EASTLAKE, OH – The Lansing Lugnuts’ (31-13) bullpen allowed runs in the ninth and eleventh to spoil a sparkling start by Jesse Hernandez in a 2-1, 11-inning loss to the Lake County Captains (22-22).
The Captains salvaged the final game of a series dominated by pitching; Lansing outscored Lake County 5-3 overall in the three games.
Hernandez tied a career-high throwing seven innings against the Captains. He gave up just two hits, did not allow a run, issued just one walk and struck out a pair.
The Lugnuts broke a scoreless tie in the eighth on a Chris Hawkins RBI single, and brought the slim 1-0 lead to the bottom of the ninth in search of the road sweep.
But Lake County rallied against Eric Brown, loading the bases with one out. Jordan Smith hit a groundball to Lugnuts shortstop Shane Opitz, who stepped on second for the second out before throwing wide allowing the game-tying run to score.
Smith came to the plate in the 11th against Javier Avendano (Loss, 1-3) with the bases again loaded with one out, and again supplied a ground ball. This one found its way to first baseman K.C. Hobson, whose throw home bounced in the dirt while pinch-runner Zach MacPhee scored the game-winning run.
Lake County starter Shawn Morimando twirled five shutout innings allowing just two hits, two walks and striking out three in a no-decision.
The Lugnuts will return home Wednesday, May 23rd, against the Dayton Dragons to begin a seven-game homestand with a Ladies Night.
Righty Anthony DeSclafani (3-1, 2.61) starts for Lansing in the opener of a three-game series against opposed by Dragons righty Jacob Johnson (0-0, 1.80). Tickets are available for purchase online at www.lansinglugnuts.com, at the stadium box office, and by calling 517-485-4500.