Loons take 2 out of 3 from Whitecaps:

The Loons beat the Whitecaps 6-2 at a sold out Dow Diamond Tuesday morning for their annual Mid Michigan Health School Kids Day....

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

14th May, 2014     0

 

The Great Lakes Loons finished a three-game home series taking 2-out of-3 games over in-state rivals, the West Michigan Whitecaps (single-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers) with a 6-2 victory in front of 5,590 happy school kids visiting Dow Diamond Tuesday morning for the Loons annual Mid-Michigan School kids day game.

 

 The Loons (18-21) are currently in fifth place in the eastern division of the MWL; while West Michigan (23-16) dropped from first place to second place, also in the eastern division.  The Whitecaps have the toughest pitching staff in the MWL; with a league-leading 2.62 team ERA, and 357 strikeouts. 

 

 Tuesday morning, it was the Loons Pitcher’s who were dominant.  Lefty, Luis DePaula (1-0, 4.61 ERA) earned the victory in his first start as a Loon.  DePaula gave up just 1-run and 3-hits, striking out 4-batters through 5-innings of work Tuesday morning.  “(Luis) DePaula did a really nice job for us today, allowing only one run through five innings; that was very good for him,” said Loons head coach Bill Haselman.  “It was nice to get a lefty starter into the rotation.”

 

 Coach Haselman used three relievers to finish off the Whitecaps.  Loons relievers; Brandon Martinez (0-0, 3.48 ERA), Michael Johnson (1-1, 1.33 ERA), and Jacob Rhame (2-1, 4.05 ERA) combined to give up just 1-run and 1-hit throughout the final four innings Tuesday. 

 

 “We treated the game today more like a higher level game; where you bring in a guy, and another guy, and another guy, instead of letting guys absorb innings.”  “So, we want to start doing things a little bit where it’s more realistic of what you see up there on TV,” Haselman said -referring to the MLB game playing on the TV hanging up on the wall in his office.  “Some guys get up-&-down and it’s not always going to be the perfect world where we go: ‘ok, you get two innings, so now you get two days off,’ you know, they’re relievers, they’ve got to be ready everyday and, you know they’re younger so we were cautious with them for a month-and-a-half, and it doesn’t mean we’re not going to still throw some of them 2-or-3 innings depending on the game and who’s rested or who’s not; but typically that’s the kind of game I like, to just match-up a little bit and bring guys in, give them two-thirds of an inning, take them out, stuff like that.”

 

The Loons exploded for 5-hits and 4-runs in the second and third innings combined, with a good portion of the production coming from the 5-through-9 hitters.  Loons number five hitter, first-baseman, Webster Rivas was 2-for-4 with a single, double, a walk, and a run scored; while the Loons seven and nine hitters -Alex Santana and Dillon Moyer- also went 2-for-4 respectively.  The Loons number eight hitter, catcher, Spencer Navin was just a good gust of wind in the right direction from joining Rivas, Santana, and Moyer with a 2-for-4 day; although, he’d ultimately settle for 1-for-3 and a sac fly RBI.  “Yeah, (Spencer) Navin was 1-for-3, (Dillon) Moyer was 2-for-4, (Alex) Santana was 2-for-4; and Navin -if the wind’s not blowing in- he has a home run there too, he crushed that ball on that sac-fly RBI,” Haselman said.  “Yeah, those guys didn’t hit the hardest balls in the world, but they got the hits, and stayed ‘through it’ with their bats; so, I mean that’s important when you’re hitting, and they did that, they didn’t cut their swing off.”

 

 The Loons continue their current home stand through the weekend as they start a four game series at Dow Diamond with the Bowling Green Hot Rods (17-21, Tampa Bay Rays) on May, 15-through the-18.  Friday, Saturday, and Sunday’s games are set to start at 7:05 p.m. and Sunday’s series finale begins at 5:05 p.m.

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