LIMA — Just about any baseball manager will tell you that great pitching, solid hitting, and outstanding defense will lead to a successful outcome.
Such was the case for the Lima Locos on Tuesday night as they knocked off Licking County in Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League play by a 7-0 final. The contest opened a six-game home stand at beautifully renovated Simmons Field.
The pitching effort came from Connor Curlis who threw a gem with seven solid innings of three-hit baseball. The Findlay High School and Ohio State University southpaw mixed a mid-80s fastball with an excellent change-up that kept him in control the entire game.
After allowing a first inning single, Curlis would go on to retire 17 batters in a row before allowing two hits in the seventh inning. He struck out five Settlers hitters and never was in trouble as he threw 53 strikes in 76 pitches in his seven innings of work.
Right-hander Nathan Dupree came in and pitched the eighth and ninth innings to hold Licking County at bay.
“I was trying to get my fastball over and then come back with my change-up.” Curlis said. “I knew I had a good defense behind me.”
The defense was highlighted by two diving catches by right fielder Ross Adolph (Van Buren High School/University of Toledo) and shortstop David Chabut who took a bad hop off the chest and recovered to gun the runner out at first.
The Locos (5-3) pounded out 10 hits in the game led by third baseman Colin Stolly (Lima Central Catholic/ Ohio Wesleyan) who totaled three hits in the contest.
“We came out with a lot of energy tonight after the loss last night (3-0 to the Grand Lake Mariners).” Stolly said. “We came out ready to swing the bats and our pitchers held them to zeroes so we needed to score runs for them.”
And score runs they did as the Locos scored one run in the first inning, two in the fourth, one in the fifth, and three in the seventh to put the game out of reach for the Settlers (3-6).
Stolly, first baseman Jacob Corso, and catcher Jacob Barnwell all doubled for Lima and Logan Quimuyog and second baseman Jason Sullivan both drove in two runs for the Locos.
Quimuyog was playing first base after Corso turned an ankle after doubling in the fourth inning.
Locos manager Chad Ehrnsberger was pleased with what he saw in the game.
“This is the way baseball is supposed to be played; we pitched, hit, and played defense well.” Ehrnsberger said. “Curlis has the ability and he threw pitches for strikes tonight. These guys work on defense and we had some outstanding efforts tonight; we played six of our first seven games on the road and now have six in a row at home and hopefully we can get on a roll.”
The Locos return to action at home at 7:05 tonight against Licking County again.