Loons Lose Late Lead on Star Wars Night

Fort Wayne steals series opener in extras

By Chris Vosters / Great Lakes Loons | August 6, 2017 12:03 AM ET


MIDLAND, Mich. - Fort Wayne erased a two-run deficit with two outs in the ninth and scored the go-ahead run in the 10th inning on an RBI fielder's choice off the bat of Jack Suwinski to win game one of the series against the Loons 5-4 on Saturday night at Dow Diamond. 

The loss snaps a four-game win streak for the Loons (20-22; 56-55), who have not won five in a row this season. Fort Wayne (27-15; 53-59) improves to 19-7 in its last 26 games. 

Fort Wayne's winning run in the 10th was unearned. Earlier in the frame, Reinaldo Ilarraza grounded a ball to short with a runner on first and one out. Gavin Lux fielded the ball cleanly, but threw off the second baseman's glove to advance Buddy Reed to third. Reed later scored on the Suwinski force play. The error was the third of the game for the Loons.

The TinCaps rallied in the top of the ninth when Ilarraza and Suwinski singled consecutively with one out in the frame off righty Evy Ruibal, who threw a wild pitch to place both men in scoring position. The Loons walked Fernando Tatis, Jr. intentionally to load the bases with one out and a 4-2 lead, but Ruibal walked the next batter, Nate Easley, to bring a run in and trim the Loons lead to one. 

Right-hander Andre Scrubb (BS, L, 4-1) emerged after an emergency call to the bullpen, and threw wildly on his first pitch to score Suwinski from third and tie the game.

The Loons fell silent in the late innings against Fort Wayne right-hander Hansel Rodriguez (W, 5-9), who struck out eight batters in the final three innings. The Loons and the TinCaps, the two most strikeout-prone teams in the Midwest League, struck out a combined 32 times on Saturday night.

Fort Wayne scored a single run in the fourth and the fifth innings, but the Loons rallied with a four-run sixth to forge ahead. A tandem of arms for the TinCaps, southpaw starter Adrian Morejon and righty Jordan Guerrero, combined to throw three wild pitches in the frame, and the Loons scored a runner from third each time. Dodgers third-round pick Connor Wong also doubled home a run in the inning for his second RBI as a Loon.

Down a game in the series, the Loons play the TinCaps on Sunday afternoon beginning at 2:05 p.m. with pregame coverage at 1:35 on ESPN 100.9-FM.

The Great Lakes Loons are the 2016 Midwest League Champions and have been a Single-A partner of the Los Angeles Dodgers since 2007. Dow Diamond, home of the Loons, also houses ESPN 100.9-FM and the Michigan Baseball Foundation. 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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