MIDLAND, Mich. - In its first game at Dow Diamond since securing a Midwest League playoff spot, the Great Lakes Loons showed fans why this postseason is one to be excited about.
The Loons (36-32) managed to storm back in the late stages of the game to take down the South Bend Cubs 5-3 in front of a sellout crowd of 5,325 on Sunday afternoon.
Against the Cubs (29-39), Matt Cogen entered the game as a defensive replacement for outfielder Romer Cuadrado. He was called up from Rookie-level Ogden earlier in the day and came up clutch in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Cogen, with the bases loaded, delivered a double to center field to score Chris Roller, Devin Mann and Drew Avans to give the Loons a 4-3 lead. Miguel Vargas followed by scoring Cogen with a hit of his own.
South Bend pulled Manuel Rodriguez after he loaded the bases in the seventh. Even though the runs were given up with reliever Luis Aquino (BS, 1), they were charged to Rodriguez (L, 3-5).
The Cubs found the scoreboard first in the top of the second against Bryan Warzek. Clayton Daniel's eight double of the season scored Rafael Narea. Loons catcher Gersel Pitre responded in the second half of the frame with an RBI sacrifice fly, tying to game 1-1.
In the fourth a inning, South Bend's Chris Singleton doubled for the 25th time in 2018 to score Brandon Hughes. One inning later, Jimmy Herron III made it a 3-1 lead on a single to left field.
The scoring went dry for two innings before Cogan's heroics in the bottom of the seventh.
Darien Nunez (W, 1-2) threw two scoreless innings of relief with four strikeouts. Devin Hemmerich (SV, 1) had to navigate some bases-loaded trouble in the ninth, but was able to shut the door.
The Loons will wrap up the regular season on Labor Day against the Cubs. Gates will open at 1 p.m. with first pitch at 2:05 p.m. It will be the final game before the MWL Playoffs begin on Wednesday, Sept. 5.
Tickets are on sale for Game 2 of the MWL Eastern Division Semifinals on Thursday, Sept 6. It will be a $1 Family Feast Night and there will be a Fireworks Loontacular after the game, both presented by Chemical Bank.
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.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.