talked to her on the phone and told her she could come to the game and hang out in the dugout. She threw out the first pitch.’’
The game was tied at 4 entering the fifth, when the Locos scored eight runs to break it open at 13-4.
During that inning, Beloso hit a two-run home run to make it 12-4.
“That home run was for her (Sophia),” Beloso said. “I didn’t tell her I was going to do it, but when it happened, I pointed at her (in the stands). It was truly a special moment, one I’ll remember forever.’’
After the game Beloso chatted with Becker and told her the home run was for her. She had a number of signed items from the Locos.
“She made our day,” Beloso said. “There are things bigger than baseball. I’m speechless. It’s awesome.’’
It marked the Locos’ first doubleheader sweep of the year after splitting the first doubleheaders.
“I think having two days off was a good refresher for the guys,” Locos coach Jared Gaynor said. “They had a lot more energy today, were a lot more relaxed and they had fun. … And both of our starters did well today and we had a couple key hits and took advantage of their mistakes.’’
Richmond had seven errors for the doubleheader.
Daniel Seres’ two-run single in the fifth broke the tie and gave the Locos a 6-4 lead in the opener.
“He started throwing a lot more pitches in the zone and he started missing over the plate,” Seres said. “We were able to capitalize on mistakes.’’
Jaxon Shirley followed with an RBI single and it was 7-4.
Doughty had a two-run double and it was 9-4. Michael Diffley’s RBI triple kicked the margin to 10-4.
For the Locos, Anthony Amicangelo went 2 for 4 with a double.
Beloso went 2 for 4 with a home run and two RBI.
Tyler Simon was 2 for 4 with a double and a home run.
Seres was 2 for 4 with three RBI.
“We were ready today,” Seres said. “Our last game we swung it well too and it kind of carried over.’’
Doughty was 2 for 3 with a double and two RBI.
Right-hander Tyler Miller (Texas A&M/Corpus Christi) went five innings in the opener and gave up four runs, all earned, on seven hits. He struck out eight and walked none.
Miller threw 74 pitches, 54 for strikes.
In the opener, the Locos took a 2-0 lead in the first.
The Locos scored another unearned run in the second to take a 3-0 lead.
Richmond got within 3-2 in the third when Steven Bennett hit a two-run double off the center-field fence.
In the home fourth, Locos’ Simon doubled down the left-field line. He came home on an RBI single by Seres. That gave the Locos a 4-2 lead.
Richmond’s Patrick Smith took a 2-0 pitch from Miller and landed it over the right-field fence for a two-run home run. That tied the game at 4 in the fifth.
In the second game, Tyler Anshaw had a two-run home run and three RBI in the second game.
Locos right-hander Devin Smith (William Carey) started the second game and threw five shutout innings, giving up five hits. He struck out five and walked two.
It was the first start of the year for Smith after eight relief appearances.
“With the doubleheader and Vietmeier being hurt, I needed someone to step into that role,” Gaynor said. “And he had been a starter and a reliever at school, so I knew he had experience with it. … As of now, he’ll probably stay in the starter role with the needs we have there.’’
Locos notes: The Locos will be home at 7 p.m. Tuesday against Saginaw at Simmons Field. The Locos travel to Saginaw on Wednesday.
Locos pitcher Jacob Henley (Georgia Highlands), who hadn’t pitched this summer, will be shut down and will have Tommy John surgery.
Right-hander Trent Vietmeier (LSU) is back in town with a small splint on two fingers on his right hand after taking a liner off the bat at Southern Ohio.
Jake Meyer (Georgia Highlands/Spencerville) made his first appearance of the year with a shutout inning in the first game.
Locos starters have compiled and ERA of 3.97. In 111 2/3 innings, they have struck out 102 and walked 46. The relievers have an ERA of 6.00. In 81 innings, they have struck out 83 and walked 54.
The Locos rank fourth in the league in hitting (.282) and fifth in ERA (4.95).
The Locos are averaging 6.9 run-per-game and are giving up 5.5.
Locos lefty Tanner Hall (Mercer) ranks seventh in the league in ERA (2.35). … Lefty A.G. Ayala (Texas A&M/Corpus Christi) ranks 10th at 2.66. Ayala is 3-0, while Hall is 2-0
Christi) ranks 10th at 2.66. Ayala is 3-0, while Hall is 2-0.