MIDLAND, MI – Ryan January hit his second HR in as many nights with a fourth-inning grand slam, vaulting the Great Lakes Loons (50-45) to a 12-5 win over the Lansing Lugnuts (45-50) on Saturday night at Dow Diamond. In his last two games, January has driven in eight runs
MIDLAND, MI – Ryan January hit his second HR in as many nights with a fourth-inning grand slam, vaulting the Great Lakes Loons (50-45) to a 12-5 win over the Lansing Lugnuts (45-50) on Saturday night at Dow Diamond. In his last two games, January has driven in eight runs on six hits with a pair of HRs and doubles, amassing 14 total bases.
Brandon Lewis homered twice in the Loons win for his third multi-homer night of the season and his second since his promotion from Low-A Rancho Cucamonga on June 27. Great Lakes swatted four homers in their 12-5 win, raising their season total to 149 in 95 games played. Lewis now has 25 HRs on the year, with 15 coming in a Loons uniform.
After being sent to Great Lakes from the Arizona Complex League on Friday, 2021 draftees Lael Lockhart, Antonio Knowles and Michael Hobbs all made their professional debuts in the Saturday win, holding Lansing scoreless for the final 11 outs on the mound. Lael Lockhart made the first debut, following a relief appearance from Cole Percival (W, 5-3). In three innings, Percival struck out five batters and allowed three earned runs on four hits.
2021 undrafted free agent Jack Owen (L, 0-1) made his second appearance for High-A Lansing after being signed by the Oakland A’s in July out of Auburn. Relieving Lugnuts starter Kyle Virbitsky, Owen allowed a pair of homers in his 1 1/3 innings, with the second as January’s grand slam.
After delivering the final two outs of the sixth, Lockhart, a 9th rounder by the Dodgers in 2021, recorded back-to-back strikeouts to begin the seventh. Finishing with 1 2/3 scoreless frames, Lockhart allowed only one hit, needing 23 pitches with 20 of them landing for strikes.
13th round selection Antonio Knowles threw a near-immaculate inning, striking out the side on 12 pitches, nine of them strikes. Knowles was selected out of Florida Southwestern State by the Dodgers as a 2021 NJCAA All-American.
Michael Hobbs also struck out the side after climbing the hill for the final frame for Great Lakes, finishing an effort for a Loons pitching staff that used five pitchers to combine for 16 strikeouts in the Saturday win.
Following a Friday night loss where the Loons ended 0-for-9 with runners at second and third, the Loons were 5-for-14 in the same department in the Saturday win.
Reigning High-A Offensive Player of the Week continued a fine stretch of baseball, reaching base in three of his five at-bats with a pair of walks and an RBI double in the seventh.
Great Lakes trailed Saturday’s game early, following two earned runs from starter Logan Boyer in his career-high 2 1/3 innings of work. Joe Vranesh clubbed his eighth HR of the season to put the Loons on the scoreboard and tie Saturday’s game, 2-2. Lansing reclaimed the lead on the first professional home run for Drew Swift with a solo blast in the top of the fourth. The Loons responded with one of two separate four-run frames, regaining control and never looking back to outscore Lansing 10-2 from the bottom of the fourth through the rest of the night.
With a chance to take the series, Great Lakes enters Sunday with a three-games-to-two advantage over Lansing. Left-hander Alec Gamboa makes his second appearance of the week with a 1:05 P.M. EDT first-pitch time for his 24th appearance of the year. Opposing the southpaw Gamboa is Lansing’s Reid Birlingmair, who enters with a 4.62 earned-run average in 16 games.
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.