LANSING, Mich (WLMI) Michael Crouse and K.C. Hobson delivered consecutive two-run singles in a five-run third inning, and the Lansing Lugnuts (15-9, 62-31) completed a three-game sweep of the Cedar Rapids Kernels (8-16, 40-54) with an easy 11-5 victory on Monday night on Jackson Field.
Coupled with a loss earlier in the day by Bowling Green, Lansing now has sole possession of first place in the Eastern Division. The Lugnuts clinched the division title in the first half with a franchise-best 47-22 mark.
Kernels starter Frank De Jiulio (Loss, 4-4) suffered the brunt of the early offense, lasting only 2 2/3 innings while allowing five runs on three hits and two walks.
In his second game back with Lansing, Crouse collected a pair of hits for the second straight day and scored a pair of runs. Hobson delivered three RBI in a 2-for-4 evening. Kenny Wilson tacked on an RBI triple in the sixth and Carlos Perez drove in a pair, including a sixth inning RBI double.
Lansing starter Justin Nicolino (Win, 5-2) tied a season-high for the third time with seven strikeouts while walking none. The lefty allowed eight hits and four runs in 5 1/3 innings. Nicolino left the game after surrendering a six-inning, three-run homer to Zach Borenstein.
Kramer Champlin threw 1 2/3 innings while allowing two hits and one run. Righty Bryan Longpre tossed a perfect eighth and ninth innings.
The Lugnuts went 5-1 in their six-game homestand against Cedar Rapids and Quad Cities.
The Lugnuts have an off-day on Tuesday before a three-game series opening contest on Wednesday, July 18th at 8:05 p.m. ET. Aaron Sanchez (8-1, 1.41) will start for the Lugs opposed by Beloit’s Jason Wheeler (10-4, 3.81).
Lansing returns home on a Summer Fun Day, Wednesday, July 25th, opening a six-game homestand at Cooley Law School Stadium. Tickets are available for purchase online at www.lansinglugnuts.com, at the stadium box office, and by calling 517-485-4500.