MIDLAND, Mich. – Despite the bats heating up since the beginning of the homestand, Lansing Lugnuts starter Tayler Saucedo had other ideas as he carried a no-hit bid into the 6th inning against the Great Lakes Loons on Sunday. After the Loons tied the game in the 8th, a Max Pentecost sacrifice fly in the 10th was all the visitors would need as Great Lakes fell 4-3 at Dow Diamond.
“They were coming out and attacking,” Loons catcher Jake Henson of why Lansing pitchers had success against the Loons. “We’re putting good swings on ball and we just can’t get the good bounces.”
The Loons had just one hit, an Omar Estevez single, heading into the bottom of the 8th inning and we’re trailing 3-1. But Henson, who fell victim to some foul tips behind the plate and a hit by pitch at the dish earlier in the game, walked to begin the inning. Cristian Gomez then reached base on an error by Lugnuts third baseman Carl Wise to put two men on base. After both runners advanced on a wild pitch, Logan Landon singled to left field to tie the game.
With the game tied after the scheduled nine innings, Gavin Pittore (L, 0-1) went out to the mound for another inning of relief for the Loons and was tabbed with the loss after allowing Andrew Guillotte to single and score in the extra frame to put the Lugnuts in front.
Between both teams, there were just eight hits in the ballgame as Lansing’s Juan Kelly and Gunnar Heidt being the only players to have multi-hit afternoons. Kelly also had the only extra base hit of the game, a double off Great Lakes starter Victor Gonzalez in the 4th inning.
Neither starter factored into the decision as Gonzlaez and Saucedo each were done after six innings. Lansing’s left-hander allowed just the one run on one hit with four strikeouts. The Mexican lefty for the Loons allowed three runs (two earned) on three hits. Gonzalez walked four batters and had four punch outs of his own.
“Our pitchers have been doing a good job,” Henson said. “They’re holding us in games and that’s all we can ask for.”
Josh DeGraaf (BS, 4) allowed two unearned runs out of the bullpen for the Lugnuts, while Dan Lietz (W, 3-0) and Dusty Isaacs (SV, 7) didn’t allow a run over the final 2 1/3 innings pitched.
In relief for the Loons, Chris Powell faced the minimum in two innings of work and had two punch outs.
With each team winning two of the first four games in the series, Monday morning’s Kids Day presented by MidMichigan Health sets up as a rubber match between the Loons and Lugnuts. Jon Harris will get the call for Lansing (2-0, 1.05 ERA) while Great Lakes counters with Nolan Long (2-3, 4.55). First pitch can be heard on ESPN 100.9-FM at 10:35 a.m.
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