Great Lakes Shuts Down Cedar Rapids

Great Lakes Loons relief pitcher Juan Noriega held off the Cedar Rapids Kernels for a 6-4 win Wednesday night.

The Kernels scored two runs in fifth and one in the sixth and the Loons needed something to stop the comeback.

Juan Noriega came in the seventh inning for relief and he struck out the side. He continued his dominance in the eighth inning adding another strikeout to his hitless two innings of work.

"Juan (Noriega) threw the ball well for us and kept the momentum on our side," said manager John Shoemaker. "We took a 5-1 lead and Cedar Rapids bounced back, but I'm glad we hung on."

Great Lakes had a 3-1 lead in the fourth inning when outfielder James Baldwin added a decisive two-run two-out triple down the right field line.

"I had to come up with a big hit and try to get a RBI," Baldwin said. "I saw a fastball after two sliders and I wasn't stopping at second, three all the way."

Arismendy Ozoria got the start and went five innings giving up three runs on five hits while striking out five earning his second win in as many starts.

In his last two starts Ozoria is 2-0 with a 3.27 ERA in 11 innings. His two starts prior he was 0-1 with a 6.24 ERA.

"He's done a great job of changing speeds and having patients," Shoemaker said. "Tonight he got hurt on some off-speed pitches but he battled through it and collected a win."

Making his Dow Diamond debut Wednesday night was Dodgers 2012 13th round draft pick, shortstop Darnell Sweeney. Although he went 0-for-2 at the plate, he showed patients drawing three walks and showed off his glove by turning two double plays.

"(Sweeney) is going to give us a good effort every day," Shoemaker said. "He gives us speed at the top of the lineup, switch hitter, solid defender and we're happy to have him here."

The Loons (8-11) are coming off a six game road trip where they went 2-4 but won its final game against Dayton and with the win Wednesday night, they are looking to get on a roll.

"We're trying to get wins not only for us but for the fans here," Baldwin said. "They're here every night and it's a wonderful thing."

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