Ginley Solid for Lansing

Ginley Solid for Lansing

Syracuse split a double header with Charlotte, New Hampshire was rained out, Dunedin dropped a 3-1 decision to Sarasota, while Lansing won in dramatic fashion.

Charlotte 5, Syracuse 4 Game 1
Syracuse 7, Charlotte 2, Game 2

In game one of the double header, the Knights edged the Chiefs on a wild pitch uncorked from Blaine Neal allowing the winning run in the bottom of the ninth in Charlotte, NC.

The Knights quickly jumped on starter Geremi Gonzalez, touching the starter up for four runs in less than two innings of work. Gonzalez did not last into the third, as he was ejected from the game for arguing balls and strikes. Charlotte scored four runs in the bottom of the second inning. Gonzalez allowed a one-out single, and then a walk, putting two runners on for former Diamondback Luis Terrero, who proceeded to send Gonzalez's next offering over the right field wall for a three run shot, giving the Knights a 3-0 lead early on. The Knights managed to put together another run before the inning ended stretching the lead to four. Reliever Brian Wolfe, acquired last year for Corey Koskie from the Milwaukee Brewers came in relief of Gonzalez.

Wolfe pitched a scoreless 2 1/3 innings, striking out four; however, the Chiefs bats remained silent. With the score 4-0 in the top of the seventh inning, the Chiefs finally figured out SP Charlie Haeger, and scored four runs to tie the game in the frame.

The inning began with Chad Mottola reaching on an error, followed by a Kevin Barker two run homer deep into the night over the right field wall, his first on the season. John Hattig then stepped in, and drove a pitch over the left field wall for his first homerun on the season closing the lead to just one and bringing Syracuse all the way back into the game, 4-3. Sal Fasano then proceeded to come up and send his third home run of the season over the dead center field wall, tying the game at four on back-to-back-to-back homeruns. However, Haeger was finally pulled from the game, and reliever Boone Logan came in and stopped the bleeding fast getting three quick outs to put a stop to the Chiefs momentum.

Things then looked promising in the top of the eighth inning, when highly touted prospect Adam Lind doubled over Terrero's head in center field. However continuing a trend early on this season, the Chiefs were unable to get him home, as the team as a whole has struggled with runners in scoring position.

In the ninth inning, the Chiefs managed to draw two back-to-back walks with just one out, but once again failed to get a run home as both teams headed into the bottom of the final frame.

Reliever Blaine Neal starting his second inning of work in the ninth, and struggled with his command walking Josh Fields, and allowing a stolen base during the very next at-bat. On the steal attempt, Fasano threw the ball wide and into center field allowing Casey Rogowski to advance to third base. Neal then managed to strike out the next hitter, Fields, but threw a wild pitch to Ryan Sweeney, ending the game.

Notes : 3B John Hattig had a strong first game going 2-3, with a double and a home run CF Luis Terrero was a pest all night long for the Chiefs going 2-4, a HR, three RBI and a Stolen base.

In game two of the doubleheader, the Chiefs would not be denied splitting the two games by defeating the Knights 7-2 in a shortened seven-inning game. Chiefs' starter Josh Banks pitched a solid 6 1/3 innings giving up just three hits and two runs while striking out two. Banks kept the ball down getting half as many groundouts as flyouts in his performance, the key to his success. In the past Banks has been prone to giving up the long ball.

The game cruised along as both teams went scoreless through five innings until the Chiefs finally broke through on starter Lance Broadway in the top half of the sixth. Mike Vento reached on a single into left field, allowing first baseman Ryan Roberts to come up with a man on. Roberts than proceeded to hit a two-run homerun, giving the Chiefs a 2-0 lead.

Reliever Corwin Malone came in for Broadway and struggled from the get-go. Jeff Duncan drew a leadoff walk and then advanced to third on an errant pick off throw to second base. Russ Adams followed and was hit by a pitch giving the Chiefs runners on first and third with nobody out. With the infield in, Ray Olmedo followed with a sharp groundout to shortstop, with Duncan remaining at third. Adam Lind came up next and struck out, having trouble finding the right swing all night long. With two outs, John Ford-Griffin came through, and sent an offering deep over the right field wall, giving the Chiefs a commanding 5-0 lead, that would not be relinquished. Ryan Roberts then followed with his second home run on the evening, another two-run homer, expanding the lead to 7-0.

The Knights managed two runs on a double and a sacrifice fly, but it was not enough as the Chiefs held on for the victory.

Notes: Ryan Roberts went 3-4 with four RBI and the aforementioned two homeruns to pace the Chiefs attack. John Ford-Griffin, Ray Olmedo and Mike Vento all had two hits each, as the Chiefs finished with 12 hits in the game. The win snapped a Syracuse 5 game losing streak. Kristopher Daly/Scout.com

Fisher Cats PPD

Thursday's game between the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Double-A Affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays, and the New Britain Rock Cats, Double-A Affiliate of the Minnesota Twins, has been postponed due to rain. No make-up date has been announced.

Fisher Cats' right-hander Jesse Litsch (0-0, 0.00) will make his season debut against New Britain righty Anthony Swarzak (0-1, 10.12) at 10:35am Friday morning at New Britain Stadium.

Sarasota 3, Dunedin 1

The Dunedin Blue Jays allowed three runs in the sixth inning and never caught up again, dropping a 3-1 decision to Sarasota Thursday evening. Orlando Trias fell to 0-2 on the season after allowing three runs, and seven hits, in six innings. The right-hander issued three walks and struck out three. Kristian Bell was solid in relief, tossing 1 2/3 innings, and allowed two base runners, while striking out a batter.

Dunedin didn't do anything offensively. Adam Calderone went 3-for-4 with a double, while Jacob Butler continued his hot hitting going 2-for-2, but clutch hitting was not in the plans and Dunedin was not able to produce runs.

Lansing 3, West Michigan 1

After a week's worth of waiting, the Lansing Lugnuts finally got to play their home opener on Thursday night. The wait paid off. Brian Pettway blasted a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Lugnuts defeated the West Michigan Whitecaps 3-1 before 1,409 fans at Oldsmobile Park.

With the score tied 1-1 in top of the ninth, the Whitecaps were able load the bases with just one out. However, Lansing's Julio Pinto was able to induce Audy Ciriaco to ground into a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning and keep the game tied.

Lansing took advantage in its last at-bat. With one man on and one out, Brian Pettway lifted a 1-0 pitch out of the ballpark to right field to win the game for the Lugnuts. It was Pettway's first homer of the season after blasting 16 last year for Lansing.

The two teams traded unearned runs in the third inning. The Whitecaps' Ryan Strieby knocked an RBI single into left field to put West Michigan ahead 1-0, but the Lugnuts answered back in the bottom of the inning when Jonathan Diaz ripped an RBI single of his own down the third base line to score Brian Bormaster.

Each starting pitcher was tremendous Thursday night though neither factored into the decision. Lansing's Kyle Ginley went five innings and allowed just the unearned run on two hits while fanning five. Not to be outdone, West Michigan's Chris Cody tossed 6 2/3 innings and allowed an unearned run on two hits while striking out 11 batters.

Julio Pinto (1-0) picked up the win in relief for the Lansing bullpen, which has yet to allow a run this season in 11 innings of work.

Lansing (2-1) will travel to Midland, Michigan on Friday night as the take on the Great Lakes Loons (4-2) in the first ever game at Dow Diamond. A.J. Wideman is scheduled to make his first start of the year for the Lugnuts. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.

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