The first round of the Midwest League playoffs was one out away from being finished when Lansing Lugnuts 2B Matt Nuzzo hit a two-out, two-run homer off Dayton Dragons RP Drew Hayes in the bottom of the 9th inning in Lansing. Nuzzo’s walkoff homer gave the Lugnuts a 3-2 win and tied the series 1-1. Game 3 is in Lansing tonight.
In Bowling Green, the Fort Wayne TinCaps beat the hometown Hot Rods 5-1. Midwest League MVP Rymer Liriano hit a two-run homer as his team eliminated the competition from the playoffs. The TinCaps will play the winner of the Dragons-Lugnuts series Sunday.
In Burlington, where I was last night, the Kane County Cougars beat the hometown Bees 3-2 in the decisive third game of their first-round series. The Cougars were better than the Bees offensively, but they also played sloppy defense that allowed the Bees to stay close all game.
Cougars SP Jason Adam (6-9 with a 4.23 ERA during the regular season) gave up four hits and no earned runs while striking out five in 5 2/3 innings. In the 6th inning, Bees RF Jose Crisotomo doubled with one out and scored when Cougars 3B Cheslor Cuthbert dropped Bees 1B A.J. Kirby-Jones’ two-out popup. Cougars C Kevin David then picked up the ball and threw it into center field as he tried to nail Kirby-Jones at second base. That allowed Kirby-Jones to score.
LF Brian Fletcher, CF Brett Eibner and 2B Angel Franco drove in runs for the Cougars.
The Cougars host the Quad Cities River Bandits in Game 1 of their second-round playoff series later today.