Clinton Takes The Lumber To Lansing

The first month of the season has proven that baseball is a streaky game in Lansing. When things are going well, they go really well. During Lansing's ten game winning streak early in the season they got the timely hit, the big pitch at the proper time, and near flawless defense.

As of late, however, some of the things that made them successful early on have been missing - namely the timely hitting and near flawless defense. That trend continued on Friday night as Lansing fell to the Clinton Lumberkings by the score of 9-5.

Coming into the game, Lansing had gone 22 consecutive innings without scoring a run and the Lugnuts didn't waste any time eliminating that streak. They scored an early first inning run. Chris Gutierrez led off the bottom of the first inning with a single and later scored on a ground ball back to the pitcher off the bat of Brian Pettway to put the Lugnuts up 1-0.

Kyle Ginley provided four innings of near flawless pitching and it appeared Lansing had returned to their early season form, however, the wheels fell off in the fifth. Clinton scored five runs while sending ten batters to the plate. The two key hits in the inning came off the bat of Mauro Gomez who led the inning off with a solo blast over the left field fence while Jose Vellejo later picked up a two run single.

"Ginley was cruising right along until the fifth inning and got ahead of some guys, but made some bad pitches," stated Lansing manager Gary Cathcart. "We're working on that and addressing that and talking to him about it, but they need experience in these situations".

Lansing answered back with a big fifth inning of their own. Designated hitter Brian Bormaster led the inning off with a single which sparked the offense as the first six batters of the inning would reach base safely. In total the Lugnuts scored four times with the key hit coming off the bat of Travis Snider, as he delivered a two run double that tied the game at five. Snider finished the game going 2-for-4 with a pair of runs batted in. The two hits on the night snapped a 0-for-11 streak for Snider.

"Tonight, I saw the pitches great and it was nice to be back in your home ball park and have a good background to pick pitches up," stated Snider. "At the same time you are going to have those periods of time where you go 0-for-11 or 0-for-13. You just have to battle through them".

Clinton would go up for good in the sixth as right fielder K.C. Herren led the inning off with a single and would advance to third on a single off the bat of Marcus Lemon, and would score on a ground ball out off the bat of lead off hitter Craig Gentry.

‘We don't need this kind of streak'

With the loss, Lansing has now lost three games in a row and has dropped three of their last four at home after starting the year 8-0 at Oldsmobile Park. The Lugnuts also committed three errors in the game and are going through a stretch that has seen them commit 24 errors as a team over the last nine games.

"Our defense is a big concern right now. We've addressed it, we will work on it, and it has got to get better," Catchart said. "It's costing us a lot of extra outs and it is a lot of extra pitches that our guys have to throw. We definitely have got to catch and throw the ball a lot better".

Lansing will look to even the series and return to their winning ways on Saturday night as Canadian born left hander A.J. Wideman (3-0, 3.74) will take on Omar Poveda (2-0, 2.03). Wideman may be just what Lansing needs as the team is a perfect 4-0 on the season playing behind him and has provided him with the best run support of anyone on the pitching staff, providing him an average of 6.25 per game in which to work with. Game time is 7:05 p.m. local time.

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