EASTLAKE, OH - Griffin Conine belted a two-run homer in the first inning and Johnny Aiello swatted a two-run homer in the ninth, but the Lansing Lugnuts (19-20, 51-57) came up just short in a 5-4 loss to the Lake County Captains (21-18, 61-47) on Thursday night at Classic Park.The
EASTLAKE, OH - Griffin Conine belted a two-run homer in the first inning and Johnny Aiello swatted a two-run homer in the ninth, but the Lansing Lugnuts (19-20, 51-57) came up just short in a 5-4 loss to the Lake County Captains (21-18, 61-47) on Thursday night at Classic Park.
The Captains collected 14 hits in the win, all singles. Five of those singles came in the sixth inning, when they broke a 2-2 tie against reliever Troy Miller (Loss, 4-6), scoring two runs for a 4-2 lead.
Josh Rolette added insurance with an RBI single off Miller in the seventh inning - insurance that proved necessary when Rafael Lantigua doubled with two outs in the ninth and Aiello followed with a drive to right for his fifth home run of the year.
Lake County southpaw Tim Herrin allowed a single to Hagen Danner before retiring Tanner Kirwer on a liner to right to end the game, wrapping up three innings in relief for his first save.
Captains starter Zach Draper (Win, 7-2) tossed the first six innings, striking out eight, and allowing two runs - thanks to Conine's 16th home run of the year, launched to deep right-center with Gabriel Moreno aboard in the first inning.
Lansing starter Eric Pardinho pitched five innings in a no-decision, striking out four, serving up five hits, walking one, and allowing only two fourth-inning runs, one unearned. It was Pardinho's fourth straight start lasting five innings with one earned run or less.
In the loss, Conine and Lantigua finished 2-for-4 and left fielder DJ Neal threw out two Captains on the bases, Miguel Jerez at second base in the fourth inning and Makesiondon Kelkboom at home plate in the eighth inning.
The finale of the four-game series is at 7 p.m. Friday, featuring Lugnuts right-hander Sean Wymer (5.82 ERA) starting opposite Captains left-hander Matt Turner (2.53).
The Nuts return to Cooley Law School Stadium for a three-game series with the South Bend Cubs from August 7-9, capped off by LAFCU Fireworks on Friday, August 9th. To live the Lug Life and purchase tickets, visit lansinglugnuts.com, call (517) 485-4500 or come to the Cooley Law School Stadium box office at 505 E. Michigan Ave. in downtown Lansing.
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