Loons Doomed by Leadoff Walks, Fall 6-3

Midland, MI----After a night in which five Great Lakes Loon records were broken, the Loons couldn't manage another comeback falling short 6-3 against the West Michigan Whitecaps.

On Wednesday the Loons beat the Whitecaps in 16 innings of play. The innings itself was a record. Records broken included length of play at five hours and 22 minutes, seven Loons pitchers used, 281 pitches thrown, and 21 offensive strikeouts.

The Loons (21-20) needed starter Jarrett Martin to pitch deep into the game.

He did just that.

Martin went 7 1/3 innings a career high for him while giving up four earned runs, and walking five batters.

Martin knew the walks would hurt the team.

"As a starter, that's our job every outing," Martin said. "For me I didn't think about the fact that we had seven pitchers pitch yesterday. I felt like I battled well but kind of hurt myself tonight by putting on those five free runners. You can't defend walks."

Designated hitter Joe Winker went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI's and a run.

Winker, along with third baseman Jesse Bosnik has been the majority of the offensive putout for the Loons.

Bosnik and Winker were making good contact with the ball but couldn't find the gaps.

"Yeah that happens in baseball," Winker said. "We had a lot of guys square a lot of balls up, sometimes they are just going to go right at people, other times they are going to fall. You hope they find some green."

Bosnik has faith that his teammates will continue to improve offensively.

"Well every at bat is different, with the situations," Bosnik said. "You want to be patient at the plate, Joe (Winker) has been doing a good job of that. We are trying to do the best we can by leading the team like that. It's a long season, you go through some ups and downs, we'll be alright."

In the end it was the first batter walks that caused the Loons to lose.

Four out of the five first batters that walked scored for the Whitecaps.

On the flipside the Loons are in last in the Midwest League.

Manager John Shoemaker shared his thoughts on the reason behind the lack of walks.

"We have a lot of hitters right now that are too anxious," Shoemaker said. "The opposition is taking advantage of it. The difference between a minor and major league batsman is the knowledge of the strike zone. It means what is your pitch, but we are learning, I like the aggressiveness that we have."

The Loons and Whitecaps conclude the series on Friday.