LIMA — A sore arm has limited Brad Croy’s time on the mound this summer.
But the Lima Locos pitcher/hitter continues to come through with his bat.
Croy’s pinch-hit RBI single to left provided a walk-off 4-3 Locos’ victory in the 10th inning over Muskegon on Friday night at Simmons Field.
With one out in the home 10th inning, Croy jumped on a 1-1 pitch and lined a shot to left.
Anthony Amicangelo, who was on second, came around third and appeared to hesitate for a second. Then, he turned on the jets and slid home with the game-winning run.
The throw to the plate was up the third-base line and it wasn’t close at the plate.
“Patrick (Jones, the third-base coach) was holding him up at third,” Gaynor said. “He wasn’t supposed to go. If it was a good throw, he would have been out by a mile, so we are pretty fortunate the throw was up the line like it was.’’
That capped off a night in which the Locos trailed 3-0 in the second.
The Locos (12-5) have won four in a row. Muskegon is 9-10.
Amicangelo started the home 10th with a single to right. Judd Ward bunted him over to second.
Tyler Simon was walked intentionally, which brought Croy (Bowling Green/Ottawa-Glandorf) to the plate, batting for Jess Davis.
“It was a last-minute decision to send him (Croy) up there,” Gaynor said. “My instinct said to go with Brad so I put him in there and he came through.’’
Croy said, “He (coach Gaynor) told me before the half inning to be ready to go, so I kind of had an idea where I might be going in. I was ready to go, went up there and got a fastball.’’
The Locos’ bullpen was stellar, providing 6 2/3 innings of shutout ball.
Carter Bowen (Auburn) picked up the win with three shutout, two-hit innings. He struck out three and walked none.
“Carter’s been great for us all year. He wants the ball every inning,” Gaynor said.
Before Bowen, Bryson Finney (Kennesaw State) held Muskegon in check with 3 2/3 shutout, two-hit innings. He struck out three.
“Bryson Finney was awesome,” Gaynor said. “He got a save at Licking County and I think that gave him a little more confidence. He’s feeling a lot more comfortable and is a lot more aggressive.’’
Locos third baseman Michael Diffley (Arizona Christian) played well in the field and went 4 for 5 with a home run and two RBI.
Amicangelo went 2 for 5 with two runs.
Muskegon ran out to a 3-0 lead in the second off Locos starter Cole Baker (UNOH).
The Locos sliced into the margin in the home third.
John Privitera hit a rope single to first. Diffley followed with a two-run home run to left-center field.
That brought the Locos within 3-2.
The Locos tied the game in the fifth.
With two outs, Amicangelo doubled to right. He came home on an RBI single to center by Ward.
That tied the game at 3.
Baker went 3 1/3 innings for the Locos, giving up three runs, all earned, on four hits. He struck out two, walked one and hit two batters.
Croy is hitting .367 on the summer as a designated hitter. He also hopes to get back to the mound.
“I’ve been happy to stay on the field, hitting,” Croy said. “It’s good that I’m hitting well and I keep getting at-bats. Hopefully, I can keep doing that and soon I can be out there pitching again.’’
Locos notes: The Locos will be at Southern Ohio (Athens) Saturday and Sunday night. The Locos return home at 7 p.m. Tuesday against St. Clair (Windsor, Ontario).
The Locos are third in the league in hitting at .278. They are second in home runs (12) and fourth in stolen bases (37).
LSU-signee Cade Beloso celebrated his 18th birthday Friday. Beloso was the Gatorade state player of the year in Louisiana this spring.
The Locos are averaging 7.1 runs-per-game and are giving up 4.9.
Locos pitcher Mitch Ebben (UNOH) has left the team for the summer and has gone back to his home in Wisconsin. He’s playing in the Northwoods League. … Pitcher Josh Farmer (Mercer) has also left the team. … Pitcher Troy Cordrey (Alabama-Birmingham) joined the team Thursday.
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.