Chad Ehrnsberger is back as the Lima Locos skipper and he brings the same winning attitude that saw him guide the team to two titles in his last tenure.
The Kalida High School head coach led the Locos in the 2013 to 2016 seasons. During his tenure as head coach, the Locos won the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League championship in 2015 and 36 Locos players were either drafted or signed Major League Baseball affiliated contracts.
“To me it is championship or bust,” Ehrnsberger responded when he asked what he considers as successful season. “That is how I judge it. Obviously you don’t have to win a championship to be a success. The goals are the players getting better and having fun and showing scouts what they can do. Hopefully if you do all those things the wins will come.”
Ehrnsberger said the decision to return to the Locos’ dugout was an easy one.
“I am a baseball guy,” the Locos manager said. “I have always liked the Locos organization. It is a great organization and a great thing for college players and it is great for the city of Lima and the surrounding area. So when I had the opportunity to come back it didn’t take much thinking. I was happy and proud to do it and hopefully I can bring winner back to Lima again.”
Ehrnsberger admits there has been an adjustment period for him getting back to coaching the college boys of summer.
“Things have changed in college baseball and really all of college sports with the transfer portal and the NIL stuff,” Ehrnsberger said. “It’s a little bit different in getting the players and how you have to deal with the players. But at the end of the day it is still baseball and I’d like to think I have not forgotten baseball. Hopefully when we get between the lines it all comes back to me.”
The Locos will open the season Tuesday on the road and compete in their first home game Friday.
The Locos finished 21-17 overall, made the playoffs, and finished as league runner-ups in 2022.
With two title under his belt, Ehrnsberger understands what it takes to win and it begins early with players developing into a cohesive unit on and off the diamond.
The roster this year is dotted with some familiar faces among the majority of players from out of state that come from California to Florida and schools such as Ohio State, Florida State and Texas Tech.
“We have a lot of good players,” Ehrnsberger said. “I’ve only seen them now for about four days but I am very impressed with them as baseball players and people. They have been getting along really well. It is ‘yes sir, no sir,’ It is a real joy to be around guys like this.”
Some area fans will recognize local talent such as Lincolnview and current Ohio State product Landon Price, Defiance and Ohio University player Jayden Jerger and Lima Senior and Lourdes University’s Caleb Dugan.
“Having Caleb Dugan here from Lima and on the team last year has really helped,” Ehrnsberger said. “He has taken it upon himself to get all the guys together. I know they have been hanging out at night and at each other’s houses and that is huge.
“I remember when I was going to new towns and playing and it always an adjustment period and what Caleb is doing is accelerating that process and the guys are getting along well and that is huge. You are bringing guys from all over the country and a lot of them are from big name schools and you are bringing them to Lima, Ohio and asking them to get along with other people from the around the country. When it happens quick it is nice to see.”
Dugan returns for his second season as a Locos and not only serves as a leader on the field but an unofficial Lima ambassador to the other players who find themselves in the middle in northwest Ohio for the summer.
“Guys to me and ask what to do and where to go,” Dugan said. “I’ve been trying to get guys out of the house to hang out and stuff like that, maybe have a fire or go out to eat, but I enjoy that role.”
Dugan had 49 at-bats with ten hits, seven runs, three RBI, and a .204 batting average last season as a Loco.
“I am excited to get this season rolling,” Dugan said. “I fell like we have a good bunch of guys in the clubhouse and I think a little more talented than last year but it all comes down to coming together and playing together and I feel like we are getting there. Hopefully we will get after it.”
At Lourdes, where he transferred to after a year at Ivy Tech, he batted .324 in 74 at-bats compared to .283 the previous season in 94 at-bats in 2023.
Dugan said he is looking to continue improve his game.
“What I want to accomplish is just to stick with my approach,” Dugan said. “I changed it up a little big from last year and took it to school and had a good season, hitting like .320, and I want to continue that over the summer and carry it back to school.”
Ehrnsberger’s expectations, as expressed before, are high and he tries to impart this on the players. The Locos are six- time GLSCL Champions. The Locos won titles in 1993, 2004, 2011, 2015, 2017 and 2019 and have not had a losing season in 11 years.
“There is no extra pressure but I put pressure on myself,” Ehrnsberger said. “If I am involved in something I want it to be the best and I am always going to do the best I can to be successful so. There is always an expectation here with the Locos and Lima and I told the guys that.
“When I talked to them about bringing them here I told them ‘We are going to win.’ It is that simple we win here in Lima and we are going to again this year and if that is something you want to be a part of I would love to have you.”
Lima Locos Roster
`Johnathon Allen `L/L, `6-2, 180 lbs. `University of Akron
`Kaden Arn `R/R, `6-4, `195, lbs. `Bowling Green State University
`Trey Ates `R/R, `6-1, `195 lbs. `Paris Junior College
`Reese Bassinger `R/R, `6-1, `180 lbs. `Tarleton State University
`Steven Cash `R/L, `6-1, 180 lbs `University of Louisiana Lafayette
`Ryan Denison `R/R, `6-4, `220 lbs `Florida State University
`Brandon Doehne `R/R, `6-4, `230 lbs. `University of New Mexico
`Alex Figueroa `R/R, `5-11, `160, `Cochise College
`Jayden Jerger `R/R, `6-2, `193 lbs, `Ohio University
`Jake Johnson `R/R, `6-0, `190, `Ohio State University
`Garit Krupp `L/R, `6-2, `205 lbs, `Owens Community College
`Max McEwen `R/R, `6-2, `210 lbs, `Indiana State University
`Peyton Nelson `L/L, `5-10, `180 lbs. `College of Charleston
`Hudson Parker `R/R, `6-0, `195 lbs. `Texas Tech University
`Landon Price `L/L, `5-9, `180, `Ohio State University
`Jacob Pruitt `R/R, `6-1, `170 lbs, `Indiana State University
`Micah Takac `R/R, `6-3, `165 lbs, `Mercer University
`Caleb Herd `R/R, `5-9, `183 lbs, `University of New Mexico (Sophmore), Vali, Arizona
`Mason Sawyer `R/R, `6-0, `210 lbs., `Ohio State University
`Connor Ashby `R/R, `6-1, `190 lbs, `Kent State University
`Aidyn Coffey `R/R, `6-5, `195 lbs, `Wabash Valley College
`Caleb Edwards Dugan `R/R, `185 lbs, `Lourdes University
`Titan Kamaka `R/R, `6-0, `180 lbs, `Florida State University
`Justin Rumfield `R/R, `6-2 lbs, `200`Midland College
`Kolton Schaller `L/R, 6-2 `180 lbs., `Kent State University
`Landon Underhill `L/R, `6-1,`195 lbs, Mercer University
`Kyle Ashworth `L/R, `6-0, `85 lbs, `Long Beach State University
`Cade Belyeu`L/R, `6-3, `205 lbs, `Auburn University
`Eduarny Martinez `R/R, `6-4, `210 lbs. `Cochise College
`Jack Porter `R/R, `6-1, `185 lbs, `University of Central Florida
`Anthony Zarling `S/R, `6-0, `175 lbs, `Southwest Tennessee Community College
June 6 at Ice Haulers 7:05 p.m.
June 7 at Ice Haulers 7:05 p.m.
June 8 at Ice Haulers 7:05 p.m.
June 9 Monarchs 7:05 p.m.
June 10 Monarchs 7:05 p.m.
June 11 Monarchs 5:05 p.m.
June 13 Ice Haulers 7:05 p.m.
June 14 Mariners 7:05 p.m.
June 15 Mariners 7:05 p.m.
June 16 at Mariners 6:35 p.m.
June 17 at Mariners 6:35 p.m.
June 20 at Leprechauns 7:05 p.m.
June 21 Leprechauns 7:05 p.m.
June 22 at Leprechauns 7:05 p.m.
June 23 Jet Box 7:05 p.m.
June 24 Jet Box 7:05 p.m.
June 25 at Jet Box 5:35 p.m.
June 27 Jazz 7:05 p.m.
June 28 Jazz 7:05 p.m.
June 30 at Jazz 6:35 p.m.
July 1 at Jazz 6:35 p.m.
July 2 Ice Haulers 5:05 p.m.
July 4 Clippers 3:35 p.m.
July 4 Clippers 5:35 p.m.
July 5 Clippers 7:05 p.m.
July 7 Ice Haulers 7:05 p.m.
July 11 at Monarchs 7:05 p.m.
July 12 at Monarchs 7:05 p.m.
July 13 at Monarchs 7:05 p.m.
July 14 Leprechauns 7:05 p.m.
July 15 at Leprechauns 7:05 p.m.
July 16 Leprechauns 5:05 p.m.
July 19 at Jet Box 5:35 p.m.
July 20 at Jet Box 5:35 p.m.
July 21 Jet Box 7:05 p.m.
July 22 at Clippers 7:05 p.m.
July 23 at Clippers 4:05 p.m.
July 23 at Clippers 7:05 p.m.