LIMA — The Galion Graders had three games scheduled from Friday evening to Sunday evening. However, thanks to Mother Nature, Friday and Saturday’s games would be a wash. Luckily for the fans though, the Graders, who did not travel to Newark to face the Licking County Settlers on Friday, were able to square-off against the Lima Locos in doubleheader action on Sunday.
The Graders have never had a lot of luck vs. the Locos, and in Game 1 on Sunday, Lima continued its dominance, taking a shortened, seven-inning showdown 6-1.
Galion won the second game 4-3.
Three errors proved costly for the the Graders in the defeat
Galion starter Clayton Cooper got the lost, working the first five innings and allowing six runs (only two earned) on five hits. Cooper walked three and struck out five in his time on the hill in game one. Wyatt Larimer pitched the final inning for the Graders, allowing just one hit while striking out one.
Offensively, Andrew Stone, Christopher Jordan, Juan and Jose De La Cruz and Tyler Pavone hit singles while while Pavone notched an RBI,
Heading into the sixth inning , Galion had just two hits. Stone began the action with a single and proceeded to second base after a Jordan flyout and eventually scored the Graders only run on Pavone’s single.
For Lima, Jess Davis recorded the game’s only extra-base hit, a double, in the bottom of the Locos’ four-run, second inning. Tyler Miller picked up the “W” for the hosts.
Graders 4, Locos 3
LIMA — In Game 2, the Graders picked up their first win vs. Lima since a 9-7 win July 4, 2016. That was Galion’s only previous win vs. Lima.
With Sunday’s win, Galion moves to 2-18 all-time against Lima. It moves the Graders to 9-4 on the season, good for third place in the rugged Southern Division. Lima still sets atop the Northern Division at 8-5.
The hosting Locos got on the board first in the bottom of the second with a run and then rang up another run on Galion’s defense in the fourth. The Graders would not go without a fight, scoring all four of their runs in the final three innings while holding the Lima offense at bay and allowing just one additional run in the bottom of the seventh.
Galion threatened in the top of the second when Pavone and Seamus Kenneally reached on singles but Lima pitcher Trent Vietmeier would fan three in the frame to hold the Graders scoreless. The Graders would go in order in the first, third and fourth innings.
With one out in the fifth inning, Kenneally reaced first base on an error and moved into scoring position after a Cole Andrews groundout to second. Stone would belt a single to center and head over to second after another error, this time by the center fielder that allowed Kenneally to score the visitor’s first run. With Stone on second and two outs, Jordan delivered a single and Galion was threatening again with runners at the corners before Jose De La Cruz went down on strikes to end the inning.
In the sixth,the Graders’ Juan De La Cruz was plunked by a pitch. Austin Hathaway, on a 1-2 pitch, belted a two-run homer and the Graders led 3-2.
Stone ripped a double with one out in the top of the seventh and scored on a Stone single to make it 4-2.
Lima got its last run on a balk and the Graders held on for the win.
Gaetan Sinisgalli started and went four innings, allowing two earn runs on three hits while walking five and striking out one. Smith got the win, tossing the final three frames and giving up one hit and one earned run while walking one and fanning three.
Lima finished with just four hits.
The Graders will wrap up their extended road trip Wednesday against the Saginaw Sugar Beets. Galion was also at Saginaw on Tuesday, June 25 for game one of the two-game stint. On Thursday and Friday, Galion will be back at Heddleson Field to host the Hamilton Joebefore heading to Cincinnati for a game against the division-leading Steam on Saturday. Sunday will see another contest at Heddleson when the Graders and Steam clash for game two of their series.