Lansing Lugnuts at Battle Creek Yankees

April 8th, 2004

Ryan Fitzgerald CF 4 0 1 1
Robinson Chirinos 2B 4 0 1 0
Brian Dopirak 1B 5 1 1 0
Drew Larsen DH 4 0 0 1
Kevin Collins LF 3 0 1 0
Tony McQuade LF 1 0 0 0
Jake Fox C 4 1 0 0
Kyle Boyer RF 4 1 4 1
Alfredo Francisco 3B 3 0 0 0
Carlos Rojas SS 3 0 1 0
Melky Cabrera CF 4 0 1 0
Hector Made SS 4 0 0 0
Eric Duncan 3B 4 0 0 0
Erold Andrus LF 3 0 1 0
Bryce Kartler DH 3 0 0 0
Omir Santos C 4 0 1 0
Estee Harris RF 3 0 0 0
Luis Robles 1B 2 0 0 0
Willie Vasquez PH 0 0 0 0
John Urick 1B
Brito Rodriguez 2B 3 0 1 0

Lansing 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 3 14 0
Battle Creek 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 9 2

E-Duncan, Harris, LOB LAN-10, BC-6, 2B-Dopirak, HBP-Kartler, SACB-Rojas, SACF-Fitzgerald, Larsen

Name IP H R ER BB SO Decison
Sean Marshall 6 3 0 0 0 7 W (1-0)
Clay Rapada 1 1 0 0 0 3 ND
Randy Wells 1 0 0 0 1 1 ND
Wes O'Brien 1 0 0 0 1 1 SV (1)

Name IP H R ER BB SO Decison
Chase Wright 6 5 1 1 0 6 L (0-1)
Brandon Harmsen 2 2 2 1 2 2 ND
Steve Wiseman 1 2 0 0 0 3 ND

WP-Rapada, Wright, HBP-Kartler (Rapada)
T-2:20, A-1,360

Lansing State Journal
by Eric McKinney

The Lansing Lugnuts utlilized four pitchers to blank the Battle Creek Yankees 3-0 Thursday night at C.O. Brown Stadium for the first opening day shutout in the team's nine year history. The group allowed just four hits with 12 strikeouts.

"Being as cold as it is (45 degrees) the hitters are going to have a disadvantage," said starter Sean Marshall (1-0), ""So we just worked on going in, throwing strikes and getting our outs." Over six shutout innings, Marshall notched seven strikeouts with zero walks and three hits.

Clay Rapada, Randy Wells and Weston O'Brien also pitched. O'Brien earned the save.

The Lugnuts had just one extra base hit with eight singles. They also stranded 10 base runners. "I think in the first couple of months that's what we're going to have to do to win ball games," right fielder Kyle Boyer said. "You can't really rely on those long balls (in the cold) to help us out early in the season." Boyer finished 4 for 4 with a RBI and a run scored. Fellow newcomers Ryan Fitzgerald and Drew Larsen each added an RBI.

Battle Creek Enquirer
by Howie Magner

Cold weather and colder bats made for a chilly result in Battle Creek's season opener at C.O. Brown Stadium Thursday night.

The same Lansing club that eliminated Battle Creek from the 2003 Midwest League playoffs also handed the Yankees their first loss of 2004. Battle Creek managed just four hits while dropping a 3-0 decision to the Lugnuts before 1,009 fans, all of them bundled up to ward off a game time temperature of 44 degrees.

"It's not very fun to lose, especially your home opener," said Battle Creek's Bryce Kartler, who served as the team's designated hitter Thursday. "You'd like to come out and put your best foot forward, but tonight they took on from us. But the best part about baseball is you get to come out and do it again."

The Yanks, who announced a paid attendence of 1,360 host Lanisng again tonight at 6pm, and hope to heat up the chilly temperatures up with a postgame fireworks display.

But the team which suffered an Opneing Day shutout for just the second time in 10 season, wasn't using the cold weather as an excuse. "I didn't think it was that bad out there today. We played in worse last year," said Battle Creek manager Mitch Seoane, wjo began his second straight season as the team's skipper. "I'm not gonna blame anything on the weather. They had to play in it too."

And Yankee starting pitcher Chase Wright made sure the Lugnuts had a hard time playing in it. During six strong innings of work, the left hander held Lansing to five hits and one run while striking out six.

Lansing's lone run against Wright (0-1) came in the sixth when Ryan Dopirak led off with a double down the left field line, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on Drew Larsen's sacrifice fly to center.

"He pitched well, " Seoane said of Wright, who'll be followed in the rotation today by right hander T.J. Beam. "For the most part he worked ahead in the count and he pitched good enough to win."

So did Lansing starter Sean Marshall, who also went six innings and struck out seven while allowing three hits.

Melky Cabrera delivered the first of thos ehits, leading off Battle Creek's season with a sharp single to right. But Marshall (1-0) woudld erase Cabera on a double play and retire 13 straight batters before allowing a two out single to Omir Santos in the fifth.

Marshall also worked around Rafael Rodriguez's one out single in the sixth, then handed things over to the bullpen.

Meanwhile, Lansing extended it's lead with runs in the seventh and eighth against reliever Brandon Harmsen, though Battle Creek's second error of the game made the last run unearned. Ryan Fitzgerald's seventh inning sacrifice fly drove home Kyle Boyer, then Boyer capped a 4 for 4 night with his eighth inning RBI single.

Battle Creek's best chance to avoid duplicating the franchise's 2002 Opening Day shutout came in the seventh inning. Lansing reliever Clay Rapada opened the frame with a strikeout of Eric Duncan, then Erold Andrus delievered a single to left and Kartler was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second. But Rapada ended the threat with strikeouts of Santos and Estee Harris, then Lansing's Randy Wells worked a scoreless eighth. Sidearmer Weston O'Brien finished things off in the ninth, surviving a one out walk of Andrus to earn the save.

"A couple of opportunities that we had offensively, we didn't come through with a hit," Seoane said. "But we'll get better. I'm not panicking. It's the first game."