Incredible Week Continues in Decisive 11-1 Victory
EASTLAKE, OH - Winning their fourth-straight game, the Great Lakes Loons (40-31) defeated the Lake County Captains (37-34) to take their seventh series of the 2021 season with an 11-1 win at Classic Park. The Loons homered five times in Saturday's win, getting multi-homer nights from Carson Taylor and Ryan Ward. With 17 this week, a season-high for home runs in a series, the Loons continue to lead the High-A Central with 105 long balls.
Great Lakes was fresh off their first no-hitter in their franchise's 15 seasons in a 14-0 win Friday night. Taylor, who hit the fourth Loons grand slam Friday, homered twice in Saturday's contest. It was the fourth time this season Ward hit more than one HR in a game, after doing so in Tuesday's series debut. The fifth homerun in Saturday's win came as an Andy Pages grand slam, his 18th Loons long ball of the season and the second of the week for the 20-year-old.
Lake County entered Tuesday's series debut with the fewest home losses of anyone in the High-A Central with an 18-6 record in four previous series. After falling in the series debut, Great Lakes has rattled off four-consecutive wins, improving their league-best road record to 26-15.
The Loons got a sturdy start from Landon Knack, the Dodgers' true second-round selection in the 2020 Draft. In four innings, Knack racked up eight strikeouts, allowing no walks or runs on four hits. Cole Percival (W, 3-2) allowed the lone Lake County run with a two-out single in the sixth, finishing with a walk and two strikeouts. Andrew Shaps and Braidyn Fink both totaled an inning of work to finish Saturday's outing, allowing no runs or hits.
Ward and Taylor at the top of the lineup finished 5-for-9 with five runs batted in and four home runs. Pages was the only other Loons batter to record more than one hit, finishing 2-for-4, scoring twice and plating four runs with the grand slam. Pages leads the rest of the HAC in runs this season, crossing home a league-best 61 times in 71 games.
Lake County's Hunter Gaddis (L, 2-6) surrendered nine runs on eight hits, walking one batter and waiving 10 on strikes. Gaddis, who entered his Saturday start with 10 HRs allowed, gave up four to Great Lakes. Jared Janczak relieved the starter Gaddis for the following three innings, responsible for the fifth and final home run of the night for Great Lakes. Janczak allowed two runs on three hits, walking one and striking out three.
Of the 11 hits Saturday night for Great Lakes, six of them were for extra-bases. Great Lakes has amassed 53 hits this week against the Captains, with 27 of them for extra-bases. The Loons finished Saturday's game 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position, holding Lake County 1-for-7 in the same statistic.
The first five games in Lake County have heavily favored the Loons, outscoring the Captains 43-13. Great Lakes holds the second-best run differential in the league at +104, scoring 415 runs in their 71 games and allowing 311 to score against them. Quad Cities' +112 is the league's number to beat.
Already taking the series against the Lake County Captains, the Loons attempt to remain the hottest team in the High-A Central and take their fifth-straight game with Sunday's series finale, first pitch from Classic Park scheduled for 1:30 P.M. EDT. Jesus Vargas makes his second appearance of the series with his sixth start of the season, entering with a 0.99 WHIP in his 59 2/3 innings. Opposing Vargas is Mason Hickman, a Lake County right-hander who brings a 5.07 ERA in 49 2/3 innings to his 12th appearance of the season. Coverage dawns on ESPN 100.9 FM with the Loons On-Deck Circle, Built by Three Rivers, at 1:00 P.M.
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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High-A Central League Stories from July 24, 2021
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