Loons Sneak Away with Extra-Inning Win
COMSTOCK PARK, Mich. - On a night where the Great Lakes Loons struggled to find offense early, they ultimately got the timely hits they needed to steal an 11-inning series-opening victory over the West Michigan Whitecaps 4-3.
With the Loons ahead 4-3 in the bottom of the eleventh inning, Justin Bruihl (W, 3-0) induced a liner to shortstop Leonel Valera who dove in the dirt to double off the runner who started the inning at second base. This brilliant defensive play proved to be one of the biggest plays of the night as Bruihl got the next batter, Parker Meadows, to end the game.
Luke Heyer gets credit for the game-winning hit in the eleventh inning on a run-scoring double up the right-field line. The Loons are now 7-3 in extra-inning games this season.
Whitecaps starter Robbie Welhaf was brilliant as he tied a career-high with seven innings pitched. He allowed just one run on three hits and a walk while throwing an economical 86 pitches. Through six innings, Welhaf was working on a one-hitter. Angel Reyes (L, 0-3) gave up the winning run to Great Lakes in the eleventh.
Robinson Ortiz got the start for the Loons and after struggling in his last three starts allowing 15 earned runs in less than 12 innings, Ortiz seemed to settle down with a five-inning, two-run performance on Wednesday night. The combination of Mark Washington, Aaron Ochsenbein and Bruihl tossed the final six innings without ceding an earned run.
Wednesday night's game was just the third this season for Great Lakes that went beyond 10 innings. The Loons are now 9-2 against West Michigan at Fifth Third Ballpark this season. Game two of a three-game series is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. EDT on Thursday.
Aug 17: Fairy Tale Kingdom Night & FIREWORKS!
Aug 18: Back to School Lunch Box Giveaway
Aug 19: Postgame Veterans Run the Bases
Aug 20: Two-fer Tuesday
Aug 21: Camels Bottle Opener Coaster Giveaway & FIREWORKS!
Aug 22: Lucky Hot Dog & Michigander Night
Aug 23: The Office Night feat. Brian Baumgartner (aka Kevin Malone)
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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