LANSING, Mich. - Ryan Noda continued a remarkable turnaround with a two-run homer, two diving catches in right field and a tie-breaking three-run double in a four-run eighth inning, rallying the Lansing Lugnuts (2-0, 45-27) past the Great Lakes Loons (0-2, 24-46), 7-4 on Friday night at Cooley Law School Stadium.
AUDIO: Noda's two big swings
The Lugnuts built leads of 2-0 (on Noda's first-inning roundtripper, his eighth homer of the month and ninth of the year) and 3-1, only to see the Loons score in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings to push in front, 4-3.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Nuts loaded the bases with one out against Loons reliever James Carter (Blown Save, 1; Loss, 2-1) on a Yeltsin Gudiño single, Matt Morgan single and Norberto Obeso walk. Carter drilled Kevin Vicuña with a pitch to force in the game-tying run. After a strikeout of Chavez Young , Noda launched a bases-clearing double high off the center field wall to give the Lugnuts the lead.
Claudio Custodio (Win, 1-2) tossed the final two innings in relief, recording the final four outs via strikeout for his first Lugnuts victory.
It was the Lugs' 21st comeback win of the year.
The 22-year-old Noda, drafted in the 15th round in 2017 from the University of Cincinnati, entered the year to great acclaim after the winning the Appalachian League Most Valuable Player award in his professional debut. Entering May 30th, though, he was batting .195 with no home runs, 13 runs batted in, and a .286 slugging percentage.
Since that day, he is batting 25-for-60 (.417) with nine home runs and 28 RBIs, raising his batting average to .269 and his slugging percentage to .500.
Infielder Yeltsin Gudino added two singles and two walks in four plate appearances, giving him a .389 average (21-for-54) with a .476 on-base percentage in June.
Saturday night is Harry Potter Night with a Tri-Wizard Cup giveaway to the first 1,000 fans, Butterbeer, Quidditch and more! Lansing right-hander Maximo Castillo (6.39 ERA) starts against Loons right-hander Victor Gonzalez (3.12) at 7:05 p.m. To purchase tickets, 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.