Lugnuts and Spartans to meet again on the diamond

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LANSING – The Lansing Lugnuts and Michigan State Spartans played a thrilling game in 2007. They will try to repeat that performance again in 2008. The second annual Crosstown Showdown presented by Auto-Owners Insurance is set for Thursday, April 24 at 6:05 p.m. The game will be played at Oldsmobile Park, which both teams call home.

"We couldn't be happier with the success of last year's game," Lugnuts owner Tom Dickson said. "The crowd was terrific and the game was definitely a nail-biter. Hopefully this year will provide more of the same for the baseball fans of Lansing."

This year's game will have a few differences from the inaugural affair. First, the game will be held during the Lugnuts season instead of at the beginning of the year, as Lansing takes a break from Midwest League action to take on the Spartans. This year's game will also be just seven innings in duration as each team prepares for the rest of its respective season.

"Shelley Appelbaum and the administration at MSU, Pat Day and the front office with Lugnuts, and the entire Blue Jays organization did a great job in pulling off the right date and plan for 2008," Michigan State Head Coach David Grewe said. "I am extremely proud of their efforts and I am glad that the MSU Baseball team is going to be associated with the best baseball event in the state of Michigan."

The game also gives greater Lansing baseball fans a unique chance to cheer for their two hometown teams at once, as the Spartans get a rare opportunity to their talent against professional ballplayers.

"The excitement continues to grow for our baseball program" Grewe said. "To play the 2nd annual Crosstown Showdown in 2008 will be quite an event. Last year we attracted over 6,000 fans, and this year we hope that the Thursday, April 24th date will entice local baseball fans to make this game a sellout."

The Lugnuts took the first-ever meeting between the two teams last season by a score of 4-3, holding off a ninth inning Spartan rally that saw the tying run standing at third base.