EASTLAKE, OH – T.J. Schofield-Sam beat out a game-tying RBI fielder’s choice in the top of the ninth inning, only to see Kahlil Watson deliver a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth to help los Picantes de Lake County (30-29, 61-63) edge the Lansing Lugnuts (28-33, 59-67), 3-2,
EASTLAKE, OH – T.J. Schofield-Sam beat out a game-tying RBI fielder’s choice in the top of the ninth inning, only to see Kahlil Watson deliver a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth to help los Picantes de Lake County (30-29, 61-63) edge the Lansing Lugnuts (28-33, 59-67), 3-2, in the opening game of a six-game series on Tuesday night at Classic Auto Group Park.
Each of Lake County’s runs was provided by a sacrifice fly: by Yordys Valdes with the bases loaded in the fourth inning off reliever Jack Owen, at the time tying the score at 1-1; by Chase DeLauter with the bases loaded in the seventh inning off Hunter Breault, giving the hosts a 2-1 lead; and by Watson with the bases loaded in the ninth off Charles Hall, delivering pinch-runner Tyresse Turner for Lake County’s ninth walk-off win of the year.
Until the ninth, the Lugnuts’ offense was limited to a fourth-inning run-scoring throwing error by Lake County starter Ryan Webb, firing wildly as Danny Bautista, Jr. stole third base.
Webb was otherwise effective, fanning six in six innings while allowing only four hits and one run, and Reid Johnston followed by blanking the Lugnuts in the seventh and eighth innings.
In the ninth, Brennan Milone led off with a walk against Johnston, Euribiel Ángeles singled him to second, and – after a Joshwan Wright infield fly popout – CJ Rodriguez singled him to third, loading the bases. That brought up Schofield-Sam, who chopped to second baseman Valdes and hustled down the line to beat shortstop Watson’s throw, allowing Milone to score with the game-tying run.
But Hall began the bottom of the ninth by issuing walks to Will Bartlett, replaced by Turner, and Valdes, and the two runners executed a double steal after a flyout by Jake Fox. After an intentional walk to DeLauter, Watson sent a fly to the warning track in left to easily score Turner and end the game.
In the loss, Lansing starter Jose Dicochea allowed one run on three hits and four walks in 3 1/3 innings, striking out three. Owen followed with two strikeouts in 2 2/3 innings, yielding to Breault for two strikeouts in two perfect innings.
Ángeles went 2-for-4 to lead the offense, giving him 11 hits in his last 20 at-bats.
The second game of the six-game series is a matinee, scheduled to start at 12:05 p.m. Wednesday with Lansing right-hander Jacob Watters on the mound.
For more information, visit lansinglugnuts.com or call (517) 485-4500.
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