In one of the most exciting games of the year, the Lugnuts completed the sweep of the Great Lakes Loons, getting a game-winning sacrifice fly from the Midwest League MVP in the bottom of the ninth inning to walk off with a 5-4 victory.
The Lugnuts were in comeback mode all night after starter Justin Shafer gave up two first-inning runs including doubles to Jordan Tarsovich and Jimmy Allen. He buckled down to throw five more scoreless innings, allowing the Lugnuts to tie the game, and eventually take the lead. “[Allen] hit a fastball, I didn’t really locate it very well, so I was just trying to locate better with my fastball, keep it down, try to get them to pound it into the ground, get some quick outs,” Shafer said after the game.
The Lugnuts evened the score with single runs in the second and third innings, getting an RBI single from D.J. Davis driving in Ryan McBroom in the second and an RBI single from Jason Leblebijian driving in Richard Urena in the third.
Colton Turner came into the game in the top of the seventh and continued to pitch well, peppering the strike zone with his fastball and slider. “He just pounded the strike zone. He looked unbelievable throwing out there today,” Shafer said of his teammate.
Manager Ken Huckaby sent back out for a 1-2-3 eighth but he got into trouble in the ninth, getting two quick outs before Jordan Paroubeck hit a single and Mike Ahmed walked. He was relieved by Dusty Isaacs who gave up a single to center field. D.J. Davis made a throwing error trying to get Ahmed at third base and ended up throwing the ball away, allowing the go-ahead run to score for the Loons. Isaacs struck out Matt Beaty to end the inning and bring the Lugnuts up for their final at bats.
Gunnar Heidt came to the plate with one out and promptly hit a double to left field. “I was just trying to get a pitch to drive . . . I was trying to drive a pitch in the gap and he left a curveball up and I took advantage of it,” Heidt said after the game. Heidt was promptly chased home by another double by Chris Carlson. After an intentional walk to Richard Urena, Jason Leblebijian worked his way on base with another walk, bringing the Midwest League MVP Ryan McBroom to the plate with the bases loaded and one out. McBroom came through, hitting a long fly ball to left field, scoring Carlson for the win.
The Lugnuts continue their playoff run on Saturday night, playing the West Michigan Whitecaps on the road before returning back to Lansing on Sunday in a best-of-three series.
Player of the Game: D.J. Davis
If you like us here, “like” us on Facebook!
Get your 2015 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook now! All the up-to-date information on the Blue Jays minor league system with 250 player profiles, team information and more! You can find it at the BJfA Shop or at our distribution partner, Smashwords.com!
The All-New Blue Jays from Away Premium Content section is here! Combined with the 2015 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook, it will be your best resource to the Toronto Blue Jays minor league system for just $1.99 per month or $15 for a full year (and get the 2015 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook free with a yearly subscription)!
All photos are copyright Blue Jays from Away (2013-2015) and may not be used without permission.