TOP TEN Loons Games of 2012, Part 1
It’s that time again! After swimming through piles of box scores, game notes and hot dog wrappers from the 2012 season, From the Nest is please to present one of our favorite lists of the year: the Top Ten Loons Games of 2012. Naturally, you can expect some walk-off wins and pitching gems on the list, but we’d be remiss not to also include birthday celebrations and team choreography. Happy reading!
10. ‘Slugging the Luggies’ – 5.2.2012
The Loons opened the 2012 season 0-3, victims of a series sweep on the road by the Lansing Lugnuts. The in-state rivals went on to finish the season with the Midwest League’s best record of 82-55, but when they visited Dow Diamond for the first time, the Loons had some unfinished business to settle. Within the first inning the Loons had a 3-0 lead on Lansing, powered by first baseman and MWL All-Star Joe Winker, who accounted for two runs in the inning and four total in his 3 for 4 showing at the plate. With 13 total hits, the Loons defeated the Lugnuts 7-1. Defensively, the Loons All-Star pitcher Jarret Martin held the Lugnuts in check with seven innings of scoreless baseball to trim his ERA to 2.91 through six starts. Full Story / Video Highlights
9. ‘Shut Outs & Sell Outs’ – 9.1.2012
With a season-high crowd of 6,052 Loons fans in attendance, the Great Lakes Loons used the arms of Joel Lima, Matt Shelton and Craig Stem to deliver the team’s final shutout of the year for the 3-0 victory. Lima delivered a quality start, fanning four Silver Hawks over six innings before Shelton racked up three strikeouts in two hitless frames. Stem picked up his fourth save with a spotless ninth. South Bend was held to one hit in the game, which came in the second inning off Lima. The Loons offense manufactured runs on a double-steal with two outs in the second, a Jesus Arredondo RBI-triple and a Nick Akins sac-fly in the eighth. The result continued the team’s strong finish, giving them eight wins in their last 10. Full Story / Video Highlights
8. ‘Dickson Delivers’ – 8.13.2012
Down to their last out of the ninth inning, the Loons forced a pair of walks to load the bases and set the table for All-Star first baseman O’Koyea Dickson, who pointed a single into right-field for the walk-off win over Lansing. Dickson finished the night 3 for 4 with one run and one RBI for the Loons, who avoided the sweep from Lansing with the 5-4 victory. The Loons also delivered some fireworks in the seventh inning, tied 2-2, facing Lansing’s first relief pitcher of the night. Scott Schebler started the inning off with a high-flying drive into the tunnel in right field, which was followed by a home run from Jesse Bosnik for back-to-back jacks. Full Story / Video Highlights
7. ‘Win Number Five-Zero’ – 7.25.2012
After surrendering a pair of home runs in the fifth inning to give Dayton a 6-3 lead, the Loons continued to battle back before sleighing the Dragons 9-7 for the team’s 50th win of the season. Second baseman Pedro Guerrero helped extend the Loons final rally with his game-tying two-run home run in the seventh inning (triggering the response from the dugout above), while Jesse Bosnik finished the job with an RBI single in the eighth. Apart from the thrilling comeback, the Loons 50th win also featured shortstop Darnell Sweeney’s first professional home run in the third inning; one inning of Mike Thomas’ spotless July (during which he went 2-0 with three saves in 11 innings for an 0.00 ERA); and Paco Rodriguez’s last game in a Loons uniform. Rodriguez pitched in six innings for the Loons in 2012 and finished the year on the Dodgers roster. Full Story / Video Highlights
6. ‘The See-Saw Slugfest’ – 8.23.2012
The Loons landed the final blow to Lansing in a late-season knock-down drag-out slugfest that featured seven lead changes. Trailing 8-7 in the ninth and facing their last out, the Loons tied the game on a wild pitch delivered by Lansing’s Ajay Meyer, which sent the home team into their 12th and final extra-innings game of the season. In the bottom of the 10th, center fielder James Baldwin drew a walk and Darnell Sweeney fought down a pitch high in the zone for a sac-bunt that moved Baldwin to second. Then with two outs, Joe Winker sliced a grounder past the pitcher’s mound that was gloved by shortstop Shane Opitz, who tossed it to first. Winker arrived safely, beating the throw, while Baldwin used his speed to wheel around third and score the game winner. Full Story / Video Highlights
To continue the journey and find out the Loons top five games from 2012, click here.