Lansing Lugnuts vs. Clinton Lumber Kings (Midwest League)
Cooley Law School Stadium-Lansing, MI: No trip back to Michigan would be complete without us stopping by one of our old ballparks to see a game, and this particular game I’ve been looking forward to since it announced it back in February. The Lugnuts were paying homage to one of Lansing’s favorite sons, the late, great Burt Reynolds! As with many kids growing up, I didn’t just love baseball, but I love cars. And what better car than the Pontiac Firebird driven by The Bandit. I bought my second Firebird in 2017, and Brian instantly fell in love with it. Since then he’s watch the Smokey and the Bandit films many times over, and we have a nice collection of die cast Firebirds. Now we have a Burt Reylonds/Bandit bobble head to add to our collection.
We got in line early, as we didn’t want to miss out on the free giveaway. I credit Brian for this, as it was his idea to skip dinner and get in line, as he really new what this game meant to me. After we received our bobble heads, we were bombarded with people trying to buy them from us immediately, with offers up to $30 (of course they’re all selling on eBay for $100-$200). I really had to convince Brian to hold on to his! We hit the gift shop to get our Lugnuts/Bandit shirts and then got ready for the game. Lansing had a 1977 Trans Am drive around the field, also, in a tribute to Burt, and the Lugnuts whore special Bandit jerseys, as seen below.
During all of this car excitement, we also were able to watch a really good baseball game. Lansing jumped out to a three run lead, but Clinton battled back to send the game into extra innings. Ryan Gold led the offense for the Lugnuts, knocking in two runs on one hit, while Tanner Kirwir went 2-5 with two runs scored. Cre Finfrock took the loss for Lansing, giving up two runs in the 10th. Final (10): Lugnuts 4, Lumber Kings 5.
Video and photos property of Minoring In Baseball
Louisville Bats vs. Columbus Clippers/Toledo MudHens (International League)
Louisville Slugger Field-Louisville, KY: I’m combining a couple of games we went to before our trip up to Michigan. After battling rain for the first few months of the season, we have been battling extreme heat since then. I miss when the Bats played their Sunday games at 6:00 instead of at 2:00. Makes the heat a little more bearable.
The game against Columbus featured a nice comeback from the Bats. Down 6-1 in the bottom of the sixth, Louisville’s offense kicked in, scoring five runs to tie things up. The Bats scored one more in the seventh, then held on for the win. Leading the way was Narciso Cook, going 2-4 with a pair of RBI’s. Cassidy Brown added a two RBI’s himself, while Nick Longhi got two hits and two runs scored. Eric Stout picked up the win pitching one scoreless inning, while R.J. Alaniz earned the save. FINAL: Bats 7, Clippers 6.
Louisville’s game against Toledo took place the day we left for our trip north. It’s always good to see the Tigers’ affiliates play, also. This one was close early, but Toledo would score two runs in back-to-back innings to take the lead. The teams made the last two innings interesting also, but the Mud Hens would get 16 hits off Louisville pitching, en route to the win. Christian Colon lead the way for the Bats, going 2-4 with two RBI’s. Blake Trahan also went 2-4, and contributed one RBI. Vladimir Gutierrez took the loss, giving up five runs on eight hits in five innings of work. The Bat’s relief pitchers didn’t fare much better. FINAL: Bats 4, Mud Hens 9.