Loons win finale, but fail to qualify for playoffs - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Loons win finale, but fail to qualify for playoffs

When the Great Lakes Loons first batted Monday afternoon against the West Michigan Whitecaps, they knew they had a chance to capture a Midwest League playoff berth.
But by the time the team took the field again in the bottom of the second -- following a nearly two-hour rain delay -- the Loons knew they'd merely be playing for pride.
The 2014 Loons season ended Labor Day with a somewhat somber 3-1 victory over the Whitecaps. Knowing they were just playing for pride, the Loons erased an early 1-0 deficit to claim the win.
The Whitecaps, playing their first tune-up before beginning their quest for their sixth league title, scored in the bottom of the first inning when Loons starter Scott Barlow struck out Jeff Holm. But the pitch eluded catcher Webster Rivas for a run-scoring wild pitch and gave the Whitecaps the early edge.
Five pitches into the bottom of the second inning, heavy rains began to fall at Fifth Third Ballpark, beginning a one hour, 59 minute delay.
During the delay in Bowling Green, infielder Josh Van Meter broke a scoreless tie in Bowling Green with a three-run home run. The TinCaps tacked on an additional run in the ninth and won 4-0 against a depleted Hot Rods squad that had been eliminated the night before. That win secured a playoff berth for the TinCaps and ended the playoff chances for both the Loons and Dayton Dragons.
Coming out of the delay, knowing their fates had been sealed, the Loons tied the score in the third. Following a double by Alex Santana and a Leo Rodriguez single, Tyler Wampler grounded into a double play scoring Santana.
The Loons took the lead in the fifth on a Santana sac fly scoring Rivas, who had singled.
Paul Hoenecke blasted his 15th home run of the season deep to left in the seventh for an insurance run.
Jordan Hershiser (2-2) threw three scoreless relief innings to record the win. Mark Pope (two innings), Kyle Hooper (one) and A.J. Vanegas (two) followed with more scoreless relief, emblematic of a season that featured consistent relief work all season.
The Loons finish the year 66-73. Their second half record of 32-37 was a mere half-game behind playoff qualifying Fort Wayne.

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