After exploding for 71 hits over the previous five games the Great Lakes Loons' bats cooled off slightly but turned red hot at the right time as they treated 5,322 fans to a 2-1 walk off victory over the South Bend Cubs (Chicago Cubs) at Dow Diamond tonight.
With the score tied at one run apiece in the bottom of the ninth inning, Center fielder Logan Landon led off with a single and advanced to second when Luke Raley grounded out, setting the stage for some heroic hitting by Dodgers 2015 fifth round pick Brendon Davis.
Davis roped a line drive single to center field, scoring Landon for the 2-1 victory, their third straight and eighth of their last ten games.
The game started as a classic pitching duel with Loons starter Wes Helsabeck, a 2015 Dodger free agent out of Winston-Salem State University, and Cubs starter Oscar De La Cruz (0-1, 0.00 ERA) battling it out on the bump at Dow Diamond.
Helsabeck (4-1, 1.62 ERA) was lights-out allowing just 3-hits while striking out 9 South Bend batters through six scoreless innings.
The Loons would strike first when second baseman Zach McKinstry -a 2016 Dodger draft pick from Central Michigan University- ripped a one out triple, putting himself in position to score on Luke Raley's sac fly rbi for a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning.
South Bend responded with back to back hits -a single followed by a double- off of Loons reliever Alexander Hermeling (2-3, 3.29 ERA) to tie the game at 1-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
Hermeling would eventually settle in and get the unique distinction of having a blown save while also earning his second win of the season.
Hermeling gave up one run on 4-hits and struck out 2 South Bend batters in his three innings of relief.
Davis led the offense going 2 for 4 with an rbi, while McKinstry, Landon, and DH Erick Meza managed one hit each respectively.
The Loons are 16-18 (in the second half of the MWL season) just 1.5 games back of the Lansing Lugnuts (Toronto Blue Jays) for one of the two remaining playoff spots in the eastern division.
The top two teams in each division (at the end of each half) qualify for the Midwest League post season. South Bend finished first and the West Michigan Whitecaps (Detroit Tigers) finished second in the first half of the eastern division to secure the first two playoff spots.
The Loons will try for four straight wins tomorrow when they host the Cubs for a 2:05 pm afternoon game at Dow Diamond.