CELINA — Grand Lake entered a four-game home stretch this week hoping to make up ground on the playoff contenders in the GLSCL. Instead, the Mariners’ dimming playoff hopes flickered even more as they lost their eighth out of last 10 games on Wednesday night.
The Lima Locos methodically downed the Mariners 8-1 on another hot, hazy night at Jim Hoess Field in Celina.
Grand Lake (10-18) dropped to 1-2 on the current homestand — with only a make-up game tonight against South Division leader Southern Ohio left to make up ground.
While the heat index reached around 100 degrees at first pitch, the Mariners bats radiated little energy.
“It’s tough to win when you’re only scoring about two runs a game,” a frustrated Mariners head coach Mike Goldschmidt said after the game. “I can’t blame the heat because I thought we had a good BP before the game.”
The Mariners scraped together four hits and just one run off Locos starter Luke Bushur over 5 2-3 innings.
Grand Lake’s lone run came in the fourth inning on a Jason Bagoly RBI ground-out after Jack Scanlon led off the inning with a triple. That run pulled the Mariners to within 3-1, but the rest of the night had few chances to put runs on the board.
Grand Lake couldn’t get out of innings. Three of the Locos’ first four runs of the game came after two were out.
“You can’t give up that many two-out runs and win a game,” Goldschmidt said.
Lima peppered the scoreboard with a run in the fifth, two in the sixth and two more in the eighth to close things out and improve to a GLSCL-best 20-11 on the season. Lima is five games clear of Lake Erie in the North Division standings and leads last-place Grand Lake by nine games.
Jared Hill worked the first four innings and took the loss for Grand Lake, surrendering three earned runs. Scott Klever came on in long relief and worked the remaining five innings, giving up five runs — only two of them earned.
Hill retired the first six batters he faced before the Locos pushed a run across in the third on a Taylor Pickens groundout.
Lima scored two in the fourth even after a double play left the bases loaded with two outs. Harry Clark and George Roberts singled home two runs for a 3-0 Lima advantage.
Lima Shawnee grad and Ohio University shortstop Garrett Black went 1 for 5 with an RBI and a run scored for the Locos.
LCC grad and Olney Central Community College southpaw Travis Kottenbrock worked a scoreless two innings for Lima.
The Mariners will make up their game against the Southern Ohio Copperheads that was rained out on Tuesday night. The second game of that doubleheader was rained out in the fourth inning, but tonight’s game will start anew with a 7 p.m. first pitch at Jim Hoess Field at Westview Park in Celina.
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