The South Bend Silver Hawks and the Great Lakes Loons left the lumber in the forest on Earth Day, as the Hawks (10-4) came up on the short end of a 1-0 pitchers' duel. The teams were scoreless through eight innings until Jeremy Rathjen's single to center made the difference for the Loons (9-7) on Monday night.
Loons starter Carlos Frias took a no-hitter into the bottom of the sixth inning, yielding just one walk through the first five frames. Brandon Sinnery started for the Silver Hawks, the Class-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, keeping the Loons scoreless through seven innings and striking out eight batters. Great Lakes is an affiliate of the D'Backs' National League West rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Neither team mounted any serious threat until the bottom of the sixth inning. Catcher Ronnie Freeman led off the inning with a walk for South Bend. Rightfielder Mike Lang then broke up Frias' no-hitter as he beat out a bunt back to the mound for an infield single. Frias struck out the next two batters before third baseman Brandon Drury came to the plate. Drury singled to centerfield but Freeman was gunned down at the plate by James Baldwin.
In the seventh, Baldwin was sent to second on a ground rule double down the left field line. However, before Malcolm Holland got set in the box, Baldwin was picked off/caught stealing 1-5-1-6. In the bottom of the inning, Frazier Hall reached on a clean single past Loons first baseman, Jesus Valdez.
Will Locante (0-1) entered in relief of Sinnery to start the eighth inning. A Loons rally was snuffed by a niftily turned 3-6-1 double play to end the inning. Sawil Gonzalez (2-0) came in for the Loons in the bottom of the eighth. A quick eight-pitch inning moved the game to the ninth inning locked in a scoreless tie. After recording the first two outs of the inning, Locante nailed Valdez in the arm, delivering him to first base. Locante then threw the ball into the bullpen on a failed pickoff attempt, spiriting Valdez around to third. Rathjen then hit a miracle bouncer up the middle that snuck through the infield allowing Valdez to cross the plate.
Drury resurrected the home crowd in the bottom of the ninth inning when he crushed a ball down the left field line. Sailing through the air, the ball looked as if it would tie the game before a nine knot wind pushed it foul. On the next pitch Drury singled up the middle. But before the Hawks could put together a rally, Gonzalez settled down to get the next three batters in order to end the game.
The Hawks and Loons are back in action on Two-For-Tuesday night at 7:05pm. Blake Perry (0-1, 3.38 ERA) starts for the Silver Hawks while Jonathan Martinez (0-1, 4.00 ERA) takes the hill for the Loons.