GALION — The 2021 Great Lakes League baseball season ended in the same fashion as it began for the Galion Graders: a home win over the Sandusky Ice Haulers at Heise Park. Galion defeated Sandusky 10-9 in the opening game of the season on June 4.
The Graders (12-29) put an end to a 9-game losing streak thanks to an 8-5 victory over Sandusky on Saturday evening at Heise Park. It was Galion’s first win since a 7-5 victory against Royal Oak on July 13.
After falling behind 4-2 at the end of four innings of play and trailing 5-3 in the seventh inning, the Graders exploded for five runs in the home half of the seventh to take the lead for good.
Jack Lawrence, a senior at Frostburg State University who hails from Laurel, Maryland, fueled the Galion attack. He went 2-for-4 with a two-run home run, a two-run triple, four total RBI, and two runs scored.
Lawrence’s home run with Seth Schroeder on base in the third inning tied the game at 2-2 for the Graders. His fifth-inning triple that allowed Cam Berry and Schroeder to score snapped a 5-5 tie and put the Graders in the lead permanently. Lawrence later scored on an error by the Sandusky shortstop that also allowed Ryan Santangelo to reach base.
Schroeder turned in an outstanding performance in the season-ending win, going 4-for-5 and scoring three runs. He had a double among his four hits.
Logan Fisher went 2-for-4 and scored a run. Cooper Winton went 1-for-4 and scored a run for the Graders. Jalen Ford went 1-for-3 and drew a walk. Cam Berry drew a walk and scored a run.
Six different players each had a hit for Sandusky. Scott Mackiewicz went 1-for-3 and drove in two runs. Drew Holderbach went 1-for-4 and drove in run. Bryce Richey finished 1-for-4 with a double and one RBI.
Zachary Campbell went 1-for-4 and scored two runs. Dominic Magliocca went 1-for-1 with a double, drew a walk, and scored two runs. Three Hillier went 1-for-2 with a double, walked twice, and scored a run.
Wyatt Smith, a right-handed pitcher from Sycamore, started and earned the win for the Graders. He pitched seven innings and gave up five earned runs on six hits. He recorded four strikeouts and five walks.
Seth Schroeder pitched the final two innings and earned the save for Galion. He held the Ice Haulers without a hit or a run, recording one strikeout and one walk.
Sandusky used eight pitchers against Galion. Gino Sabatine was the hard luck man, taking the loss after giving up five runs (all earned) on four hits in the pivotal seventh inning. He struck out two batters and walked one.
On Thursday, the Graders dropped a doubleheader on the road at Muskegon, falling 6-2 and 3-2. Galion returned home Friday and lost to Grand Lake 12-5.
Playoffs start Monday
Sandusky (28-14) emerged as the winner of the Great Lakes League’s North Division and will face runnerup Lima (28-14) in a best-of-three divisional playoff series beginning on Monday.
The Hamilton Joes (27-15) won the South Division crown and will take on runnerup Richmond Jazz in a three-game divisional playoff series that also begins on Monday.
The Great Lakes League championship series is scheduled to begin on Thursday. It’s also a best-of-three games series.
Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League 2021
x-y-Sandusky Ice Haulers 28-14
x-Lima Locos 28-14
Royal Oak Leprechauns 23-19
Jet Box Baseball Club 20-20-1
Muskegon Clippers 20-21-1
Michigan Monarchs 18-24
Grand Lake Mariners 17-25
Galion Graders 12-29
x-y-Hamilton Joes 27-15
x-Richmond Jazz 26-16
Cincinnati Steam 24-18
Xenia Scouts 21-21
Ohio Bison 18-24
Ohio Marlins 10-32
(x-Playoff qualifier. y-Division champion.)
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