LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State Spartans scored an unearned run in the first inning but were blanked the rest of the night, leading to a Lansing Lugnuts 5-1 win in the 11th annual Crosstown Showdown presented by Auto-Owners Insurance, held on Tuesday night at Cooley Law School Stadium.
A crowd of 6,804 took in the season-ending exhibition, the Lugnuts' sixth straight victory over the Spartans. The Nuts lead the all-time series, 9-2.
The pre-game Home Run Derby saw St. Johns High School product Adam Proctor, an MSU freshman, outslug Marty Bechina in a swing-off to reach the championship round, and then topple the Lugnuts' David Jacob in the finals, 5-4.
Proctor stayed hot, lining a two-out RBI single off Lugnuts starter Yennsy Diaz for a 1-0 first-inning lead.
The 20-year-old Diaz (Win) settled in from there, limiting the Spartans to only one hit in the next three innings while striking out three and facing the minimum.
The Lugnuts seized the lead in the third inning against reliever Jake Lowery. Otto Lopez and Nick Sinay started the frame with doubles, putting runners at second and third. Lopez came in on a Jose Theran RBI grounder, tying the score. A Lowery wild pitch brought in Sinay, putting the Lugnuts up 2-1.
In the fourth inning, Yhordegny Kelly made it 3-1 Nuts with an RBI single to center off Keegan Baar, plating Ridge Smith .
The Nuts iced the game with two runs in the sixth against Andrew Gonzalez, loading the bases on a Davis Schneider single and walks to Smith and Kelly, followed by RBI fielder's choices from Aldo Ovando and Lopez.
Emerson Jimenez followed Diaz with two scoreless innings, striking out two Spartans. Maverik Buffo pitched the seventh and final inning, working around a two-out walk to close out the win.
With the game's conclusion, so ends the Lugnuts' 2017 campaign, their 22nd in the Midwest League. Keep tabs on the Lugnuts all offseason long via social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) and the team website, lansinglugnuts.com, and we'll be ready to Go Nuts again in April 2018!
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.