LANSING, Mich. - Cullen Large went 5-for-5 and scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth on an RBI single by the debuting Norberto Obeso , and the first-place Lansing Lugnuts (13-6) dramatically completed a four-game sweep of the Dayton Dragons (9-9), 8-7, on Thursday night at Cooley
LANSING, Mich. - Cullen Large went 5-for-5 and scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth on an RBI single by the debuting Norberto Obeso , and the first-place Lansing Lugnuts (13-6) dramatically completed a four-game sweep of the Dayton Dragons (9-9), 8-7, on Thursday night at Cooley Law School Stadium.
Audio: Kacy Clemens ties the game with a two-run single
Audio: Norberto Obeso wins the game with an RBI single
After never trailing in the first three games of the series, won by a combined 30-9 margin, the Lugnuts watched the Dragons score four runs in the sixth and one in the seventh to turn a 4-2 lead into a 7-4 deficit.
But Large doubled with two outs in the seventh inning and scored on a Ryan Noda single to make it a 7-5 game, and the Lugnuts tied the score in the eighth inning on a two-out, two-run single by Kacy Clemens off Dragons closer John Ghyzel (Blown Save, 1; Loss, 0-1).
After Ty Tice (Win, 1-0) held the Dragons off the board in the top of the ninth, stranding two runners, the Lugnuts went back to work against Ghyzel. Large started the game-winning rally with a single to right field, Noda singled him to second and a Matt Morgan sacrifice bunt moved both runners up. That brought up Obeso, who had been added to the roster from Extended Spring Training to replace the injured Reggie Pruitt earlier in the day - and was wearing eyeblack that read "I'm back."
Obeso sent a 2-1 pitch to left-center, where it fell in between left fielder Narciso Crook and center fielder Miles Gordon, bringing in Large and touching off a wild celebration.
Large singled three times and doubled twice, scoring three runs, to become the first Lugnut in 2018 with a five-hit game and raise his batting average from .239 to .314.
Leadoff hitter Chavez Young went 3-for-4 with a walk, raising his own average from .281 to .311.
Lugnuts starting pitcher Graham Spraker worked five innings, allowing three hits and two runs, one earned, while walking one and striking out five in a no-decision. He was replaced by Turner Larkins for the sixth inning, but Larkins was forced to leave the game due to precautionary reasons after being struck by a Michael Beltre line drive after recording two outs.
Andy Ravel pitched 2 1/3 innings to bridge the pen from Larkins to Tice, giving up three hits and three runs, two earned, walking two, striking out two, and setting down the final five batters he faced.
Next up for the Lugs: the second-place West Michigan Whitecaps and a three-day weekend filled with baseball, featuring doubleheaders on Friday and Sunday.
The next Lugnuts home game is a Dollar Deal Day on Tuesday, May 1st, against the Kane County Cougars, with first pitch at 7:05 p.m. To purchase tickets, visit lansinglugnuts.com or call (517) 485-4500.
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