LIMA – Lima Locos catcher Tyler Tolve has a knack for driving in runs.
Last weekend he set the Locos’ single-game record with nine RBI at Southern Ohio.
On Wednesday night, Tolve was at it again.
Tolve pounded out five RBI in the Locos’ 9-6 victory over St. Clair at Simmons Field.
Tolve now has a Great Lakes Collegiate League-leading 34 RBI on the season. The Locos’ single-season RBI record is 44 held by Anthony Patellis in 1994, when he also set the team record with 13 home runs.
The Locos stand atop the North Division at 16-8. Second-place St. Clair is 11-10.
The Locos have won seven of their last eight games.
St. Clair scored three in the first to jump out to a 3-0 lead. The Locos came right back with a three spot in the home first to tie the game at 3.
The Locos pulled ahead to stay in the second 5-3 with a two-run inning.
Tolve (Kennesaw State) ended the night 2 for 3 with a triple and five RBI.
Tolve delivered a two-run triple in the first, a two run single in the second and added a sacrifice fly in the fourth.
He said he’s just glad the Locos seem to load up the bases whenever he steps in the batter’s box.
“It’s awesome they’re giving me guys to drive in,” Tolve said. “I’m just trying to see the ball deep and try to hit it hard. What I try to do is hit it as hard as I can right up the middle of the field. It’s been fun, a lot of fun.’’
Locos coach Matt Furuto said, “He’s (Tolve) a great competitor. He knows the game really well and you feel good when he’s in those situations. He’s definitely a great guy to have in the lineup. You trust him a lot.’’
Right-hander Erik Key (Lamar) picked up the win for the Locos. He battled through five innings after giving up three runs in the first.
He went five innings and gave up five runs, four earned, on seven hits. Key struck out four and walked three.
Jared Rine came in next and fired two shutout innings, giving up two hits, with two strikeouts.
Tyshaun Chapman (UNOH) pitched the eighth and gave up one run and had three strikeouts.
Kyler Seemann (UNOH) earned the save with a shutout, no-hit ninth inning.
Furuto said he divided up the bullpen work to keep everyone fresh.
“We’re trying to keep his (Rine’s) pitch count down so we can use him multiple times and have him available,” Furuto said. “He’s fine. We just want to limit his innings to use him more frequently.’’
St. Clair’s Daniel Warkentin had an RBI groundout back to the mound to make it 1-0 in the first.
Gibson Krzeminski knocked a two-run single up the middle and the Green Giants led 3-0.
In the home first, Zach Sweet walked and Lavoisier Fisher reached on an infield error.
Tolve followed with a two-run triple to the right-center field fence to bring the Locos within 3-2.
Ryan Smith’s RBI groundout to shortstop tied the game at 3 in the first.
“That was the game-changer (to tie the game in the home first),” Furuto said. “If we have a 1-2-3 inning, they could have kept the momentum and they could have kept it going. It was very good by our guys to jump back and even that up.’’
In the home second, Tolve knocked in two more runs with a single to center. That gave the Locos a 5-3 lead.
In the fourth, Fisher knocked in a run with an RBI groundout to make it 6-4. Tolve’s fifth RBI of the game was a sacrifice fly to left to give the Locos a 7-4 lead in the fourth.
Locos notes: The Locos wrap up their three-game series with St. Clair in the 6 p.m. Fourth of July game Thursday. The fireworks show at Faurot Park will follow the game. The Locos will play Galion in a 5 p.m. doubleheader on Friday at Simmons Field.
Louisiana Lafayette head baseball coach Tony Robichaux passed away on Wednesday at Oschner Medical Center in New Orleans after multiple heart surgeries. He was 57. Locos sophomore pitcher Dylan Coburn and sophomore infielder Colton Frank both play at Louisiana Lafayette. Robichaux coached 25 years with La. Lafayette and won 1,177 games. He led his team to the College World Series in 2000.
“He was a really good guy,” Frank said. “I’d like to get down there for the funeral when we know the arrangements.’’
The Locos had eight players named to the GLCL All-Star game, which is July 16 at Prasco Park in Mason. The Locos’ all-stars are the following: pitcher Jared Rine (Kennesaw State), pitcher Cole Reeves (Dallas Baptist), shortstop Ryan Smith (Kennesaw State), catcher Tyler Tolve (Kennesaw State), infielder Alexei Cazarin (Abilene Christian), outfielder Randon Jernigan (Georgia), outfielder Nick Colina (Kennesaw State) and outfielder Lavoisier Fisher (Georgia Highlands).
Alexei Cazarin suffered a broken bone in his hand Saturday at Southern Ohio and is out for the summer. He injured his hand on a swing during an at-bat.
Through 23 games, Randon Jernigan was fifth in batting average at .375. Ryan Smith was eighth (.358), while Tolve was ninth (.357). … Lavoisier Fisher was third in runs (23). .. Nick Colina was third in stolen bases with 12.