Top GLSCL pitchers at the halfway point

With the end of June quickly approaching, the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League is roughly at the midpoint of its 36-game schedule.

Hamilton currently sits in first place at 11-4, and strong pitching is something that’s played a major part in that hot start. Heading into Tuesday night, the Joes have limited opponents to a league-best 53 earned runs (3.72 earned run average), with a .238 batting average and 142 strikeouts.

Muskegon and Lima join Hamilton in the top three in most major pitching stats to this point in the year, largely because they house some of the league’s top performers on the mound.

In no particular order, here are seven arms that have separated themselves among the league’s best pitchers at the unofficial halfway point of the season.

Matteo Pare RHP Lima Locos

Pare has checked every box on the qualifications list for the ace of Lima’s staff this summer. The 6-4 righthander from Pensacola State College leads the Locos in wins (2) and earned run average (2.37) through a league-high 19 innings pitched.

After his no-decision against Michigan on opening night, Pare has thrown five innings in each of his next three starts, limiting Muskegon, South Ohio and Hamilton to a combined three earned runs and bumping his record to 2-0.

Perhaps the most impressive part of Pare’s season to date has been his control. He’s consistently worked ahead in the count by throwing a first-pitch strike to 76% of hitters and recording 12 strikeouts compared to just three walks.

Adam Wade LHP Xenia Scouts

Wade is one of four pitchers in the GLSCL who lead the league with three wins.

The 6-7 native of Missouri City, Texas is off to a strong start for the Scouts with 17 strikeouts in 15 1/3 innings pitched.

He gave up five of his seven earned runs in one start against Michigan where his team ended up pulling out a 13-10 victory and bailing him out with a no-decision.

Wade also held his opponents scoreless in his first five innings, leading to wins over South Ohio and Grand Lake.

When he’s on the mound, the big lefty always seems to have run support on his side with Scouts averaging more than nine runs per game in his four starts.

Owen Willard RHP Muskegon Clippers

Willard was the winning pitcher in each of his three most recent appearances for the Clippers. The righty from Butler, Indiana is currently 3-1 on the season with a 2.40 earned run average and 17 strikeouts compared to six walks.

His best outing came on June 14 against Grand Lake, where he went five shutout innings and held the Mariners to three hits.

Willard’s only loss was in his first start against Lima when he squared off with Matteo Pare in a pitcher’s duel that ended in a 2-0 shutout win for the Locos.

He’s tied for the league lead in wins (3), third in strikeouts (17) and fourth among qualified pitchers in earned run average (2.40).

William Stultz LHP Hamilton Joes

Stultz has had some strong outings, but he’s also benefitted from his offense averaging over five runs per game in his starts.

His earned run average currently sits at 4.60, but that’s a little inflated from a disastrous outing out of the bullpen against Lima where he allowed four earned runs on five hits in only 1/3 of an inning. In 15 innings prior to that, he worked to a 2.40 earned run average in 15 innings.

He’s among the league’s best in strikeouts per nine innings with an average of 10.

Stultz’s best start came on June 19 against Michigan where he threw five scoreless inning and didn’t give up a hit.

Although he’s recently been placed on the inactive list, Stultz’s 3-0 record through the first half has been a key for the league-leading Joes.

Joshua Hickey RHP Xenia Scouts

Hickey has pitched six games out of the bullpen and he’s gone at least three innings in four of those appearances.

The sophomore out of Beaumont, California currently owns a league-best 2.00 earned run average in 18 innings.

Hickey was the winning pitcher against Michigan in a 13-10 game on June 16 where he went 4 2/3 scoreless innings.

When Xenia needs outs in the late innings, Hickey has been as good as any reliever in the league, picking up two saves in the process.

Garrett Brewer LHP Muskegon Clippers

Brewer has been dominant through four relief appearances and one spot start for the Clippers.

He leads the GLSCL in strikeouts with 22 and backs that up with a 1.74 earned run average.

The lefthander from Michigan State has allowed just two earned runs on four hits in 10 1/3 innings.

Of his three scoreless outings, the most impressive one came against Lima on June 9 when he went three innings and struck out eight batters.

Brewer also sits at the top of the league in swing-and-miss potential with a strikeout rate of 19 per nine innings.

Carson Brower RHP Hamilton Joes

Brower has given up just one run in 10 innings of work, and although it saddled him with a loss in one of his two decisions, he’s been virtually unhittable so far.

Since a June 6 loss to Grand Lake, Hamilton’s reliable lefty has thrown eight scoreless innings in three appearances.

In his best outing yet, he went four innings against Lima on June 21, allowing just two hits and striking out three batters.

Brower’s currently 1-1 with a microscopic earned run average of 0.90 and one save in more of a pitch-to-contact approach. Most importantly, he’s been a key piece in a deep pitching staff for first-place Hamilton.

Reach Chris Howell at 567-242-0468 or on Twitter/X at @Lima_Howell