The Great Lakes Loons (30-29) broke a 3-3 tie with 3-runs in the top of the twelfth inning before surrendering 2-runs in the bottom half of the twelfth to hang on for a 6-5 win, taking 2-games of a three game road series from the West Michigan Whitecaps (Detroit Tigers) at Fifth Third Ballpark in Comstock Park, MI tonight.
Loons left fielder Saige Jenco reached first after being hit by a pitch and moved to second on a single by shortstop Gavin Lux, only to score on an RBI single from second baseman Errol Robinson to take a 4-3 lead in the top of the twelfth inning.
Center fielder Cody Thomas followed Robinson with an RBI single to drive in Lux before Robinson scored on a sac fly RBI off the bat of catcher Stevie Berman for a 6-3 Loons lead midway through the twelfth inning.
Loons reliever Nolan Long was brought in to close out the bottom half of the inning and walked Whitecaps left fielder Cam Gibson (son of former Tigers/Dodgers star Kirk Gibson) to lead off a tumultuous inning.
Gibson would move to second when fellow MSU teammate Blaise Salter reached on a throwing error by Loons third baseman Brendon Davis before scoring on an RBI single off the bat of third baseman Josh Lester.
Davis made up for his earlier miscue, leading a 5-4-3 double play for the first two outs of the inning as Whitecaps' second baseman Anthony Pereira drove in Salter on an RBI single to get to within 1-run of the Loons (6-5) before Long (SV, 2) worked his way out of the twelfth inning debacle with a ground ball force out to earn his second save of the season.
Loons starter A.J. Alexy allowed single runs in the first and second innings respectively to spot West Michigan a 2-0 lead before settling in for another quality start, giving up 2-runs (only 1 of which was earned) on just 2-hits and 3-walks, while striking out 1-batter through 4 1/3 innings.
Great Lakes DH Mitchell Hansen led off the top of the fifth inning with a single before getting the Loons on the board when he scored on an RBI double off the bat of first baseman Erick Meza to get to within one run (2-1) of the Whitecaps.
Trailing 2-1 in the top of the seventh, Berman led off with a single and moved to second after right fielder Gersel Pitre hustled out a bunt single by diving head first into first base, which forced West Michigan pitcher Austin Sodders to overthrow first base, advancing Berman to third and Pitre to second.
Jenco then drove in both Berman and Pitre with a clutch 2-RBI single to the gap in center field, giving the Loons a 3-2 lead midway through the inning, before West Michigan managed to tie the game (3-3) with 1-run in the bottom half of the seventh inning.
Jenco has had a great month, hitting .364 in June, while extending his hit-streak to nine games going 2 for 4 with 2-RBI's and 1-run scored for the Loons tonight. Hansen was 3 for 5 with a run scored while Robinson, Thomas, and Berman all chipped in with 2-hits apiece respectively.
Sven Schuller (3-2, 1.56 ERA) was perfect in the ninth, tenth, and eleventh innings while striking out 3-batters to earn the win for the Loons.
Christian Stolo (2.35 ERA) gave up 1-run on 2-hits and 2-walks, while striking out 1-batter through 2 2/3 innings, as Patrick Duester (4.02 ERA) allowed a hit and a walk, while striking out 1-batter through 1-inning.
The Loons will now return home for a four-game home series against the South Bend (IN.) Cubs Fri-Mon at Dow Diamond.