Every player in the Great Lakes lineup had multiple hits, with the Loons leading 17-8 in an odd beginning to a 4-game road series against the Fort Wayne (IN.) Tincaps (San Diego Padres) at Parkview Field in Fort Wayne, Indiana tonight before play was suspended just as the Loons were set to bat in the top of the ninth inning.
The game, which had already been delayed 2-hours and 22-minutes, was suspended with the Loons leading 17-8 and just one inning to play after exceeding the Midwest League curfew at 12:50 am Friday morning. The game will resume Friday evening prior to the 7:05 pm second game of the series.
The Loons are just 1-run shy of the franchise record (18-runs) in a game, and with its 24-hits tonight, are just one hit shy of the franchise record (25-hits) in a game. Three different Loons pitchers also combined to strike out 17 Tincaps batters tonight.
The big inning came when the Loons exploded for 7 unanswered runs in the top of the eighth inning after building a 10-6 lead on a 4-run second inning and a 4-run sixth inning. Center fielder Cody Thomas (6) also had an RBI single in the top of the fifth before hitting his sixth home run of the season, a solo shot in the top of the third to account for the other two runs.
Loons right fielder Carlos Rincon led off the top of the eighth with a double to center field and advanced to third on a single by Thomas to put runners at first and third.
Keibert Ruiz, Mitchell Hansen, and Luis Paz all followed with RBI single's respectively to score Rincon, Thomas and Ruiz for the first three runs of the eighth inning, before Dodgers top prospect Gavin Lux tripled to drive in Hansen and Paz.
Loons third baseman Oneil Cruz then drove in Lux with an RBI single, before Rincon hit his second double of the inning to score Lux for a 17-6 Great Lakes lead through eight innings.
The Tincaps added two more runs in the bottom of the eighth before play was suspended.
Loons starter Jordan Sheffield (0-2, 4.08 ERA) gave up 6-runs (4 of which were earned) on 7-hits and 1-walk, while striking out 9-batters through 4.2 innings tonight.
Reliever Nolan Long (0-1) is set to earn his first victory of the season if the score holds up later tonight. Long gave up 2-runs on 2-hits and 1-walk, while striking out 7-batters through 3 innings of relief tonight.
Ruiz led the Great Lakes offense going 4 for 5 with 2-RBI's and 2-runs scored, while Thomas was 3 for 5 with a walk and 3-RBI's along with his sixth home run.
Paz was 3 for 5 with 2-RBI's and 3-runs scored, while Lux was 3 for 5 with a walk, 2-RBI's, and 2-runs scored. Rincon finished 3 for 6 with 2-RBI's and 2-runs scored.
Cruz, Hansen, catcher Stevie Berman, and shortstop Errol Robinson each had 2-hits apiece respectively.
The Loons will be batting in the top of the ninth inning when play resumes (6:05 pm) tonight before the start of game 2 (7:05 pm tonight) of this four game road series which will wrap up on Sunday before the Loons return for a 4-game home series against the Dayton Dragons (Cincinnati Reds) starting Monday at Dow Diamond.