MIDLAND, Mich. – Errol Robinson put a charge into an Austin Sodders pitch for the Great Lakes Loons only two runs of the game against the West Michigan Whitecaps on Thursday. But that would be the only damage the Detroit Tigers prospect would suffer in an otherwise exceptional start as West Michigan scored two runs in the 8th for a 3-2 victory to take the series.
Already with the second-best earned run average in the Midwest League entering play Thursday, Sodders (W, 6-0) continued his strong start to the 2017 season pitching eight innings allowing two runs on six hits. He did not issue a walk and had eight punch outs as he claimed his sixth victory in nine starts for the Whitecaps this season.
It didn’t take much for the Loons (26-27) in the bottom of the 3rd when Saige Jenco singled with one out and Robinson sent a ball over the wall in right field. But other than Jenco’s multi-hit performance, the Loons lineup was largely held in check by Sodders and reliever John Schreiber (SV, 1).
West Michigan (36-17) pulled a run back in the next half-inning when they loaded the bases with singles from Jacob Robson and Josh Lester, followed by a walk from Chad Sedio. It was thanks to a balk from Loons starter Leo Crawford that allowed Robson, who went 2-for-4 with two runs scored in the game, to trot home.
Since the calendar turned to May, the lefty Crawford has pitched well for the Loons as he went five innings allowing just one run on five hits. He issued one walk and had six strikeouts.
Fast forward to the 8th inning with Great Lakes still clinging to a 2-1 lead and reliever Vinny Santarsiero (H, 2; L, 3-1) on the mound. The Whitecaps pushed runners to the corners with two outs before Angel German (BS, 1) was brought into the game. After defensive indifference gave West Michigan two runners in scoring position, Anthony Pereira singled into center field to snatch their first lead of the game.
With the loss, the Loons fall below .500 while the Whitecaps extend their lead atop the Eastern Division to two games. Another 2016 MWL Playoff opponent visits Midland this weekend beginning Friday as a series with Bowling Green Hot Rods awaits the Loons. Travel back in time with 80’s and 90’s themes taking over the ballpark before a pregame youth clinic is held on Sunday.
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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