The Bowling Green Hot Rods and the Dayton Dragons were eliminated from the first-half playoff race Friday while the Great Lakes Loons inched closer to becoming at least the Eastern Division wild-card team, with the Lake County Captains still holding out hope.
The Loons beat the Lugnuts (who claimed the first Eastern Division playoff spot Thursday), which means Great Lakes is now one game behind Lansing with two games left in the half. If the Lugnuts win either of their remaining games, they win the division. The Loons will win the division if they beat the Lugnuts in both games.
Regardless, the Loons need only one win or a Captains loss to clinch the second Eastern Division playoff berth.
The Quad Cities River Bandits already clinched the Western Division first-half title, with the Cedar Rapids Kernels claiming the Western Division wild-card spot.
Gillaspie hits 16th HR
The Hot Rods were knocked out of the first-half playoff race Friday, but they got a two-run homer from Casey Gillaspie, who leads the Midwest League with 16 roundtrippers.
South Bend draws record crowd
The South Bend Cubs have the worst record in the Eastern Division, but they continue to set new franchise attendance records. They drew 8,004 fans to Friday’s game, which the Cubs lost 8-4 to the West Michigan Whitecaps.
It was the first time South Bend drew more than 8,000 fans to a single game. The team began as the South Bend White Sox in 1988 and was known as the South Bend Silver Hawks from 1995 to 2014.