Captains closing in on playoffs with 7-5 win
EASTLAKE, OH- The Lake County Captains (24-20. 55-58) used a clutch homerun by first baseman Leonardo Castillo in the bottom of the eighth inning to win the matinee on Tuesday afternoon by a final score of 7-5 over the South Bend Silver Hawks (22-22, 57-57). Lake County is now two games ahead of South Bend in the chase for the final wild-card spot.
South Bend struck first in the second inning. First baseman Matt Helm singled and designated hitter Kerry Jenkins followed with a double, Helm advanced to third base. Centerfielder Marc Bourgeois grounded out to first base, scoring Helm.
Catcher Jake Lowery launched his fifth homerun of the season in the bottom of the second, a solo shot deep to the field house in right field. Lowery’s rocket tied the ballgame at 1.
Lake County regained the lead back in the third inning with the help of South Bend. Leftfielder Marcus Bradley singled and moved to second base on a walk by third baseman Yhoxian Medina. Second baseman Jose Ramirez laid down a sacrifice bunt. Catcher Bryan Henry threw the ball down the right field line. Bradley and Medina scored on the throw. Ramirez advanced to third and scored on a throwing error by the right fielder. Lake County led 4-1 after three innings.
The Captains added a run in the fourth. First baseman Leonardo Castillo singled and advanced to second on a throwing error. Bradley drove home Castillo with an RBI single to left field.
The Silver Hawks clawed back to within a run in the fifth inning. Shortstop Niko Gallego reached on a fielder’s choice. Right fielder Chris Ellison followed with a single to third baseman. Third baseman Ryan Court hit a long fly ball to left-center field, just clearing the wall for a three-run homerun. Court has six round trippers on the year.
Gallego tied the ballgame at five with a RBI triple to left field, scoring Henry who reached on a double.
Captains’ left-handed starter Elvis Araujo left the game after six innings of work. He allowed five runs on seven hits. He walked three and struck out six. Reliever Francisco Valera (4-3, 5.34) came in to pitch the seventh inning. Valera threw two perfect innings to pick up the win.
Manager Dave Wallace spoke about Araujo’s performance, “We [the coaching staff] are very happy for Elvis. He has made some adjustments in his bullpens lately. Today, he made adjustments and kept it in the right direction.”
Left-hander Andrew Barbosa made his sixth start of the year for South Bend. Barbosa surrendered five runs (three earned) on eight hits in six innings. He walked one and struck out seven. Right-handed reliever Alex Capaul (1-3, 5.72) pitched the seventh inning.
Lake County won the game in the bottom of the eighth inning. Centerfielder Luigi Rodriguez singled with two outs in the frame. Castillo followed with the game-winning homerun to left field, his fourth homerun of the year.
“We couldn’t be any happier for Leo; he has been putting good at-bats together as of late. He played great today at first,” said Wallace on Castillo.
Reliever Manuel Carmona took the ball for the ninth inning. Carmona closed the door with a perfect ninth inning to pick up his first save.
Capaul took the loss, allowing two runs on three hits in two innings of work.
Lake County had the bats working only hours following a 13-inning win on Monday night. They had 11 hits on the afternoon. Rodriguez, Castillo, Bradley and Median all added two hits each. The top of the order (spots 1-5) went 3-14 and the bottom of the order (6-9) went 8-14 collectively.
The Lake County Captains and the Great Lakes Loons will open a three game series on Wednesday night. Lake County will send RHP Cody Anderson (4-6, 3.29) to the rubber against LHP Miguel Sulbaran (0-1, 15.00) for the Loons. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 PM from Classic Park in Eastlake.
Tyler, a sports management student at Lake Erie College, can be found on Twitter @tstotsky63.