COMSTOCK PARK, Mich. - Reggie Pruitt homered on the first pitch of the game and the Lansing Lugnuts (29-23, 72-50) built leads of 4-0, 5-1 and 6-4, only to see the West Michigan Whitecaps (25-26, 61-60) score three runs in the eighth for a 7-6 victory on Wednesday night at Fifth
COMSTOCK PARK, Mich. - Reggie Pruitt homered on the first pitch of the game and the Lansing Lugnuts (29-23, 72-50) built leads of 4-0, 5-1 and 6-4, only to see the West Michigan Whitecaps (25-26, 61-60) score three runs in the eighth for a 7-6 victory on Wednesday night at Fifth Third Ballpark.
The Whitecaps have defeated the Lugnuts in four consecutive meetings.
Trailing by two runs entering the bottom of the eighth, Brady Policelli hustled out a double against reliever Matt Shannon (Loss, 3-4). Luke Sherley grounded out to shortstop, moving Policelli to third, and Kody Clemens tripled him in to bring the Whitecaps within 6-5. After a walk to Brock Deatherage, a Jordan Pearce sacrifice fly tied the score. Dylan Rosa followed with an RBI double to right-center just outside the range of a diving Pruitt, providing what proved to be the game-winning run.
The game opened memorably, with Pruitt launching Jesus Rodriguez's first pitch deep to left. Six-foot-two left fielder Dylan Rosa went back to the wall and leapt up to make the catch, only to lose his glove over the fence. It was Pruitt's second home run of the season.
The Lugnuts added two more runs in the first on a Brandon Grudzielanek RBI single and a Bryan Lizardo RBI grounder for a 3-0 lead, and then tacked on an Andres Sotillo bases-loaded walk in the third.
Nuts starter Maximo Castillo faced the minimum in working the first four innings scorelessly, but gave up a triple to Deatherage and a sac fly to Pearce in the fifth, and then two more runs in the sixth on a Colby Bortles home run and a passed ball.
Freddy Rodriguez supplied a pair of RBI singles, driving in Sotillo in the sixth and eighth innings, but it was not enough to stave off the 'Caps.
West Michigan reliever Endrys Briceno (Win, 3-1) pitched the seventh and eighth innings, allowing one run on two hits, a walk and a hit-by-pitch.
Billy Lescher worked around a two-out walk of Ryan Gold in the ninth for his sixth save.
Nuts right-hander Graham Spraker (3.21 ERA) takes on West Michigan right-hander Brad Bass (4.24) at 7:05 p.m. Thursday in the second game of the three-game series.
The next Lansing home game is Backyard Baseball Night powered by MI Student Aid on Saturday, August 18th, with the first 1,000 fans receiving a bobblehead of the GOAT, Pablo Sanchez, as the Lansing Mighty Wombats challenge the Fort Wayne TinCaps! To purchase tickets and live the Lug Life at Cooley Law School Stadium, visit lansinglugnuts.com or call (517) 485-4500.
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