LIMA ‚?? Cincinnati Steam right-hander Michael Hanzlik battled through an injury this spring at the College of Charleston.
He proved Saturday the injury had nothing to do with his live right arm.
Hanzlik struck out back-to-back hitters with the bases loaded in the home eighth inning to help the Steam hold off the Lima Locos 4-3 at Simmons Field.
The Locos and the Steam are both 2-1.
The Steam was leading 4-3 in the eighth, but the Locos had the bases loaded with one out. Hanzlik came on in relief and struck out Jose Cruz and A.J. Flores, both on fastballs, to get out of trouble.
It was clear that Hanzlik was fully recovered from his sprained left ankle injury.
‚??I was the set-up guy in college,‚?Ě he said. ‚??I did well, until I sprained my ankle. ‚?Ľ I use my slider every now and again, but with the wood bats, I wanted to attack them with the fastball.‚?Ě
In the bottom of the ninth, Hanzlik hit Tyler Grogg with a pitch with one out.
Cincinnati catcher Max Andresen called for a pitchout and he was able to throw the speedy Grogg out at second.
Hanzlik then struck out the next hitter to end it.
‚??I‚??ve seen him throw the ball three times and he‚??s thrown it well every time so far,‚?Ě Steam coach Billy O‚??Conner said.
While Hanzlik got the save, it was right-hander Scott Klever (Xavier) who earned the win. He went 6 1/3 innings, giving up five hits and three runs, all earned. Klever didn‚??t get his fastball up to 80 mph, but changed speeds and used his menu of off-speed pitches to hold the Locos to no runs on two hits through the first six innings.
‚??As a coach, I was thinking of the first six innings where we didn‚??t make an adjustment to their starter,‚?Ě Locos coach Chad Ehrnsberger said. ‚??Our hitters wouldn‚??t make an adjustment. We finally made an adjustment (in the seventh) and he didn‚??t last the inning. We went up guessing which pitch he was going to throw.‚?Ě
The Steam scored one in the first, two in the third and one in the sixth to take a 4-0 lead. The Locos scored three in the seventh to get within 4-3.
For the Locos, Zack Fields went 2 for 4 with a double. Cruz was 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI.
Locos starter Patrick Duester went four innings, giving up five hits and three runs, all earned. He left in the fifth with an injury.
‚??He dropped velocity about seven miles an hour. ‚?Ľ He said his elbow just tightened up,‚?Ě Ehrnsberger. ‚??Hopefully, it‚??s one of those things where it‚??s just a cramp.
Locos notes: Locos right-hander Mark Meadors (Cowley CC) was taken in Round 21 by the Phillies. He‚??ll spend some time at home in Oklahoma while he makes his decision on signing.
Locos catcher Andrew Dennis (Wallace State) was taken in the 37th round by the Pirates. He had committed to Alabama-Birmingham next year.
Locos catcher Casey Schroeder (Ottawa-Glandorf) has announced he‚??s going to Polk State College (Winter Haven, Fla.) in the fall. He had only six at-bats this spring at Kentucky.
Locos vs. Steam