LIMA – Muskegon pitcher Brady Miller sat on the bench and watched the Lima Locos pound his team all over the park the last two nights.
The 6-foot-4 right-hander observed, took notes and learned.
Miller (Western Michigan) then went out and set the Locos down 6-3 Sunday at Simmons Field.
The Locos had won the first two games of the series against Muskegon by the overwhelming scores of 15-6, 15-7.
So all Miller did was move his fastball around and locate his breaking ball on both sides of the plate.
Miller went six innings and gave up two runs, one earned, on five hits. He struck out seven and walked one.
“He did a great job and threw multiple pitches for strikes,” Locos coach Matt Furuto said of Miller. “He threw a lot of strikes and has some really good stuff. He did a good job of mixing his pitches.’’
Miller threw 106 pitches, 71 for strikes.
“Obviously from watching the last two games I knew if I left the ball over the plate they were going to do something to it,” Miller said. “I told myself to hit my spots and don’t leave it over the plate. I wanted to hit the corners and trust my stuff.
“My curveball, it’s more like a slurve was working well today and I was able to command it. It’s good we were able to win game three and go home happy.’’
The Locos (4-2) remain tied for first place in the North Division of the GLCL with St. Clair (4-2). Muskegon is 3-3.
Lefty Chris Heil picked up the save for the Clippers. He threw the final three innings, giving up one run on two hits. He struck out three and walked one.
The Locos led 2-0 in the first, but Muskegon scored one in the second and two in the fourth to pull ahead to stay 3-2.
For the third straight night, the Locos scored in the first inning against the Clippers.
This time the Locos took advantage of two Muskegon errors to score two in the first.
Zach Sweet started the inning off with a single.
Tyler Tolve singled behind second base and Sweet scored from second on a wild throw to first by the Muskegon shortstop.
Gavin Harmon singled and went to second on a wild pitch. On the wild pitch/throwing error by the catcher, Tolve scored from second to give the Locos a 2-0 lead in the first.
Muskegon scored one in the second on an RBI double by Ty Olejnik to make it 2-1 Locos.
The Clippers scored two in the fourth to grab a 3-2 lead.
Shane Easter walked and Brian Martin launched an RBI double off the right-center field wall. Locos center fielder Lavoisier Fisher came close to a catch, but the ball came loose when he hit the wall.
Martin scored from third on a passed ball to give Muskegon a 3-2 lead in the fourth.
Muskegon added a run in the seventh on an RBI double to left by Tre Morris. That gave the Clippers a 4-2 lead.
The Clippers tacked on two more in the eighth on a two-run single to left by Rob Zurawski to push the Muskegon lead to 6-2.
The Locos’ Harmon hit a long solo home run to left to chip the Clippers’ lead to 6-3 in the eight.
Locos starter Carter Poiry (Murray State) went the first four innings and gave up three runs, two earned, on five hits. He struck out four and walked two.
UNOH right-hander Tyshaun Chapman threw a 1-2-3 ninth inning, with two strikeouts, for the Locos. He threw a 93 mph fastball and a nasty slider.
“We have to continue to attack the zone, but they have good stuff,” Furuto said.
Overall it was a good, solid 4-2 week for the Locos. They scored 55 runs in six games, including 15 three nights in a row.
“I think 4-2 is a pretty good week and I think we could have ended up 6-0,” Furuto said. “To be in all those games, for a start-off week, I think it’s a pretty good start. I’m really excited about this group of guys. I think they’ll be a great group of guys who will continue to work hard.’’
Locos notes: The Locos travel to Galion Tuesday and Wednesday, then return home at 7 p.m. Thursday against Galion at Simmons Field.
Two Locos are day-to-day with injuries infielder Alexei Cazarin (hamstring) and shortstop Xavier Haendiges (right biceps). Nick Colina (bruised hand from a pitched ball) returned as the designated hitter on Sunday.
Outfielder Don Goodes is scheduled for surgery on his thumb today in Cincinnati.
Locos outfielder Randon Jernigan (Georgia) and pitcher Cole Reeves (Dallas Baptist) are both scheduled to report this week.
In the Locos’ first five games, they scored 52 runs. They led the league in hitting with a .349 average. They also led the league in doubles (16) and home runs (six).
The Locos ranked second in team ERA at 2.74