Jake Henson's single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth scored Estevez from second base to give the Loons' a 1-0 walk off win over the West Michigan Whitecaps (Detroit Tigers) at Dow Diamond this afternoon.
Estevez led off the bottom of the ninth with a single and advanced to second on a Gage Green sacrifice bunt. Henson drove a line drive single to center field allowing Estevez to score the game winning run from second base.
More importantly -with the victory- the Loons (35-34 in the second half) clinched the final eastern division playoff spot, rounding out the 2016 MWL post-season.
Detroit Tigers' single A affiliate the Lansing Lugnuts (33-35) trail the Loons by 1.5 games with two games to play. However, the Loons have just one game remaining, so the best Lansing can do is a tie in the standings, and the Loons hold the tie-breaker after sweeping the Lugnuts four straight games in August.
It was a classic pitchers duel with only a combined 9 hits between the two teams. West Michigan starter Eudis Idrogo (5-5, 4.29 ERA) was virtually untouchable allowing just 1 hit and 1 walk while striking out 3 batters through 7 masterful innings.
West Michigan reliever Yordy Cabrera (6.16 ERA) was charged with the loss after giving up the only run of the game on 3 hits and a walk with 3 strikeouts through 1.2 innings.
Loons starter Caleb Ferguson (1-4, 2.68 ERA) rose to the challenge giving up just 4 hits while striking out 4 batters through 6 scoreless innings.
Jose Santos, who joined the Loons on Aug. 25 picked a great time for his first Loons' win allowing just one hit while striking out 6 batters through 3 innings (2 strikeouts per inning) of scoreless relief.
Saige Jenco, Zach McKinstry, Estevez, and Henson accounted for all four Great Lakes' team hits, However, the final two hits are really all the Loons needed on this day.
The Loons will play their final regular season game tomorrow when they host West Michigan at Dow Diamond for a 7:05 pm non-consequential game.
The Loons will then open the 2016 MWL post-season Wednesday when they host the second half eastern division champion Bowling Green Hot Rods at Dow Diamond for the first game of a best-of-three series. They will then travel to Bowling Green, KY for the final two games of the first round Thurs. and Fri.