For the first time in their 10-year franchise history, Dodgers Class-A affiliate Great Lakes are the Midwest League champions. The Loons were 9-8 winners over the Clinton LumberKings (Mariners) in Game 4 at home at Dow Diamond on Sunday afternoon,
Great Lakes captured the best-of-5 series, three games to one.
They had to do so in Game 4 in comeback fashion, and spectacularly so, erasing two different three-run deficits.
A five-run sixth gave the Loons the lead, and was fueled by four walks, including three in four batters by a Clinton reliever named Matt Walker.
Center fielder Logan Landon hit the go-ahead two-run double in the sixth-inning rally, one of his two hits and a walk in the game. He was one of the key postseason performers for Great Lakes, hitting .351 (13-for-37) with seven walks and a .455 on-base percentage.
First baseman Matt Jones was 4-for-4 with two doubles in the clincher. He drove in the two tying runs with a single in the second inning, then scored the go-ahead run in the fourth.
Karch Kowalczyk got the final two outs of the top of the sixth to earn the win for Great Lakes.
Dean Kremer, the Dodgers’ 14th-round pick this year out of UNLV, recorded the final eight outs for the save, and during the postseason posted a 0.87 ERA with six strikeouts and a walk in 10⅓ innings.
Clinton looked to have a rally in the ninth inning when Ricky Eusebio led off with a single to left field, but he was thrown out trying to stretch the play into a double. The final out was a pop out to shortstop Brendon Davis.
Yadier Alvarez, the 20-year-old right-hander out of Cuba to whom the Dodgers paid $16 million out in July 2015, struck out five in his three innings, but didn’t factor into the decision. Alvarez allowed three runs in the second inning, including a solo home run, and was pulled with nobody out in the fourth inning after issuing his third walk of the game.
Those were the only earned runs allowed in three postseason starts for Alvarez, who had a 2.25 ERA with 11 strikeouts and four walks in 12 innings during the playoffs.
The Loons were 4-0 at home in the postseason during their championship run, and 7-3 overall in the postseason, including two road wins in winner-take-all Games 3 in the first two rounds.
This was their fifth postseason appearance in 10 years of existence, all as a Dodgers affiliate.