MIDLAND, Mich. – In front of a season-record Dow Diamond attendance Friday night, the Great Lakes Loons evened the series with a 9-4 win over the West Michigan Whitecaps. Six different batters drove in a run in the Loons win, which moves Great Lakes back to an even record. Both
MIDLAND, Mich. – In front of a season-record Dow Diamond attendance Friday night, the Great Lakes Loons evened the series with a 9-4 win over the West Michigan Whitecaps. Six different batters drove in a run in the Loons win, which moves Great Lakes back to an even record. Both teams finished with eight hits, while West Michigan committed the only error of the game. Jeff Belge (W, 2-0) allowed two runs on two hits in the sixth inning. Belge relieved Loons starter Alec Gamboa after he held the ‘Caps to two earned runs on five hits in his five innings.
Great Lakes plated two runs on West Michigan’s Angel Reyes (L, 1-1) in a fifth inning that saw the only error of the night. With two outs and a runner aboard, Deacon Liput reached on a Corey Joyce blunder at third, allowing Ching to score both. After surrendering one earned run the entire month of May, Great Lakes tacked four on the line for southpaw reliever Jared Tobey in the seventh.
It was a career night for Loons second baseman Zac Ching, hitting his second homerun of the year, as well as knocking a two-RBI triple in the sixth, his first of the season. Ching also made a gem of a play to rob Daniel Cabrera of a base hit in the seventh. Cabrera, finishing hitless, held the best batting average in the High-A Central at .432 over a recent ten-game span.
Andy Pages hit his seventh homerun of the season in the fifth, an inning where Ching led off with a solo shot of his own to center field. Miguel Vargas recorded a single and scored the first run of the night in the third, extending his on-base streak to 25 games. Not far behind, Leonel Valera’s two-walk night moved his on-base streak to 23 games.
A back-and-forth ballgame was pushed out of reach by four Loons runs in the seventh. Gamboa prevented West Michigan from striking in the first inning for the first time this series, allowing the Loons to take a 1-0 lead in the third. Both teams plated two runs in the top and bottom of the fifth and sixth innings, taking turns re-taking the lead over each other. Offensively, six different Loons drove in a run on Friday, highlighted by three from Ching.
A multi-hit night for Dillon Dingler made it his fourth-straight night with that feat, his seventh of the season. Daniel Cabrera and Spencer Torkelson both finished hitless, with Torkelson reaching base on balls and was hit by a pitch. Dane Myers exited Friday’s game after doubling for the first ‘Caps hit of the night with an apparent injury.
Bobby Miller, a Dodgers second-rounder in 2020, faces the Whitecaps for the first time this series for Saturday’s contest. With four starts this season, Miller holds a 1.74 ERA in 10 1/3 innings of work with 13 strikeouts. West Michigan sends fellow righty Chance Kirby to the hill for Saturday’s night game at Dow Diamond, making his sixth start. Kirby has struck out 15 batters in 22 innings behind a 2.05 earned-run average.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. EDT in the fifth game of the six-game series between Great Lakes and West Michigan, gates opening an hour prior. Fans can look forward to another Firework Loontacular postgame, presented by Farm Bureau Insurance.
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.