Lansing takes three of four from Dragons with 6-1 win in series finale
Dayton, OH - The Dayton Dragons (7-8, 37-48) looked to even things at two games a piece in a four game series as the Lansing Lugnuts (8-7, 45-39) closed out the regular season series between the two clubs at Fifth Third Field on Thursday night. Dayton never got on track, falling behind the visitors 4-0, as Lansing took three of four games in the set with a 6-1 win in the finale in front of 8,016.
For the third time in the four game series, the Lugnuts jumped on the board in the top half of the first inning. In all three games, Lansing rode the early momentum to a victory. Thursday night against Dragons starter Josh Thigpen (LP, 4-4) a one out walk to Curtis Thigpen, a double to left by Eric Nielson and a David Hicks sac fly picked up the run and gave the 'Nuts a 1-0 advantage.
Lansing starter Russ Savickas (WP, 4-2) made the lead stand up against the Dragons, blanking the Miami Valley's team into the sixth inning. Savickas finished his night with 6.0 innings of six hit, one run baseball with four K's and two walks to pick up his fourth win of the season. The Dragons lone run was driven in by Cody Strait, who dumped a single into center field scoring Trevor Lawhorn. Lawhorn led off the Dragons sixth with a single and moved to second on a sac bunt by Jorge Mejia.
Thigpen was touched up by Ryan Klosterman, who continued his huge series against the Dragons, with a two run homer to deep left center. The blast, Klosterman's eighth of the year put the Lugnuts up 3-0. In the four game series, Klosterman picked up six hits, including; two homers and a double and drove home six runs.
Lansing added a single tally in the third inning off Thigpen to go up 4-0, as Eugenio Velez scored Yuber Rodriguez with a RBI single. Rodriguez doubled to right with one down off the Dayton starter and scored on a base hit to center field. Thigpen's night was finished after fourth innings. The right hander allowed four runs, all earned on eight hits. He struck out two and walked one.
Lansing added single runs in the sixth and the eighth off the Dayton bullpen. In the sixth against James Morrison (ND), a Rodriguez single and a stolen base set the table for Velez, who drove home his second run of the game with an RBI double to right, giving Lansing a 5-1 lead.
The Lugnuts added the final tally of the night in the eighth off Jared Sanders (ND). Eric Nielsen doubled with one out and came home on a RBI single to right center from David Hicks to close out the scoring at 6-1.
The Lansing bullpen was solid once again as Jordy Templet (ND) blanked the Dragons for 2.0 innings on one hit and Mark Sopko (ND) threw a scoreless ninth inning in a non-save situation. Dayton managed a pair of hits off the Lugnuts closer but could not dent the dish as Lansing took three of four games in a key Eastern Division series.
The Dragons open a four game series with the Southwest Michigan Devil Rays beginning Friday night at Fifth Third Field. The series opener gets underway with a 7:05 PM first pitch. Time Warner Television will broadcast the game live in the Miami Valley on cable channel 25 beginning at 7:00 PM. 1410 ESPN Radio carries the game live on radio with the pre game show beginning at 6:30 PM. The Dragons will announce a starting pitcher on game day, while LHP Brandon Mann gets the start for the Devil Rays.
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