Core Was Strong and Clutch for Lansing on Saturday
The Lugnuts were able to win a season high sixth straight game on Saturday night as they again defeated the Southwest Michigan Devil Rays at Oldsmobile Park by a final score of 7-1. With the win, Lansing (28-33, 65-65) has now won the first three games of this pivotal four game series and find themselves four games out of a playoff spot with nine left to play.
Danny Core got the start for Lansing tonight and has been the case recently, delivered his finest pitching performance for the Lugnuts this season.
"Our mentality right now is 'why not'? Instead of being spoilers, why not make a late push for the playoffs" stated Core following the game.
Core would finish the night throwing six innings, allowing one run on four hits. With the win, he improves to 7-9 on the year.
Lansing would again jump out to an early lead tonight as David Hicks would lead off the bottom of the second inning with a single. Lansing short stop Ryan Klosterman then stepped to the plate and promptly ripped a triple off the right field wall. The D-Rays right fielder Shaun Cumberland picked up the ball and threw a bullet to attempt to gun down Hicks, however the throw was slightly off line and Hicks plowed over catcher Alex Jamieson causing the ball to roll away and Ryan Klosterman to also score giving the Lugnuts a 2-0 lead.
Southwest Michigan would answer with a run in the top of the fourth. However, that would be as close as they would get as Lansing would post five runs in the bottom of the eighth with the big hit coming from David Hicks as he hit a bases loaded triple. Joey McLaughlin would then come out of the pen in the ninth and sealed the deal as he set the side down in order while striking out one.
"We're on a roll here and it's somebody different every night." stated Hicks. "Somebody seems to come up with a big hit or a big pitch and it is somebody different every night."
Playoff Watch: Lansing is now four games out with five left to play and will look for the sweep on Sunday as they close out their season series with the D-Rays. If Lansing is able to sweep, they will still need some help from Kane County and Quad City to continue the Southwest Michigan slide. Lansing will finish the season with six straight games at home. Toronto native Aaron Wideman gets the nod as he will face off against Jino Gonzalez.
Playoff Quote: "It's been fun here the last couple of days. It is kind of like we have nothing to lose. We were pretty much out of it and no one gave us a chance. We had a meeting and Kenny (Joyce) told us to just finish the season strong. That's kind of been our focus. We didn't worry so much about the playoffs, we are just trying to finish strong. Hopefully, we will keep playing well and you never know what may happen.".
-Lansing first baseman David Hicks on the prospects of Lansing making the playoffs.