Buckman powers Quad Cities

Lansing, MI-- The Swing of the Quad Cities rolled into Lansing for a four-game, inter-division tilt. Leading into Tuesday night's contest, the Swing carried a 2-1 series record with the Lugnuts.

The eyes of the Midwest League were focused on this series, as Quad Cities boasts one of the most productive and high-powered offenses in Low-A, while Lansing bolsters very good front-line pitching.

Through three games, however, the Lugnuts were not able to find the answer to the bats of the Swing, most notably 6-foot-6 first baseman Brandon Buckman. Buckman entered the series leading the Midwest League in home runs, RBI, doubles, and total hits.

Tuesday's contest would prove pivotal to the Swing's make-up, as they reported to Lansing fresh off of a double-header the previous night in Cedar Rapids, and, as expected, the bats did the talking.

The night began with Buckman sending a towering fastball over the right field fence for his league-leading eighth home run of the season, which opened the floodgates in the top of the third inning. Quad Cities tallied five runs thanks to a two-run double from newly acquired catcher Chris Grossman. Reliever P.J. Walters pitched three innings in relief, yielding only a single hit while striking out five Lugnuts batters. The Swing added two more runs courtesy of a Luke Gorsett RBI single and another Grossman RBI base hit. Quad Cities won the contest 7-4.

Wednesday's contest was an early rising affair, as the Lugnuts hosted local elementary students for a 10:35 contest. After a brief rain delay, Quad Cities picked up where they had left off on Tuesday, as the middle of the order continued to pound Lansing pitching.

Lugnuts pitcher Kyle Ginsley picked up his third loss of the season, responsible for six Swing runs (five earned) on six hits scattered over 4.2 innings. Grossman picked up another two RBI game. Tyler Herron picked up his first win of the season after allowing one run in 3.2 innings of work. The 20-year-old TCU (Texas Christian) lefty yielded only one run on two hits in his time on the mound. Quad Cities won 6-2.

The fans came out in numbers for Thursday's game, as a crowd of over 8,000 witnessed Buckman continue to pound Midwest League pitching, falling a single short of hitting for the cycle. The Lansing bats, however, were too much for the Swing to overcome.

Quad Cities starter Shaun Garceau took the loss for the Swing after a five-run second inning, highlighted by four two-out runs by Lansing. Aside from the bumpy second, Garceau pitched well, striking out four and walking two in four innings of work. Eddie Degerman, a third round pick out of collegiate powerhouse Rice University, came in to finish the last four innings of the ball game for Quad Cities. He is known for his very non-traditional delivery that is highlighted by a high leg kick with a straight overhand delivery. Lansing batters could not figure him out, as he sat eight Lugnuts down on strikes, yielding one run on two hits. Lansing took the contest 7-5.

The two teams will finish their series Friday in Lansing.

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