South Bend, Ind. – The Lansing Lugnuts capped the regular season Monday afternoon with their third straight 4-2 win over the South Bend Silver Hawks at Coveleski Stadium.
The Lugnuts snagged the lead in the third inning when Eric Eiland walked, stole second base, and scored after Darin Mastroianni's single hit the first base bag and trickled into right field. The run marked the first time that Lansing has gotten on the board first since August 23rd.
It would be the only run that South Bend starter Bryan Henry (4-6) would allow, but he still suffered the loss. Henry lasted six innings and gave up just two hits.
It would stay a 1-0 game until the seventh when Lansing added some insurance runs. Jonathan Jaspe and Kevin Ahrens each singled to start the frame. C.J. Ebarb followed that with a double into right field that plated Jaspe, making it a 2-0 game. Yohermyn Chavez chipped in with a sacrifice fly that brought Ahrens home, pushing the lead to 3-0.
Lansing's bullpen was forced to throw eight innings in the game, as Jimmy Dougher was pulled after the first inning.
Mike Barbara (2-4) came on after Dougher and threw four innings of three hit baseball while earning the win.
Edgar Estanga hurled the next two frames, allowing just two singles.
It was 4-0 in the bottom of the eighth when the Hawks loaded the bases off of reliever Danny Farquhar on an error and two walks. However Farquhar induced a double play ball from Ryne White and got Sean Coughlin to ground out, limiting the damage to just one unearned run in the inning.
Tim Collins got his 14th save of the year by tossing the ninth. He gave up a lead-off homer to Derrick Walker and a single to Jo Jo Batten, but retired the next three batters to end the game.
Lansing (76-64, 37-33) will now turn its attention to the Midwest League playoffs, which start Wednesday night. The Lugnuts will take on the Dayton Dragons in a best-of-3 opening round series. Game one will take place at Fifth Third Field in Dayton at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday.
Marc Rzepczynski (7-6, 2.83) will get the start for the Lugnuts. He will face-off against Dayton's Jeremy Horst (8-2, 2.38).