Loons announce MWL All-Star Game-related events

The Great Lakes Loons have announced the full schedule of events surrounding this year’s Midwest League All-Star Game at Dow Diamond.

The festivities will take place Monday, June 19, and Tuesday, June 20, with the All-Star Game itself happening the night of the latter day. But things will kick off a day earlier with a tailgate on the front lawn of Dow Diamond, beginning at 3 p.m. Monday as the gates open for the area High School All-Star Game that starts an hour later. It is free to attend the tailgate event, which includes inflatables, promotional games and other activities for children, along with a beer garden for people over age 21. A ticket is required for the High School All-Star Game, which features graduating high school seniors from the surrounding area.

Tickets for the High School All-Star Game are also good for the Midwest League Home Run Derby later that night. They cost $7 (lawn) and $10 (reserved box seat).

The Midwest League Home Run Derby will feature eight sluggers from the MWL All-Star teams. The format for the derby will follow a shot-clock system with timed rounds through the finals.

After the Home Run Derby ends, a free concert by Nashville recording artist Chris Weaver will be held on the front lawn of Dow Diamond. According to the Chris Weaver Band’s website, the group mixes southern rock, soul and country blues. A ticket is not required to attend.

Fans will get the opportunity to meet players, take photos and get autographs from the All-Stars at two different times. Both teams will be on the concourse during the High School All-Star Game on Monday, and each team’s players will be available again as the other team takes batting practice prior to the Midwest League All-Star Game on Tuesday.

Tickets for the Midwest League All-Star Game cost $10 (lawn) and $16 (reserved box seat).

The managers and coaching staffs for the All-Star Game will be from the Great Lakes Loons and the Clinton LumberKings, respectively led by managers Jeremy Rodriguez and Pat Shine. Those two teams faced each other in last year’s Midwest League Championship Series, which the Loons won in four games.

Former MLB players Raul Ibanez and Charlie Hough will serve as honorary captains for the teams.

This will be the second time the Midwest League All-Star Game is held at Dow Diamond. The Loons hosted the 2008 game, which was won by the West All-Stars, 5-4 in 10 innings. Many future major-leaguers played in that game, including Kenley Jansen (who was a catcher then), Ben Revere, Neftali Feliz, Derek Holland and Mitch Moreland.

Here is the full schedule of events for Dow Diamond on June 19-20:

Monday, June 19

2 p.m. — Midwest League Home Run Derby batting practice begins (open only to media)

3 p.m. — Gates open for High School All-Star Game

3 p.m. — Tailgate activities begin on Dow Diamond front lawn

4:05 p.m. — High School All-Star Game begins

4:30 p.m. — Midwest League All-Stars autograph session begins on concourse

5 p.m. — Live music at tailgate begins

7:05 p.m. — Midwest League Home Run Derby begins

Chris Weaver Band will perform after the Home Run Derby ends.

Tuesday, June 20

4 p.m. — Gates open for Midwest League All-Star Game

4 p.m. — Live music in The Cove begins

4 p.m. —  Midwest League East Team batting practice begins

4 p.m. — Midwest League West Team autograph session begins on concourse

5 p.m. — Midwest League West Team batting practice begins

5:15 p.m. — Midwest League East Team autograph session begins on concourse

6 p.m. — In-park entertainment begins

7:05 p.m. — Midwest League All-Star Game begins

Fireworks will begin shortly after the All-Star Game concludes.

Posted in 2016 Playoffs, 2017 All-Star Game, Clinton LumberKings, Great Lakes Loons, Midwest League | Leave a comment

Cougars win big in one-hitter vs. Timber Rattlers

Kane County Cougars LHP Cody Reed struck out 11 batters and walked one in six hitless innings against the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers on Wednesday. (Photo by Donnell Collins)

The Kane County Cougars extended their Midwest League-best record to 14-6 as they scored 13 runs and held the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers to a single hit in their series-ending shutout Wednesday.

Cougars starting pitcher Cody Reed earned his first win of the season by striking out 11 and walking only one batter in six hitless innings. Tucker Neuhaus was the only Wisconsin batter who got a hit, doubling off reliever Riley Smith to lead off the 7th inning.

Reed now has a 1.35 ERA with 27 strikeouts and six walks in 20 innings (four starts) this season.

All nine players in Kane County’s starting lineup got at least one hit. Marcus Wilson raised his batting average to .362 with a 2-for-4 performance that included a double, two walks, three RBI and one stolen base. Luis Silverio, Kyle Smith and Paxton De La Garza each drove in two runs.

Posted in Kane County Cougars, Midwest League, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers | Leave a comment

Whitecaps beat TinCaps 8-2, win 6th straight game

Blaise Salter led the Whitecaps offense Wednesday as West Michigan beat the Fort Wayne TinCaps 8-2 to win their sixth consecutive game.

Salter went 3-for-5 with a three-run double and an RBI single. Teammate Cam Gibson went 3-for-4 with a triple, a walk and a stolen base.

With identical 12-8 records, West Michigan and the South Bend Cubs remain tied for first place in the Eastern Division standings.

South Bend beat the Lansing Lugnuts 14-9 Wednesday. The Cubs offense was led by Vimael Machin, who went 3-for-5 with a three-run homer, an RBI double and an RBI single, and Kevonte Mitchell, who went 4-for-6 with a solo homer and an RBI single. Zack Short reached base five times, on a triple, a double and three walks. He scored four times.

Bo Bichette hit a solo homer and a double for the Lugnuts. He is batting .383 (23-for-60) with two homers, seven doubles and 13 RBI this season.

Posted in Fort Wayne TinCaps, Lansing Lugnuts, Midwest League, South Bend Silver Hawks, West Michigan Whitecaps | Leave a comment

Olivares hits for cycle as Lugnuts beat Cubs 11-5

Edward Olivares

Lansing Lugnuts outfielder Edward Olivares hit for the cycle against the South Bend Cubs on Monday. (Photo by Tyler Marcotte/Lansing Lugnuts)

Edward Olivares became the first Lugnuts player since 2010 to hit for the cycle as Lansing got to Cubs pitcher Dylan Cease and beat South Bend 11-5 Monday at Cooley Law School Stadium.

In addition to hitting for the cycle — Lansing’s first since Brad Glenn did it on July 26, 2010 — Olivares drove in four runs and scored twice. Other Lansing offensive highlights: J.B. Woodman hit a two-run homer, Ryan Hissey drove in three runs, and Bradley Jones reached base four times (triple, double, single, walk) and drove in a run.

Lansing’s offensive outburst began against Cease, who was named the Midwest League pitcher of the week earlier in the day. The top Chicago Cubs pitching prospect lasted only four innings, giving up three earned runs on six hits and three walks while striking out five.

Cease’s counterpart, Lugnuts SP Patrick Murphy, didn’t fare well either, giving up four earned runs on nine hits and three walks while striking out five in 4.2 innings. The difference in the game came as Lansing’s bullpen gave up only one run in 5.1 innings, while South Bend’s bullpen gave up eight runs in four innings.

Cubs DH Wladimir Galindo had three hits and walked once, and teammate Isaac Paredes hit a two-run homer.

Posted in Lansing Lugnuts, Midwest League, South Bend Silver Hawks | Leave a comment

Cease, Palacios named Midwest League players of the week

South Bend Cubs RHP Dylan Cease was named the Midwest League pitcher of the week after throwing six hitless innings Wednesday. (Photo by Rikk Carlson)

South Bend Cubs RHP Dylan Cease and Cedar Rapids Kernels shortstop Jermaine Palacios respectively were named the Midwest League pitcher and offensive player of the week for the period of April 17-23.

Cease earned the honor by pitching six no-hit innings against the Great Lakes Loons on Wednesday. He walked three and struck out seven.

Cease has made three starts so far this season. He has a 0.60 ERA and 22 strikeouts, and has walked only eight batters, in 15 innings. He is scheduled to pitch against the Lansing Lugnuts tonight, which should be a true test of his talent against one of the best offenses in the Midwest League.

Cease was one of several Midwest League pitchers who threw four-to-six innings of no-hit ball in the past few days. Kane County Cougars RHP Jon Duplantier (5.1 no-hit innings against the Beloit Snappers on Wednesday), Fort Wayne TinCaps LHP Logan Allen (five no-hit innings against the Loons on Thursday), Snappers RHP Brendan Butler (four no-hit innings versus the Burlington Bees on Thursday) and Snappers LHP Dalton Sawyer (five perfect innings vs. the Bees on Sunday) were the others.

Palacios has been on a tear, batting .516 (16-for-31) with three doubles, a triple, a home run and seven RBI in his last seven games. In 15 games this season, he is batting .406 with three doubles, two triples, one homer and eight RBI. The Venezuelan infielder is on his second go-around with the Kernels; he batted .222 with 1 HR and 28 RBI in 71 Midwest League games last season, his age-19 year.

MLB Pipeline honors two T-Rats

Two Wisconsin Timber Rattlers outfielders were named to MLB Pipeline’s Prospect Team of the Week for the period of April 17-23.

Wisconsin’s Monte Harrison and Demi Orimoloye were named to the team, along with Triple-A outfielder Lewis Brinson, giving the squad an outfield of three Milwaukee Brewers prospects — the first time one MLB team filled all three outfield spots on the Prospect Team of the Week.

Harrison batted .423 with three homers, two doubles, 11 runs batted in, and five runs scored in his last seven games. In 16 games this season, he is batting .339 with 5 homers, three doubles, 14 runs batted in, and nine runs scored.

Orimoloye batted .417 with three homers, three doubles, 11 runs scored, six runs batted in, and two stolen bases in six games last week. In 15 games this season, he is batting .291 with five homers, four doubles, 15 runs scored, 10 runs batted in, and three stolen bases.

Demi Orimoloye pre-game catch 1

Wisconsin Timber Rattlers outfielder Demi Orimoloye (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

In case you’re wondering, the shortstop who beat out Palacios for the Prospect Team of the Week is San Antonio Missions infielder Luis Urias, a former Fort Wayne TinCap. The San Diego Padres prospect batted .545 with four doubles, two triples, three runs batted in, and seven runs scored in five games last week. He played 51 games with the 2015 TinCaps, batting .290 with 16 RBI and five stolen bases.

Posted in Beloit Snappers, Burlington Bees, Cedar Rapids Kernels, Fort Wayne TinCaps, Great Lakes Loons, Kane County Cougars, Lansing Lugnuts, Midwest League, San Antonio Missions, South Bend Silver Hawks, Texas League, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers | Leave a comment