FORT WAYNE, IN---The Lansing Lugnuts took advantage of eight extra-base hits and a pair of Fort Wayne defensive errors on Saturday afternoon to defeat the Wizards for the second day in a row, this time by a score of 11-1, in front of 2,030 disappointed fans at Memorial Stadium.
The first of the extra-base hits came in the top of the second inning, and led to the game’s first run.
Fort Wayne starting pitcher Robert Woodard retired the first four batters he faced, before John Tolisano tripled over the head of Luis Durango in centerfield, giving the Lugnuts both their first hit and their first base runner.
Manny Rodriguez followed with a double off the wall in left field, easily scoring Tolisano to give Lansing a 1-0 lead.
The Wizards had an opportunity to tie the game in the bottom of the second, when, with two outs, Justin Baum (who had singled and advanced to second base on a wild pitch) tried to score on a single to right field off the bat of Brad Chalk.
Lugnut right-fielder Mosies Sierra had other ideas, however, as he threw a strike to catcher Jonathan Jaspe, who blocked the plate and tagged out Baum to end the inning.
Lansing struck again in the top of the third inning.
They loaded the bases with one out, thanks to a single by Kevin Ahrens and walks issued to Darin Mastroianni and Jaspe.
Tolisano fouled out to Fort Wayne catcher Luis Martinez for the second out of the inning, but Rodriguez collected his second double of the game, a drive into the gap in right-centerfield, to drive in both Ahrens and Mastroianni to increase the Lugnuts’ advantage to 3-0.
The Wizards picked up what would be their only run of the contest in the bottom of the third, when Felix Carrasco scored from third base as Durango was grounding into a double play, closing to within 3-1.
Lansing roughed up Fort Wayne relief pitcher Derek McDaid in the top of the fourth inning, taking advantage of singles by Raul Barron and Sierra, a double by Ahrens, and a pair of Wizard miscues to put three more runs on the scoreboard, upping their lead to 6-1.
The score remained 6-1 until the top of the seventh, when the Lugnuts parlayed two singles, two doubles, and Jaspe’s first home run of the season into five more runs, and an 11-1 advantage.
While Lansing was pounding out 15 hits (including six doubles, a triple, and a home run) and scoring runs seemingly at will, it was a different story for Fort Wayne.
The Wizards were able to collect just five base hits (all singles) through the course of the game, and, at one point, saw 12 consecutive batters retired by the Lugnut pitching duo of Nathan Starner and Alan Farina.
Farina (1-0), who hurled three perfect innings of relief, was credited with the win.
Woodard (0-1), who allowed three runs (all earned) on four hits in three innings on the mound, was charged with the defeat.
Lansing now leads the four-game series two games to one, with the final game of the series scheduled for Sunday afternoon.
Fort Wayne will start right hand pitcher Brandon Gomes (1-4, 4.68 ERA in 2007 with the Wizards).
The Lugnuts will send out southpaw Brad Mills (2-0, 2.00 ERA with Auburn of the New York/Penn League in 2007).
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