Fort Wayne, IN – For the second straight day the Lansing Lugnuts pounced on the Fort Wayne pitching staff as they pummeled the Wizards 11-1 at Memorial Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Lansing finished the game with 15 hits, giving them 33 knocks in the last two games.
The Lugnuts grabbed the lead in the second inning when Manny Rodriguez's RBI double plated John Tolisano to make it 1-0. Tolisano had reached base on a triple to center field.
Fort Wayne tried to tie the game in the bottom half of the inning when Justin Baum attempted to score on Brad Chalk's single to right. However, Lansing's Moises Sierra threw a strike to the plate that beat Baum and kept the Wizards off of the scoreboard.
Lansing extended the lead to 3-0 in the following frame when Rodriguez delivered another double, this time producing two runs for the Lugnuts. He finished the game 3-for-5 with three doubles and three RBI.
After Kevin Ahrens plated two more in the fourth with a double of his own, the Lugnuts pitching took over to shut down Fort Wayne. Starting pitcher Nate Starner tossed four innings and allowed just one unearned run, while relievers Alan Farina and Ross Buckwalter combined to shutout the Wizards over the final five frames. Farina was especially impressive, as he retired all nine batters that he faced.
Lansing blew the game open in the seventh with a five run rally to push the lead to 11-1. The inning was capped off by Jonathan Jaspe's two-run homer to left field, his first of the season.
Lansing (2-1) will attempt to take the series from Fort Wayne (1-2) on Sunday afternoon. The Lugnuts will send lefty Brad Mills to the mound, while the Wizards will counter with right-hander Brandon Gomes. First pitch is set for 2:00 p.m.