Loons Flex Muscles to Stave off Lugnuts
LANSING, Mich. - Niko Hulsizer hit two of the Great Lakes Loons' four home runs and the Loons (27-15) held off the Lansing Lugnuts (18-25), 11-8, in front of a Grand Slam School Day of 8,822 on Tuesday afternoon at Cooley Law School Stadium.
Jake Brodt went 3-for-4 with a walk, two runs scored and an opposite-field home run to right, his fourth home run of the year, as the Lugnuts scored at least seven runs for the third straight game but were unable to overcome the visitors from Midland.
Jacob Amaya swatted a two-run first inning home run for the Loons, who drove Lugnuts starter Troy Miller (Loss, 0-3) out of the game two batters into the second inning, scored five runs in the first three innings, and added two runs in the fifth for a seemingly comfortable 7-0 lead.
The Nuts knocked out Loons starter Jose Chacin with a six-run fifth, built on four singles, four walks and two run-scoring wild pitches by reliever Drew Finley (Win, 2-0) to chop the Loons' edge down to 7-6.
Hulsizer answered by leading off the sixth inning with a blast to center field off reliever Mike Pascoe, his ninth home run of the year.
Two innings later, the Loons' left fielder equaled the feat with another solo home run off of Pascoe, increasing the lead to 9-6 and giving him his third home run of the series and Midwest League-leading tenth home run of the season.
Brodt led off the bottom of the eighth with his fourth homer of the year, pulling the Lugnuts within 9-7. Two batters later, Tanner Kirwer drew a walk, stole second and third base, and came home on a Reggie Pruitt RBI triple, trimming the deficit to 9-8.
But Romer Cuadrado gave Great Lakes insurance with a two-run homer to left field in the ninth, his first home run of the year, and the Lugnuts stranded runners at the corners in a scoreless bottom of the ninth against former MSU Spartans pitcher Nathan Witt.
The Nuts stole five more bases, giving them 12 steals in two games and a Midwest League-leading 67 steals.
The third game of the four-game series is Pride Night on a Dog Days of Summer with gates opening at 6:00 p.m. and first pitch at 7:05 p.m. between Lansing right-hander Sean Wymer (8.36 ERA) and Loons left-hander John Rooney (0.00). To live the Lug Life and purchase tickets, visit lansinglugnuts.com or call (517) 485-4500.
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