Lugnuts reach 1,000 wins on Hopkins walk-off

LANSING, Mich. – The Lansing Lugnuts (14-9) received a walk-off single from Chris Hopkins in the bottom of the ninth to defeat the Fort Wayne TinCaps (11-11), 3-2, and capture their 1,000th all-time victory before a Saturday night crowd of 8,212 at Cooley Law School Stadium.
The Lugnuts' first victory came on April 6, 1996, an 18-3 rout of the now-defunct Rockford Cubbies. 5,138 days later, the franchise, now with three All-Star Games and two Midwest League Championships under its belt, reached the 1,000 win mark in dramatic fashion.
After losing a 2-1 lead in the eighth inning on Everett Williams' two-out RBI single, the Lugnuts rallied in the ninth against Fort Wayne reliever Hayden Beard (1-1).
Balbino Fuenmayor lined a one-out single and was replaced by pinch-runner Oliver Dominguez, who swiftly stole second base. Ryan Goins drew a four-pitch walk to bring up Hopkins, activated from the Disabled List hours earlier in the day. The Oakland native sliced a 2-2 pitch from Beard down the right field line, sending Dominguez racing for home and touching off a jubilant celebration on the field.
Steve Turnbull (1-2) earned the victory in relief for Lansing, striking out all four hitters he faced. In all, Lugnuts pitchers struck out 14 Fort Wayne batters, including six strikeouts in three innings of relief work by left-hander Matt Wright.
Having split the first two games in their four-game series, the Lugnuts and TinCaps play the third game in their set on Sunday at 2:05 p.m., a Kids Day at Cooley Law School Stadium. Lansing right-hander Chad Jenkins (1-1, 3.75) is scheduled to oppose Fort Wayne southpaw Mike Watt (1-1, 3.66).

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