LANSING, Mich. – William Simoneit broke up a no-hit bid with a two-out seventh-inning single, broke up a shutout bid with a ninth-inning RBI double and pitched two innings of relief, providing the silver linings in a Lansing Black Rhinos (37-41) 12-1 loss to the Fort Wayne TinCaps (36-42) on
LANSING, Mich. – William Simoneit broke up a no-hit bid with a two-out seventh-inning single, broke up a shutout bid with a ninth-inning RBI double and pitched two innings of relief, providing the silver linings in a Lansing Black Rhinos (37-41) 12-1 loss to the Fort Wayne TinCaps (36-42) on a Sunday matinee at Jackson® Field™.
The Lugnuts played as the Black Rhinos, with red jersey shirts and black pants, in celebrating Lansing’s youngest celebrity, 19-month-old eastern black rhino Jaali at Potter Park Zoo. The black rhino is a highly endangered species with an estimated 5,000 remaining, meaning Jaali’s birth in December 2019 was hugely important; that combined with a series of videos catapulted the calf into social media stardom.
Fort Wayne right fielder Agustin Ruiz went 4-for-6 with a third-inning solo home run off Lansing starter Shohei Tomioka and a fourth-inning two-run double off reliever Charlie Cerny, helping the TinCaps build a quick 8-0 lead and never look back.
The lone note of tension came from the TinCaps’ pitchers, with Danny Denz allowing only one base runner through 4 2/3 innings – a Simoneit HBP – and Sam Keating following with 1 1/3 perfect innings. Austin Smith recorded the first two outs in the seventh before Simoneit dashed the TinCaps’ no-hit hopes with a single through the left side.
Lansing received scoreless relief from Brandon Withers through 1 1/3 innings, taking the game through the fifth, followed by a pair of scoreless innings from Leudeny Pineda.
In the eighth, first baseman Simoneit took over and, through the power of the eephus, worked around a leadoff single in a scoreless frame. In the ninth, however, amid an intensifying rain, he gave up four runs (two earned) on five hits.
But in the bottom of the ninth, the native of Glen Ellyn, Illinois, struck back with an RBI double off Wen-Hua Sung, driving home Patrick McColl for Lansing’s first and only run.
Fort Wayne and Lansing split the six-game series, the second six-game split between the two teams this year.
The Lugnuts now head on the road for a six-game series beginning Tuesday in Lake County, returning home from August 10-15 to host the Dayton Dragons. To purchase tickets, visit lansinglugnuts.com or call (517) 485-4500.
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