Aviators Bid Farewell to Loeb

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

Lafayette, IN - The Lafayette Aviators (34-26) fell to the Champion City Kings (25-34) in Loeb Stadium’s final game on Tuesday night. Despite a late comeback in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Aviators lost 12-11 in a classic Prospect League battle to end the season.

The Aviators paid tribute to Loeb Stadium in style. Purdue Pete and Ace the Aviator arrived via helicopter behind second base to present the game ball, and to announce that Purdue’s Alexander Field will host the Aviators next season. Alexander will be Lafayette’s home while the new Loeb Stadium is built. Along with the helicopter entrance, West Lafayette mayor John Dennis and Lafayette mayor Tony Roswarski both threw out first pitches.

Despite the fanfare before the first pitch, Lafayette got off to a sluggish start in the field. Champion City put up three runs across the first two innings, including a two-run Aaron Hughes home run.

The Aviators didn’t stay quiet at the plate for long though. In the second inning with runners on first and second, Wynn Takacs (Carl Sandburg) laid down a beautiful bunt down the third base line. Champion City’s pitcher Jorge Lozano picked up the ball and fired wide to first base, allowing Blake Schmitt (Purdue) to score from second base. The play was ruled a hit for Takacs, and the Lafayette second basemen made it to second on the play. With men on second and third, Trey Sweeney (Eastern Illinois) stepped up and sliced a double to left-center field to bring home Miles Simington (Purdue) and Wynn Takacs.

Two batters after Trey Sweeney, Chris Monroe (Illinois-Springfield) poked a two-out RBI single to left field to score Sweeney and give Lafayette a 4-3 lead. The RBI was Monroe’s 61st of the season, giving him sole ownership of the Lafayette Aviators RBI record. Monroe also holds the Aviators record in hits and doubles.

Champion City came up with three runs in the fourth inning powered by Jett Swetland and Jacob Freeland homers. Lafayette trailed 6-4 entering the bottom of the fourth inning.

Lafayette got a run back in the fourth on a passed ball. Trey Sweeney reached on his second double of the game and then got to third on a wild pitch. When the ball got to the backstop again a few pitches later, Sweeney crossed the plate to cut the Kings lead to 6-5.

The fifth and sixth innings largely belonged to Champion City. Lafayette got two runs back in the bottom of the sixth inning with Chris Monroe’s 62nd RBI on a single to center and a Zach Schwartzenberger (Toledo) walk with the bases loaded, but the Kings got two runs in both the fifth and sixth. After six innings, the Kings led 10-7.

After Champion City added another run in the seventh, Lafayette responded when Braedon Blackford (Illinois State) skied a ball to right-center field. Right fielder Marcus Earnst tracked the ball but couldn’t make the catch, and the error allowed Wynn Takacs to score from second base. Blackford made it all the way to third on the play, and eventually scored on a wild pitch. The Aviators trailed 11-9 at the end of seven innings.

Loeb Stadium faced three remaining outs in the bottom of the ninth. With one out, Trey Sweeney railed a ball down the right field line and made it to third on a triple. After Sweeney, Braedon Blackford singled to right to score the runner and bring the game to 11-10. Miles Simington stepped to the plate with two outs and Blackford on first. With Loeb down to its last out, Simington lifted a ball into left-center field that dropped for a base hit. Blackford scored from first, and the score was tied. On Loeb’s final night, the Aviators tied it in the ninth inning to send the game to extra innings and extend the stadium’s lifespan.

Champion City knocked back-to-back doubles in the 10th inning to score the go-ahead run. Lafayette’s comeback was not meant to be, and the Aviators fell by one run in Loeb Stadium’s finale.

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

R

H

E

Champion City

1

2

0

3

2

2

1

0

0

1

12

19

2

Lafayette

0

4

0

1

0

2

2

0

2

0

11

5

0

 

 

 

Return to News