MIDLAND, Mich.- Great Lakes' bullpen teamed up for 14 strikeouts as the Loons held on to a 4-2 win over the Cougars at the Dow Diamond Saturday evening. The Cougars (19-9, 64-34) rallied in the bottom of the ninth, but fell to the Loons (12-16, 47-51) with the tying and go-ahead run on the bases.
Once the Loons' relief staff took over in the fifth, every Cougar out came on strikes except for one Jake Hannemann fly out. The Cougars' best chance came in the ninth inning down 4-1. A Kevin Brown walk, a Jacob Rogers single and a Will Remillard base on balls all came around two strikeouts to load the bases for Trey Martin. On a 1-2 count, Martin placed a single in to right field to bring home Brown and put the tying run in scoring position. Unfortunately Matt Campbell continued the strikeout trend, by retiring Giuseppe Papaccio on strikes and finishing a 4-2 win for Great Lakes.
The Loons sat pretty after a two-run homer from Paul Hoenecke in the sixth , who drove in three runs on the day. Ralston Cash (3-1) started the strikeout parade by putting away all six hitters he saw on strikes. Jacob Rhame continued with five strikeouts through two scoreless innings. Campbell (3) made an interesting ninth but still picked up the save.
The Cougars grabbed their first run in the fourth on Jeimer Candelario's RBI single.
The series continues at the Dow Diamond on Sunday with a 2:05 p.m. first pitch. Tyler Skulina (4-5, 2.93) will take the mound for the Coguars against Great Lakes' Scott Barlow (3-4, 4.43). The game from Midland, Michigan can be heard on AM 1280 WBIG and kccougars.com.