Lakeland Flying Tigers 10 , Jupiter Hammerheads 4
Although it's not confirmed if the offensive burst from outfielder Raph Rhymes can be attributed to an extra bowl of Wheaties before he took the field, it was easy to see that something clicked for Rhymes and the rest of the Flying Tigers (35-36) at the plate on Saturday evening. Alongside Lakeland starter Kevin Ziomek (5-5, 4.37 ERA), the Flying Tigers took no prisoners on the Jupiter pitching staff in the series opener with the Hammerheads, cranking out 14 hits for the evening, including a drive by Rhymes in the first inning; his sixth of the year. Jupiter (35-38) did their share of activity at the plate, posting 10 hits of their own, including an RBI single in the top of the fifth inning, courtesy of Don Kelly. Yes, THAT Don Kelly. Grayson Greiner added a little icing to the cake in the seventh with a three-run bomb to left field and the upper hand stayed with the Flying Tigers to capture their 35th win.
Rhymes: 4-4, 3 R, 2B, HR, RBI, BB
Ficociello: 2-4, 2 R, 3 RBI
James: 1-3, 2 R, BB, SO
Verlander: 1-5, 2B, 3 RBI, SO
Greiner: 1-4, R, HR, 3 RBI, 2 SO
Ziomek (W): 6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 4 SO
COMING UP NEXT: The Flying Tigers will welcome back the Hammerheads for game two of their home stand at Joker Marchant Stadium. Game is slated to kick off at 1:00 pm ET.
Lansing Lugnuts 5, West Michigan Whitecaps 1
Kickstarting an offensive push from the West Michigan (35-37) bench proved to be the deciding factor in the Whitecaps falling short of a third consecutive victory on the road against the Lansing Lugnuts (43-30) on Saturday evening. A weather delayed start to the events didn't appear to work in the favor of Whitecaps right handed starter A.J. Ladwig (6-6, 4.04 ERA) as he commanded seven innings against the Lugnuts. Ladwig surrendered two earned runs off four hits and struck out four, but a lack of run support from the West Michigan side of the plate prevented any notable forward motion.
The Whitecaps posted four hits in 31 plate appearances and struck out 10 times against Lansing pitching. West Michigan outfielder Austin Schotts led the ‘Caps offense with two of the team's four hits, including a double; the only extra base hits for the evening. A three run either inning for Lansing closed the door on West Michigan, bringing the series to 2-1 for the Whitecaps.
Schotts: 2-4, 2B, RBI, SO
Mattlage: 1-3, R, 2 SO
Pankake: 1-4, SO
Ladwig (L): 7.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 4 SO
COMING UP NEXT: Lansing will play host for the series finale at Cooley Law School Stadium on Sunday afternoon, as the Lugnuts look to even the best of four series. Lugnuts' Jesus Tinoco (1-4, 3.72 ERA) will face West Michigan's big man Spencer Turnbull (5-2, 2.67 ERA). The Whitecaps return home on Monday to begin a series at home against visiting Lake County.
As if there hasn't been enough rain already this season, a healthy dose halted play once again for both the Toledo Mud Hens and the Erie Seawolves on Saturday evening. Erie will join the Bowie Baysox on Sunday afternoon for a double feature. Erie right hander Chad Green (2-9, 5.18 ERA) will command game one and righty Warwick Saupold (2-5, 4.99 ERA) will take the hill for game two.
Toledo's game two match with Norfolk has been rescheduled for August 22. The teams return on Sunday afternoon for the finale of the Mud Hens road series. Toledo returns home on Monday to play host to the visiting Durham Bulls.