LANSING, Mich. – The Lansing Lugnuts (11-14) lost a pair of games to the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (12-12) on Wednesday night at Cooley Law School Stadium, falling 8-3 in the resumption of a suspended game from Tuesday before coming up short in the regularly scheduled game, 2-1.
In the first game, picked up with the Timber Rattlers leading 6-0 in the top of the third and played to a full nine innings, Lugnuts reliever Cobi Johnson came on for starter Sean Wymer (Loss, 1-1) and tossed 5 1/3 innings of relief, allowing only two hits and one run – a Chad McClanahan solo home run.
Wymer had given up seven hits and six runs in 2 2/3 innings on Tuesday, victimized by a two-run second inning and a four-run third before the constant rain proved too much for the competitors to play through.
Wisconsin reliever Reese Olson (Win, 1-2) took over for starter Max Lazar and held the Lugnuts to two hits, two walks and three runs (two earned) in five innings. Chad Whitmer blanked the Nuts in the eighth and ninth innings, sewing up the win.
In defeat, Lansing catcher Ryan Gold went 2-for-3 with a triple and a run scored.
In the nightcap, Wisconsin left-hander Scotty Sunitsch (Win, 2-3) came two outs from a seven-inning shutout and a two-run Timber Rattlers fifth inning proved to be all that the visitors needed.
Sunitsch used 88 pitches to twirl 6 1/3 innings, scattering five hits and one walk. He departed after allowing a double to Nick Podkul leading off the bottom of the seventh and striking out D.J. Neal.
Jake Brodt greeted new reliever Robbie Hitt (Save, 2) with a single to left, moving Podkul to third base. Hitt then tossed a wild pitch, bringing in Podkul to end the shutout and pull the Lugnuts within a run. But Johnny Aiello lined out to left and Dom Abbadessa grounded out to first, ending the comeback bid.
Lugnuts starter Fitz Stadler (Loss, 1-3) equaled a career high with five innings pitched, striking out five Timber Rattlers. His only blemishes: a Korry Howell RBI single in the fifth inning, followed two batters later by a successful Connor McVey safety squeeze.
Standout reliever Jackson Rees continued his strong 2019, striking out five Timber Rattlers in two perfect innings of relief. In 13 innings this year, Rees has allowed one unearned run, walking just one batter while striking out 23.
Podkul finished the game 3-for-3 with two singles and a walk, Alejandro Kirk crushed his second career triple, and Aiello went 1-for-3 with a double in the losing cause.
The Lugnuts will look to avoid a three-game sweep on Thursday, the third day of the Nuts’ six-game homestand. Right-hander Joey Murray (4.01 ERA) gets the ball against Wisconsin right-hander Adam Hill (3.12 ERA) on a Labatt Blue Thirsty Thursday / It’s Always Sunny In Lansing, with $1, $2 and $3 beers and $3 wine. Game time is 7:05 p.m., with gates opening at 6 p.m. For more information or to purchase tickets to any Lugnuts home game in 2019, visit lansinglugnuts.com or call (517) 485-4500.