Bo Bichette singled, doubled, homered, and singled. Then he singled, doubled, struck out, and singled again. Eight at-bats, seven hits, five runs batted in, and a .400 batting average for the year. (Tyler Marcotte)
By Jesse Goldberg-Strassler / Lansing Lugnuts | June 16, 2017 12:34 AM ET
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -Bo Bichette went 4-for-4 and 3-for-4 in a jawdropping doubleheader performance, and the Lansing Lugnuts (37-27) beat the South Bend Cubs (38-28) twice, 8-5 and 6-1, on Thursday night at Four Winds Field.
The 19-year-old Bichette singled twice, doubled and homered in the opener, driving in two runs, and then singled twice and doubled in the nightcap, driving in three more. In 54 games, he has 88 hits in 220 at-bats, an even .400 batting average.
With Dayton losing to Great Lakes, the Lugnuts moved within 1.5 games of the Dragons in the Eastern Division wild-card race with three games to play in the first half.
In Game 1, the Lugnuts used a five-run sixth inning to rally from a 5-3 deficit, capturing the lead on a fluke Nick SinayRBI single - despite Sinay not swinging at the pitch. A Jared Cheek(Blown Save, 1) fastball smacked off the knob of Sinay's bat, bringing in Christian Williamswith the tie-breaking run.
Starter Denis Diazallowed five runs (four earned) on four hits and four walks in four innings. He was relieved expertly by Tayler Saucedo(Win, 3-2), who gave the Lugnuts three scoreless innings, striking out two and allowing one hit and one walk.
South Bend ace Duncan Robinson(Loss, 5-4) watched his ERA rise from 1.36 to 2.08 after allowing six runs on ten hits (including Bichette's seventh home run of the year) in 5 1/3 innings.
In Game 2, 20-year-old Yennsy Diazstruck out eight batters in 4 2/3 impressive innings and Connor Eller(Win, 1-0) turned in 2 1/3 scoreless innings of relief.
Bichette sparked the scoring with a two-run double in the third inning against Cubs prospect Erling Moreno(Loss, 1-1).
An inning later, J.B. Woodmandrove in two runs with a double, coming home on a throwing error by shortstop Zack Short for a 5-0 lead.
Bichette put the game away with an RBI single to right-center in the seventh against Tyson Miller.
The Lansing Lugnuts return home Friday at 7:05 p.m., on Seniors Eat Free and a Family Faith Night featuring LAFCU Fireworks. Gates open at 6 p.m. for the opener of a three-game series with the archrival West Michigan Whitecaps. Tickets may be purchased at the Cooley Law School Stadium box office, by calling (517) 485-4500 or via lansinglugnuts.com.
# # #
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.