Carlos Rincon belts third 'walk off' HR of season to give Loons 4-3 win over West Michigan Whitecaps

Mitchell Hansen crushed a 2-out solo home run in the bottom of the ninth to force extra innings, before Rincon led off the bottom of the eleventh with his third walk off HR of the season......

    icon Jul 01, 2017
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With the game tied at 3-runs apiece, Loons right fielder Carlos Rincon (13) took matters into his own hands when he led off the bottom of the eleventh with a walk-off home run (his thirteenth HR of the 2017 MWL season and his third walk-off this year) a moon-shot over the center field wall to beat the West Michigan Whitecaps (Detroit Tigers) 4-3 in front of 2,632 fans at Dow Diamond tonight. 
Trailing 3-2 and down to their last out in the bottom of the ninth inning, Loons DH Mitchell Hansen (4) forced extra innings when he crushed a solo home run, his fourth of the year, to tie the game at 3-runs apiece, setting up Rincon for his extra-inning heroics. 
The Loons had jumped out to a 2-0 lead early in the game when center fielder Cody Thomas drove in Gavin Lux and Brendon Davis with a 2-RBI single in the bottom of the third inning. 
Loons starter Dustin May kept West Michigan from scoring throughout most of the game, taking a perfect game into the sixth inning, however, the Whitecaps managed to climb back into the game when newly acquired reliever Kyle Grana (a Dodgers Rule-5 pick from the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2016 MLB Rule-5 draft) ran into trouble after replacing May in the eighth inning. 
Whitecaps' first baseman Danny Pinero ripped a 1-out double in the top half of the eighth then scored when second baseman David Gonzales reached base on a fielding error by Loons first baseman Gersel Pitre. 
Gonzales advanced to second when left fielder Sam Machonis walked, moved to third on a passed ball charged to Loons catcher Keibert Ruiz, then scored on an infield grounder to tie the game at 2-runs apiece in the top of the eighth inning. 
Grana (3.86 ERA) plugged Whitecaps third baseman Zac Shepherd with a pitch to lead off the top of the ninth inning, then gave up a single to DH Austin Athmann to put runners on first and third, before Shepherd scored on an infield ground out for a 3-2 West Michigan lead in the top of the ninth inning.
May (3.33 ERA) finished the day with another quality start, giving up 2-runs on 4-hits and 2-walks, while striking out 4-batters through 7 1/3 innings. 
Loons closer Christian Stolo (3-2, 3.09 ERA) replaced Grana in the ninth, and would go on to earn his third win of the season, allowing just 2-walks, while striking out 2-batters through 2 1/3 innings. 
Pitre finished 2 for 4 from the plate, and Thomas and Rincon were 2 for 5 each respectively, while Hansen was 1 for 3 with a walk, accounting for the Loons 7-hits tonight. 
The Loons and Whitecaps will be back at it again tomorrow night at 7:05 pm for game-2 of this 4-game home series at Dow Diamond. 

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