Coming into this game, the Sandusky Bay Ice Haulers were one victory away from clinching the North Division. The Ice Haulers headed to Royal Oak, hoping to get revenge on the Leprechauns. The last time Sandusky headed to Royal Oak, their long 14 game winning-streak was snapped in five innings, due to rain. Gino Sabatine (Senior, Marietta College) took the mound for Sandusky Bay, hoping to get his sixth win of the season.
The Ice Haulers struck first, scoring four runs in the first inning. Mark Connelly (University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee) and Drew Holderbach (Senior, Marietta College) both walked with the bases loaded, to get the first two RBIs of the game. Jordan Andrade (Freshman, University of Nevada Las Vegas) would come up with an RBI single to score Scott Mackiewicz (Freshman, University of Toledo), who was walked earlier in the inning also. The Leprechauns continued to struggle finding the strike-zone, as Nick Mueller (Freshman, Texas A&M – Corpus Christi) was also walked with the bases loaded. The Ice Haulers would lead after the first inning, with a score of 4-0.
Sandusky Bay would continue to pour it on Royal Oak, as they obtained eight runs in the third inning. The Leprechauns continued to struggle throwing strikes, as four of the runs came from bases loaded walks, and two runs came from a couple hit-by-pitches with the bases loaded. However, the remaining runs came from Zachary Campbell (Senior, Tiffin University), who had a two-run single in the inning. Sandusky now led 12-0 after the third inning.
The last run for the Ice Haulers came off a sacrifice fly, hit by Braden Durham (Sophomore, Seton Hill University). His fly ball to right field brought in Mark Connelly to score.
On the mound, Gino Sabatine went six strong innings allowing no runs, four hits, and no walks. He also obtained five strikeouts, as the Ice Haulers won the game, with a score of 13-0. Sabatine currently stands at second in the league with strikeouts (52) and wins (6).
The Ice Haulers are now officially the champions of the North Division, in the Great Lakes League. They will have home field advantage over the Lima Locos in the first round of the playoffs. First, they will compete in one last regular season game against the Galion Graders. Sandusky Bay will head to Galion on Saturday, hoping to close the regular season with a win.