Loons hold on for 7-6 win over Lugnuts

Logan Landon and Ariel Sandoval led all Loons' hitters while Michael Boyle pitched a gem for the win...

Posted In: Sports, Great Lakes Loons,   By: Jason Marcoux

01st July, 2016     0

The Great Lakes Loons took a 5 run lead into the top of the ninth inning and had to rely on every bit of that lead to squeak out a 7-6 win over the Lansing Lugnuts (Toronto Blue Jays) in front of 4,641 fans at Dow Diamond tonight.
The Loons were able to get to Lansing starter Tayler Saucedo (3-7, 5.28 ERA) early, jumping out to a 6-0 lead through the first four innings, which included two home runs by Logan Landon and a solo shot by Ariel Sandoval. Sandoval added an rbi single in the bottom of the eighth scoring fellow outfielder Darien Tubbs for what would eventually become the game winning seventh run. 
“Whenever you get to a pitcher early it's nice,” Landon said. “You know, we have our scouting report and they have their scouting report and if we are able to beat him at his scouting report then he's going to have to make adjustments on the fly, just like we would have to do if they were pitching well. So, you know, we were able to battle in our at-bats and come through the way we needed to, and it turned into a good win for us tonight.”
Landon had put the Loons on the board with two outs in the bottom of the first inning when he took a first pitch fastball and drove it 415 feet over the left field wall at Dow Diamond. 
He followed suit in his very next at bat in the bottom of the third inning -again with two outs- when he hit another home run to nearly the exact same spot at Dow Diamond. This one went 370 feet over the left field wall. For good measure, Sandoval followed Landon back-to-back for the Loons third dinger of the game, his traveling 421 feet over the center field wall. 
“Their guy was trying to get ahead in the count, you know and get everything going for him, so I just jumped on the first pitch fastball that was over the plate and I put a good swing on it,” Landon said about his first home run. “My second at bat, I knew he was going to make an adjustment based off of what I did in that first at bat, so after the first pitch I was kind of looking off-speed and he left a change up that was up a little bit, and it was the same thing as the first one, I was able to put a good swing on it and get the ball elevated a little bit.”
With the win, the Loons now move to .500 (2-2 in the second half) of the Midwest League season. The Loons are now four games into the second half of the season following the all-star break last week. 
MWL teams play two half-seasons, with the top two teams -from each division- at the end of each half qualifying for the post season. After a forgettable first half, Landon says this Loons team is looking forward to getting off to a great second half and qualifying for the playoffs. 
“We've hit a couple rough patches here this year but this team never stops trying,” Landon said. “You know, the effort is always there, we've just gotta piece it together, we gotta pitch, we gotta hit, and we have to play defense. It seems like in the first half of the season, when we were hitting we weren't pitching, and when we were pitching we weren't hitting, and when we were pitching and hitting, then we weren't playing defense. So, coming into the second half we've got new life and we want to make the playoffs, and we think we are good enough to make the playoffs. So, we just need to piece that all together and stay focused throughout every game.”
Loons starter Michael Boyle (5-5, 2.56 ERA) earned the win, giving up just 3-hits and 3-walks through six scoreless innings while striking out 8 Lansing batters. Angel German struggled in relief, allowing two runs off one hit and 2-walks through his one inning of work. Ivan Vieitez (1-1, 2.86 ERA) gave up 4-runs off of 5-hits and 2-walks, striking out 1 batter in his 1.1 innings of work. Loons closer Brian Bass (1-3, 2.90) hit two batters to load the bases also allowing one of Vieitez' runs to score, making it a one run game, but eventually got out of the jam to earn the save in his 0.2 innings of work. 
Sandoval was 3 for 5 with 2 rbi and just a triple shy of the cycle to lead all Loons batters. Landon was 2 for 4 with his two home runs including a walk. Loons infielder Noah Perio was 2 for 5 with 2 rbi. Loons shortstop Cristian Gomez was 1 for 3 with a walk and 1 run scored. Catcher Gage Green was 1 for 4 with one rbi and 1 run scored. Loons first baseman Matt Jones reached base four times with zero recorded at-bat's, getting hit by a pitch and 3-walks while scoring 1 run. 
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