The Great Lakes Loons and the Dayton Dragons managed to complete the 3rd and final game of their series at a very cold and soggy Dow Diamond on Thursday morning. The game started at 10:35 a.m. as part of the Loons 3rd and final “School Kids Day,” where thousands of School kids from the Tri Cities took a field trip to watch the Loons play at Dow Diamond.
The Loons came into Thursday morning’s game hoping to halt their longest losing streak of the season at 4 games. Unfortunately, it was more of the same as the Loons' Bats continued to be as cold as the weather on Thursday afternoon. Poor decision’s and a lack of run support contributed to Thursday mornings 7-1 loss.
Six days ago, the Loons were riding high in first place with a game and a half lead over the Lansing Lugnuts in the Midwest Leagues East division. The recent mistakes have the Loons coaching staff searching for some answers. “We’ve made a lot of mistakes, and we’re working on correcting those mistakes,” Loons Manager John Shoemaker said. “Through the 1st 42 games of this season, we made almost no mistakes at all.” “The way we’ve been hitting the ball lately, it seems like any mistake is magnified.”
The Dragons struck first on Thursday in the top half of the 3rd inning. Dragons shortstop, Billy Hamilton walked to start the inning, he then stole 2nd base. Hamilton scored on a Dominic D’Anna RBI single, giving the Dragons an early 1-0 lead. The Loons however, left a runner on 3rd base in the bottom half of the 3rd inning.
The 4th inning was also big for the Dayton Dragons as German born 1st baseman, Donald Lutz opened with a double. The following batter was 18 year old Yorman Rodriguez, who ripped a line shot that made its way all the way to the right field wall. The ball skipped on the wet grass and zipped right through the legs of Loons right fielder Jon Garcia. Lutz scored on the play, while the speedster Rodriguez ended up on 3rd base. Rodriguez scored when the next batter, left fielder Jaren Matthews, hit a SAC fly RBI foul ball, giving the Dragons a 3-0 lead.
The Loons finally got on the board in the bottom half of the 6th inning. With 1 out, Leon Landy and Christian Lara hit back to back singles. Landry would eventually score on a passed ball. The Loons closed the gap to 3-1 after six innings.
Dayton broke the game wide open in the top half of the 8th inning as 9 Dragon batters came to bat. Dayton scored 4 runs in the 8th, putting the game out of reach. Frank Pfister and Donald Lutz singled to start the inning. A strange sequence of events followed while Yorman Rodriguez was at bat. Rodriguez had squared to bunt, and with the count at 1&2, the umpire ejected Rodriguez for arguing the call. Jefry Sierra stepped in to pinch hit for Rodriguez. Sierra dropped a nice bunt out in front of home plate. Loons’ catcher, Mike Pericht picked up the ball and threw to 3rd base to try and get the “force out” at 3rd base. The ball slipped through Loons 3rd baseman, Jesse Bosnik’s glove and flew deep into left field. The error on Bosnik allowed Pfister to score, and moved Lutz to 3rd base, while Sierra ran to 2nd base. The Loons then decided to intentionally walk Jaren Matthews, in order to load the bases for a potential double play. Former UofM Wolverine, Chris Berset hit a bases loaded single, scoring Lutz. Dayton 2nd baseman, Devin Lohman followed with a 2 run single that scored Sierra and Matthews. The 4 runs gave Dayton a 7-1 lead, which would prove to be all the runs they needed.
The Loons did have some good things happen on Thursday afternoon. Leon Landry went 2 for 4 with a single and a double, while scoring the Loons only run. Landry also made the Play of the week to end the 8th inning. Daytons DH, Dominic D’Anna ripped a bullet to the gap in left center field, when Landry ran it down and fully extended his body while making an “ESPN highlight reel” diving catch.
Loons starting pitcher, Red Patterson had a very good day as well. Patterson gave up 7 hits, struck out 7 and gave up 3 runs through 6 innings of work. Patterson had some rough patches in the 3rd and 4th innings, but had a great day overall. “I felt pretty good out there today,” said Patterson. “A couple of pitches got away from me, I hung a couple Sliders, but I felt really good about my overall performance.”
The Loons will try to turn things around as they head to Fort Wayne for a 4 game road trip beginning on May 27th, before returning to Dow Diamond on May 31st, for six straight home games. We will be looking for you down at “The Dow!” Dow Diamond, that is….