MIDLAND, Mich. – After waiting an extra day to get their Midwest League title defense underway, the Great Lakes Loons dropped both games of a doubleheader to the Lansing Lugnuts on Friday at Dow Diamond. In the first game of the night the Lugnuts prevailed 6-3, then completed the twin-bill sweep with a 2-0 shutout-victory in the nightcap.
The stars of the evening were the two Toronto Blue Jays prospects Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Hitting three and four in the lineup, respectively, for both games, the teenagers combined to hit two home runs and score five total runs between both games. In 14 total plate appearances, the duo struck out just twice.
Guerrero, the second-youngest player in the Midwest League as a newly-minted 18-year-old, is the son of 16-year Major League player Vladimir Guerrero. Bichette is also the offspring of a former big leaguer in Dante Bichette, who spent most of his career playing for the Colorado Rockies.
Both starters for the Loons were pulled early in their starts this evening as Leo Crawford pitched 3.1 innings allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits. He walked two batters and had three strikeouts. The other lefty starter Lenix Osuna (L, 0-1) exited after 1.1 innings in game two. Tony Gonsolin (L, 0-1) picked up the loss for the Loons in game one.
Relievers Parker Curry and Sven Schüller were both impressive in their debuts during the second game as they shut down the Lansing lineup from the 3rd inning on, allowing just two hits and struck out eight batters.
The Loons’ offense mustered eight hits over the two games with Brendon Davis showcasing his honed approach at the plate reaching five times, including two hits and two walks.
Justin Maese (W, 1-0) had an impressive start to his 2017 campaign for the Lugnuts as he tossed five innings and allowed two earned runs on three hits. Dan Lietz (S, 1) picked up a two-inning save to close out game one. Geno Encina (W, 1-0) did not allow a run in 4.1 innings of work in game two for Lansing.
The Loons and Lugnuts continue their four-game home-and-home series to start the 2017 campaign this weekend as the location shifts to Lansing for Saturday and Sunday. First pitch from Cooley Law School Stadium on Saturday will be 6:05 p.m. Right-hander Dustin May is set to make his debut for the Loons. Chris Vosters and Brad Tunney will have the call beginning at 5:35 p.m. with the Loons On-Deck Circle built by KJP Sales.
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