Locos dominate South Ohio on Father’s day

LIMA – Everything was simmering hot at Simmons Field on Sunday.

Along with the weather, that also included the Locos bats and the arm of starting pitcher Matteo Pare (Pensacola State College).

Pare made his third appearance of the summer and controlled the Copperheads’ bats in five innings, getting the win in a dominant 12-1 victory for the Locos and clinching their first series win of the summer.

Pare sat the Copperheads down in order in three of the five innings he pitched. A third-inning RBI single by Alex Ungar (Sacred Heart University) was his only blemish on the afternoon. He didn’t allow an earned run on five hits and struck out three batters.

“I’m feeling good right now. This is such an exciting place to play because the fans are wild and energetic,” Pare said after his second win of the summer. “I just want to keep throwing strikes, putting in quick innings, and getting our team back to the dugout as quickly as possible.”

To follow up Saturday night’s 17-hit performance, Lima sent nine batters to the plate in the bottom of the first inning and pushed across four runs.

Southern Ohio (5-7) gave the starting nod to Benjamin Bates (Adrian College) and he was attacked early by the home bats. Bates was the losing pitcher after he lasted just 3 2/3 innings, allowing nine earned runs on seven hits.

Lou Fujiwara (University of Washington) started the rally with a hit before Brice Estep (Coastal Carolina) drove him in.

Fujiwara made his first appearance at Simmons Field on Sunday after joining the Locos two days prior. Since then, he’s produced six hits in 15 plate appearances. On Sunday evening Fujiwara singled, walked and scored twice while flashing some impressive leather in the field.

“Lou has been amazing, defensively, and offensively,” said Locos head coach Chad Ehrnsberger. “That’s exactly what I expected after talking to his coaches. He is a good one to have out there.”

Kaden Brown (Kennesaw State) kept the first inning going with a hit that brought home Sebastian Alexander (Coastal Carolina). A sacrifice fly from Liam Richards (Yavapai College) made it 4-0 Locos.

After adding two more runs to its lead in the third inning, Lima put together another four-run frame in the fourth, and the rout was officially on.

Alexander and Estep drew a pair of one-out walks before Brooks Wright (University of Louisiana Lafayette) drove them both in with a two-run double.

Wright went 2 for 2 and drove in three runs on the afternoon.

“He has been really good in the three games he has been with us. I feel like he’s been on base almost every time,” said Ehrnsberger. “His college coaches talk very highly of him, and he seems like a great kid, and a hard worker who has the skills. He’s blazing fast, and always looking to swing.”

Once Pare’s day was done, the Locos got a dominant two-inning performance from Andrew Stechschulte (Ohio Northern University).

Stechschulte, whose father Gene is a former Lima Loco, held South Ohio hitless over the final six outs, recording two strikeouts along the way.

A league-wide rest day gives the Locos a break on Monday before they travel to Xenia on Tuesday for a 7:05 p.m. start. The Locos return to Simmons Field on Wednesday evening for game two of the series.

Box score (r-h-e)

South Ohio Copperheads 0010000 1-5-3

Lima Locos 402420x 12-9-1

South Ohio Copperheads 1 (ab-r-h-rbi)

Trenton Neuer 4-0-1-0, Joey Canzoni 1-0-0-0, Alex Ungar 3-0-1-1, Ben Clark 3-0-0-0, Hunter Strong 3-0-1-0, Case Sullivan 3-0-0-0, Aiden Dunlap 3-0-1-0, Gavyn Smith 3-1-0-0, Elijah Laurent 3-0-1-0, Totals: 26-1-5-1.

Lima Locos 12 (ab-r-h-rbi)

Justin Gorski 5-0-1-2, Lou Fujiwara 4-2-1-0, Blake Bowen 1-2-0-0, Sebastian Alexander 2-2-1-0, Brice Estep 2-2-1-1, Brooks Wright 3-1-2-3, Kaden Brown 3-1-2-2, Liam Richards 2-2-0-1, Bo Shinkle 3-0-1-2, Totals: 25-12-9-11.

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so)

W — Matteo Pare (2-0) 5.0-5-1-1-1-3

L — Benjamin Bates (0-2) 3.2-7-10-9-6-0

Nate Stidham wrote this story for LimaScores.com