Graders’ struggles continue against Locos


Drop three of four games to nemesis

By Chad Clinger - cclinger@aimmediamidwest.com



LIMA — The weather continued to play a vital role on the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League’s schedule over the weekend. Galion and Lima, who were set to meet for a doubleheader on Friday in Lima, a doubleheader in Galion during the annual Pickle Run Festival and a single game on Sunday, again in Galion, saw their contests change dramatically due to the heavy rains.

On Sunday, the Graders and the Locos met for a doubleheader at Lima’s Simmons Field, following their games on Saturday being a wash.

In game two of that double-dip, the visiting Galion squad earned a rare victory over the Locos; 3-1. With the win, the Graders improved to 7-21 on the season while Lima fell to 20-9 before losing on Monday to fall to 20-10 atop the North Division.

Garrett Kuns dazzled on the mound for Galion, going the distance while allowing just three hits and one earned run while also walking two and striking out nine Locos’ hitters.

The two squads combined for just 10 total hits, with the Graders recording seven of those 10. Lima committed the only error during game two on the day and both teams stranded six runners on the base path.

Andrew Sharp and Bryce Ray both enjoyed multi-hit performances at the dish against Locos pitching. Sharp knocked a pair of singles and scored twice while Ray belted a home run and a double, earning a run scored and a run batted in. Steven D’Eusanio and JP Bitzenhofer had a single and an RBI apiece and DeVonte Washington rounded out the offense with a single of his own.

Galion scored one run in the top of the first and would plate another run in the third to put themselves up 2-0. In the bottom of the fifth, Lima finally reached the scoreboard with their lone run of the second game. Ray put the contest away with his lead-off solo homer in the top of the sixth to bring the game to its eventual final score.

The Graders kicked-off a three-game home series with the Muskegon Clippers on Tuesday that will conclude on Thursday evening. Over the weekend, Galion will head to Siena Heights University in Adrian, MI for a three-game stint with the hosting Michigan Monarchs.

Lima 7, Galion 3

LIMA — In game one of the doubleheader on Sunday, the Locos earned a 7-3 victory over the Graders thanks to a four-run bottom of the first after Galion scored one in the opening frame. Lima would then go on to score a run in the fourth and two in the sixth to put the game out of reach as the Graders plated just two in the top of the seventh.

Trey Bame started the game on the hill for Galion and went 5⅔ en route to picking up the loss. Bame allowed six hits and seven earned runs while walking a pair and fanning four. Gavin Lewis tossed the final ⅓ of an inning, giving up two walks and striking out one.

Sharp got the scoring going for the visitors with a one-out homer in the first but the Galion bats would go quiet after that until the final inning. Two singles by Avery Fisher and Sharp and some crafty base running got two across for the Graders in the top of the seventh.

Offensive numbers for Galion in the game one loss were: Team- 10/30, 3R, 3RBI, BB, 3K, HR, 2SB; Ryan Strittmather- R; Sharp- 1B, HR, R, 2RBI; Sean McLaughlin- 2-1B, RBI; D’Eusanio- 1B; Ray- 1B; Bitzenhofer- 1B, SB; Austin Harper- 1B and Fisher- 2-1B, R, SB.

Lima 8, Galion 6

LIMA — Back on Friday, July 5, Lima welcomed Galion to their home field for a pair of contests in GLSCL play.

Game one of the doubleheader was the continuation of their contest from back on June 12, which was started at Heddleson Field in Galion but was suspended due to rain.

The Graders took a 3-0 lead into the top of the third inning before the Locos tied things up. In the fourth and fifth innings, Galion’s defense kept Lima at bay while their offense regained the lead for the squad with a run in each inning. Following a quiet sixth and seventh, the Locos came to bat in the eighth, trailing 5-3. However, the “visiting” Locos would see three runs come across home plate to give them the 6-5 advantage heading into the ninth.

In the bottom of the ninth, the “home” team saw Strittmather lead-off with a triple and later score the tying run on a Bitzenhofer sacrifice fly to right field, thus sending the game into extra innings. Lima put Galion away with two runs in the top of the 10th to earn the 8-6 win.

Pitching statistics for the Graders in game one were: SP James Kontur- 3IP, 4H, 3ER, BB, K; Korren Thompson- 6IP, 6H, 3ER, 6BB, 6K and LP Cody Gabriel- IP, H, 2R(E), 2BB.

Offensively for Galion in the defeat: Team- 8/36, 6R, 6RBI, 3BB, 8K, 7LOB, 2B, 3B, HR, SB; Bitzenhofer- HR, R, 4RBI; Sharp- R; McLaughlin- 1B; Washington- 2-1B, RBI, SB; Ray- 1B, R; Harper- R; Takahiro Yamada- 2B, R and Strittmather- 1B, 3B, R, RBI.

Lima 7, Galion 5

LIMA — In game two of the double-dip on Friday, the Graders got off to a fast start, scoring three runs in the top of the first but would see the Locos tie it up in the bottom of the second. Galion would retake the lead with a run in the third before Lima scored three in the bottom of the fourth and would not look back from there en route to the 7-5 win in the seven inning contest.

Washington continued his good day at the plate in game two, belting a double and his third home run of the summer while scoring a pair of runs and driving in a run.

Additional offense in game two came from: Team- 7/25, 5R, 4RBI, 7BB, 8K, 10LOB, 2B, HR, 2SB; Harper- 1B, R, RBI; McLaughlin- 1B, R, RBI, SB; D’Eusanio- 1B; Bitzenhofer- 1B and Fisher- R, SB.

Creek Miller got the nod as the starter for the game and took the loss follow 3⅓ innings pitched. Miller allowed eight hits and six runs, five of which were earned, while walking three and striking out four. Christopher Punka worked the remaining 2⅔, giving up two hits and an earned run while recording three strike outs in his efforts.

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Drop three of four games to nemesis

By Chad Clinger

cclinger@aimmediamidwest.com

Follow Chad on Twitter @GalionSportsGuy

Reach Chad at 419-468-1117 x2048

Follow Chad on Twitter @GalionSportsGuy

Reach Chad at 419-468-1117 x2048