I’m quite sure that the Great Lakes Loons wish they could have a “do-over” for their first 2 defensive innings against the Peoria Chief’s Saturday night at Dow Diamond. Unfortunately for the Loons – just as there is no “CRYING” in Baseball – there are also no “do over’s” in baseball. Great Lakes pitcher, Ryan Christenson gave up 3 runs in the top half of the 1st inning, and 4 more runs in the top half of the 2nd inning, putting his team behind the proverbial “8 ball” early in the game. The Loons made 2 crucial errors in the 1st inning, adding to their defensive woes. “Often times in a baseball game, 1 or 2 bad innings early on, can set the tone for the whole game,” Loons Manager John Shoemaker said. “A lot of games are won in the 1st couple of innings,” added Shoemaker. “Ryan Christenson did not have his best stuff tonight, and we made a lot of defensive mistakes, but we’ll bounce back and so will Ryan, it’s a long season.”
Peoria beat the Loons 11-4, scoring 4 runs in the last 3 innings to put the game out of reach. With the bases loaded, and 1 out in the 9th inning, Peoria center fielder, Matt Szczur grounded to Loons shortstop, Christian Lara. Lara tried for the 6-4-3 double play, instead of getting the lead runner with the force out at home. Szczur is the fastest guy on Peoria’s roster, so instead of a double play to end the inning, it turned into the 11th run of the night for the Chief’s. Peoria’s Kyung-Min Na’s RBI single scored the 10th run back in the top of the 8th, while Na’s team mate, Greag Rohan’s RBI double scored Peoria’s 9th run of the game. A solo home run in the 7th by Peoria 1st baseman, Richard Jones started the 4 run, 3 inning scoring streak, putting the game out of reach for the Loons.
Trailing 7-0 in the bottom of the 4th inning, it looked like the Loons were going to make a game of it. Great Lakes 1st baseman, Blake Dean hit a 1 out double in the bottom of the 4th inning. Loons newcomer, Joe Becker singled, scoring Dean from 2nd base. Becker was on the roster of the Dodger’s Triple A team, the Albuquerque Isotopes recently, but he wasn’t getting a lot of playing time. The Loons recent need for some offense, and Becker’s need to get some at bats, worked out great as Becker had a great 2011 Loons debut. “Joe is a good baseball player, he comes to the ball park with an open mind and a professional attitude,” Loons Manager John Shoemaker said. “Joe had a great game, he went out and got 3 hits tonight, and that is just what we need from him.”
The Loons tried to make a game of it in the 6th inning, scoring 3 runs, while stranding 3 more on the bases. Chris Jacobs and Bobby Coyle both walked to start the 6th inning. Blake Dean hit what looked like a routine double play, but Peoria shortstop Arismendy Alcantara made a throwing error to 1st base after he stepped on 2nd base for the 1st out of the inning. Jacobs scored on the Alcantara error, while Dean was safe at 1st base. Joe Becker’s RBI single brought Dean in to score, while Jon Garcia scored Mike Pericht on an RBI SAC fly. Joc Pederson popped out to left field with the bases loaded to end the inning, and the Loons scoring threat, as they stranded 3 base runners.
Ryan Christenson went 3 innings for the Loons, allowing 8 hits, 7 runs (5 earned runs), 2 walks, while striking out 3 batters. Great Lakes reliever, Pete Budkevics pitched 3 very strong innings for the Loons, allowing just 1 hit, no runs, no walks, and no strikeouts. Andrew Pevsner pitched 2 innings, allowing 3 hits, 3 runs, and 2 walks, while striking out 1 batter. Raul Burgos pitched the final inning for the Loons, allowing no hits, no runs, and 3 walks, striking out 1 batter.
Cam Greathouse pitched 5 and 1/3rd innings for the Peoria Chief’s, allowing 6 hits, 2 runs, and 5 walks, striking out 2 batters.
The Great Lakes Loons and the Peoria Chiefs will finish out their 3 game series on Sunday afternoon at 2:05 p.m. at Dow Diamond. The Loons will send right hander, Garrett Gould (5-2, 1.83 ERA) to the hill on Sunday afternoon, while Peoria’s right handed pitcher, Hayden Simpson (1-2, 5.09 ERA) will get the ball for the Chief’s. The Loons will head out for a road trip after Sunday’s game. They will return to Dow Diamond on Friday June, 17th for a 3 game home stand against the Fort Wayne Tin Caps. We will be hoping to see you down at “The Dow!” Dow Diamond that is….