MIDLAND, Mich. – Entering the bottom of the 10th inning, Great Lakes Loons outfielder Cody Thomas had been to the plate four times and struck out each time. None of that mattered as he launched a moonshot into the night sky over the right field fence for a walk-off home run and a 5-4 win over the Dayton Dragons on Tuesday.
Coming into Monday, the Dragons had the best record in Minor League Baseball and the most wins (30) in professional baseball, including the MLB. Dayton has also had Great Lakes’ number winning five of the first six matchups this season before tonight’s victory.
Thomas’ walk-off blast was the third in the last month for the Loons. The team didn’t have a walk-off home run at Dow Diamond last season and had just one two seasons ago in 2015.
Along with the Loons’ response of a three-run 3rd inning, starting pitcher A.J. Alexy was excellent in his return to the rotation. The right-hander had not pitched in a game since May 12 and proceeded to record eight strikeouts, a career high, in 4.2 innings pitched.
Gavin Lux continued his hot stretch with his fourth multi-hit game in the last week for the Loons going 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI. Brendon Davis chipped in two hits and two RBI to help power the offense.
After the Dragons tied the game 3-3 in the top of the 6th inning it was Lux who singled, advanced to second and then scored on a Davis single to put Great Lakes in front momentarily in the 8th. But Dayton had another response taking advantage of a bases-loaded jam with a sacrifice fly off Andre Scrubb (BS, 1) to force extra innings.
Pitching out of the remaining trouble in the 9th and a tight spot in the 10th for the Loons was Nolan Long (W, 2-1). Ty Boyles pitched 6.1 innings allowing three runs on four hits for Dayton. Joel Kuhnel (L, 0-1) is saddled with the loss.
The Loons will now look to make it back-to-back wins against the Midwest League’s top team on Tuesday in Midland. It will be the second installment of the championship poster giveaway series at the ballpark.
The 2016 Midwest League Champions and hosts of the 2017 MWL All-Star Game presented by GoGreat.com have been a Single-A partner of the Los Angeles Dodgers since the team’s inception in 2007. For tickets and more information about the Great Lakes Loons, call 989-837-BALL or visit Loons.com.
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