LANSING – C.J. Ebarb's ninth inning single to center field plated Moises Sierra from second base, lifting the Lansing Lugnuts past the Fort Wayne Wizards 1-0 in front of 3,223 fans at Oldsmobile Park Sunday afternoon. The win completed a sweep of the four-game series for the Lugnuts and was the second walk-off victory of the set as well. Lansing has now won five straight games.
The game was scoreless through the first 8 1/2 innings before Lansing finally broke through in the last at-bat. Manny Rodriguez drew a one-out walk from hurler Derek McDaid to start the rally. Jonathan Jaspe then looped a single into right field that moved Rodriguez to second base. He was then lifted for pinch-runner Sierra, who scored on Ebarb's single into center field.
Sierra barely beat the throw home from Brad Chalk and barreled over Wizards catcher Ali Solis before tagging the plate for the winning run. Solis would stay down for several minutes before walking off the field under his own power.
The pitching staffs were terrific, as Randy Boone hurled five shutout innings for Lansing in his start. Michael Barbara and Tim Collins combined to finish the shutout for the Lugnuts, their eighth of the season.
He was outdone by Fort Wayne starter Jeremy Hefner, who allowed just four hits in seven shutout innings. He struck out a Wizards' season-high 10 batters in the process.
Each team had opportunities to score, as Fort Wayne left the bases loaded in the fourth and had runners at second and third with one out in the eighth, but failed to score.
Lansing only had three runners in scoring position all day before the ninth, an left them all stranded on the bases.
Collins (2-0) got the win for the Lugnuts by tossing 1 2/3 innings and allowing just one hit. It was Collins that extinguished the Wizards threat in the eighth by inducing a groundout and a strikeout.
McDaid (3-1) suffered the loss after allowing the only run of the game.
Lansing (43-31, 4-0) will continue the homestand Monday night at Oldsmobile Park by welcoming the Great Lakes Loons (31-42, 1-3) in for four games. Trystan Magnuson (0-6, 6.80) will pitch for the Lugnuts, while Steven Johnson (8-2, 2.60) will take the hill for the Loons. Game time is set for 7:05 p.m.