NEWARK – This time it wasn’t Licking County slowing down the Locos, it was a hard afternoon rain which pushed through the Columbus and Newark area.
Game 1 in the best-of-three Great Lakes Collegiate League semifinal series was scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday at Don Edwards Field, but the monsoon-like rain pushed the starting time back to close to 8 p.m.
Thanks to a seemingly-endless supply of bags of diamond dry, the field was made playable. But the game went on past The Lima News’ deadline. Read the game story on LimaOhio.com.
Game 2 is scheduled for 7 p.m. today at Lima’s Simmons Field. Game 3, if necessary, will be at 7 p.m. Friday at Simmons Field.
Locos notes: This marks the fourth straight year the Locos have met Licking County in the playoffs. Last year Licking County defeated the Locos in the best-of-three championship finals, 2-0. In 2012, the Settlers knocked out the Locos in the best-of-three semifinals, 2-1. In 2011, the Locos defeated Licking County in the best-of-three semifinals, 2-1.
The Locos went 1-4 against Licking County this summer. The Locos were 1-2 at home and 0-2 at Newark. But their last meeting came July 3 at Simmons Field when the Locos were 11-10. They finished the regular season 27-13.
Entering Wednesday’s game, the Locos had lost 12 straight games to the Settlers in Newark. The Locos’ last win at Licking County was on June 14, 2011.
Licking has the top two hitters in the GLCL in outfielder Nick Paxton (Liberty) and infielder Kolin McMillen (Flagler). Paxton won the batting crown at .438, while McMillen hit .404. Paxton had seven doubles, while McMillen had six. Neither one had a home run.
Tanner Rainey (West Alabama) hit .355 for Licking County and led the Settlers in home runs (3) and RBIs (20).
The Locos counter with center fielder Kyle Lewis (Mercer), who was named the GLCL player of the year and the prospect of the year. Lewis hit .342 and led the league in runs (41) and RBIs (36). He was second with six home runs.
Locos catcher/designated hitter Daniel Garner (Mississippi State) batted .327 and led the league with eight home runs. He also had 13 doubles, one shy of the Locos’ record, with 32 RBIs.
Locos first baseman Dylan Ingram (Mississippi State) hit .274 with three home runs and tied Lewis for the RBI title with 36.
Licking County led the league in hitting at .293, while the Locos finished third at .275. Licking County was third in the league in pitching with a 3.27 ERA. The Locos led the league at 3.06.
Licking County finished the regular season 19-18, in fifth place, 6 ½ games behind the first-place Locos.
In Tuesday’s playoff action, Licking County defeated Grand Lake, 2-1, then knocked off Cincinnati, 2-0, to advance to the semifinals against the Locos.
In the bottom bracket, Xenia advanced to the best-of-three semifinals against Southern Ohio. Xenia defeated Hamilton 5-3 on Tuesday. Hamilton had earlier defeated Lake Erie, 5-4, Tuesday afternoon.