Loons Take Heated Series from West Michigan

The Great Lakes Loons ended a quick and heated three-game homestand with West Michigan with a 3-2 win on Friday that clinched the series.

There was a lot of tension during the series starting when the benches cleared in the Loons (22-20) 6-5 16-inning win Wednesday after catcher Jan Vazquez held on to the ball in two home plate collisions.

Things got heated between the two teams again Friday. Whitecaps (19-23) pitcher Marcelo Carreno threw behind centerfielder James Baldwin in his first at-bat after cleeting their second baseman Brandon Loy trying to break-up a double play. Manager John Shoemaker was ejected arguing the call.

"In the first game there was some hard baseball contact and that's just a part of baseball and guys started talking and before you know guys are out there," Shoemaker said. "James Baldwin did not do anything wrong, I was very surprised the starting pitcher for West Michigan was not ejected."

The Loons got back at Carreno by getting eight hits and three runs off of him in five innings. Catcher Jan Vazquez got two of those hits as he continued to swing a hot bat that has landed him the starting spot from Pratt Maynard.

"I just have to see the ball because I wasn't seeing the ball well earlier," Vazquez said. "We're both playing very hard, Maynard is pretty good and the pitchers have trust in both of us."

Another Loon who hit well Friday was shortstop Delvis Morales who, in his first game since being recalled from extended spring training, went two-for-three with two runs. He replaced Justin Boudreaux who was sent down after batting just .144.

"He was a little anxious when he started and the weather wasn't really ideal," Shoemaker said. "Some young kids haven't played a lot in cold weather and it becomes a challenge."

All of the hits helped out starter Jose Dominguez who wasn't challenged by the West Michigan batters. Dominguez went through the lineup once through before giving up his first hit in the fourth.

He ended the game going six-plus innings allowing just four hits and one run off a home run in the fifth.

"That's what you need when your bullpen is a little short," Shoemaker said. "I feel like we're coming together as a team."

The Loons currently sit in fourth place in the Midwest League Eastern Division, seven games back of Lansing, but are just one and half games behind Bowling Green for second place.