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Walk-Off Walk Finishes Sweep, 7-6

May 15, 2019 - Midwest League (MWL) - Lansing Lugnuts News Release

NSING, Mich. - Rafael Lantigua drew a four-pitch walk with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, forcing in the game-winning run, and the Lansing Lugnuts (17-21) completed a three-game sweep of the West Michigan Whitecaps (16-21), 7-6, in a Wednesday matinee at Cooley Law School Stadium.

The Lugnuts won the three games by a combined four runs, giving them six consecutive victories over the Whitecaps this season.

The Whitecaps forced a bottom of the ninth inning by scoring two runs in the the top half against Lugnuts reliever Jackson Rees (Win, 1-0; Blown Save, 1) - including the first earned run scored against Rees this year. With the Nuts leading 6-4, one out and Whitecaps runners at second and third, Ulrich Bojarski sent a fly ball to deep center. While the runner at third base, Reece Hampton tagged and scored, Reggie Pruitt sought to throw out Johnny Valente attempting to advance to third base - but the ball and Valente arrived at third baseman Nick Podkul at the same time, causing Podkul to lose the ball. As it rolled toward the West Michigan dugout, Valente rose and sprinted home with the tying run.

Denied their win in the top of the ninth, the Lugnuts instead captured it in the bottom of the ninth. Ryan Gold drew a walk from reliever Jose Vasquez (Loss, 1-2), who then left due to injury precaution. Otto Lopez moved Gold to second on an infield single off Sandel De La Cruz, followed by a Jake Brodt strikeout for the first out. Hunter Steinmetz blooped a single to left to load the bases for Lantigua, who took four increasingly wide pitches from De La Cruz, bringing in Gold and winning the game.

Before the ninth inning, the story of the day was debuting 19-year-old catcher Gabriel Moreno, who homered in his first Lugnuts at-bat, sparking a two-run first inning; tied the game at 4-4 with a two-run single in the fourth; and tripled down the left-field line in the eighth, finishing 3-for-5.

Lansing starter Troy Miller worked 3 2/3 innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on four hits and five walks while striking out three. Mike Pascoe followed with 3 1/3 scoreless innings, and Will McAffer pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth.

Lugnuts third baseman Podkul went 1-for-5 with a seventh-inning single, extending his team-high on-base streak to 24 games.

The Nuts open a four-game series at Fort Wayne on Thursday at 7:05 p.m., sending right-hander Sean Wymer (7.31 ERA) against TinCaps lefty Joey Cantillo (4.09) at Parkview Field.

The Lansing Lugnuts return home on Monday, May 20th, opening an eight-game homestand with a Dollar Monday - $1 hot dogs, $1 popcorn, $1 ice cream sandwiches, $1 Miller High Life and $1 16-oz. fountain drinks! To live the Lug Life and purchase tickets, visit lansinglugnuts.com or call (517) 485-4500.


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