Loons Drop First Half Finale

The Great Lakes Loons lost the first half finale 9-2 to the Lansing Lugnuts after a six run third inning.

One on and nobody out in the third and third baseman Jeffery Hunt fields what looks to be the start of a 5-4-3 double play.

Unfortunately for the Loons (34-36) that isn't what happened. Instead Hunt's throw to second baseman Jesus Arredondo went sailing into right field and the flood gates opened on them from there.

The Lugnuts (47-22) ended up plating six runs in the third inning on just one hit. Starter Jarett Martin would walk two batters and give up a sacrifice fly before giving up a grand slam that made it a 6-1 game.

"That was really disappointing for us to get down early," said manger John Shoemaker. "An outing like this for Jarett we'll see how he handles the adversity."

Much like the game Sunday, Great Lakes got off to a disappointing start to the season losing its first four games. Lansing swept the Loons to open the season and never looked back, running away with Midwest League Eastern Division.

But the Loons battled through the season and were in the hunt for the wild card spot coming into June. They just couldn't finish going 6-11 to end the first half and coming in fifth.

"Coming down the back stretch, in reference to horse racing, we just couldn't whip them hard enough to get back into it (playoff race)," Shoemaker said. "I was happy with the way we played most of the season, but we do have to sure up a few of things we're doing inconsistently."

Despite the loss and the missed playoff spot Great Lakes ends the season on a positive note by winning its final two series with Dayton and the Lugnuts.

"A loss today, but we took the series and that's all we can ask for," said designated hitter Angelo Songco.

The end of the first half means that the Loons and the other 11 teams that didn't qualify for the playoffs can restart at 0-0 and play for the final four playoff spots.

Lansing, Wisconsin, Bowling Green and Beloit won the four playoff spots in the first half and four completely new teams must take the second half spots.

So Great Lakes doesn't need to finish the second half in the top two spots, it just needs to finish ahead of four of the other five teams in the Eastern Division that haven't qualified.

"We just have to keep playing the way we are (to make the playoffs)," Songco said "We have a good team, just need to put everything together."