EASTLAKE, Ohio – From the very start, it seemed like the wait would only last one extra day. After failing to clinch a Midwest League Playoff spot in their first try on Tuesday night, the Great Lakes Loons completed the job on Wednesday as they shut out the Lake County Captains 5-0 to clinch their 7th postseason berth in franchise history.
It’s the 3rd time the Loons (41-22) have clinched a playoff spot in the 1st half of the season, with the others being 2010 & 2015. Great Lakes was in the MWL Playoffs last year, but were swept in the Eastern Division Semifinals by the West Michigan Whitecaps. Back in 2016, the Loons made the most of their post-Labor Day baseball capturing their first MWL championship.
Overall, the Loons have a 13-15 record in postseason play, and have split their 10 series played going 5-5. They fare much better at home (8-5) than they do on the road (5-10) in the playoffs.
As for the clinching game, John Rooney (W, 3-1) made things uneventful as he was nearly untouchable in his start going 6.2 scoreless innings with five strikeouts. Nathan Witt and Brett de Geus combined to allow one baserunner the rest of the way.
After scoring runs on a wild pitch and a fielder’s choice in the 2nd inning, and adding another via a Matt Cogen single in the 4th, it was MWL All-Star Niko Hulsizer who crushed his 14th home run of the season to cap off the celebratory afternoon.
The best first half in Loons franchise history came in 2010 when they finished with a 43-26 record (.623). The Loons’ current win percentage is .651. This 2019 team needs just one win in their final four games to earn the highest 1st half win percentage in franchise history. The Loons would need to win their final four games to earn the highest win% for any half (.672).
Playoff schedule and ticket information has not been finalized yet. Stay tuned to Loons.com for updates on when the Loons will be playing their playoff game(s) at Dow Diamond and when tickets will go on sale.