The Lansing Lugnuts concluded their 2019 season by playing their annual Crosstown Showdown against the Michigan State Baseball team, beating them for the eighth straight time in a 5-1 win.
The Lugnuts have been getting some “reinforcements” for the Crosstown Showdown from the Blue Jays’ lower-level affiliates and, while at one time, the game was held in the spring, for the last four years, the Blue Jays have been able to send prospects to Lansing as a nice reward for a strong season.
For the 2019 edition of the Crosstown Showdown, the Lugnuts got back Juan De Paula, who had come to the Blue Jays in the trade that sent Kevin Pillar to San Francisco but who had been injured for a large portion of the year. Juan Nunez was another 2019 Lugnut to pitch for Lansing in the Crosstown Showdown while other pitchers to arrive were Austin Havekost, Roither Hernandez, Naswell Paulino from Bluefield and Rafael Monsion from the GCL.
The Lugnuts got position players Steward Berroa, D.J. Daniels, Andres Guerra, Miguel Hiraldo, Leonardo Jimenez and P.K. Morris from Bluefield while Hugo Cardona, Javier D’Orazio, Pedro Hurtado, Geyber Jimenez, Yhon Perez, Alberto Rodriguez and Jhon Solarte came up from the GCL.
P.K. Morris was the winner of the Home Run Derby, putting on a show and beating MSU’s Andrew Morrow for the title, beating out teammates D.J. Daniels and Alberto Rodriguez before advancing to the finals.
Juan De Paula started, walking two in 1 2/3 innings of the seven-inning exhibition while Juan Nunez got one out in the second inning. Roither Hernandez, flashing 95-97 mph heat struck out three without giving up a hit or a walk in two innings before Monsion took over in the fifth, giving up a run by allowing a triple and throwing a wild pitch but also struck out three hitters in the inning. Austin Havekost struck out two and allowed two singles in the sixth and Naswell Paulino finished it off, striking out two to close out the game.
Offensively, the Lugnuts had two home runs, including a solo home run by Miguel Hiraldo to the opposite field in the third and a three-run home run by Yhon Perez, pinch-hitting for Hiraldo in the fifth. P.K. Morris also hit an RBI single to drive home Alberto Rodriguez who hit a double in the first inning.
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