LIMA — The Lima Locos rolled out the No. 1-hitting lineup in the Great Lakes Collegiate League.
Hamilton starter lefty Sebastian Gongora (Wright State) didn’t know or care anything about that.
Gongora dominated the Locos in a 3-1 Hamilton victory, as the Joes won Game 3 and captured the best-of-three Great Lakes Collegiate League championship series Saturday night at Simmons Field.
“I didn’t know anything about that,” Gongora said of the Locos hitting .292 on the year. “I just show up and throw the baseball.’’
Hamilton the championship series 2-1. It marked the third GLCL title for the Joes.
“This means everything,” Gongora said. “We haven’t won a championship in a few years.’’
Hamilton starter lefty Sebastian Gongora (Wright State) rolled in with a 1.87 ERA for the summer.
Gongora flashed an 89 mph fastball and a 74 mph change-up. He gave up a single to Colton Ledbetter in the first inning, then retired 13 batters in a row under the Locos’ Jake Killingsworth singled in the sixth.
“I had my 1-2 pitch combo, fastball and change-up going,” Gongora said. “It was a good feeling to keep them guessing (with the change-up).’’
Gongora went seven innings and gave up one run, earned, four hits, struck out seven and walked one. He threw 105 pitches, 75 for strikes.
Hamilton’s Chase Hopewell (Cincinnati) used his 92 mph. fastball to notch the save with two shutout, no-hit innings with five strikeouts.
Hopewell struck out the side in the ninth and set off the celebration on the Locos’ mound.
“They had really good arms and they didn’t give us anything,” Locos coach Matt Furuto said. “Credit to them. They played really well today.’’
Hamilton took a 1-0 lead in the first. Leadoff hitter Colton Becker doubled to right-center field. He stole third and came home on an RBI groundout to second by Evan Ulrich.
In the third, Becker singled and Ulrich singled. On the Ulrich singled to right, the Locos right fielder made an off-target throw to second and Becker scored from third.
That gave the Joes a 2-0 lead in the third.
Hamilton expanded its lead to 3-0 in the fourth on an RBI double to left by Harry Jackson.
The Locos broke through with a run in the seventh. Colton Ledbetter and Derrick Jackson singled. Miller Ladusau walked to load the bases.
Gongora wiggled out of the jam by giving up just one run on Nate White’s sacrifice fly to center.
That brought the Locos within 3-1.
“Once they loaded the bases, my mentality was they really hadn’t been hitting me today, so I’m going throwing it and spotting it up.’’
Locos starter left-hander Kyle Moseley (Angelo State) was coming off a five-inning outing on Tuesday in the semifinals against Sandusky. He went 3 2/3 innings and gave up three runs, two earned, on five hits.
Moseley struck out four and walked two.
Fred Sisco came out the pen and kept the Locos in the game by throwing 5 1/3 shutout innings with six strikeouts.
On July 1, the Locos were 11-12. But the Locos won 17 of their last 19 and the final 12 of the regular season.
“I’m really proud,” Furuto said. “From where we came from and where we are now, to be one game short, it was a fantastic season for these guys. It stinks that we have to end on a loss, but that’s how it is. I’m proud from where we came from, but there are a lot to be proud of.’’
Locos notes: The Locos have won six GLCL titles (1993, 2004, 2011, 2015, 2017 and 2019). This marks the Locos’ 11th time in the championship finals.
Hamilton has won three titles (2010, 2016, 2021).
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.