The Great Lakes Loons (10-20) managed to squeeze out a win in the final game of a 3-game road series with a 6-5 victory over the Beloit (WI.) Snappers (Oakland Athletics) at Pohlman Field in Beloit, WI this afternoon.
After entering the game to replace an injured Ramon Rodriguez (hamstring) in the top of the sixth, Loons catcher Gersel Pitre led off the last inning with a single, moved to second on a bunt single by SS Moises Perez, then advanced to third base on an intentional walk to RF Romer Cuadrado, before Great Lakes second baseman Marcus Chiu was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, allowing Pitre to score and break a 5-5 tie for a 6-5 Loons lead in the top of the ninth inning.
Loons closer Aneurys Zabala struck out the first batter he faced in the bottom of the ninth, then gave up a single to Beloit RF Jack Meggs, before forcing CF Austin Beck to force into a game-ending double play for the Loons win.
Zabala (1-1, 6.89 ERA) earned his first win of the season after allowing 2-hits, with 1-strikeout through 1 2/3 scoreless innings.
The Loons managed to jump out to an early lead when CF Brayan Morales led off the game with a double, stole third base, then scored on an infield ground-out by Cuadrado for a 1-0 lead in the first inning, before third baseman Jared Walker and LF Carlos Rincon followed with back to back lead-off walks two innings later, where they were driven in on a 2-RBI single by Brandon Montgomery for a 3-0 Loons lead in the top of the third inning.
Loons starter Edwin Uceta ran into his only trouble in the following inning when he gave up a lead-off solo home run to Beloit second baseman Jesus Lopez (2) then hit first baseman Hunter Hargrove with a pitch, before giving up a 2-run home run to Meggs (2) allowing the Snappers to tie the game at 3-runs apiece in the bottom of the third inning.
With the exception of the blemish in the third inning, Uceta (3.29 ERA) had a fantastic start, giving up just the 3-runs on 3-hits and 1-walk, while striking out 6-batters through 4 1/3 innings, before he was replaced by reliever Leo Crawford (2.25 ERA) who allowed just 1-hit, while striking out 2-batters through 1 2/3 scoreless innings of relief.
Morales ripped his second double of the game, then scored on a double by Cudrado for a 4-3 Loons lead in the top of the fourth, before Montgomery (3) belted a 2-out solo home run, his third of the season, for a 5-3 Loons lead in the top of the fifth inning.
Loons reliever Marshall Kasowski replaced Crawford in the seventh and gave up a lead-off solo home run to Lopez (3) which was his second of the game, to cut into the Loons lead (5-4) before Beloit LF Logan Farrar led off the eighth with a double then scored on an RBI-single off the bat of Hargrove to tie the game at 5-runs apiece in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Kasowski (2.81 ERA) gave up 2-runs on 3-hits and 2-walks, with 2-strikeouts through 1 1/3 innings of relief.
Montgomery finished 2 for 3 with the HR and 3-RBI's, while Morales was 2 for 4 with the 2-doubles and 2-runs scored to pace the Great Lakes offense today.
The Loons will stay in eastern Wisconsin, heading 2-1/2 hours north for a 3-game series with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Milwaukee Brewers) at 7:35 pm at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium in Appleton, WI tomorrow night.