Cross overpowers Loons, 7-4
MIDLAND, Mich. – Matt Cross hit a pair of late two-run homers and the Lansing Lugnuts (15-19) rode tremendous relief work to a come-from-behind 7-4 series-opening win over the Great Lakes Loons (19-15) on Tuesday afternoon at Dow Diamond. Brett Harris added his team-leading seventh homer of the year for
MIDLAND, Mich. – Matt Cross hit a pair of late two-run homers and the Lansing Lugnuts (15-19) rode tremendous relief work to a come-from-behind 7-4 series-opening win over the Great Lakes Loons (19-15) on Tuesday afternoon at Dow Diamond.
Brett Harris added his team-leading seventh homer of the year for the Nuts, who have 25 home runs in 14 games in May, most in the Midwest League.
How's this for powering up?@Brett25harris and @crossmatt5401 homered to erase a pair of deficits in Great Lakes. And then Matt Cross homered again, just because.@jgoldstrass on the 🎙️ pic.twitter.com/fR2ygPr57y— Lansing Lugnuts (@LansingLugnuts) May 17, 2022
An enthusiastic crowd of students packed into the download Midland ballpark to cheer on their Loons, and the home team thrilled them early with four runs in the first three innings against Lansing starter Stevie Emanuels, knocking out the Lugnuts right-hander after 3 2/3 innings.
Trailing 4-1, the Nuts crept within one in the fourth inning against Loons starter Lael Lockhart on an Austin Beck double, a Tyler Soderstrom two-out RBI single and an Euribiel Ángeles single misplayed by left fielder Edwin Mateo.
Three innings later, Lawrence Butler drew a two-out walk from Great Lakes reliever Braydon Fisher. That set the stage for a matchup with Cross, 4-for-42 to begin the season against Fisher, who had only allowed two hits in 44 total batters faced to that point. Cross won decisively with his first roundtripper of the year, launching a 400-foot homer to left to give the Lugnuts a 5-4 lead.
Cross struck again in the ninth to provide insurance, following an Ángeles double with a no-doubt blast to the lawn in left off southpaw Jake Cantleberry.
While the Loons bullpen was allowing four runs in five innings, the Lugnuts bullpen was untouchable. Kumar Nambiar followed starter Emanuels with 2 1/3 hitless innings, Brock Whittlesey blanked the Loons in the seventh and eighth, and Trayson Kubo worked around an infield single in a scoreless ninth to nail down the win.
Cross, Ángeles and Beck each finished the game with two hits.
Right-hander Jeff Criswell (3.60 ERA) gets the ball for the second game of the six-game series, set for a 6:05 p.m. start on Wednesday. Great Lakes answers with right-hander Cole Percival (2.19 ERA). The next home game in Michigan’s state capital arrives May 31, when the Nuts welcome in the Cedar Rapids Kernels. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit lansinglugnuts.com or call (517) 485-4500.
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