Gossard among gems for Locos


By Tom Usher - sports@limanews.com



It was truly amazing.

And it turned out to be one of the best two game pitching performances ever in the Great Lakes Collegiate League playoffs.

Locos right-hander Colin Gossard (Findlay/Bath) was handed the ball on four-days rest for Game 3 in the best-of-three GLCL championship series Monday night against Grand Lake at Simmons Field.

All Gossard did was turn in a dominating performance for the ages.

Gossard fired 8 1/3 innings and gave up no runs on three hits. He struck out 10 and walked three. Gossard threw 116 pitches, 70 for strikes.

That helped the Locos win their fifth GLCL championship 3-0 over Grand Lake to win the series two games to one.

The Locos had won it in 1993, 2004, 2011 and 2015.

And if that wasn’t enough, Gossard did nearly the same thing last Wednesday in Game 1 of the best-of-three semifinal series against St. Clair.

In that outing, Gossard threw seven shutout innings and gave up two hits. He struck out six.

Gossard, the playoff MVP, ended up going 2-0 with a 0.00 for the playoffs. In 15 1/3 innings, he gave up no runs and only five hits. He struck out 16 and walked six.

Amazing.

Then consider Gossard made only one appearance last summer for the Locos because of an arm injury.

And this summer wasn’t a total breeze for him, either. He was sidelined from June 16 to July 5 while he was battling shingles, which attacked his right arm.

For the regular season, Gossard went 1-1 with a 2.32 ERA.

Then there was Joe Gahm.

Gahm (Auburn) pitched only one inning at Auburn this spring and was a total mystery coming to Lima.

All he did was become the Locos’ No. 1 middle reliever/set-up man.

Gahm went 4-0 with a 1.60 over 33 2/3 innings. He struck out 38.

He made the All-Star team and was named first team all-GLCL.

But it appeared Gahm’s year was over when he injured his hamstring warming up on the mound in Game 1 of the championship series Saturday. He struck out the only batter he faced, but had to leave the game immediately after that.

Many people felt his postseason was over.

All Gahm did was come back in Game 3 on Monday, two days after his hamstring injury.

He closed out the championship game with a save, getting the final two outs of the game.

Gahm faced two batters and got a strikeout and a popup to third to end it.

“I had a little pain, but it wasn’t enough not to pitch,” Gahm said. “This has been amazing.’’

And what about outfielder Ross Adolph (Toledo/Van Buren)?

Adolph was a starter for the Locos’ last year and was expected to be a key player this summer.

But Adolph injured his knee in the second half of his year at Toledo. Just before coming to Lima he had minor knee surgery and missed most of this summer.

Adolph returned to play center field down the stretch and got 42 at-bats.

Then, in the postseason, he got several key hits.

Adolph hit a two-run home run in Game 2 of the championship series.

He delivered the game-winning, two-run double in the Locos’ 3-0 title win in Game 3 on Monday.

Adolph led the team with six RBI in the playoffs.

The Locos also overcame a staggering total of nine players going home for various reasons, including injuries.

The No. 5 starting pitcher, Isaiah Gonzales Montoya, left in the final week of the regular season. Key lefty set-up man Chandler Stillings left on vacation after Game 1 of the semifinal series.

First-year head coach Brian Garman became a master at juggling the roster, which seemed to change daily. Garman and his staff led the team to a regular-season record for wins (30-11) and the Central Division title.

Helping overcome the revolving-door roster was a strike-pounding starting rotation.

The rotation was among the Locos’ best ever with Gossard, Brad Croy, Zach Graveno and Chase Burks.

In Game 2 of the championship series, Burks struck out 14 in 8 2/3 innings of shutout ball. He gave up six hits and walked two.

Gossard earned two playoff wins, while Graveno and Burks each had one.

Then, there was the everyday lineup.

Shortstop Tyler Tolbert was almost automatic in the field, covering as much ground as any Locos’ shortstop.

He hit .354 and stole 19 bases. Tolbert also led the team in the playoffs with a .444 average.

Right fielder Josh DeBacker was a late signee. All DeBacker did was hit .353.

First baseman Jack Barrie hit .304 with five home runs.

Catcher J.T. Thomas was strong behind the plate all year and hit .350 with four RBI in the playoffs.

Third baseman Stephen Dobbs batted .299.

Left fielder Garrett Hodges hit .297 with six home runs and 29 RBI.

Will Kilgore, a key member of the 2015 title team, tied the team record with 14 doubles. He also hit .438 in the playoffs with two home runs.

Colin Stolly played an excellent second base and batted .264.

Taylor Wilkes was an All-Star closer.

Kilgore, Tolbert, Hodges, Croy and Gahm were named first team all-GLCL.

The five GLCL titles rank second behind Columbus’ eight championships.

And with the Columbus All-Americans belly up and out of the league, don’t be surprised if the Locos continue to close in on the all-time record.

With three titles since 2011, the Locos own the blueprint for success.

http://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2017/08/web1_Usher_TomCLR-1.jpg

By Tom Usher

sports@limanews.com

The Lima News sports department can be reached at 567-242-0451.

The Lima News sports department can be reached at 567-242-0451.