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
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
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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