EASTLAKE, OH – CJ Rodriguez, Casey Yamauchi and Colby Thomas drilled early RBI doubles to back the pitching of Luis Morales, Jake Garland and John Beller, and the Lansing Lugnuts (29-35, 60-69) knocked the Lake County Captains (32-30, 63-64) three games back in the East Division with only two games
EASTLAKE, OH – CJ Rodriguez, Casey Yamauchi and Colby Thomas drilled early RBI doubles to back the pitching of Luis Morales, Jake Garland and John Beller, and the Lansing Lugnuts (29-35, 60-69) knocked the Lake County Captains (32-30, 63-64) three games back in the East Division with only two games remaining in the regular season with a 3-1 victory on Friday night at Classic Auto Group Park.
Lansing, the sixth place team in the East Division, has spent the final three weeks of the regular season relishing its role as a spoiler, winning four of six games at Dayton to hasten the Dragons’ elimination and outslugging West Michigan on September 2 and 3 to drop the Whitecaps out of the division lead before dismissing Lake County’s slender hopes entering the season’s final weekend.
Catcher Rodriguez and shortstop Yamauchi put the Lugnuts on the scoreboard in the second inning, lacing back-to-back run-scoring doubles to left-center off Steven Hajjar for a 2-0 lead.
An inning later, right fielder Thomas drove a Hajjar pitch to the wall in left-center to plate Euribiel Ángeles for a 3-0 cushion.
On the other side, the 20-year-old Morales kept Lake County quiet through four dazzling innings of one-hit ball, striking out four.
Garland had a more eventful outing, pitching around a pair of singles in the fifth with a double-play ball, tossing a perfect sixth, and stranding the bases loaded in the seventh.
But in the eighth inning, Garland gave up consecutive singles to Chase DeLauter, Dayan Frías and Cooper Ingle, putting Lake County on the scoreboard and prompting a call to Beller. The southpaw from USC ended the threat with the aid of batter interference on Joe Lampe on a popped-up foul bunt attempt and a Yordys Valdes double-play grounder.
Then Beller whiffed Isaiah Greene, Junior Sanquintin and Nate Furman in order, locking up his fifth save of the year.
Yamauchi led the offense in the winning cause, going 3-for-3 in his first High-A game with two singles, a double, a walk and a stolen base. Colby Halter added three walks and Brennan Milone went 1-for-2 with a single and two walks.
Gunnar Hoglund starts the penultimate game of the 2023 season, opposing Lake County southpaw Parker Messick at 7 p.m. Saturday night. For more information, visit lansinglugnuts.com or call (517) 485-4500.
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