The Great Lakes Loons (11-15) have now gone 19-straight innings without scoring a run, dropping their sixth consecutive game in front of the fifth largest crowd in Dow Diamond history Thursday evening; which was also the largest (5,777 fans) crowd of the 2014 season. The Loons were shutout for the second game-of a-three game series 5-0 to the Clinton County (Iowa) Lumberkings (Seattle Mariners). Once again, it was the Loons starting pitching that failed to keep runners off the bases and gave up four early runs, putting the teams offense in an early hole.
The starting pitchers weren't the only ones to blame for the Loons lackluster performance. The Loons offense could only muster 4-hits throughout the entire game. It was the situational hitting, or lack-there-of, that was the real dagger in the Great Lakes offense. In the bottom of the first inning (after the Loons fell behind 1-0) Great Lakes center fielder, Malcolm Holland singled with one out, stole second base, and advanced to third on a throwing error by Clinton County catcher, Marcus Littlewood. With the very fleet-of-foot Holland on third, the Loons number three and four hitters (Joey Curletta and Paul Hoenecke) struck out back-to-back, ending the Loons first inning scoring threat.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Loons speedy shortstop, Brandon Trinkwon crushed a one-out double to get himself into scoring position, but DH, Webster Rivas, and left fielder, Jacob Scavuzzo flied out and grounded out respectively, ending another rare Loons scoring chance. Finally, in the bottom of the sixth inning, Loons catcher, Spencer Navin led off with a single; but Jesmuel Valentin hit into a double play, and Malcolm Holland struck out to end the inning and any trace of a final Loons scoring threat. Although, it should be noted that Lumberking second baseman, Luis Cabellero made an “ESPN-style Highlight-Reel play" on Valentin's grounder to turn the double play; as he covered a lot of ground in a hurry to backhand the ball, and in one motion, flip it with his glove to shortstop, Jack Reinheimer who completed the impressive twin killing.
The Loons will try and turn things around Friday night as they host the Lumberkings for the final game of their three-game series, then play host to the Kane County Cougars (Chicago Cubs) Saturday, Sunday, and Monday at Dow Diamond.