Historic win for the Great Lake Loons against West Michigan

Loons rally to defeat the Whitecaps 5-2 to advance to Midwest League Championship

Posted In: Sports, Local Sports, National Sports, Great Lakes Loons,   By: Thomas Baird

14th September, 2016     0

COMSTOCK PARK, MI-  As the only reporter covering the game live from Fifth Third Field in Comstock Park, Michigan you will have a first hand account of the entire game.  Having covered the Great Lakes Loons since their inception tonight's game was historic in ensuring that the Loons win would see them playing for their first Championship in team history. This will start tonight in Clinton, Iowa against the Lumberkings the champs of the Western Division of the Midwest League.   The Loons rallied from a 2-0 deficite to score five runs in the last 3 innings to defeat the Whitecaps 5-2.  Great Lakes wins the Eastern Division with a 2-1 record.  They will now be playing some Championship baseball in Midland, Michigan something that was dreamed about when the franchise was moved here from Battle Creek in 2007.

Both teams started their hottest pitchers to see who would advance to the Midwest League Championship series.  Yadier Alvarez who start and throw five strong innings keeping the Loons in the game.  His opponent Kyle Dowdy was as equally good tossing a no-hitter into the 6th inning before Darien Tubbs would break up the no-hit bit with a single.  On an evening where both team's pitchers would be struck by line drives and in this instance Jose Santos from the Loons injured a foot.  Kyle Dowdy took a line drive off the leg and was able to stay in the game. 

The game would feature a number of strikeouts from both teams and a number of questionable balls and strikes from the home plate umpire.  West Michigan would build a 2-0 lead thanks to a throwing error and a couple of walks.   The Loons would get on the board in the top of the 7th inning courtesy of a walk and two singles to score D. J. Peters to cut the score to 2-1.  Great Lakes then would proceed to load the bases and failed to get anyone else in.  The fun started in the 8th inning after Brendon Davis reached first base on a single (he would have 3 hits on the night) which brought Omar Estevez to the plate.  Estevez make contact with the pitch and crack of the bat one could tell that it was going out of the ballpark.   Left fielder Cam Gibson made a great attempt to catch the ball jumping onto the fence and watched it fly over his outstretched glove.   The Loons faithful in attendance went wild.  

Relief pitcher Andrew Istler would come on in relief to pitch two innings and gain the win after shutting down the Whitecaps in the 7th and 8th innings.  In the top of the 9th inning the Loons would add two more insurance runs to stretch the lead to 5-2.  Gage Green and Saige Jenco both would score in the 9th inning setting the stage for the bottom of the ninth inning to record some history. 

Shea Spitzbarth would pitch the top of the ninth and allowed a single to make things a little nerve racking for a moment.  However when the last out of the game a routine fly ball to first baseman Matt Jones the celebration started.  The Loons players raced from the dugout to the mound to join in the celebration right in the middle of the infield at Fifth Third Field.   One could hear a pin drop.  

The Loons now advance to the best of five Midwest League Championship series beginning tonight in Clinton, Iowa against the Lumberkings.   The magical season continues with the Loons fighting to bring a Championship flag to Midland, Michigan.   The first game in Midland will be Saturday night at 7:05p.m. at Dow Diamond with games on Sunday and Monday if necessary.    Great Lakes would bang out 8 hits in the final 4 innings after being held silent for the first 5 1/3 innings.  

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