MIDLAND, MI – Jesus Vargas struck out seven batters Thursday night at Dow Diamond, helping the Great Lakes Loons (63-54) top Wisconsin (56-60), 9-4. The Loons recorded their first three-HR inning in this historic offensive season in the bottom of the second Thursday night, powering them to an early 5-0
MIDLAND, MI – Jesus Vargas struck out seven batters Thursday night at Dow Diamond, helping the Great Lakes Loons (63-54) top Wisconsin (56-60), 9-4. The Loons recorded their first three-HR inning in this historic offensive season in the bottom of the second Thursday night, powering them to an early 5-0 lead.
Vargas (W, 8-6) struck out seven batters in a season-high six inning last time out in West Michigan on Friday. Back-to-back hits in the fifth inning came as the only damage done against Vargas, exiting with a 7-1 lead.
Eddys Leonard began the second inning with a leadoff double hit 410 feet to dead center. Carson Taylor followed it up with his ninth home run of the season to the same spot, only hitting it seven more feet that Leonard’s double. Ryan January made it back-to-back HRs and three consecutive extra-base hits with a solo blast in the third at-bat of the inning.
Still in the second, Zac Ching’s one-out walk was followed up by a Deacon Liput home run, his second in his last three games.
Lake County defeated Beloit, 6-3, to remain tied for the final spot in the postseason. Cedar Rapids also won their matchup, besting Peoria, 5-3. The Loons still trail LC and CR by a game with three games remaining this season.
Following two strikeouts in a scoreless first frame, Wisconsin’s Joey Matulovich (L, 1-2) surrendered five runs on four hits in the second inning, coming mostly from three Loons long balls from Carson Taylor, Ryan January and Deacon Liput.
Vargas recorded his seventh quality start of the season, making it back-to-back starts Vargas surpassed five innings. In his last two starts, Vargas has 14 strikeouts in 11 innings to be 2-0. Six of the last seven Vargas starts have resulted in Loons wins, spanning back to August 12.
Julian Smith relieved Vargas for two scoreless innings, allowing two hits and a walk while striking out two batters. Jose Rodulfo was responsible for a three-run home run to LG Castillo in the ninth, his ninth of the season. Andrew Shaps mailed in the final two outs on a five-three double play off the bat of Joey Wiemer, who finished 1-for-4 with a walk.
Committing no errors, Great Lakes turned three double plays in the Thursday win.
Wisconsin reliever Freisis Adames recorded 2 2/3 innings, allowing a run on four hits with two strikeouts. In his fifth game with the Rattlers, Kent Hasler tossed a perfect two innings, quieting the Loons bats with three strikeouts on 22 pitches.
Eddys Leonard led Great Lakes with a 3-for-4 night, scoring twice. All nine starters reached base for Great Lakes, finishing 11-for-33 at the plate. Carson Taylor, Deacon Liput, and
Great Lakes finished 3-for-5 with runners in scoring position, leaving only five on the bases. Wisconsin left seven aboard, going 1-for-7 with runners at second and third base.
First pitch against Wisconsin Friday night is set for 7:05 P.M. EDT, with gates opening an hour before first pitch. Coverage begins with the Loons On-Deck Circle, Built by Three Rivers, at 6:35 P.M. EDT.
Tickets, along with a full look at the upcoming promotional schedule can be found at Loons.com.
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.