LANSING, Mich. – Ajay Meyer set the franchise single-season saves record as the Lansing Lugnuts (25-16, 72-38) took advantage of an error in the bottom of the eighth to earn an 8-7 come-from-behind victory over the West Michigan Whitecaps (19-22, 55-56) on a wet Saturday night at Cooley Law School Stadium.
With the Lugnuts down by a run in the eighth inning, K.C. Hobson drove in Nick Baligod from third on a ground out to third. After Hobson was thrown out at first, Whitecaps first baseman Aaron Westlake tried to throw out Michael Crouse, who was attempting to advance to third from second. Westlake threw the ball down the line, allowing Crouse to gallop in with the game-winning run.
Lugnuts closer Meyer tossed a perfect ninth inning to record his 30th save, breaking Jason Wylie’s 2003 total for the most saves in the Lugnuts’ 17-season history.
The Whitecaps mashed three home runs, four doubles and led the throughout the game until the two-out, eighth-inning error.
Slade Smith (Loss, 1-1) tossed one inning and allowed two runs while walking three for the Whitecaps who walked a total of ten Lugnuts in the ball game.
Andy Fermin was 2-for-3 with a triple, a run scored and an RBI; K.C. Hobson added two hits, including a double, scored a run and recorded an RBI; Chris Hawkins went 2-for-3 with a run scored; and Michael Crouse smashed a two-run homer and scored twice to lead the Lansing offense.
The Lugnuts bullpen did not allow run in the final four innings. Phil Brua (Win, 3-0) tossed a scoreless eighth inning. Shawn Griffith tossed a pair of scoreless frames out of the bullpen.
Lansing starter Blake McFarland worked four innings, gave up nine hits, four runs, walked none and struck out five.
West Michigan starter Brennan Smith started and threw three innings, allowing three hits and two runs.
The Lugnuts continue their four-game series against the Whitecaps on Sunday, August 5th at 2:05 p.m., a “Superhero” edition of Kids Day at Cooley Law School Stadium with families invited to play catch on the field before the game and Kids Run the Bases afterward. Noah Syndergaard (7-3, 3.06) will start for the Lugnuts. Lefty Kyle Ryan (5-6, 4.08) will go for the Whitecaps.