Lugnuts Swat The Bee's In Series Finale

Sometimes it just takes a kick in the pants to get things going. Two nights after showing no signs of life in a 7-1 defeat to the Burlington Bees, Lansing was able to swat them away with 12-4 victory to earn a series split on Friday night. Lansing has outscored Burlington 28-6 in the last two games of the series after a frustrated Ken Joyce sent a wake up call to his team where he challenged them to get it together after a streak that saw them lose 8 of 10.

"When you're losing like that, you almost kind of accept it and he wanted to make a point that you never accept losing" stated David Hicks. Consider the point taken.

Danny Core started the game for the Lugnuts tonight and struggled with his control early, as he walked Burlington lead off man Irving Falu. As so often happens, that lead off walk would come back to bite Lansing as Falu would later score on a sacrifice fly by teammate Damaso Espino. The Bees clean up hitter Rusty Brown then stepped to the plate and ripped a 1-0 fastball from Core over the left field wall and the Lugnuts were quickly down 2-0 and it appeared that their recent struggles might continue. Core would settle into a groove however and pitched lights out for the remainder of the game however.

After not being able to muster much offense against Burlington starter Justin Sherman, Lansing exploded in the bottom of the fifth. Ryan Klosterman led off the inning with a walk, and new comer Brian Patrick singled advancing Klosterman to third. Klosterman would then score on a ground out to the right side of the infield by Eugenio Velez, giving Lansing their first run of the game. A Jason Armstrong RBI single and a Christian Snavely RBI double would complete the frame for the 'Nuts and put them on top 3-2. Brian Patrick finished the game for Lansing with a 3-4 night with 3 RBI's and 3 runs scored.

The Bee's decided to try and sting Lansing one last time in the top of the sixth as they would knot the game at 3 with a home run Burlington third baseman Ed Lucas. The sting had no effect however as Lansing quickly answered in the bottom half of the inning as the first five hitters in the inning would reach base safely. Charlie Anderson and David Hicks quickly got the inning going with back-to-back singles. Ryan Klosterman was then hit with a 1-1 offering which loaded the bases for Brian Patrick. Patrick then laced a double up the middle clearing the bases and would later score in the inning on a David Corrente single, putting Lansing up 7-3.

"Everyone is coming through. Everyone at the top of the order, the middle of the order and the bottom of the order is coming through. We're playing good defense and getting good pitching" stated Charlie Anderson. "If you can get 15 hits per game, you aren't going to lose too many."

The Luggies were not done scoring however as they wanted to make sure that the message was clear that they were not going to give up the rest of the season without a fight, as they sent 11 guys to the plate, with the first seven batters reaching base safely and was capped off by back to back two RBI doubles by both David Corrente and Eugenio Velez in the bottom of the eighth. Corrente finished the night 2-4 with 3 RBI's and Velez was 1-4 with 3 RBI's, completing the scoring and giving Lansing the 12-4 victory.

For the record: Danny Core picks up the win and improves to 5-7 on the year, while Justin Sherman picks up the loss for Burlington and falls to 3-6. Jordan Timm also picked up his first save of the season with Lansing after throwing 1.1 innings of solid relief as he gave up no runs and only 2 hits. With the win, Lansing improves to 19-23 on the second half and move back over .500 overall with a a 56-55 record. They are now 4.0 games behind rival Southwest Michigan for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Division.

Lansing now looks to hit the road and avenge a horrible visit to South Bend last weekend as they return for a big four game series against the South Bend Silverhawks.

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