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Lugnuts jump out early, hang on to sweep Chiefs, 7-6

July 24, 2005 - Midwest League (MWL) - Lansing Lugnuts News Release

LANSING- David Hicks and Christian Snavely each collected three RBI hits to help pace the offensive attack for Lansing(52-47, 15-15) on Sunday afternoon at Oldsmobile Park, but it was Hicks' glove that saved the day as the Lugnuts survived a five-run ninth inning by Peoria(46-54, 11-19) to hang for a 7-6 win and series sweep over the Chiefs. The sweep marked the first four-game sweep for Lansing since the first four games of the season when the Lugnuts swept divisional rival Fort Wayne.

The game was delayed 42 minutes as the grounds crew and staff had to tend to the infield after heavy rains had dumped on the park in the early morning hours. Unlike the first three games in the series, it was the Lugnuts that jumped out early and often against Peoria starter Sean Gallagher(10-4). After Snavely walked with one out in the bottom of the first, Eric Nielsen followed with an infield single and Charlie Anderson drew a walk to load the bases. Hicks then ripped the first pitch he saw from Gallagher into the right center alley, clearing the bases and making it 3-0.

In the second, it was Snavely's turn. One day after winning the game in the bottom of the ninth, the Lugnut third baseman ripped a one-out, three-run, inside the park homer to center that brought in David Corrente and Eugenio Velez. The drive eluded center fielder Sam Fuld and after Fuld crashed into the wall and was slow in retrieving the ball, Snavely streaked all the way around with the homer, his ninth of the year.

Gallagher's outing was his shortest of the season, lasting just 1.2 while allowing the six runs. His five walks also handicapped the outing. Peoria got its lone run off Lansing starter Russ Savickas(5-3) in the third when Fuld walked to start the inning and scored on a fielders choice off the bat of Ryan Harvey. Savickas lasted five innings in picking up the win. He scattered five hits and struck out six.

Lansing got its final run in the sixth on an RBI groundout by Eric Nielsen, but the Chiefs would hit into four double plays before the ninth inning and wasted chances against Savickas and Juan Perez and in the ninth, that run picked up in the sixth proved to be huge for Lansing.

Peoria almost completed the comeback, scoring five times off Joey McLaughlin and Daryl Harang. Anthony Granato greeted McLaughlin with a solo homer to right to open the inning, the first of the season allowed by the Lansing right hander. Alan Rick followed with a ringing triple to center and an RBI single by Joe Simokaitis made it 7-3. Drew Larsen drew a walk, chasing McLaughlin. Harang relieved and got Fuld to ground into the fifth double play of the day turned by Lansing, a season high. Eric Patterson, who was 4-4, drew a two-out walk and Harvey followed that with a three-run homer to right, making the score 7-6. Jesse Schmidt then singled to left center, but Harang got Bo Flowers to line out to Hicks at first to end the game.

The Lugnuts will now hit the road for an eight-game road swing that will take the club to Clinton and South Bend for a pair of four-game series. The Lugnuts will start the trip in Clinton on Monday as they send lefty Chi-Hung Cheng to the mound. Cheng will match up with LumberKings right hander Michael Schlact. Game time is set for 8:00 p.m. from Alliant Energy Field in Clinton.

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