Down, But Never Out
COMSTOCK PARK, Mich. - With rain questionable all day around Fifth Third Ballpark, the Great Lakes Loons decided to bring the rain themselves by scoring 11 runs on 10 hits in an 11-9 win over the West Michigan Whitecaps. The Loons trailed 4-0 after the first inning and 8-4 after the fifth.
Great Lakes' first comeback seemed improbable due to them opposing right-hander Garrett Hill. Hill entered the game with the lowest active earned run average in the Midwest League (0.56). He had allowed just two earned runs all year, but the Loons chipped away at him by scoring one run in the second inning, two runs in the third inning and ultimately tied the game in the fifth on an RBI sacrifice fly by Hunter Feduccia.
West Michigan countered right away in the bottom of the fifth inning against Loons starter Zach Willeman, who struggled in his third start of the year. Willeman finished with seven earned runs in four 2/3 innings while allowing the Whitecaps to re-take a four-run lead in the fifth on a home run by Chris Proctor and a two-RBI double by Jose King.
Justin Hagenman relieved Willeman in the fifth and pitched the sixth en route to his second win of the season. Hagenman (W, 2-1) had not pitched since May 7 but delivered one 1/3 scoreless innings.
Again, the Loons were up to the test. As soon as Hill departed the game, Great Lakes took advantage of righty Carson Lance. Lance (L, 0-1) walked four batters and ceded two runs before having the plug pulled on his outing when Yaya Chentouf was welcomed to the game with a bases-loaded, three-RBI double by Jacob Amaya on the first pitch he threw. Amaya's two-bagger gave the Loons their first lead of the day, 9-8.
Dillon Paulson and Amaya both picked up an additional RBI in the ninth inning as insurance for Nathan Witt. Witt (S, 2) came in to pitch the final half inning and allowed a solo-HR to Tigers 19-year-old prospect Parker Meadows, but that was it.
The Loons' (25-15) lead in the Midwest League Eastern Division remains at 1.5 games as they get ready for the second leg of their current eight-day road trip. The start of a four-game series against the Lansing Lugnuts (Blue Jays) is scheduled to start at 7:05 p.m. EDT on Monday night from Cooley Law School Stadium. Radio coverage on ESPN 100.9-FM begins at 6:35.
May 24: Feel Good Friday Kickoff; postgame Koozie Giveaway & concert with Jack Droppers & the Best Intentions
May 25: 3 Millionth Fan Celebration with $5,000 grand prize; postgame Fireworks Loontacular
May 26: Lou E's Kids Club Takeover
May 27: Military Appreciation Day feat. the first game-worn jersey auction of the season
The Great Lakes Loons have been the 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.
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