MIDLAND, MI – The Great Lakes Loons (62-54) gained no ground in their postseason push Wednesday night, falling to the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (56-59) at Dow Diamond, 4-2. Great Lakes scored the first two runs of the ballgame with three doubles in the first inning, but was limited to no
MIDLAND, MI – The Great Lakes Loons (62-54) gained no ground in their postseason push Wednesday night, falling to the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (56-59) at Dow Diamond, 4-2. Great Lakes scored the first two runs of the ballgame with three doubles in the first inning, but was limited to no runs the rest of the night.
Updating the postseason picture, Lake County jumped the Loons in the standings with an 8-6 win against Beloit at Classic Park, and is now tied with Cedar Rapids for the final playoff spot. The Loons trail CR and LC by one game with four to play.
Attempting to rally from Tuesday’s 6-3 loss to Wisconsin, Great Lakes quickly hopped on Rattlers’ lefty starter Brandon Knarr with two runs on three doubles in the first inning. Eddys Leonard began the scoring with a leadoff double, followed by back-to-back, one-out doubles from Jorbit Vivas and Ryan Ward.
Riding a 1-for-2 night with a pair of walks, Vivas extended his on-base streak to all 19 games he’s played with Great Lakes. The streak for Vivas predates his time with the Loons, as he entered the High-A level with an 11-game on-base streak to cap his time with Low-A Rancho Cucamonga.
Wisconsin has had the Loons’ number this season, winning six of the eight played games this season. The Rattlers hosted Great Lakes for a six-game series following July 4th weekend by taking four of six, including both games in a Wednesday doubleheader.
Logan Boyer logged a season-high three innings in the Wednesday defeat, matching his recent three-inning start against West Michigan a week ago. The only damage Boyer surrendered came on one swing from Rattlers’ catcher Alex Hall, recording his first High-A home run to tie the game in the top of the third.
Wednesday’s game held scoreless for the next four innings, thanks to three scoreless innings from reliever Cole Percival, who left with a pair of walks and strikeouts. Great Lakes used three pitchers to deliver the final three innings, beginning with 2021 9th rounder Lael Lockhart (L, 2-1). After striking out two batters for an in-order seventh inning, Lockhart began the eighth inning with his third and final strikeout before allowing a hit and walk, leaving two aboard for Michael Hobbs.
Hobbs walked two batters to put Wisconsin in front in the eighth inning. The Rattlers, benefiting from late runs this week, scored four unanswered runs to defeat Great Lakes on Tuesday in the final three innings.
Following an inning from Michael Hobbs, Jeff Belge delivered the final two outs with a strikeout.
Through seven innings, Great Lakes had outhit Wisconsin’s offense, six to one. The Rattlers scored two runs on four hits in the final two innings, extending the Wednesday lead out of reach.
Still outside-looking-in, Great Lakes remains out of the postseason picture by a game, trailing Lake County and Cedar Rapids, both with 63-53 records. If two teams are tied for the final spot, the tiebreaker is settled by head-to-head first, then each team’s record in their final 20 games to end the season.
The Loons send their innings-leader and strikeouts-leader to the mound in Jesus Vargas Thursday night. In 23 appearances, Vargas has held a 4.53 earned-run average, and is coming off a seven-strikeout performance in six innings against West Michigan on September 10. Opposing Vargas will be Joey Matulovich, a 20th rounder out of California in the 2018 Draft. In 31 innings, Matulovich has allowed 18 earned runs and struck out 33 batters.
First pitch against Wisconsin Thursday night is set for 7:05 P.M. EDT, with gates opening an hour before first pitch. Coverage begins with the Loons On-Deck Circle, Built by Three Rivers, at 6:35 P.M. EDT.
Tickets, along with a full look at the upcoming promotional schedule can be found at Loons.com.
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.