Luis Paz (2) a 6-foot-1 prospect in the Los Angeles Dodgers' organization from Mirilia, Brazil belted a walk-off home run to break a 4-4 tie in the bottom of the ninth inning, to give the Great Lakes Loons a 5-4 victory over the Fort Wayne Tincaps (San Diego Padres) at Dow Diamond this afternoon.
Earlier in the game, Loons' DH Carlos Rincon (6) had tied the game at four runs apiece with his Midwest League leading sixth home run of the season in the bottom of the fifth inning.
The Tincaps drew first blood in the top of the second inning when Fort Wayne first baseman G.K. Young's RBI single scored center fielder Buddy Reed from second base.
The Loons answered when catcher Keibert Ruiz led off the bottom half of the second inning with a double then moved to third on a single by right fielder Gage Green.
Paz, who was 3 for 4 with 2-RBI's and 1-run scored this afternoon, kept the rally going by driving in Ruiz with an RBI single while advancing Green to second base, followed by third baseman Moises Perez, who drove in Green with an RBI sac fly for a 2-1 Great Lakes lead in the bottom of the second inning.
The Loons added another run after DH Carlos Rincon reached with a lead-off walk then scored on Ruiz' RBI single to extend the lead to 3-1 through three innings.
The Tincaps responded with a 2-run home run in the top of the fourth inning and a solo shot in the top of the fifth inning, both off of Loons starter Leo Crawford to take a 4-3 lead after 4 and a half innings.
Crawford (0-1, 4.60 ERA) a lefty from Puerto Cabezas, Nicarauga gave up 4-runs on 5-hits and 2-walks while striking out 1-batter through 3.2 innings in his start for the Loons this afternoon.
Loons reliever Parker Curry (1-1, 1.88 ERA) replaced Crawford and allowed just 1-walk while striking out 2-batters through 2.2 innings of middle relief.
Sven Schueller (1-0, 2.70 ERA) was equally impressive out of the Great Lakes bull pen, allowing 1-hit while striking out 3-batters to close out the final 1.2 innings to earn the win for the Loons today.
Paz paced the Loons offensively this afternoon, followed by Ruiz, who was 2 for 4 with an RBI and 1-run scored, along with Rincon, who was 2 for 3 with an RBI, a walk and 1-run scored. Green added 1-hit and 1-run scored as well today.
The Loons will wrap up its home-stand with a three game series against the Lake County (OH.) Captains (Cleveland Indians) Mon-Wed before hitting the road for a four game road series against the Dayton Dragons (Cincinnati Reds) Thur-Sat next week.