Captains clinch playoff berth with 3-1 win over Great Lakes
MIDLAND, Mi - The Lake County Captains (35-28, 62-71) rallied back from an early 1-0 deficit to clinch a playoff spot in the 2014 Midwest League Playoffs with a 3-1 win over the Great Lakes Loons (27-37, 58-74). The Captains have won ten out of the last 12 games.
Great Lakes jumped out to the lead in the second inning when catcher Spencer Navin deposited a pitch from Captains starter Mitch Brown into the left field seats. Navin’s first solo shot of the year put the Loons on top.
Captains’ second baseman Claudio Bautista tied the ballgame with his twelfth homerun of the year in the fifth inning.
In the sixth, the Captains took the lead for good. Centerfielder Clint Frazier led off with a double to right field. Designated hitter Paul Hendrix singled to move Frazier to third base. First baseman Nellie Rodriguez lined a two-run double to left field to put the Captains on top 3-1.
Loons’ starter Scott Barlow was relieved by Kyle Hooper following the double. Hooper gave up a single but the Captains could not add any further insurance.
Barlow fell to 6-7 on the year as he gave up three runs on seven hits in five plus innings of work. He walked one and struck out eight batters.
Brown improved to 8-8 on the year as he tossed six innings of one run ball. He allowed five hits and did not walk a batter for the second straight start. He struck out seven batters to win for the sixth time out of the last seven starts. Brown has allowed one run or fewer in the last seven starts.
Hooper, Michael Johnson and Jordan Hershiser combined to throw four innings of shutout relief work. They allowed two hits and one walk with seven strikeouts.
Alexis Paredes followed Brown with two innings of one-hit ball. Trevor Frank earned his 18th save of the season with a perfect ninth inning. Frank got designated hitter Webster Rivas to fly out to clinch the playoffs.
Lake County had nine hits in the game. Bautista had a three hit game, including his 50th RBI of the year. Rodriguez had two hits and two runs batted in, giving him 83 on the year.
The Captains will look to keep up the momentum as they take on Great Lakes again on Thursday. RHP Jordan Milbrath (3-12, 3.81) will start for the Captains against LHP Luis DePaula (1-2, 6.84) for the Loons. First pitch from Dow Diamond is at 7:05 PM.
Tyler, a sports management student at Lake Erie College, can be found on Twitter @tstotsky63.