LIMA — It was another crazy, wacky night in the Great Lakes Collegiate League.
Both teams had more offense than they could stuff in the new, spacious Lima Locos’ dugouts.
But it was a running catch at the fence which saved the game for the Locos.
Locos center fielder Kyle London (Washington) made a running catch at the center-field fence, with two on, for the final out to preserve the Locos 11-10 victory over Grand Lake on Monday at Simmons Field.
The Locos had trailed 5-0 in the second inning and 9-4 in the fifth. But the Locos battled back with four two-run home runs and the game was tied at 10 in the home eighth.
In the bottom of the eighth, London was hit by a pitch, went to second on a wild pitch and came home on an infield single which bounced away from a diving first baseman by Luke Reynolds. That gave the Locos an 11-10 lead.
Seth Kinker (Ohio State) notched the save, but had runners at first and second with two outs when he got Dalton Bollinger to fly out to London at the fence to end it.
“I didn’t have it all the way,” London said. “I didn’t think it was hit as well as it was, but I tracked it down. I caught on the track and ran into the fence. It got my heart pumping for sure.”
The Locos (16-6) have won four in a row and nine of their last 10. Grand Lake is 14-11. Hamilton (19-7) won a doubleheader over Licking County to pull into first place, one game ahead of Lima.
“Eleven to 10, that’s one way to win a game,” London said. “We’ll take it.”
The Locos had 14 hits, which was the sixth straight game they’ve had at least 10 hits. Grand Lake had 10 runs on 12 hits.
For the Locos, Will Kilgore (Georgia State) went 2 for 5 with his sixth home run and two RBI. Luke Reynolds (Mississippi State) went 4 for 5 with a home run and three RBI.
Henry Rowling (Georgia) had a two-run home run.
Cole Gordon (Mississippi State) went 5 for 5 with a home run and a double and two RBI.
“We feed off each other,” Gordon said of the lineup. … I don’t think we’re ever down. There’s never a time in the game when we think we can’t score runs.”
Locos lefty reliever Matt Hamons (Union) stopped the bleeding by pitching 2 2/3 innings of shutout, one hit-ball. Kinker gave up one run over the final two innings, with four strikeouts, for the save.
Locos pitchers also struck out 11 batters to give all the fans free pizza from Westgate Lanes.
“All the credit in the world goes to Seth Kinker and Matt Hamons, who put the fire out in their offense,” Locos coach Chad Ehrnsberger said. “Matt came in there and gave us three strong innings and Kinker pitched well. … Our offense has been doing it all summer.”
Grand Lake jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first.
It was 9-4 Grand Lake in the fifth when the Locos came back with a two-run, towering home run to right by Gordon in the home fifth to get within 9-6.
The Locos put together a four-run sixth to pull ahead 10-9. Kilgore had a two-run home run to make it 9-8. Luke Reynolds’ two-run home run into the Ottawa River gave the Locos a 10-9 lead.
Grand Lake tied the game at 10 in the top of eighth with an RBI single by Matt Smith.
Locos notes: Locos outfielder Brett Murray (Creighton) is second in the league in doubles with 12. The Locos’ single-season record for doubles is 14, held by Andy Chriscaden (2011) and John LaMar (1991). Murray is also second in the GLCL in RBI (25). …After Monday’s game, the Locos are hitting .298 as a team … The Locos’ team record for batting average is .297, set in 1991. … The Locos are at Northern Ohio at 7 tonight. They return home at 7 p.m. Wednesday against Northern Ohio at Simmons Field.Reach Tom Usher at email@example.com or on Twitter at @Lima_Usher.