Midland, Mich. – The Great Lakes Loons (76-55) (2-1) advanced to their second ever Midwest League Championship Series in their 16-year franchise history defeating the Fort Wayne TinCaps (69-63) (1-2) 2-1. The game was the third in a best-of-three Midwest League Eastern Division Championship Series on a 69-degree partly cloudy
Midland, Mich. – The Great Lakes Loons (76-55) (2-1) advanced to their second ever Midwest League Championship Series in their 16-year franchise history defeating the Fort Wayne TinCaps (69-63) (1-2) 2-1. The game was the third in a best-of-three Midwest League Eastern Division Championship Series on a 69-degree partly cloudy Friday night at Dow Diamond.
Jared Karros started for Great Lakes, his fourth Midwest League appearance. The right-hander was lights out, commanding through five innings, punching out six. Fort Wayne had three baserunners against Karros, only one reaching scoring position.
Eight of the first nine Loons batters were retired by Dylan Lesko. Taylor Young with two outs, reached on an infield single in the bottom of the third. Dalton Rushing next up launched a 1-0 pitch, 375 feet off the right-center field wall. A throw to home from second baseman Nerwilian Cedeno went too high, advancing Rushing to third base and pushing Young across.
In the bottom of the fourth, Griffin Lockwood-Powell walked on eight pitches to begin the inning. Lockwood-Powell moved to second on a wild pitch. Alex Freeland stepped up, and the regular season RBI leader stroked a double to right field, to plate Lockwood-Powell and make it 2-0.
Three relievers threw the next four innings. Peter Heubeck went the sixth and seventh innings. In the sixth, the TinCaps tallied their lone run Kai Murphy slugged it 337 feet over the right field fence. Heubeck punched out two and induced a 4-6-3 double play to finish the seventh.
Carlos De Los Santos entered in the eighth, and after an Anthony Vilar leadoff single, he sat down the next two faced. Jack Dreyer was put in to record the final four outs. The left-hander posted a 2.30 ERA through 54.2 innings in the 2023 campaign. He struck out three and then Carlos Luis grounded out to first to put the Loons in the championship series.
Game one between the Great Lakes Loons and Midwest League Western Division Series champion Cedar Rapids Kernels is Sunday, September 17th. The first pitch is at 1:05 p.m. Playoff baseball is brought to you by MyMichigan Health. Tickets are available at milb.com/great-lakes.
The Great Lakes Loons have been the Single-A partner of the Los Angeles Dodgers since the team’s inception in 2007. Dow Diamond serves as the team’s home and also houses the Michigan Baseball Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit public charity, and ESPN 100.9-FM. For tickets or information about the Loons, call 989-837-BALL or visit Loons.com.