Great Lakes League: Graders mired in 5-game losing streak


Staff Report



Galion’s Jay Luikart, right, receives congratulations from teammate Ben Sinins (36) following a solo home run in the fifth inning of the Graders 9-3 loss to the Lima Locos on Saturday, June 19, 2021, at Heise Park. Luikart finished with two hits and scored two runs.

Galion’s Jay Luikart, right, receives congratulations from teammate Ben Sinins (36) following a solo home run in the fifth inning of the Graders 9-3 loss to the Lima Locos on Saturday, June 19, 2021, at Heise Park. Luikart finished with two hits and scored two runs.


ADRIAN, Michigan — The Galion Graders losing streak was extended to five consecutive games Sunday after they dropped a doubleheader on the road to the Michigan Monarchs. The Monarchs (8-7) prevailed 10-9 and 14-7.

After falling behind 4-0 in the second inning of the first game, the Graders (4-10) rallied to tie the game 4-4 in the third inning. After that, the game was a seesaw affair with the Monarchs regaining the lead 5-4 in the fourth inning. Galion took a short-lived 6-5 lead in the top of the fifth only to see Michigan tally four runs in the home half of the inning to grab a 9-6 edge.

The Graders pulled to within 9-8 after scoring twice in the top of the sixth inning, but Michigan pushed a run across the plate in the bottom of the sixth to extend its lead to 10-8. Galion scored its final run in the top of the seventh inning to round out the scoring, but couldn’t complete the comeback.

Jay Luikart went 3-for-3 with a triple, two RBI, and scored a run to pace the Galion offense. Nick Christopher finished 2-for-4 with a double, three RBI, and scored a run. Seth Schroeder went 2-for-4 and scored a run.

Avery Fisher drew two walks, scored twice, and drove in a run. Kaito Hara went 1-for-3 and scored two runs. J.R. Heavlin, Christian Orr, and Ben Sinins each had an RBI.

Spencer Atkins was the Graders starting pitcher and took the loss. He worked 4-1/3 innings and gave up nine runs (eight earned) on nine hits. He recorded two strikeouts and three walks.

Brendan Lowry went 4-for-4, scored two runs, and had two RBI to lead Michigan. Hayden Jatczak was 3-for-4, scored three times, and drove in a run.

Dylan Watson earned the win in relief for the Monarchs. He pitched 2-2/3 innings and gave up four runs on six hits. He had two strikeouts and one walk.

In game two, Michigan scored all 14 of its runs in the first four innings to put the game away. Luke Tanner, Michael Zinter, and Joshua Beck each had three RBI to pace the Monarchs offense. Tanner and Jatczak each scored three runs. Nelson Padilla, Trenton Neuer, and Hunter DeLanoy scored two runs each.

Relief pitcher Ahmad Harajli collected the win. He worked two scoreless innings, recording five strikeouts and one walk.

Luikart went 3-for-4 with a triple, scored a run, and drove in a run to lead the Galion offense. Matt Christopher finished 2-for-2 with an RBI and scored a run. Seth Schroeder went 2-for-4 with an RBI.

Jacob Savina started for the Graders and was saddled with the loss. He pitched two innings and gave up seven runs (three earned) on seven hits. He recorded two strikeouts and two walks.

Locos 9, Graders 3

GALION — Lima tallied seven runs in the fourth inning on the way to a 9-3 win over Galion on Saturday at Heise Park.

The Locos (8-6) hit four home runs, including two in the pivotal fourth inning. Darryl Buggs hit a solo shot and Derrick Jackson, Jr. drilled a two-run homer in the inning. Buggs went 3-for-5.

Jake Hutchins hit a solo home run in the fifth inning for Lima. He finished with three RBI and scored twice.

Colton Ledbetter also hit a solo home run with his coming in the eighth inning to round out the scoring. Ledbetter finished with two hits and scored two runs.

Carson Knight was the starting pitcher for Lima and picked up the win. He pitched two innings and gave up one run on two hits. Knight recorded five strikeouts and four walks.

Luikart and Hara led the Graders with two hits each. Luikart had a solo home run in the fifth inning and scored two of Galion’s three runs. Hara scored the Graders other run.

Matt Christopher, Heavlin, and Schroeder each had a hit. Ben Sinins had an RBI.

William Stultz started and took the loss for Galion. He pitched four innings and gave up seven runs (two earned) on nine hits. Stultz finished with four strikeouts and one walk.

Upcoming games

Galion plays three road games to open this week’s schedule, which features seven games. The Graders play at Muskegon on Tuesday, then head to Sandusky on Wednesday, and Grand Lake on Thursday.

Galion returns home on Friday to face Jet Box Baseball Club. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. at Heise Park.

The Graders go back on the road Saturday for a doubleheader at Lima.

Galion wraps up the week on Sunday with a home game against Royal Oak. Game time is at 4:05 p.m. at Heise Park.

Admission to Graders home games costs $5 for adults and $3 for senior citizens.

Galion’s Jay Luikart, right, receives congratulations from teammate Ben Sinins (36) following a solo home run in the fifth inning of the Graders 9-3 loss to the Lima Locos on Saturday, June 19, 2021, at Heise Park. Luikart finished with two hits and scored two runs.
https://www.galioninquirer.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/38/2021/06/web1_b-061921j-Graders_0186-1.jpgGalion’s Jay Luikart, right, receives congratulations from teammate Ben Sinins (36) following a solo home run in the fifth inning of the Graders 9-3 loss to the Lima Locos on Saturday, June 19, 2021, at Heise Park. Luikart finished with two hits and scored two runs.

Staff Report

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