CELINA – A lightning bolt in the top of the eighth officially brought this one to an end.
But the Lima Locos’ bats zapped the game of any true suspense long before that.
The Locos pounded out a 14-1 victory over Grand Lake Sunday at Montgomery Field.
The game was called an official game after seven innings when Locos’ John Privitera stepped up to start off the top of the eighth.
At that point, Grand Lake coach Damon Haecker popped out of the dugout and ran to the umpire signaling he had seen lightning in the gray sky just beyond the left-field fence.
After a meeting between the umpires and both coaches, the game was ruled over.
The Locos head into the Great Lakes Collegiate League All-Star break with a 20-11 record. Grand Lake is 15-17.
The Locos completed the two-game sweep at Grand Lake and stand 4-0 against the Mariners this year with two games left between the two.
“This was big for us,” Locos coach Jared Gaynor said. “We really needed to take care of business with these games.’’
The Locos had eight players get a least one hit in the 11-hit attack. They had five players drive in at least two runs.
Lefty Brison Finney (Kennesaw State) pitched a strong game, going five innings for the win. He gave up one unearned run on four hits.
Finney struck out four and walked none.
“I got some time to rest the last few days and I felt good coming out,’’ Finney said. “I tried to mix it in (the slider). … This was definitely my best start.’’
Added Locos coach Jared Gaynor,” That’s the best I’ve seen him (Finney) all year. He had a more aggressive mentality. He was working quicker. That’s the best I’ve seen him, command wise.’’
The only down side for the Locos was that Brad Croy, who came in hitting .411, rolled his ankle rounding first base after a second-inning single. He was immediately taken out of the game, but Gaynor doesn’t believe the injury is serious. Croy was walking after the game.
“I think it’s going to be OK,” Gaynor said. “He said it’s already feeling better. I wanted to get him out of there and not take any chances.’’
For the Locos, Nathan Fancher went 2 for 3 with a home run and three RBI. Tyler Anshaw went 1 for 5 with three RBI.
Mark Castelblanco was 1 for 4 with a home run and two RBI.
“I know I haven’t had consistency, but I hit that home run and I hope that will give me confidence for the next part of the season to finish strong,” Castelblanco said. “With these last two wins, I hope it’ll give us confidence for the next part of the season.’’
Privitera was 2 for 3 with two RBI. Christian Waltman was 1 for 4 with two RBI.
The Locos led 2-0 in the second, then scored seven in the fourth to make it 9-0.
Lima added on five more in the fifth and it was 14-0.
In the second, Jaxon Shirley was hit with a pitch with the bases loaded by Grand Lake starter Tom Siemer (Bluffton). That gave the Locos a 1-0 lead.
Fancher’s sacrifice fly made it 2-0.
In the seven-run fourth, Waltman had a two-run single and it was 4-0.
Fancher followed with an RBI single and it was 5-0. Cade Beloso had an RBI single and it was 6-0.
Anshaw’s RBI single kicked the margin to 7-0. Then came Privitera, who delivered a two-run single to make it 9-0.
Fancher and Castelblanco both homered in the five-run fifth.
Gaynor was happy to say the Locos will be adding four new pitchers after the break.
“We have four committed,” Gaynor said. “It’ll be great.’’
Locos notes: The Locos have 10 players named to Tuesday’s GLCL All-Star Game at Prasco Park in Mason. … The Locos return to action on Thursday at Lake Erie. The Locos’ next home game is a 5 p.m. Saturday doubleheader against Irish Hills at Simmons Field.
Devin Smith (William Carey) made his final Locos’ appearance a good one. He went seven innings Saturday at Grand Lake in a 7-3 win. He gave up three runs, two earned, on nine hits. He struck out five and walked one. He’s being shut down for the rest of the summer by his college coaches after he worked 81 innings at William Carey. With the Locos, Smith was 2-0 with a 2.34 ERA and two saves.
Third baseman Tyler Anshaw (Campbell) and reliever Carter Bowen (Auburn) both packed up and went home for good after Sunday’s game. Anshaw had said earlier than he was leaving the team at the break for family and school reasons. Bowen, who had elbow surgery a year ago, complained of elbow soreness.
The Locos are scoring 7.0 runs-per-game. They are giving up 5.8 runs-per-game.
Brad Croy (Bowling Green) is second in the league in hitting (.411), while Anthony Amicangelo (Johnson County) is third (.405).
The Locos rank fourth in the league in hitting at .289. They are seventh in ERA at 5.19.