LANSING, Mich. - Troy Miller took a gem into the seventh inning, but the Lansing Mighty Wombats (4-5, 45-34) lost a three-run lead in a 4-3 defeat at the hands of the Bowling Green Hot Rods (6-3, 46-33) in front of a Saturday night crowd of 5,677 on Backyard Baseball
LANSING, Mich. - Troy Miller took a gem into the seventh inning, but the Lansing Mighty Wombats (4-5, 45-34) lost a three-run lead in a 4-3 defeat at the hands of the Bowling Green Hot Rods (6-3, 46-33) in front of a Saturday night crowd of 5,677 on Backyard Baseball Night at Cooley Law School Stadium.
Griffin Conine blasted a two-run homer in the first inning, his second consecutive night with a two-run homer, and DJ Neal supplied an RBI single in the second inning for a 3-0 lead against Bowling Green starter Shane Baz, the Tampa Bay Rays' No. 8 prospect.
Meanwhile, Miller, an undrafted free agent from the University of Michigan, was impressing. The right-hander set a new career high with 6 1/3 innings pitched on 99 pitches, striking out four, allowing five hits, walking four, and giving up only one run entering the seventh - a Seaver Whalen RBI double in the third inning. He departed with one out and Osmy Gregorio at first base following an infield single.
But incoming reliever Juan Nuñez (Blown Save, 1; Loss, 0-1) gave up a two-run homer to Izzy Wilson, the first batter he faced, tying the score at 3-3.
An inning later, Jonathan Aranda lined a two-out RBI single off of Nuñez, and the Hot Rods had their first lead of the night.
Bowling Green left-hander Cristopher Sanchez (Win, 2-1) made sure the Mighty Wombats didn't threaten, firing the final three innings and setting down the final nine batters he faced after allowing a leadoff single to Neal in the seventh.
In the loss, Lansing shortstop Otto Lopez went 1-for-4 with a run scored, extending his on-base streak to 29 games, and both Johnny Aiello and Neal finished 2-for-4.
Sunday, the second game in the three-game series, is a Delta Dental Kids Day / Sensory Awareness Day, with pre-game Play Catch on the Field and post-game Kids Run the Bases! Gates open at 12:00 noon for a 1:05 p.m. first pitch, with Lansing right-hander Sean Wymer (6.95 ERA) taking on Bowling Green right-hander Alan Strong (3.90). 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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