LIMA – The Sandusky Ice Haulers continue to show they are not your typical expansion team.
Sandusky flexed its power with four home runs in a seven-inning, run-rule 15-0 victory over the Lima Locos.
Sandusky’s Nick Mueller had two home runs and six RBI to lead the Ice Haulers’ attack. Scott Mackiewicz went 2 for 3 with a home run and three RBI.
“That was rough,” Locos coach Matt Furuto said. “They can swing it. Everything they hit, they hit hard. It’s hard to beat four home runs. Credit to them and we have to be better. It was just one of those days that we didn’t have it today.’’
First-place Sandusky (19-6) has won 12 in a row and is 19-1 over its last 20 games.
The Locos (11-12) entered Thursday six games behind first-place Sandusky and three games behind second-place Jet Box for the final playoff berth.
The Locos fell to 1-4 against Sandusky this summer.
Sandusky starter right-hander Brandon Bergert made his fourth appearance against the Locos. He came in 1-0 with a 3.48 ERA over 10-plus innings against the Locos.
On Thursday, Bergert threw his 86 mph fastball and breaking ball for strikes. He threw five shutout innings, giving up three hits. Bergert struck out four and walked one.
Sandusky scored two in the first, four in the third and one in the fourth to take a 7-0 lead. The Ice Haulers then added three in the fifth and three in the sixth and it was 13-0.
Sandusky jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Three Hillier singled. Mackiewicz (Toledo) followed with his sixth home run of the year, a two-run shot to right.
In the top of the third, Sandusky’s Hiller walked and Mackiewicz singled. With two out, Mark Connelly hit a wild-hop single to first to load the bases.
Mueller launched a grand slam homer to left to push the Ice Haulers’ lead to 6-0.
“That was baseball just getting us,” Furuto said of the home run after the wild-hop single to first. “It was a bad hop, then they take advantage of it, which is what good teams do.’’
Dominic Magliocca hit a solo home run to left to make it 7-0 Sandusky in the fourth.
In the fifth, Mueller hit his second home run. His two-run home run to left gave Sandusky a 9-0 lead.
Locos starter Grant Evans (Ohio U.) went four innings and gave up seven runs, all earned, on six hits.
“He (Evans) did all right, but they made him play,” Furuto said. “They did some balls that they were on it and it wasn’t our day.’’
A total of five Locos pitchers (three position players) gave up 13 hits and walked 12 batters in the rout.
Locos notes: The Locos added to Bluffton Beavers pitchers to the roster this week, right-hander Seth Evans, from Ada, and right-hander Garrett O’Reilly from Galena, Ohio.
Locos infielder Jay Sorohan (Kennesaw State) went home for the summer to attend class.
The Locos are at Galion today and return home at 7:05 p.m. Saturday against Grand Lake at Simmons Field. The Locos will play a 3:05 p.m. doubleheader on the Fourth of July against Royal Oak at Simmons Field.
Locos outfielder Colton Ledbetter (Samford) homered on Tuesday and Wednesday and now has five home runs, which is second in the league.
Locos’ starters have an ERA of 4.25. The Locos’ bullpen has an ERA of 5.42.
The Locos rank third in the league in hitting (.282) and are seventh in team ERA at 4.88.