Loons Dominate Lake County to Open Playoffs
EASTLAKE, Ohio – The Great Lakes Loons were hobbling at the end of the regular season, losers of eight of their final 11 games. Rolling into Classic Park on Tuesday night, the Loons looked a lot more like the team that won the first half title. The Loons dominated the
EASTLAKE, Ohio – The Great Lakes Loons were hobbling at the end of the regular season, losers of eight of their final 11 games.
Rolling into Classic Park on Tuesday night, the Loons looked a lot more like the team that won the first half title.
The Loons dominated the Lake County Captains on both sides of the baseball Tuesday, picking up a 7-2 victory to open their quest for a Midwest League championship.
The Loons (1-0) got the scoring started with their first hit of the contest, leading off the second inning with a home run from Damon Keith to give the Loons a 1-0 lead. The Loons weren’t done in that frame, though, as two walks and a single loaded the bases for Yunior Garcia. His first extra-base hit at the High-A level was a two-run double, giving the Loons a 3-0 advantage in the second inning against Captains starter Will Dion (L, 0-1). Dion allowed just one run in his 12 1-3 innings at High-A in the regular season.
Lake County (0-1) responded in the bottom half, scoring a run on two hits against
The Captains, High-A affiliate of the Cleveland Guardians, got within one run in the next frame, 3-2, thanks to a solo homer from Milan Tolentino. After a couple more baserunners reached against Duran, he left the game with an unknown injury. Ryan Sublette came out of the bullpen and retired the next five batters in a row to keep the Loons in the lead.
Great Lakes, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ High-A partner, then turned to River Ryan (W, 1-0), who was perfect in the first three innings he pitched. Ryan finished with 3 2-3 scoreless innings of work, allowing just one hit. He picked up seven strikeouts in the win.
The Loons added to the lead in the seventh inning.
In the ninth inning, the Loons struck again. Singles from Leonard and
Ryan came out of the game in the eighth inning, and Ben Harris (SV, 1) was his impressive self. Harris pitched the final 1 1-3 innings and allowed just one hit, striking out two batters and nailing down a four-out save.
The Loons pitching staff had one of its best days of the season, striking out 15 batters as a staff and allowing no walks. Defensively, Great Lakes played error-free baseball.
Great Lakes also had a productive day at the plate, scoring seven runs on 10 hits from eight different batters. Leonard and Keith each had two hits in the contest. Rushing reached three times in his High-A debut, as did Keith and Vivas.
For the Loons, it is just their sixth road playoff win in franchise history, and they improve to 14-15 in playoff history. It is their second playoff win against Lake County – the first came at Classic Park in 2010 before the Captains won the next two at Dow Diamond on the way to their only Midwest League championship. The Loons are one win away from their third Midwest League Championship Series appearance, winning one and losing one in their two appearances.
Great Lakes returns home to Dow Diamond with two chances to win one game to advance. Game two of the series is set for 7:05 p.m. Thursday. Adolfo Ramirez (1-0, 1.46 ERA in the regular season) toes the rubber for the Loons, opposing fellow righty Tommy Mace (1-5, 4.55 ERA) for Lake County. Pregame coverage on ESPN 100.9-FM begins at 6:50 p.m. with the Loons On-Deck Circle, driven by Garber Chevrolet Midland. Tickets are available now at Loons.com.
The Great Lakes Loons have been a Single-A partner of the Los Angeles Dodgers since the team’s inception in 2007. Dow Diamond serves as the team’s home and also houses the Michigan Baseball Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit public charity, and ESPN 100.9-FM. For tickets or information about the Loons, call 989-837-BALL or visit Loons.com.