LIMA — The Lima Locos did manage to avoid being run ruled.
But that was hardly any consolation for the Locos.
Expansion Sandusky cranked out 17 hits in a 16-7 victory over the Locos Friday at Simmons Field.
The Great Lakes Collegiate League run-rule this year is 10 runs or more after seven innings. The Locos avoided that with three runs in the seventh.
The Locos are 5-2. Sandusky is 3-5.
The Locos are still sorting through their pitching staff and determining roles.
“We’re kind of figuring out who we can go to and giving some guys some opportunities,” Locos coach Matt Furuto said. … “There are some guys who didn’t have a ton of experience and they’re trying to figure it out and we’re throwing them in the fire. Some guys are working through some things and we have to find some guys who can throw strikes and challenge the hitters.’’
Furuto was quick to give credit to Sandusky.
“They had a good night swinging it,” he said. “Hats off to them.’’
Sandusky second baseman Scott Mackiewicz went 2 for 4 with a double, a grand slam homer and six RBI to lead the Ice Haulers. Zachary Campbell was 3 for 5 with three RBI.
Sandusky lefty Andino Vecchiolla threw his 86 mph fastball and breaking ball for strikes and got the win. He went five innings and gave up three runs, two earned, on five hits. He struck out five and walked one.
For the Locos, Miller Ladusau (Abilene Christian) went 3 for 4 with a home run and two RBI.
“He’s going to be good. He’s just getting back in the groove,” Furuto said.
The Locos’ Jake Smallwood (Montevallo) went 2 for 4 with a double and two RBI.
Colton Ledbetter (Samford) was 2 for 5.
Sandusky scored five in the fourth to take an 8-1 lead. It added eight in the six to make it 16-3.
Sandusky scored two in the first, with one run in being unearned.
Campbell walked and came home on an RBI double to center by Dominic Magliocca to make it 1-0. Magliocca scored from third on an error by the Locos shortstop to make it 2-0.
The Locos got within 2-1 in the home first.
Darryl Buggs (Alabama-Birmingham) led off with a hustle double to shallow right. Buggs took third on a wild pitch and came home on a sacrifice fly to left by Garrett Howe.
Sandusky pushed its lead to 3-1 in the third. Campbell singled and came home on an RBI by Mackiewicz to make it 3-1.
The Ice Haulers tacked on five runs in the fourth on six hits to grab an 8-1 lead.
Campbell’s RBI single gave Sandusky a 4-1 lead. Mackiewicz walked with the bags loaded and it was 5-1.
Jackson Green’s RBI single made it 6-1. Drew Holderbach added an RBI single and it was 7-1. Mark Connelly had a sacrifice fly to center to push the margin to 8-1.
The Locos got within 8-3 with a two-run fifth. Buggs’ RBI groundout to second brought home Trent Belli, who started the fifth with a double.
Howe’s sacrifice fly to left made it 8-3.
The Ice Haulers then added eight runs in the sixth against two Locos relievers. The big blow was a grand slam into the Sandusky bullpen in right by Mackiewicz to make it 16-3.
The Locos scored one in the sixth and three in the seventh to get within 16-7.
Locos starter Casey Thomas (UNOH) went 3 1/3 innings and gave up eight runs, five earned, on eight hits. He struck out two and walked two.
It was Thomas’ second start against Sandusky after defeating the Ice Haulers last Saturday at Sandusky.
“He did a decent job, but he has to find an offspeed pitch he can mix up timing,” Furuto said. “They did a good job of taking away his fastball.’’
Locos infielder Jay Sorohan threw two shutout innings and infielder Trevor Austin threw one shutout inning, but Furuto said they were used to spare the bullpen.
“I don’t expect them to pitch,” Furuto said. “They were saving innings, but they did a great job. They threw strikes with multiple pitches.’’
Locos notes: Locos center fielder Darryl Buggs (Alabama-Birmingham) is second in the league in batting at .520. Catcher Jake Killingsworth (Alabama-Birmingham) is fifth at .467. … Buggs ranks first in the league in triples (3) and second in doubles (4). …. Derrick Jackson (Jacksonville State) is third in the league in RBI (8).
The Locos lead the league with a .303 batting average. … They rank fifth in team ERA at 4.00.
Locos right-hander Nicholas Wright had to leave Thursday’s game in the third inning with an injury to his right elbow and forearm. He underwent tests on his arm on Friday, but the results weren’t available.
The Locos are home at 7 p.m. Saturday against Galion at Simmons Field. The Locos are also home at 7 p.m. Sunday against Detroit Jet Box.
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.