MIDLAND, Mich. -- It went down the wire. Entering the 9th inning, the Great Lakes Loons and Lake County Captains were still scoreless. That's when the Captains put up four runs en route to a 4-0 shutout victory over the Loons on Thursday night at Dow Diamond.
That means the Midwest League Eastern Division Semifinals come down to a winner-take-all Game 3 to be played on Friday at 7:05 p.m. in Midland.
What hurts most about the loss is that Lake County benefited from having three walks load the bases in the top of the 9th inning. Daniel Schneemann singled in two runs on a ball that snuck by the first baseman Justin Yurchak, Jonathan Engelmann did his job bringing in another run with an RBI-groundout and the final tally came across thanks to a throwing error by the Loons.
Equally as tough to swallow was the bottom of the 4th inning when Great Lakes had the bases loaded with nobody out and couldn't push across a run. After a single and two walks, the Loons suffered back-to-back strikeouts and a fly out to end the inning.
Both pitching staffs were dominant through most of the game as they combined for 29 strikeouts (LC 16, GL 13). However, it was 10 walks by the Loons that really came back to hurt them.
Just 19 years old, former Cleveland Indians first-round pick Ethan Hankins had eight strikeouts for Lake County. But it was Kyle Marman who will sleep well knowing he didn't allow a baserunner on the mound for the Captains over 2.2 innings.
GAME 3 IS FRIDAY NIGHT
Tickets for the decisive Game 3 between the Loons and Captains are on sale now. They can be purchased online at Loons.com, by calling 989.837.BALL or visiting the box office beginning at 9 a.m. Friday morning.
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.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.