Bowman slam keys Nuts' slugfest win
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Cooper Bowman belted a grand slam and Sahid Valenzuela stole home to help the Lansing Lugnuts (26-33, 51-74) build a seven-run lead en route to a 10-8 slugfest victory over the South Bend Cubs (37-22, 71-54) on Saturday night at Four Winds Field. The result halted
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Cooper Bowman belted a grand slam and Sahid Valenzuela stole home to help the Lansing Lugnuts (26-33, 51-74) build a seven-run lead en route to a 10-8 slugfest victory over the South Bend Cubs (37-22, 71-54) on Saturday night at Four Winds Field.
The result halted the Lugnuts’ five-game losing streak and the Cubs’ nine-game home winning streak. South Bend still had something to celebrate after the game, however, clinching the second-half West Division title after Beloit lost to Quad Cities, 5-1.
The Nuts had scored a combined seven runs in dropping the first four games of the series, but broke out early with a five-run second inning against South Bend starter Richard Gallardo, capped by Bowman’s third Midwest League home run. It was the Nuts’ first grand slam since Tyler Soderstrom’s walk-off slam against Dayton on May 12.
An inning later, the Nuts added three more runs against Gallardo for an 8-1 lead, finished off by a Hansen López two-run single.
After South Bend trimmed the score to 8-4, Valenzuela delivered the Lugnuts’ first steal of home since Joshwan Wright on June 2. With two outs in the sixth inning, Max Muncy broke for second base, drawing a throw from catcher Pablo Aliendo. Valenzuela raced in from third, beating the return throw to Aliendo.
Shane McGuire singled in Valenzuela with two outs in the eighth for one final piece of insurance, and then the Lugnuts held on tight.
A Jordan Nwogu RBI fielder’s choice in the bottom of the eighth brought South Bend within 10-6.
In the bottom of the ninth, Yeison Santana delivered a two-out, two-run single to put the tying runs on base for the Chicago Cubs’ No. 1 overall prospect, Pete Crow-Armstrong. But Calvin Coker struck out Crow-Armstrong swinging, leaving the South Bend star to shatter his bat over his knee.
Lansing received a balanced hitting and pitching effort. Every member of the starting lineup collected at least one base hit, led by a three-hit performance from Bowman, and every hitter except Muncy scored at least one run. Meanwhile, Mason Miller, TJ Czyz, Mac Lardner and Brock Whittlesey each recorded exactly six outs before Coker wrapped up the ninth. Each pitcher but Whittlesey struck out exactly two batters.
One more road game remains in the Lugnuts’ season, with 6-foot-9 right-hander Jorge Juan (6.39 ERA) getting the ball Sunday at 7:05 p.m. against 5-foot-11 Cubs right-hander Daniel Palencia (4.16).
Then the Nuts return home, hosting the Dayton Dragons from September 6-11 to close out the season. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit lansinglugnuts.com or call (517) 485-4500.
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