Despite going 2-for-15 with runners in scoring position and managing just six hits, the Lansing Lugnuts were able to squeak out a 5-3 win over the South Bend Silver Hawks due to strong overall pitching and a late rally to take the lead in the eighth inning.
Wins/Losses: 22-16 | Streak: W1 | T-2nd in MID Eastern (1.0 GB)
Lansing Lugnuts 5, South Bend Silver Hawks 3
The Lugnuts definitely weren’t impressive at the plate in this one, but they were able to manufacture runs on the base paths and off well-timed South Bend mistakes to support their pitchers.
After Kevin Nolan led off the game getting hit by a pitch, Marcus Knecht singled before Jake Marisnick reached base on a throwing error that allowed Nolan to score. Jack Murphy then hit a leadoff double in the very next inning before advancing to third on a ground out and scoring on a wild pitch.
Then, Michael Crouse led off the fourth inning with a single and stole second base, before Oliver Dominguez drew a walk. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch, and Crouse wound up scoring on an RBI ground out to temporarily put the Lugnuts up 3-0.
Finally in the top of the eighth with the game tied, Marisnick led off with a single before stealing second and advancing to third on a errant pickoff throw, eventually scoring on a Lance Durham double. As if it couldn’t get any worse for the Silver Hawks, Durham advanced to third on yet another wild pitch, and later scored on a Dominguez single to give the Lugnuts a 5-3 lead.
Starter Sean Nolin allowed two earned runs on just three hits over six strong innings, striking out seven while walking one. He erased a leadoff single in the third by picking off the runner, and really made only one mistake which would up costing him, a two-run homer in the fourth inning.
Like Nolin, reliever Danny Barnes made just one mistake in his outing that resulted in a home run, a game-tying solo shot in seventh to the first batter he faced. He dialed in after the home run, though, and retired six straight batters across two innings, including five by strikeout.
Closer Steve Turnbull came into the ninth and struck out the side, working around a one-out triple to earn his tenth save of the season.
- As if Jays fans needed another reason to be excited about Crouse and Marisnick, their stolen bases yesterday give them 17 and 15 on the season, respectively, good for third and fourth place in the Midwest League
- The Lugnuts now have 59 stolen bases as a team, good for second in the entire MWL