SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Rafael Lantigua lined a tie-breaking extra-inning two-run triple, and the Lansing Lugnuts (30-35) split a doubleheader with the South Bend Cubs (34-31), winning Game 1, 6-4, in eight innings, before dropping Game 2, 6-2, on Wednesday night at Four Winds Field.
With one day left, the Nuts are 6-4 on their season-long 11-game, 10-day road trip.
In Game 1, the Cubs erased an early Lugnuts 3-0 lead with a run in the fourth and two runs in the sixth to force extra innings.
In the top of the eighth, with bonus runner Griffin Conine at second base and pinch-runner Nick Podkul (for first baseman Jake Brodt , who had been hit by a pitch in the hand), Lantigua struck the decisive blow against reliever Ethan Roberts (Loss, 2-2), sending a sizzler down the right-field line. Jesus Severino followed with a bouncer to third baseman Chris Morel, whose throw home was mishandled by catcher Rafelin Lorenzo, allowing Lantigua to score for a 6-3 lead.
Andy Weber bounced an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth against Sean Rackoski (Win, 1-1), and the Cubs rallied to put the tying runs in scoring position with none out. But Rackoski struck out both Jonathan Sierra and Cole Roederer, and Cre Finfrock (Save, 4) retired Morel on a flyout to right to end the game.
Lugnuts starter Sean Wymer gave up one run on four hits in five innings in a no-decision, striking out four.
Center fielder Reggie Pruitt went 3-for-5 to lead the Lugnuts' offense, with both Lantigua and Hunter Steinmetz finishing 2-for-4.
In Game 2, Cubs center fielder Brennen Davis delivered an RBI single in the first inning and a three-run homer in a five-run second inning, and South Bend never looked back.
Nuts starter Fitz Stadler (Loss, 1-5) gave up six runs, five earned, on eight hits in two innings, striking out three. He was followed to the mound by Marcus Reyes , who pitched four scoreless innings of relief, allowing only one hit and one walk while striking out two.
Cubs spot-starter Jack Patterson pitched four innings, limiting the Lugnuts to three hits and a walk, before yielding to Jose Albertos (Win, 1-0) for the final three innings.
The Lugnuts' offense managed only solo tallies in the third and fifth, supplied by RBI singles from Podkul and Conine respectively.
Thursday's 7:05 p.m. series finale features a matchup of All-Stars, as the Lugnuts' Cobi Johnson (5.11) duels with the Cubs' Brailyn Marquez (4.83).
Lansing returns to Michigan's state capital for a three-game series against the Bowling Green Hot Rods from June 14-16, including Star Wars Night with post-game LAFCU Fireworks on Saturday, July 15th. To live the Lug Life and purchase tickets to Sunday or throughout the 2019 season, visit lansinglugnuts.com or call (517) 485-4500.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.