Loons' Baldwin ends slump, marathon

Dodgers No. 10 prospect hits walk-off double in 16th inning

By Robert Emrich / Special to MLB.com | May 16, 2012 9:31 PM ET

James Baldwin has endured one of the worst slumps of his brief career. His big hit on Wednesday (early Thursday morning, to be precise) might be just what the doctor ordered.

The Dodgers' No. 10 prospect ended an 0-for-23 slump with a walk-off double in the 16th inning as the Class A Great Lakes Loons outlasted the West Michigan Whitecaps, 6-5.

Baldwin was hitless in seven trips to the plate before lining a two-out shot to right field that scored Jesse Bosnick and ended the longest game in Loons' history at 5 hours, 22 minutes.

"As soon as I got to the plate, I was like, 'We've got to win this game,'" said Baldwin, who took a postgame shaving cream pie to the face. "It took too long to win this game. We had runners in scoring position, but we didn't come through. Now I feel good. I'm tired, but it feels good."

The 20-year-old outfielder's last hit came in the seventh inning of a 3-2 loss to Kane County on April 28. While the funk has dropped his average 49 points to .170, he's been a threat on the bases with 10 steals in 11 tries.

Baldwin, whose father pitched in the Major Leagues from 1995-2005, is coming off a season in which he batted .250 with 10 homers, 39 RBIs and 22 stolen bases in 50 games for Rookie-level Ogden. The 2010 third-round Draft pick has three RBIs in 23 games in his first full season.

Bosnick homered and scored twice for the Loons, while Noel Cuevas plated two runs.

Joel Lima (1-0) scattered five hits over four innings of scoreless relief to get the win.

Aaron Westlake, the Tigers' No. 19 prospect, slugged a solo homer for the Whitecaps.

Starter Brennan Smith fanned seven batters over five innings, helping West Michigan set a club record with 21 strikeouts.

Robert Emrich is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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