MIDLAND, Mich. – What felt like a flawless night took place at Dow Diamond for the Great Lakes Loons (15-14), earning their first shut-out in a nine-inning game with an 11-0 romp against first-place West Michigan (16-12). Ryan Ward became the first Loon of the season to record a multi-homerun
MIDLAND, Mich. – What felt like a flawless night took place at Dow Diamond for the Great Lakes Loons (15-14), earning their first shut-out in a nine-inning game with an 11-0 romp against first-place West Michigan (16-12). Ryan Ward became the first Loon of the season to record a multi-homerun night, finishing 3-for-4 with three RBI. Dodgers’ 2020 first-rounder Bobby Miller recorded his best start of his professional career, allowing no runs on one hit in a season-high four innings of work. Fans were treated to a showdown of 2020 first-rounders, as the Tigers’ top pick, Spencer Torkelson, recorded the only hit allowed by Miller. As a staff, Great Lakes held the ‘Caps to no runs on four hits, striking out 13.
Andy Pages and Zac Ching both homered for the second consecutive night, with Ward knocking the other two Loons longballs. Great Lakes finished with seven different guys scoring at least a run Saturday night, while Ching and Ward both knocked in three. Leonel Valera doubled twice, extending his on-base streak to 24 games. Miguel Vargas singled in the third to extend his on-base streak to 26 games, and up his league-best hit total to 39 in the Loons win. Pages and Valera are now both tied for first in the High-A Central with 15.
Following a four-inning scoreless start for Miller, Jose Martinez (W, 2-1) continued the trend with three innings of no runs, striking out four and walking two on two hits. It was a feeling of redemption for Martinez, who lasted 2/3 of the first inning in the series debut match against West Michigan on Tuesday, who knocked him for six runs on eight hits. Fellow lefty’s Jake Cantleberry and Braidyn Fink decision the final two innings, combining for no runs on one hit, no walks and five strikeouts. The biggest decision on Saturday, however, was made when Fink proposed to his girlfriend Shelby during the postgame Fireworks Loontacular. She said yes.
West Michigan starter Chance Kirby (L, 2-2) hadn’t allowed a homerun in his 22 innings, prior to Saturday, and had only allowed five earned runs. Great Lakes plated four runs on six hits, highlighted by two solo homeruns by Pages and Ward.
A season-high attendance of 3,896 was in attendance for a season-high first-pitch temperature of 87 degrees with clear skies. Two-out production became a trend in the first inning when the Loons plated three runs on three hits, all with two outs in the inning. James Outman recorded an RBI-triple in the fourth, also with two outs and Vargas aboard. Great Lakes scored at least one run in six of their eight innings offensively, being paced by a pitching performance of 13 strikeouts and two walks, with no earned runs.
The highlight for the visiting Whitecaps was MLB’s first overall pick in 2020, Spencer Torkelson, finishing with a multi-hit night. The rest of the Whitecaps lineup finished 2-for-27. Loons pitchers limited West Michigan to three scoring opportunities, preventing them from doing so in every attempt. Great Lakes ended 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position, knocking eight extra-base hits and combining for 31 total bases.
The Great Lakes win aligns an opportunity to take their second-straight series of the season, their third overall. West Michigan and the Loons put a bow on their second six-game series of what will be four in 2021 with a Sunday showdown scheduled for a 1:05 p.m. EDT start, gates opening an hour prior. Clayton Beeter will start Sunday’s finale against West Michigan, and will be opposed by fellow righty Beau Brieske. Beeter, who makes his second start of the series, makes his fourth appearance against the Whitecaps overall this season. Beeter has allowed three earned runs in 6 1/3 innings, striking out 12 batters. Brieske also makes his second start of the series after lasting 1 2/3 innings on June 1. Brieske allowed three earned runs on four hits on Tuesday en route to a 7-5 Whitecaps win.
The Great Lakes win aligns an opportunity to take their second-straight series of the season, their third overall. West Michigan and the Loons put a bow on their second six-game series of what will be four in 2021 with a Sunday showdown scheduled for a 1:05 p.m. EDT start, gates opening an hour prior. Pregame coverage kicks off at 12:35 p.m. EDT with the Loons On-Deck Circle, Built by Three Rivers on ESPN 100.9 FM. Kids eat free and can run the bases postgame every Sunday at Dow Diamond, presented by Serra Toyota of Saginaw.
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.