Jun. 26—LIMA — The Lima Locos came in searching for a way off their four-game skid.
The Locos found just that with strong pitching from start to finish.
The Locos knocked off Sandusky 9-3 in a Great Lakes Collegiate League game Saturday at Simmons Field.
The Locos stand 10-8. Sandusky is 10-7.
"They did a great job," Locos coach Matt Furuto said of his pitching Saturday. "If you can throw strikes with multiple pitches, you're going to be successful and Matt (Gauer) is upper 80s with a good breaking ball."
Locos starter right-hander Matt Gauer (Indiana State) threw his fastball and breaking ball for strikes and went seven innings. He gave up three runs, all earned, on six hits. He struck out 11 and walked one.
Gauer threw 94 pitches, 64 for strikes.
"I came in with walks from college ball and I tried to cut those down," Gauer said. "Tonight I had my first walk of the season, so the efficiency of throwing first-pitch strikes and not walking anybody (was the key)."
Anthony Kyle (Findlay) made his Locos' debut and pitched the final two innings. He gave up no runs on three hits. He struck out three.
In the ninth, Kyle had the bases loaded with one out and struck out the final two batters to end it.
"I went after them and if they beat me, they beat me, we were up six," Kyle said.
It was a well-needed lift for a bullpen, which has had 9.58 ERA over its last seven games.
"I love coming out and competing, but it was first time out in Lima, but I threw a few bullpens a few weeks ago," Kyle said. "I could tell the crowd is pretty rowdy out here. I was looking forward to pitching in front of them.
"I hadn't pitched in relief in three years, so it was a little different, but it's the same goal, throw strikes and compete."
Added Furuto, "He threw a lot of innings at school and it would be nice to have a good pen guy who throws strikes."
For the Locos, Jake Hutchins (Niagara/Shawnee) went 2 for 4 with a double and two RBI.
Caleb Dugan (Lourdes/Lima Senior) went 2 for 4 with an RBI.
Jayden Davis (Samford) was 2 for 4. Ty Gill (Purdue was 2 for 4.
Sandusky jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead when Josh Kross hit a solo home run to right in the top of the first inning.
The Locos took a 3-1 lead in the third with the help of two Sandusky errors.
The Locos Carson Garner and Isaiah Velazco both walked in the third. Dugan put down a bunt and beat it out.
And when the Sandusky pitcher fielded the bunt and threw it down the first base line one run scored. And when the first baseman made a wild throw toward third, one more run scored and Dugan was awarded home when the ball went out of play.
That gave the Locos a 3-1 lead.
Carson Garner had a sacrifice fly in the home fourth to push the Locos' lead to 4-1.
Sandusky got within 4-2 in the fifth on an RBI double by Jacob Armsey.
The Locos tacked on four in the home fifth to push their lead to 8-2.
Davis' RBI single made it 5-2. Cade Sadler reached on an infield single and a throwing error by the Ice Haulers shortstop scored Clay Jacobs and it was 6-2.
Hutchins launched a two-run double to the right-center field fence and the Locos' lead ballooned to 8-2.
Jace Rinehart blasted a solo home run to left to bring Sandusky within 8-3 in the seventh.
Dugan's RBI single to left gave the Locos a 9-3 lead in the eighth.
Locos notes: The Locos wrap up their three-game series with Sandusky at 7:05 p.m. tonight at Simmons Field.
Diego Gines (Indiana State) is fourth in the league in hitting at .353. Clay Jacobs (Edison State/Indian Lake) ranks eighth at .333.
Gines is also third in home runs (three), fifth in hits (18) and fourth in RBI (14).
Josh Mrozek (Kent State) ranks fifth in walks (12).
Gines and Brayden White (Toledo) are tied for the league lead in hit by pitch with seven.
Ty Gill (Purdue) ranks ninth in stolen bases with eight.
Carter Doorn (Purdue) is second in the league in ERA (0.56), while Hunter Pidek (Oakland) ranks third (0.60). Doorn ranks second in strikeouts with 20, while Pidek is fifth (18).
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.