LIMA — It’s two games in and the series is even.
The semifinal series will come down to today.
The Lima Locos evened the series with Sandusky with a 7-5 victory over the Ice Haulers on Tuesday night at Simmons Field.
The Great Lakes Collegiate League best-of-three semifinal series is tied at 1-1.
The final game of the series, Game 3, will be at 7 p.m. today at Sandusky.
T.J. Reeves (Jacksonville State) led the Locos, going 3 for 5, with a double, home run and three RBI.
“The last couple of weeks we’ve playing really well,” Reeves said. “Our confidence is really high.’’
Reeves has five home runs in his last three games, including three in the playoffs.
“It started last Thursday and now I feel like I can hit every one out,” Reeves. “I feel like I’m in a groove right now. I haven’t done anything like this.’’
Said Locos coach Matt Furuto, “He’s (Reeves) been great all summer. He’s hit balls hard all summer and he’s continued to square it up and stay confident.’’
Locos right-hander Dylan Freeman (Montevallo), the league ERA champion, came on in the sixth and threw the final four innings for the win. He gave up two runs in the ninth to close the gap to 7-5. But Freeman got the final out of the game on a strikeout with a runner at second.
The Locos scored three in the home sixth to take a 5-3 lead.
In the home first, Darryl Buggs led off with a single. Reeves gave the Locos a 2-0 lead with a long two-run home run blast to left-center field in the first.
It was Reeves’ third home run of the playoffs.
Sandusky got within 2-1 in the third on an RBI single by Zach Campbell.
The Ice Haulers then tied the game at 2 on an RBI single to center by Braden Durham in the fourth.
Campbell sent a solo home run into the right-field bullpen in the fifth to give the Ice Haulers a 3-2 lead.
The Locos scored three in the sixth to pull out to a 5-3 lead.
Buggs walked and scored on an RBI double into the left-field corner by Reeves to make tie the game at 3.
Colton Ledbetter’s RBI single to right gave the Locos a 4-3 lead. The Locos made it 5-3 when Ledbetter scored on a double play groundout by Miller Ladusau.
“It was his (Sandusky starter Luke Lashutka) third time through the order and he had some stressful pitches,” Furuto said.
In the top of the eighth, Scott Mackiewicz doubled. Drew Holdenbach singled with no outs and Mackiewicz tried to score from second on the single but was erased easily on a two-hop throw home by Locos left fielder Reeves to catcher Jake Killingsworth.
“About the time I got the ball he was rounding third,” Reeves said. “I had a shot to get him out at the plate.’’
The Locos made it 7-3 in the home eighth on Derrick Jackson’s two-run homer to right.
Locos starter left-hander Kyle Moseley (Angelo State) went five innings. He gave up three runs, all earned, on six hits. He struck out four and walked none.
“Our pitches did a good job got ahead and challenging hitters with multiple pitches,” Furuto said.
Locos notes: Locos outfielder T.J. Reeves went 2 for 5 with two home runs and three RBI in Game 1. Including the regular-season finale against Grand Lake, he had four home runs in his last two games.
The Locos will start Garrett O’Reilly (Bluffton) today.
Sandusky was second in the league in hitting at .289 and second in team ERA at 4.14.
The Locos ranked first in hitting at .292 and third in ERA at 4.51.
Both the Locos and Sandusky finished the year 28-14. Sandusky won the top seed and home-field advantage in the semifinals by winning five of nine games against the Locos.
The Locos have a string of making the playoffs dating back to 2011. The year 2010 was the team’s last losing season.
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.