Locos’ offense remains hot against Clippers


By Tom Usher - sports@limanews.com



LIMA – Don Goodes didn’t expect to play for the Lima Locos Saturday night.

As he awaited Monday’s surgery on his thumb, he was available only in a pinch.

That emergency situation came quickly in the first inning.

Goodes (VMI/Wapakoneta) came off the bench and delivered a 4 for 5 night, with two doubles, to help the Locos pound Muskegon 15-7 in a Great Lakes Collegiate League game at Simmons Field.

It marked the third straight game the Locos have scored 15 runs.

That gives them 45 runs over their last three games, all wins.

The Locos stand 4-1 and moved into a first-place tie with St. Clair in the Northern Division. Muskegon is 2-3.

Locos pitchers also struck out 13 for the second straight night, which meant free pizza for all the fans.

The Locos led 4-2 entering the home seventh. That’s when they pounded out nine runs on nine hits to pull out to a 13-2 lead after seven.

In the seventh, Colton Frank had a three-run home run and Trevor Hatton added a two-run homer.

“Everybody was hitting,” Hatton said. “It was a hit parade. … Everybody’s seeing the ball well. We just hope we can keep it going.’’

Goodes injured his thumb at VMI. He came to the Locos, then had an MRI which revealed he had a torn ligament in his thumb and will have surgery on Monday.

He took batting practice prior to Saturday’s game and was ready to play, if needed.

“I knew I could do it (after batting practice),” Goodes said. “There was no doubt in my mind.’’

Then, after the top of the first inning, Locos shortstop Xavier Haendiges left with a right throwing arm injury.

“Xavier came back in after making a throw (in the first) and said he did something and couldn’t throw,” Locos coach Matt Furuto said. “So we had to make the switches in the second inning. But the guys kept playing, which is awesome.’’

Enter Goodes with a heavily-taped thumb to play right field, while right fielder Ryan Smith moved to shortstop.

“And Don is a great guy and such a great competitor and works at-bats really well. You knew he was going to compete. He fit in there without missing a beat. It’s crazy, for sure. … I hate to lose him in a couple of days, but I look forward to see what he’ll do in the future.’’

All Goodes did was single off the pitcher in the second, single to left in the fourth, doubled to left in the seventh and doubled in a run in the eighth.

Goodes drove in one run and scored two in his 4 for 5 night.

“It’s a lot of mental toughness from VMI,” Goodes said of playing through his injury. “I just tried to keep it simple, hit the ball hard and that’s it.’’

One could tell Goodes was feeling far less than 100 percent after hitting a few foul balls.

“It didn’t feel pleasant,” he said with a laugh.

But he said the best part was helping his team win with a pair of doubles.

“It felt good,” Goodes said.

The Locos knocked out 18 hits on the night.

Smith went 3 for 5 with an RBI. Tyler Tolve was 2 for 5 with two RBI.

Frank had a home run and three RBI.

Hatton was 3 for 5 with a double, a home run and two RBI.

Lavoisier Fisher was 2 or 5 with a double, a triple and an RBI. Gavin Harmon had a double and three RBI.

The Locos scored two in the first, with help from two Muskegon errors.

Muskegon’s Cooper Peterson got one run back with an RBI single in the second to get the Clippers within 2-1.

The Locos came back with two runs in the second.

Tolve, who had six RBI on Friday, drove a two-run single up the middle and the Locos had a 4-1 lead.

The Clippers got within 4-2 in the third with an unearned run.

Locos starter right-hander Zach Brown (Lourdes/Oregon Clay) went the first four innings and gave up two runs, one earned, on four hits. He struck out five and walked two.

Jacob Carlsen (UNOH) went to the mound next and threw two shutout innings, giving up one hit, to pick up the win.

Jared Rine (Kennesaw State) threw two innings of shutout, one-hit ball.

“We’ve got some guys in the pen who can shut it down,” Furuto said.

Muskegon left-hander Dane Armbrustmacher (Western Michigan) settled in after giving up four runs, three earned, over the first two innings. He threw shutout, one-hit ball over the next four innings.

For the night, Armbrustmacher went six innings, giving up four runs, three earned, on six hits. He struck out six and walked three.

When Armbrustmacher’s night was done, the Locos struck again and batted around in the home seventh.

Smith double and Tolve walked. Harmon delivered and RBI double to left to make it 5-2.

Frank than launched a monster three-run home run to left and the Locos’ lead ballooned to 8-2.

Hatton’s two-run homer to left kicked the lead to 10-2.

“Once we got him (Armbrustmacher) out, our hitters got some good pitches and we took advantage of them and hit them hard,” Furuto said.

Muskegon scored five in the ninth to get within 15-7.

Locos notes: The Locos wrap up their three-game series with Muskegon at 5 p.m. today at Simmons Field.

After four games, the Locos led the league in hitting with a .329 average. They also led the league in runs (37), doubles (10) and home runs (four). The Locos were second in team ERA at 2.27, behind St. Clair’s 1.03.

Infielder Alexei Cazarin (Abilene Christian) is day-to-day after he strained his hamstring running out a grounder in Friday night’s game.

Center fielder Nick Colina (Kennesaw State) is day-to-day after suffering a bruised hand when he took a pitch off hand Friday.

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By Tom Usher

sports@limanews.com

Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.

Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.

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