LANSING, Mich. - Ryan Noda lashed an RBI triple in the first inning and a solo home run in the fourth, and the Lansing Lugnuts (36-29, 79-56) edged the Great Lakes Loons (34-31, 58-75), 2-1, in the Wednesday night opener of a three-game series at Cooley Law School Stadium.The Loons could
LANSING, Mich. - Ryan Noda lashed an RBI triple in the first inning and a solo home run in the fourth, and the Lansing Lugnuts (36-29, 79-56) edged the Great Lakes Loons (34-31, 58-75), 2-1, in the Wednesday night opener of a three-game series at Cooley Law School Stadium.
The Loons could have clinched a second-half playoff berth with a victory. Instead, they saw their seven-game winning streak come to an end.
A crowd of 4,182 attended the game, increasing the Lugnuts' season attendance to 303,787, the 23rd consecutive season the Nuts have drawn 300,000+ fans.
Great Lakes starter Joel Inoa (Loss, 1-2) retired the first two batters in the first inning before walking Chavez Young . Noda followed with a smash inside the first-base line, carrying into the right field corner, and Young raced around the bases for a 1-0 lead.
Three innings later, Noda lined a 3-0 Inoa fastball over the 23-foot tall right field wall for his 19th home run of the year, one behind Bowling Green's Ronaldo Hernandez for the league lead - and what turned out to be the game-winning run.
Lansing starter Turner Larkins made his first appearance since July 7th, tossing four scoreless innings and striking out three Loons.
Donnie Sellers (Win, 7-3) followed Sellers to the hill and pitched on a tightrope over the next four innings. In the fifth, Luke Heyer scored the visitors' first run on a Deacon Liput single an eyelash ahead of Chris Roller getting thrown at third base by right fielder Noda for the third out.
In both the sixth and seventh innings, the Loons stranded runners at second and third.
In the eighth, Devin Mann drew a one-out walk but was caught stealing second base.
Matt Shannon (Save, 7) experienced the same drama in the ninth, opening the inning with walks to Heyer and Hunter Feduccia. Eric Peterson fouled out to catcher Ryan Gold for the first out. Shannon then fell behind Roller with three straight balls, tossed in a strike, and then induced a lineout to left fielder Norberto Obeso . Base runner Heyer misread the ball off the bat and was halfway to third base, allowing Obeso to wing the ball in to second base for a game-ending double play.
The Nuts improved to 10-3 against the Loons in 2018, 8-1 in the second half.
The second game of the three-game series is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. on a Labatt Thirsty Thursday featuring $2 beer, $2 wine and half off craft beer! The starting matchup will see Loons right-hander Alfredo Tavarez (2.96 ERA) tangling with Lansing left-hander Jordan Barrett (3.60). To purchase tickets and live the Lug Life at Cooley Law School Stadium, visit lansinglugnuts.com or call (517) 485-4500.
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