FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Four Great Lakes Loons (8-8) relievers commanded the final 19 outs without allowing a run, as offensively four runs in the final three innings were enough to bring the Loons to .500 and down the Fort Wayne TinCaps (4-12) 4-2 on a chilly 48-degree night at
FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Four Great Lakes Loons (8-8) relievers commanded the final 19 outs without allowing a run, as offensively four runs in the final three innings were enough to bring the Loons to .500 and down the Fort Wayne TinCaps (4-12) 4-2 on a chilly 48-degree night at Parkview Field.
Jake Vogel’s floater into right field with two on and two out provided the go-ahead hit. Alex Freeland scored after his second single and Taylor Young was assisted home after a throwing error, he got on via his third of three walks.
Loons starter Ronan Kopp did not complete three innings for the first time in 2023. The left-hander worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the first, striking out two. He would retire the next five, getting his fourth and fifth strikeout in the third inning. But Kopp would walk Marcos Castanon with two outs. That was followed up by an RBI triple from Nathan Martorella a line drive, out of the reach of a diving Chris Alleyne in right field. A Lucas Dunn base knock brought home, Martorella. The Great Lakes bullpen then took over.
Aldry Acosta finished the third inning and worked a nine-pitch fourth inning, forcing a 5-4-3 double play.
In the first three innings, Great Lakes positioned three runners in scoring position but did not score. In the first, Austin Gauthier reached on a walk. But after reaching third later in the inning, he drifted too far from the base and was thrown out. Taylor Young, who walked and stole second in the second inning was tagged trying to score to end that frame.
Robbie Peto’s first batter faced in the bottom of the fifth, Jacob Marsee reach on an infield single with a throwing error at short putting him on second. Marsee stole third base but would not advance further after a strikeout and two groundouts.
Peto collected two more strikeouts in the sixth that ended with Yeiner Fernandez catching Lucas Dunn stealing after he led off the inning with a walk. The right-hander would work his third-consecutive 20-plus pitch inning in the seventh but go through stranding a runner.
The Loons would knot up the score in a big way in the seventh. With Taylor Young aboard following a walk, Yunior Garcia stepped up with one out. He clobbered the first pitch he saw to deep-left center, his third homer of the season.
In the eighth, Great Lakes scored two runs on the Vogel double. Antonio Knowles was thrust into the bottom of the eighth working in and out of trouble. Two walks and an error helped loaded the bases, the second-year Loon punched out the final batter he faced.
Jake Pilarksi was given his fifth save opportunity of the season and faced the minimum. The leader in saves in the Midwest League ended Fort Wayne with a 4-6-3 double play.
The game was longest for the Loons this season going three hours and four minutes.
The Loons and TinCaps face off for game two in the six-game series, Wednesday, April 26th. First pitch is at 6:35 p.m. from Parkview Field.
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.