SOUTH BEND, Ind. - South Bend pitching restricted the Loons to one hit, and a three-run double in the seventh inning by lefty Vimael Machin broke a scoreless tie to send Great Lakes to a 3-0 loss on a cool Wednesday night at Four Winds Field.
Pitching carried the day for both teams through the first six innings. South Bend righty Dylan Cease, the Chicago Cubs number three prospect according to MLB.com, dazzled through his six-inning, 92-pitch outing. The sixth-rounder in 2014 refused to allow a hit, walked three and struck out seven.
Loons righty Dustin May countered Cease's antics through the first five innings. The red-head from Justin, Texas tied a career-high with a five-inning outing in which he conceded three hits, no runs, no walks and struck out three on 61 pitches. May has thrown nine straight scoreless innings, and has not allowed a walk in the process.
Lefty side-armer Luis De Paula relieved May, and the Dominican southpaw ran into trouble in the seventh. South Bend drew a walk and singled to short to place two runners on with no outs against De Paula. The fourth-year Loon retired his next two batters, and surrendered the mound to right-hander Patrick Duester, who made his Loons debut on Wednesday.
Duester inherited a tough situation that grew more precarious when righty Jhonny Pereda dribbled an infield single up third to load the bases with two outs. On a 1-0 pitch to Machin, the Puerto Rican launched a ball down the left-field line into the corner that landed fair and cleared the bases.
The Loons mustered one hit in the game when left Oneil Cruz singled on the diamond with one out in the seventh. Cruz, 18, stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by catcher Alberto Mineo-still with one out-but advanced no further. The Lake County Captains were the last team to one-hit the Loons on May 27, 2014.
Thursday marks the start of a seven-game homestand for the Loons as the Fort Wayne TinCaps (Padres) make their first visit of the season to Dow Diamond. First pitch is at 6:08 p.m., with pregame coverage beginning at 5:35 on ESPN 100.9-FM.
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.