LANSING, MI - The Lansing Lugnuts charged out to a 5-1 lead on Wednesday night against the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers at Cooley Law School Stadium. Wisconsin charged back to get close, but the Lugnuts held on for a 5-4 win.
The Lugnuts (55-38 overall, 17-9 second half) scored first. Oliver Dominguez singled in a run with one out in the second inning. In the third, Jake Marisnick high chopper to the mound was enough to get Michael Crouse home from third for a 2-0 lead.
Wisconsin (48-48, 10-16) took advantage of a pair of errors in the top of the fourth inning to get on the board. Greg Hopkins reached on an error with one out. Then, he tried for third on a single to center by Chad Stang. The throw had Hopkins at third, but he made a great slide to avoid the tag of third baseman Bryson Namba.
There were still runners at the corners with two outs when Tony Pechek's grounder towards right was flagged down by second baseman Oliver Dominguez. But, Dominguez threw wildly to first allowing Pechek to reach and Hopkins to score to cut the deficit to 2-1.
But, the Lugnuts padded their lead with three runs in the bottom of the fourth off Wisconsin starter Maverick Lasker. The first two batters reached on a single and a walk. Jack Murphy cashed in both runners with a double. Murphy would score on a two-out single by Crouse.
Wisconsin chipped away with a pair of runs in the sixth and one more in the eighth. In the sixth, Chad Stang tripled to drive in a run. Mike Brownstein's grounder to first was misplayed and Stang scored to make it 5-4.
In the eighth, Stang tripled - for his fourth hit of the night. This time, a misplay by the third baseman on a grounder off the bat of Brownstein let Stang in to cut the Lugnuts run to one.
Wisconsin tried to put together a two out rally in the ninth. Jason Rogers drew a two out walk and Hopkins followed with a single. But, Stang struck out to end the game.
The final game of the three game series is Friday night. Jimmy Nelson (4-7, 4.36) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. The Lugnuts send Egan Smith (4-3, 3.71) to the mound. Game time is 6:05pm. Tune in for the broadcast on AM1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 5:45pm.
WP: Andrew Liebel (2-0)
LP: Maverick Lasker (1-3)
SAVE: Sam Strickland (1)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.