MIDLAND, Mich. – The Lansing Lugnuts (1-3) scored nine unanswered runs in the seventh and eighth innings to stun the host Great Lakes Loons (3-1), 10-8, in the Loons' 2010 home opener at Dow Diamond on Sunday afternoon.
Home runs from Chris Jacobs and Jerry Sands staked the Loons out to a 7-1 lead entering the seventh inning, delighting the sellout crowd of 5,723.
Mark Sobolewski's one-out home run cut the lead to five runs, and RBI doubles from Ryan Schimpf and Kevin Nolan sandwiched around a sacrifice fly brought the Lugnuts within 7-5 and knocked out Great Lakes starter Will Savage.
Reliever Nick Gaudi (0-1) recorded the final out of the seventh but ran into trouble in the seventh, allowing back-to-back one-out RBI doubles to Sobolewski and Jon Talley to tie the score.
Justin Miller came in for Gaudi and promptly served up an RBI single by Karim Turkamani to put the Lugnuts on top. Three batters later, Nolan came through with a two-run single to provide Lansing with a surprising 10-7 lead.
A Sands sacrifice fly in the eighth closed out the scoring for Great Lakes.
Nestor Molina (1-0) earned the win for Lansing with two innings in relief of touted young starter Chad Jenkins, who allowed three earned runs on six hits over five innings in his debut.
Steve Turnbull struck out the side in the bottom of the ninth to notch his first save.
The Lugnuts pounded out 14 hits in the win, five of those doubles, with six different players providing two hits apiece. Schimpf, on his 22nd birthday, joined Eric Eiland and Karim Turkamani in scoring a pair of runs.
The Lugnuts and Loons play the middle affair of their three-game series at 6:05 p.m. Monday night, Lansing right-hander Ryan Tepera dueling with Great Lakes right-hander Elisaul Pimentel.
On Wednesday, April 14, at 7:05 p.m., the Lugnuts open their home schedule at Cooley Law School Stadium with an Opening Day Eat-a-Palooza. For $15, fans can purchase a ticket to see the Lugnuts battle the Lake County Captains and enjoy unlimited food inside the ballpark. Additionally, the inaugural Lansing Lugnuts Hall of Fame class will be inducted in a special pre-game ceremony.