The Great Lakes Loons won a seesaw Game 4 against the Clinton LumberKings, 9-8, to emerge victorious in a Midwest League Championship Series for the first time in their 10-year history.
It was the Midland, Mich., team’s first trip to the Midwest League finals, and it didn’t start well for them. They lost 16-6 in the series opener before rebounding with two 4-0 wins to take a 2-1 series lead into Sunday’s game at Dow Diamond.
The Loons offense was led by Matt Jones, who went 4-for-4 with two doubles and two runs batted in. Logan Landon and Saige Jenco also drove in two runs for the Loons.
The LumberKings scored first in the finale, getting three runs in the top of the 2nd inning on a solo homer by Alex Jackson and a two-run double by Chris Mariscal. The Loons responded with three runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning.
The Loons took a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the 4th inning, when Jones scored on a Jenco single. The LumberKings quickly re-tied the score when Dalton Kelly homered to lead off the top of the 5th inning.
Both teams scored multiple runs in the 6th inning. The LumberKings plated three runs in the top half — two on a Mariscal homer and one on a wild pitch by Loons reliever Karch Kowalczyk. The Loons came back with five runs in the bottom half — two on bases-loaded walks, one on a sacrifice fly, and two on a Landon double.
Only one more run would be scored, when the LumberKings tallied it in the top of the 7th inning.
Dean Kremer pitched the final 2.2 innings for the Loons, giving up only one hit and one walk as he earned a save in the clincher of Great Lakes’ first league championship.