Lugnuts hold off Spartans, 5-4, to win 2010 Crosstown Showdown

by Jeff Barnes, Michigan State Athletics
and Jesse Goldberg-Strassler, Lansing Lugnuts

LANSING, Mich. – The Lansing Lugnuts erased a two-run deficit with a five-run fifth inning and held off Michigan State, 5-4, to win the Crosstown Showdown, presented by Auto-Owners Insurance, on Monday night in front of a crowd of 6,778 at Cooley Law School Stadium.
"It's a fun event for everyone involved from the players to the fans," said MSU head coach Jake Boss Jr. about the exhibition event. "It's a great atmosphere and our guys had a good time playing."
The Spartans scored the first run of the game off just two pitches from Lugnuts starter Sam Strickland. Brandon Eckerle tripled down the left field line to begin the game and then a flare single by Ryan Jones that dropped in just beyond second base gave MSU a 1-0 lead.
In the fifth inning, the Spartans took advantage of three errors by Lugnuts third baseman Oliver Dominguez to take a 2-0 lead.
Senior Kyle Corcoran started on the mound for MSU and turned in his best performance of the year to date. He went four complete innings and allowed just one hit before giving way to Andrew Webb in the fifth.
Then the tide turned.
With two on and one out, Kenny Wilson got things going for Lansing with a two-run double off of Webb to tie the score. A pair of RBI singles and a Spartan error put the Lugnuts in front, 5-2.
After the first inning, the Spartans were held hitless until the top of the sixth when Torsten Boss led off with a single to center field. Boss' hit ignited the Spartans as back-to-back RBI doubles by Bo Felt and Jordan Keur got MSU to within one at 5-4.
Lansing's bullpen took over from there, with Ruben De La Rosa and Juan Hernandez pitching scoreless ball through the eighth. Casey Beck finished off the Spartans in the ninth, inducing a comebacker from Jared Hook with the potential game-tying run at second base to earn the save.
Shawn Griffith picked up the win with 1 2/3 innings of relief; Webb shouldered the loss for MSU.
The Lugnuts open up a three-game series at West Michigan at 6:35 p.m. on Tuesday night. Right-hander Chad Jenkins gets the start for the Nuts against Whitecaps left-hander Giovanni Soto.

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