LANSING, Mich. – The Loons constructed a 7-1 lead, withstood a furious rally in the sixth inning and responded with a five-run frame in the seventh to pull away from the Lansing Lugnuts in a 12-8 victory to start Memorial Day weekend at Cooley Law School Stadium.
It is the first win of the season for the Loons (23-24) against the Lugnuts (26-19), who now own a 4-1 advantage in the season series. The Loons snap Lansing’s five-game win streak, and have a chance to reach the .500 mark for the first time in 2017 with a win on Saturday.
After Lansing took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning, the Loons methodically scored seven runs over the next five innings and led 7-1. Batting for the second time this season against former Saginaw Valley State right-hander Mike Ellenbest, the Loons homered twice off the ex-Cardinal and generated eight hits.
Cody Thomas and Errol Robinson each dialed long distance as the Loons surged ahead. Thomas now has eight home runs on the season, second-most on the team, and is batting over .315 in his last nine games.
Lansing’s offense, which entered play batting a Midwest League-best .272, exploded in the sixth. Left-hander Devin Smeltzer muted the Lugnuts to three hits and one run through five innings, but allowed two home runs in the sixth and not obtain an out.
With the lead cut to 7-6, righty Andre Scrubb (BS, W, 1-0), relieved Smeltzer and allowed a solo home run to lefty J.B. Woodman to tie the game. It was Lansing’s third home run of the inning.
Scrubb and the Loons escaped the inning with score tied at 7-7, and promptly snapped the dead-heat with five runs in the seventh. An error on Lansing left-fielder Edward Olivares keyed the inning. The go-ahead run scored on the play, and the inning ultimately culminated with a two-run home run from Luis Paz to make the score 12-7. All five runs were unearned to Lansing righty Geno Encina (L, 2-1).
(Story courtesy of the Great Lakes Loons).
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