XENIA — Sometimes you’re the train. Sometimes you’re the track.
On Sunday, the Lima Locos ran all over the host Xenia Scouts. Lima won both games of a doubleheader at Grady’s Field on the Athletes In Action sports complex, in Xenia.
The first game saw Locos catcher Daniel Gardner hit more home runs in the game than the entire Xenia Scouts team has hit this summer — one.
In the second inning, the Mississippi State sophomore hit a towering shot over the left centerfield fence to score himself and Kyle Lewis. Each Locos batter reached base at least once in the opening seven-inning game, Lima (15-10) won the opener by a 7-3 count.
One of the lone Scouts’ bright spots in that opening game came in the fourth inning when Hillsdale College’s Lincoln Reed walloped a stand-up triple to center, scoring Mac Seibert and Andrew Carrillo. Jordan Stading drove in Tyler Krahn with Xenia’s other run in the loss.
Lima proved it had solid pitching as well, in the nine-inning second contest. Tiffin University product, lefthander Daniel Sexton, tossed a complete-game eight-hit shutout as the Locos won 8-0.
“In the first game, we started out a little slow and then the hitters came around. And in the second game, wow. Danny Sexton throws a complete-game shutout. You don’t see that too often. He’s been doing that all year for us,” said Locos manager Chad Ehrensberger.
That was the first complete game thrown by a Lima pitcher this season.
Meanwhile, the Locos continued to get hits. They had 10 hits in the first game, and added 14 more in the second. Jonathan Herkins had four hits in the second game alone. He leads the Locos with a .417 batting average (10-for-24). Gardner tripled in the second contest, drove in two runs and scored a run. Lima is the hottest team in the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League right now, with a five-game winning streak.
Meanwhile, Xenia (13-15) is mired in a five-game losing streak. Once atop the GLSCL standings two weeks ago, the Scouts are now in sixth. Xenia manager Bobby Randall says it’s all part of baseball karma.
“They played marvelous,” Randall said. “Sometimes you tip your hat to the other team. They swung the bats really well, and they pitched very well. We were beaten today. … A couple weeks ago, we were on fire. If you follow baseball at all, you know that it rolls like this. Over a long session, it can get a little bit hairy. But you just have to keep your nose to the grindstone. Keep plugging away. Be a grinder. You can’t ever let up, or give up.”
Randall said the Scouts’ bats need to come around. On Sunday, it took 16 innings of play before Xenia batters came through with back-to-back hits. Tad Sobieszczanski and Carrillo hit successive singles in the ninth inning of game two. But after two subsequent infield groundouts, the game ended with both Scouts standing on base.
“We’re not putting 2-3-4 or 5 good at-bats together, and you have to do that,” Randall said.
Xenia travels to Hamilton to take on the Hamilton Joe’s at 7:05 p.m. today at Foundation Field. The Scouts will then return home to Grady’s Field to play the Joe’s at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday.