LANSING, Mich. – Behind the pitching of first-rounders Shane Baz and Matthew Liberatore, the Bowling Green Hot Rods (34-23) defeated the Lansing Lugnuts (24-31) twice on Sunday afternoon at Cooley Law School Stadium, 7-0 and 4-1.
In the first game, resumed after it was suspended due to rain in the middle of the first inning from Saturday with the Hot Rods leading 1-0, Baz (Win, 2-0) tossed five shutout innings, striking out seven, and allowing only two hits and two walks.
Cristopher Sanchez followed with three scoreless frames before Trey Cumbie handled a perfect ninth, wrapping up the four-hit shutout.
Lansing starter Sean Wymer (Loss, 2-5) suffered the hard-luck defeat, pitching only the first inning on Saturday and allowing Wander Franco’s sixth home run of the season.
Franco added a third-inning RBI double against reliever Fitz Stadler, who gave up nine hits and six runs – the majority during a four-run fifth inning that blew the game open.
In the loss, Will McAffer pitched 3 1/3 scoreless innings, Rafael Lantigua went 2-for-2 with two singles and a walk in the loss and Hagen Danner went 1-for-4 with his third triple of the year.
In the regularly scheduled game, shortened to seven innings, Liberatore (Win, 3-0) struck out five Lugnuts in six innings and gave up only one run – a Reggie Pruitt steal of home in the sixth inning.
Joel Peguero (Save, 5) struck out three batters around a walk to close out the game.
Lugnuts starter Cobi Johnson (Loss, 1-5) lasted two innings, allowing Grant Witherspoon’s RBI single following two walks in the first inning and Ford Proctor’s two-run double following two hit-by-pitches and a third walk in the second inning.
Sean Rackoski gave the Lugnuts three scoreless innings out of the bullpen, succeeded by Cre Finfrock, who pitched the final two frames and allowed an RBI triple to Kaleo Johnson in the seventh.
The Lugnuts now head on the road for a 10-day, 11-game trip to Great Lakes, Lake County and South Bend beginning Tuesday in Midland, Michigan. The next Nuts home game will also be against the Bowling Green Hot Rods, opening a three-game series to conclude the first half from June 14-16. To live the Lug Life and purchase tickets to Sunday or throughout the 2019 season, visit lansinglugnuts.com or call (517) 485-4500.