LIMA – After starting the season with five straight wins, the Lima Locos then lost two in a row.
The Locos needed to get back on track.
And visiting Galion on Saturday night seemed to be just what the doctor ordered.
Locos right fielder Colton Ledbetter (Samford) gave his team just what it needed.
Ledbetter belted a two-run home run in the eighth inning to run-rule Galion, 12-2. Ledbetter also had a three-run homer in the fourth inning. On the night, Ledbetter went 4 for 5 with five RBI.
“I was just trying to stay relaxed up there,” Ledbetter said. “I’m starting off summer ball, and trying to get some ABs (at bats) in. … It felt good. I was trying to treat this like any other game – staying relaxed up there and having fun.”
With the win, the Locos improve to 6-2, while Galion slips to 2-5 on the season.
Locos head coach Matt Furuto praised the performance of Ledbetter.
“He’s going to be a special player,” Furuto said. “He’s got a lot of pop; and I’m excited to see what he does for the rest of the summer.”
For the game, the Locos pounded 12 base hits off Galion pitching.
Parker Wakelyn got the starting nod on the mound for the Locos Saturday. The right-hander from Clarendon College worked 4 2/3 innings before being lifted for Nicholas Graham, also from Clarendon College, in the fifth. Wakelyn threw 93 pitches, while being tabbed for two runs. Wakelyn struck out six, walked four and hit a batter.
Brady Biglin started on the mound for Galion. Biglin (Notre Dame College) worked just one inning and threw 22 pitches, before being lifted for Troy Vermillion.
In the seventh, Jonathan Machamer (Edison State College) came in to take over pitching duties for the Locos.
Biglin was tabbed for two runs on one hit, while striking out one and hitting two batters. Vermillion pitched 5 2/3 innings for the Graders. Dylan James came in to take over in the sixth.
In the home half of the first inning, D.J. Jackson (Jacksonville State) made Biglin pay by smashing a two-run home run over the left-field fence to give the Locos a 2-0 lead. Darryl Buggs (Alabama Birmingham) scored on Jackson’s homer. Buggs was hit by a pitch to get on base.
The Graders added a run in the top of the third to cut the Locos lead to 2-1.
Nick Christopher drove in teammate Avery Fisher with a single to left.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Locos’ bats woke up as they scored six runs on six hits to push their lead to 8-1.
Seth Tucker (Oakland University) drove in a run with an infield single to the left side of the field. Teammate Jake Killingsworth (Alabama Birmingham) also had an RBI single for the Locos. Buggs also scored a run for the Locos, thanks to a wild pitch. Buggs had a single in that big fourth inning for the Locos.
Then, Ledbetter made Galion pay, when he smashed a three-run home run to left-center to extend the Lima lead to seven runs.
The Graders cut the deficit to 6, 8-2, in the fifth. With bases loaded, Graham walked in a run.
The Locos tacked on two more runs in the seventh to push their lead to 8, 10-2. Jay Sorohan (Kennesaw State) drove in a run with an RBI single. Sorohan would eventually score off a passed ball.
“Overall, it was a very good offensive day,” Furuto said. “We had some good outings by some of our pitchers. … They were really challenged, and they had some good stuff. So, when we have a good combo like that, it’s a very good day.”
Notes: The Locos came into Saturday’s contest sitting in second place in the North Division of the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League. Detroit Jet Box – who the Locos face Sunday night at Simmons Field – leads the North Division (6-1).
Lima Locos’ Darryl Buggs entered Saturday’s game, fourth in the GLSCL in hitting with a .483 batting average (14 for 29).
Locos pitcher Caleb Rush (Charleston) is fifth in the league in strikeouts with 13 total in 5.2 innings pitched.
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.