LIMA — The Lima Locos were looking for a way to put a halt to their mini two-game losing streak.
After a slow start, a clutch rally in the eighth inning did the trick.
The Locos scored two in the home eighth Wednesday night to post a 6-4 victory against Grand Lake at Simmons Field.
The Locos are 7-4. Grand Lake is 3-8.
The Locos came in with two straight losses and had lost four of their last five.
“We started the season hot, then we hit some adversity,” Locos coach Matt Furuto said. “We had some ups and downs. It’s good to see how we can bounce back. … (Tonight) we had some timely hits at the end.’’
Lefty Jonathan Machamer (Edison State) threw the final two shutout innings to notch the win. He gave up two hits.
In the ninth, he ended the game with a third-to-second-to-first double play.
The game was tied at 4 entering the home eighth.
In the home eighth, Drew Vogel (Murray State) opened the inning with a double. He went to third on a wild pitch.
Trent Belli (Ohio University) followed with an RBI single to right to give the Locos a 5-4 lead. Belli, who had been struggling at the plate, went 2 for 4 with a double in the second inning.
“I was trying to be more aggressive and get ahead in the count,” Belli said. “(In the eighth), it was a 1-2 count and I was just looking to be aggressive and find a way to get Drew home.
“It was good that we found a way to win and didn’t give up.’’
Darryl Buggs then ran for Belli at first.
Trevor Rider (Mercer) singled Belli cruised into third. Seth Tucker’s (Oakland) RBI groundout to short scored Buggs to make it 6-4.
Grand Lake led 3-0 in the first and it was 3-3 after two.
The Mariners pulled ahead 4-3 in the fourth. The Locos tied it at 4 in the sixth.
Grand Lake scored three runs on one hit in the first, as Locos starter Caleb Rush (Charleston) struggled with his control. He walked five in the first and walked two runs in. Another run scored on an RBI groundout to short by Noah Thigpen.
The Locos came back with one in the first. Tucker led off with a single and Garrett Howe (Samford) followed with an RBI double down the right-field line. That got the Locos within 3-1.
The Locos tied the game at 3 in the second. Belli doubled to the center-field fence and scored on an RBI single to right by Rider to bring the Locos within 3-2.
Tucker followed with an RBI single to left and the game was tied at 3.
Grand Lake nudged ahead 4-3 in the top of the fourth. Marcus Ernst (Ohio State) singled and went to second on an error. He scored on an RBI single to right by Brandon Green.
The Locos scored an unearned run in the sixth to tie the game at 4.
Rush settled in after the first inning. He went three innings and gave up three runs, all earned, on three hits. He struck out three and walked five.
Patrick Dillon (Toledo/Findlay HS) followed Rush and threw innings, giving up one unearned run, on four hits. He struck out four and walked one.
“Patrick Dillon threw really well,” Furuto said. “And Machamer came in and made some good pitches. Those three guys (Rush, Dillon and Machamer) are going to be good back-end guys for us.’’
Grand Lake starter Gabriel Torres went four innings and gave up three runs, all earned, on six hits. He struck out two and walked none.
For the Locos, Tucker went 2 for 4 with two RBI. He also made several nice running catches in the alley from center field.
Howe was 2 for 5 with a double.
T.J. Reeves (Jackson State) went 2 for 4. Vogel was 2 for 3 with a double. Rider was 2 for 4.
Grand Lake’s Garrett Felix was 3 for 4 with a double.
Locos notes: Locos right-hander Fredrick Sisco (Campbell) joined the team this week after playing in the NCAA regional tournament.
The Locos are back home at 7:05 p.m. Thursday against the Michigan Monarchs at Simmons Field.
Locos pitchers Trace Blue (Texas A&M Corpus Christi) and Nichols Wright (Alabama-Birmingham) are out for the summer with injuries. Blue re-injured his shoulder, while Wright suffered an elbow injury.
Locos outfielder Darryl Buggs (Alabama-Birmingham) is ninth in the league in hitting at .400. He leads the league in triples (3) and is second in doubles (4). He’s fourth in runs scored (12).
Locos catcher Jake Killingsworth ranks 10th in the league in hitting at .391.
Locos’ J.J. Jackson (Jacksonville State) is second in the league in home runs (3) and fourth in RBI (13).
The Locos lead the league in hitting at .294. They rank seventh in team ERA at 4.91. The Locos rank ninth in fielding percentage at .956.
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.