LIMA — Lima Locos right-hander Brad Croy seems to like the friendly surroundings of Simmons Field.
For the second straight summer, Croy is cruising through the Great Lakes Collegiate League.
Croy fired seven shutout innings to help the Locos rap out a 7-0 victory over Lorain County before a crowd of 923 Tuesday night at Simmons Field.
The Locos are 11-4 and entered the day in first place in the Central Division of the Great Lakes Collegiate League, three games ahead of second-place Grand Lake.
Lorain County is 4-12.
Croy (Bowling Green/Ottawa-Glandorf) started for the Locos. He sailed through the first four innings, giving up no runs and throwing only 35 pitches.
“This environment I find it real easy to come out and get fired up for these games,” Croy said. … “Having a crowd makes you really want to play well.’’
He went seven innings and gave up no runs on five hits. He struck out five and walked none. Croy threw 83 pitches, 58 for strikes.
Croy is now 1-0 with a 0.90 over 20 innings.
“He was incredibly efficient,’’ Locos coach Brian Garman said of Croy. “He got ahead of a lot of guys. There was a lot of soft contact and kept himself out of trouble. He didn’t have a feel for his breaking ball early. … But he seemed to figure it out. It was a really good start for Brad Croy.’’
The Locos went up 2-0 in the home third inning.
Josh DeBacker (Wichita State) tripled off the fence in right-center field. Ethan Hurt’s groundout to short brought home DeBacker to put the Locos on top, 1-0.
Tyler Tolbert kept the inning going with a single to left. He stole second, went to third on a wild pitch and come home on an RBI single to right by Will Robertson. That gave the Locos a 2-0 lead.
The Locos expanded the lead to 6-0 with a four-run sixth inning.
Tolbert singled and stole his second base of the game. He came home on and RBI single to center by Stephen Dobbs. Jaxxon Fagg’s RBI double made it 4-0. DeBacker followed with a parachute, two-run single to give the Locos a 6-0 lead in the sixth.
Fagg launched a solo home run to right-center field to make it 7-0 in the eighth.
Tolbert went 2 for 2 with two stolen base. He also had several standout plays at shortstop on the second base side of the bag.
Dobbs was 2 for 3 with an RBI.
“He (Tolbert) does everything you ask him to do and he enjoys playing the game,’’ Garman said. “And he plays fearlessly as a shortstop.’’
Added Tolbert, “I take a lot of pride in it (my defense). The pitchers are pitching amazing and I try to be solid behind them.’’
DeBacker was 2 for 3 with a triple and two RBI.
Fagg went 2 for 4 with a double, a home run and two RBI. Hurt went 2 for 4 with an RBI.
Locos notes: Six of the 15 teams in the GLCL will make the playoffs. The two teams in the Northern, Central and Southern Divisions will qualify for the playoffs.
Locos right-hander Joe Gahm (Auburn) is fifth in the league in strikeouts (18). … Locos infielder Will Kilgore (Georgia State) is fourth in runs (18), third in stolen bases (8) and third in walks (17). … Garrett Hodges (Kennesaw State) and Will Robertson (Creighton) both have three home runs and are two off the league lead of five by Bailey Peterson of Grand River.
Up next: The Locos are at Lorain County today and travel to Grand Lake on Thursday. The Locos return home Friday to play Grand Lake.
The Lima News sports department can be reached at 567-242-0451.