Wallach Gives Loons Wild Walk-Off Win
MIDLAND, MI - In one of the wildest games in Great Lakes Loons history, Matt Wallach singled with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the 12th inning to give the Loons an 11-10 win over the Beloit Snappers on Thursday night at Dow Diamond. Great Lakes swept Beloit and improved to 11-2 at home in the second half.
The lead changed hands five times on the night, including four times after the seventh inning. The teams combined to score 15 of their 21 runs in the game from the seventh inning on, with the Loons delivering rallies in both the eighth and ninth innings.
Loons starter Bobby Blevins surrendered single runs in the first and second stanzas before settling in and holding the Snappers to just one hit in his final four innings of work. It was his team leading 10th quality start of the season, and he left the ballgame with a 4-2 lead.
The game changed in the top of the seventh inning, when Beloit scored three times off Loons reliever Luis Garcia to take a 5-4 lead. Michael Harrington's two-out, two-run single chased Garcia and gave the Snappers their first lead since they scored the first run of the game for a 1-0 edge.
After another Snappers run made it 6-4 in the top of the eighth, the Loons seemed to put together the winning rally in the bottom of the eighth. Esteban Lopez rapped a two-run single to right field to tie the game at 6-6, and after Dee Gordon was intentionally walked, Jaime Pedroza made Beloit pay with a two-run double to right that scored two more runs for an 8-6 Loons lead.
But Beloit wasn't done, and it took advantage of four walks by Loons relievers Jon Dutton and Steve Smith to put up a four-spot of its own in the top of the ninth. Drew Thompson hit a two-out, two-run double to right field to score two and put the Snappers up by two, 10-8, and in need of three outs for a comeback win.
In their half of the ninth, the Loons got a break when Alfredo Silverio struck out but reached base on a passed ball. Instead of two outs and the bases empty, Clay Calfee singled Silverio around to third, and both scored on a gap shot to right-center off the bat of Angelo Songco.
Wallach's single was the only hit of the Loons winning rally in the bottom of the 12th. Anthony Hatch was awarded first base on a catcher's interference to start the frame, and Silverio walked with one out. After a wild pitch moved the runners up, Clay Calfee was intentionally walked to load the bases with one out. One batter later, Wallach ended the longest game in Dow Diamond history, a four hour, 36-minute marathon, with his winning hit.
All 10 Loons to bat in the game had a hit. Gordon finished the night 4-for-5 with two walks, while Angelo Songco had his first multi-hit game with the Loons. Anthony Hatch had an RBI double in the first and extended his hitting streak to 10 games.
Loons manager Juan Bustabad was ejected for the second time this season in the top of the ninth inning arguing with base umpire Charles Billington a safe call at second on Thompson's double, an argument accentuated by Bustabad's objection to a check-swing call by Billington one batter prior.
Smith (1-1) got the win for the Loons, pitching the final 3.2 innings of the game and allowing two runs on five hits. Bruce Pugh (2-4) took the loss for Beloit after entering the game to start the bottom of the 12th inning.
The Loons play their final series of the year against a Midwest League Western division opponent as the Clinton LumberKings come to Dow Diamond for a three-game series that begins on Friday night on 7:05 p.m. Loons right-hander Justin Miller (5-7, 4.73) starts against LumberKings left-hander Bobby LaFromboise (6-6, 3.98) on Parrot Head Night at the ballpark. Tom Watt, "The Buffett Man", will be at Dow Diamond, and tickets are available by calling 989-837-BALL or logging on to Loons.com.
The Great Lakes Loons are the third-year Single-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers and members of the Midwest League. For more information about the Loons, visit Loons.com or call 989-837-BALL.
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