LIMA — The Lima Locos took one more step toward clinching a playoff berth.
The Locos’ pitching shut down Galion 1-0 Saturday night at Simmons Field.
Locos starter Garrett O’Reilly picked up the win. Jonathan Machamer (Dayton) struck out three in the ninth for the save.
Entering Saturday, the second-place Locos (22-14) were two and a half games ahead of third-place Royal Oak for the final playoff spot in the North Division of the Great Lakes Collegiate League.
The Locos have won six in a row and 11 of their last 13 games.
“Today, offensively, we weren’t great, but the pitchers picked us up,” Locos coach Matt Furuto said. “We’ve had some good team wins and finding ways to win. The pitching staff has done a great job (since July 1). They’ve been great of late and have gotten better each time.’’
Galion, which is 0-8 against the Locos, is 11-24.
The Locos took a 1-0 lead in the sixth. Darryl Buggs walked, stole second and went to third on a wild throw to center by the Galion catcher. Buggs scored on a sacrifice fly to right by Nate White.
Locos starter right-hander O’Reilly (Bluffton) fired six strong shutout innings. He gave up five hits, struck out six and walked one.
O’Reilly threw 89 pitches, 57 for strikes.
“It was a great start,” Furuto said. “We wanted to keep his (Sisco’s) pitch count down and we wanted to throw Johnathan before the All-Star Game.’’
Fred Sisco (Campell/Gibsonburg HS) came on in relief for O’Reilly. He threw two shutout innings with four strikeouts.
The lefty Machamer opened the ninth giving up a single, then he hit a batter. Then, Machamer went to another gear and struck out the next three with an 87 mph fastball and breaking ball.
“I went mainly fastballs and attacked the hitters,” Machamer. “I didn’t want to give them anything for free. And it was a curve I was throwing (to mix it up). But mostly, I just pounded the zone with fastballs.’’
Galion starter right-hander Brady Biglin (Notre Dame College) went six innings and gave up one run, unearned, on two hits. He struck out three and walked three.
Locos notes: At noon today, the Locos will pick up the suspended game against Michigan in the fourth inning, leading 4-0, at Simmons Field. Then, the Locos will play Muskegon for the regularly scheduled game at 4 p.m. at Simmons Field.
Five Locos will play in the GLCL All-Star Game at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday at Prasco Park in Cincinnati. The Locos All-Stars are outfielder Colton Ledbetter (Samford), outfielder Darryl Buggs (Alabama-Birmingham), catcher Joe Salvo (Samford), infielder Trevor Austin (Mercer), and pitcher Jonathan Machamer (Edison State, Dayton in the fall).
Locos closer Dylan Freeman (Montevallo) is fourth in the league in ERA at 1.57 over 34 innings.
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.