MIDLAND, Mich. - After the Lansing Lugnuts (24-37, 56-74) mounted a four-run rally in the top of the ninth inning to send the game into extras, Jose Capellan delivered a walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th to give the Great Lakes Loons (35-25, 62-68) a thrilling 8-7 win in a wild back-and-forth game at Dow Diamond on Friday night.
Lansing completed the first half with a 10-1 record against the Loons, but finishes winless - 0-9 - against Great Lakes in the second half, swept three different times.
With Lansing trailing 7-3 entering the ninth inning, the Lugs plated four runs against Loons reliever Crayton Bare. Three straight singles loaded the bases for Dwight Smith, Jr., who rifled a bases-clearing double into the right field corner, bringing Lansing to within 7-6. Smith would come around to score from second base on a swinging-bunt by Kevin Patterson a batter later, sending the game into extras tied, 7-7.
Jeremy Rathjen led off the home half of the 10th inning with a single against Lansing's Chad Girodo (Loss, 1-1) and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Capellan then came to the plate against Arik Sikula and promptly singled softly into center field, scoring Rathjen from second and giving the Loons the sweep of the Lugs.
Capellan finished 4-for-5 in the game with a pair of RBI's and a pair of bunt singles as well, also contributing a run scored.
Before Capellan's 10th inning heroics, it was Rathjen who sparked the Loons' own four-run rally in the bottom of the seventh inning, breaking a 3-3 tie with a grand slam against Griffin Murphy.
A leadoff single was followed by a fielder's choice, an infield single and a hit batter to load the bases for Rathjen, who was 0-for-3 in the game to that point. The Loons' right fielder then took Murphy's 2-0 fastball over the fence in left-center field, untying the game and sending the 5,816 fans at Dow Diamond into a frenzy.
Lansing starter Taylor Cole took a no-decision, tossing 5 1/3 frames. Cole gave up three runs - two earned - on five hits. The newly-turned 24-year old struck out three and walked three each.
Chris Anderson lasted three innings in the start for Great Lakes, allowing two earned runs on four hits with four strikeouts and two walks. The win went to Rob Rogers (Win 2-0), who pitched 1 2/3 scoreless frames in the ninth and 10th innings.
Smith starred in the losing cause for the Lugs, finishing 3-for-5 with four RBIs a day after his team-high 22-game on-base streak was halted.
Lansing now heads home to open up a three-game series against the Dayton Dragons with a 7:05 p.m. first pitch at Cooley Law School Stadium on Saturday night. Lansing will hand the ball to Ben White (8-7, 3.81) in opposition of Dayton's southpaw Ismael Guillon (5-8, 5.27).
Lansing Lugnuts tickets are available for purchase at lansinglugnuts.com and by calling 517-485-4500, and Lugnuts text alerts are easily accessed by texting LUGNUTS to 313131