Pitchers Dominate, Loons Shut Out

Olson, Smeltzer turn in outstanding early-season starts

Devin Smeltzer ranks third in the Midwest League with a 0.61 WHIP through four starts in 2017. (Great Lakes Loons)

By Matt DeVries / Great Lakes Loons | April 14, 2017 9:50 PM ET

MIDLAND, Mich. - It took just 91 pitches for Ryan Olson to turn in the first nine-inning complete game in the 2017 Minor League Baseball season. The Dayton Dragons right-hander tied the Great Lakes Loons lineup in knots all night as he allowed just four hits and walked one batter leading the visitors to a 2-0 victory Friday at Dow Diamond.

Drafted last year in the 13th round by the Cincinnati Reds, the Cal Poly Pomona product was making just his second career start after tossing seven shutout innings on April 9 against the Lake County Captains. Olson (W, 2-0) has now earned the win in each of his two starts so far this season. 

Not to be outdone on the night was Loons starter Devin Smeltzer. The lefty faced one over the minimum through five innings while striking out five batters. The Los Angeles Dodgers 5th round pick from 2016 rebounded nicely after allowing three runs on four hits over three innings during his first start on Sunday.

The difference proved to be the 6th inning when Nolan Long (L, 0-1) relived Smeltzer on the mound. Woven between two outs in the top half, the Dragons were able to load the bases thanks to three walks. Up stepped Tyler Stephenson who singled a ball into center field plating both Brantley Bell and T.J. Friedl for the only two runs of the game.

Tony Gonsolin came on to get the final out of the inning with one pitch before he went on to strike out four batters in 2.1 innings pitched. Vinny Santarsiero also threw a scoreless inning of relief for the Loons.

Continuing his torrid start to the new campaign was Loons infielder Brendon Davis. The 19-year-old shortstop went 2-for-3, his third multi-hit game of the season, to up his batting average to .409 through eight games.

With the Dragons already clinching a series victory, Great Lakes will look to avoid the sweep on Saturday afternoon with a special 2:05 p.m. first pitch before both teams observe the first official off day of the season on Easter Sunday. A.J. Alexy (0-0, 0.00 ERA) and Andrew Jordan (0-0, 0.00) are set to get starts for the Loons and Dragons, respectively. Gates open at 1 p.m. with the first 1,000 fans receiving a 2017 Poster Schedule.

The 2016 Midwest League Champions and hosts of the 2017 MWL All-Star Game presented by GoGreat.com have been a Single-A partner of the Los Angeles Dodgers since the team's inception in 2007. For tickets and more information about the Great Lakes 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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