Coming off a 7-3 victory over the first place Lima Locos (17-10-0) at Simmons Field in Lima, OH Tuesday night, the Saginaw Sugar Beets (15-13-0) prepared for the second game of a home-and-home with the Locos, however the Beets had some business to take care of prior to tonight's game at Dow Diamond, holding a ceremony at home plate in order to honor the six Saginaw players, who were named yesterday, to the Northern roster for the 2018 Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League All Star Game which is set for Tuesday July 17, at Prasco Park in Mason, OH.
Sugar Beets shortstop Cooper Marshall (Western Michigan University) was the only Saginaw player named a starter, while catcher Adam Proctor (Michigan State University); first baseman Connor Charping (Western Michigan); and pitcher Brandon Reed (Central Michigan University) were named reserves, along with pitcher Ryan Jungbauer (University of Northwestern Ohio) and first baseman Noah Marcoux (Davenport University) who are alternates.
Tonight, the Sugar Beets managed to battle back to within a run of the defending GLSCL champ's with a 2-run ninth, however, the Beets would ultimately have to settle for a series split (1-1) following a 7-6 loss to the Locos.
After Lima pinch-hitter Cade Beloso (Louisiana State University) drove in CF Jess Davis (University of Alabama-Birmingham) with a single, and Michael Diffley (Arizona Christian University) drove in John Privitera (Missouri State Unviversity) with a double for a 7-4 Lima lead in the top of the ninth, Sugar Beets' LF Gaosh Williams (Central Michigan University) led off the bottom half of the ninth with a single, before Marshall (WMU) went oppo with a 2-run home run, his fourth of the season, to cut the Locos lead to 7-6 in the bottom of the ninth, but the Beets could not get the tying run across.
Saginaw had jumped out to an early lead when Max Trucks (Alma College) reached on a 1-out walk in the first, moved to third on a single by Williams (CMU) then scored on a wild pitch, before Marshall (WMU) walked, then stole second, forcing the Lima catcher to throw, allowing Williams to steal home, which led to an RBI-single by Proctor to score Marshall for a 3-0 Sugar Beets lead in the bottom of the first inning.
Lima matched the Sugar Beets with a 3-run fourth when Locos DH Brad Croy (Bowling Green State University) drove in first baseman Tyler Anshaw (Campbell University) with an RBI-single, before Davis (UAB) drove in Croy and Lima shortstop Tyler Simon (Kennesaw State University) with an RBI-single to tie the game at 3-runs apiece in the top of the fourth inning.
The Locos added a run in the fifth when RF Anthony Amicangelo (Johnson County CC) singled, then was driven in by Croy for a 4-3 lead in the top of the fifth inning, before the Beets tied the game an inning later when Marshall drove in Trucks (who had led off the inning with a single) with an RBI-triple to tie the game at 4-runs apiece in the bottom of the sixth.
Lima added another run when Locos second baseman Justin Wiley (University of Alabama-Birmingham) singled, stole second base, then stole third base, before scoring on a sac fly RBI off the bat of Diffley (ACU) for a 5-4 Locos lead in the top of the seventh.
Saginaw's starter from CMU, Reed (3-3, 3.95 ERA) picked up his third loss of the season after giving up 4-earned runs on 8-hits and 2-walks, while striking out 6-batters through 7 1/3 innings.
Marshall was 2 for 3 with 4-RBI's, 1-stolen base, and 1-walk, including the 2-run HR to lead the Beets' offense, while Williams finished 3 for 4 with 2-runs scored and 1-stolen base.
The Sugar Beets will look to get back on track with a double-header against the Licking County Settlers, as the first game of the twin-bill is set for 3:05 pm on the road at Don Edwards Stadium in Newark, OH tomorrow afternoon.