May 20, 2011 - Midwest League (MWL) - Lansing Lugnuts
LANSING, Mich. - Kevin Nolan went 3-for-4 with a pair of runs scored and a go-ahead RBI single, leading the Lansing Lugnuts (23-17) to a 5-2 victory over the Bowling Green Hot Rods (24-18) in the opener of a four-game series at Cooley Law School Stadium.
Nolan doubled to start a one-out rally in the first, and came around to score on an RBI triple by Marcus Knecht. Knecht scored on a Bowling Green error to give the Lugnuts an early 2-0 lead.
Starting pitcher Egan Smith had given up just two hits entering the fifth inning, but then allowed a home run and a double before being removed from the game due to injury.
Marcus Walden (Win, 1-0) allowed his inherited runner to score, tying the game, before stiffening for 2 1/3 scoreless innings.
The Lugnuts answered the Hot Rods' two runs with two of their own off Bowling Green starter C.J. Riefenhauser (Loss, 3-4) in the bottom of the fifth. After Markus Brisker singled, stole second, and moved to third on a Kyle Holloway throwing error, Nolan drove him home with an RBI single. Jake Marisnick then smoked an RBI double to left field, making the score 4-2.
Lansing added another run in the seventh when Gustavo Pierre knocked a leadoff home run to left field, the shortstop's second homer of the year.
The three-run lead was all that the Lugnuts' bullpen would need, with Walden handing the ball to Danny Barnes (Save, 3) for the final two frames.
The win puts Lansing and Bowling Green in a tie for second place in the Eastern division of the Midwest League.
On Saturday at Cooley Law School Stadium, the Lugnuts host the first of three Auto-Owners Insurance Bobblehead Giveaways of the season with postgame LAFCU Fireworks. In the starting matchup, Lugs righty Daniel Webb (3-3, 6.31) duels with Hot Rods right-hander Victor Mateo (3-2, 4.28).
Tickets are available for purchase online at www.lansinglugnuts.com, at the stadium box office, and by calling 517-485-4500.