Loons Clinch Playoff Berth

Walk-off single in 9th sends Great Lakes to postseason

By Matt DeVries / Great Lakes Loons | September 4, 2016 6:25 PM

MIDLAND, Mich. - It will be one of the more memorable moments in franchise history. In a game which both starters went toe-to-toe in a pitcher's duel on the penultimate day of the regular season, it was a walk-off seeing-eye single off the bat of Jake Henson that scored Omar Estevez from second base to propel the Great Lakes Loons into the 2016 Midwest League Playoffs.

With the magic number sitting at one for the 2nd half wild card spot in the Eastern Division entering play Sunday, the Loons 1-0 win over the West Michigan Whitecaps in front of a sellout crowd of 5,394 was all that was needed for Great Lakes to punch their ticket to the postseason.

"I was just looking for something I could put in play and hopefully we got lucky," Henson said to the crowd on the field after the game. "They're a tough team, you've got to give it to them. But were pretty relentless in the late innings."

Caleb Ferguson was called upon to start for the Loons and he did not disappoint tossing six shutout innings allowing just four hits and not issuing a walk. The left-hander had four strikeouts on the afternoon, as well.

Even more impressive was Eudis Idrogo for West Michigan as he carried a no-hitter into the 6th inning with the Loons seemingly having no answer. The 21-year-old out of Venezuela went seven scoreless with the lone base hit against him coming from Saige Jenco.

The Loons threatened in the 8th when Zach McKinstry singled and advanced to second base on a wild pitch from Whitecaps reliever Yordy Cabrera (L, 1-3). After Jenco reached for the second time in the ballgame via the walk, Brendon Davis flew out to left field to end the inning.

After Jose Santos (W, 1-0) worked through his third scoreless inning of relief in the top half of the 9th, the stage was set for the Loons to snatch a victory.

Estevez singled to begin the inning and made his way to second thanks to a sacrifice bunt from Gage Green. Then with two outs, Henson pushed a ball into center field and Estevez scored without a throw after West Michigan centerfielder Jose Azocar bobbled the ball.

There is still one more game to be played to close out the regular season. That will take place Monday at Dow Diamond with first pitch set for 2:05 p.m.

The Loons will begin their postseason slate on Wednesday at home against the Bowling Green Hot Rods. Gates will open at 6 p.m. with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. The three-game series will then shift to Kentucky for final two games on Thursday and Friday.

Playoff tickets for Game 1 of the 1st round at Dow Diamond are on sale now here.

The Great Lakes Loons, hosts of the 2017 Midwest League All-Star Game, have been a Single-A partner of the Los Angeles Dodgers since the team's inception in 2007 and are in their 10th season. For tickets and more 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.

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