Captains down Lugnuts 6-2 for third straight win
Todd Hankins drives in three runs to lead Lake County to win
Eastlake, Ohio- The Lake County Captains (8-5, 31-49) used three RBI’s from Todd Hankins to defeat the Lansing Lugnuts (2-10, 34-47) on Tuesday night by a final score of 6-2. The Captains have won three straight games.
Aviles loaded the bases with a walk and two singles in the first inning. Right fielder Chris Hawkins hit a fly-ball to center field that left fielder Dwight Smith Jr attempted to score on. CenterfielderLogan Vick launched a line drive to catcher Jeremy Lucas at the plate to cut down Smith Jr. Vick has a team-high ten outfield assists with four at the dish.
The Lugnuts got on the board with a run in the second inning. Designated hitter Santiago Nessy walked to begin the inning, advanced to third on two groundouts, and came home on a wild pitch.
Captains’ left fielder Todd Hankins tied the game at one with a solo home run to the left field bleachers in the third inning.
Hankins spoke about his home run, “It was a curveball that he (White) hung over the plate. I wanted to get the bat on the ball with a great swing.”
In the bottom of the fourth, the Captains took a 3-1 lead. Third baseman Erik Gonzalez reached on a fielding error, stole second before moving to third on a single by Lucas. Second baseman Yhoxian Medina walked to load the bases with two out. Hankins struck again with a perfectly placed double down the left field line. The ball bounced off the foul pole for a two-run, ground-rule double.
Aviles came out to pitch the sixth inning. While throwing warm-up tosses, Aviles was taken out of the game with a blister on his right hand. Aviles spent 13 days on the DL in May/June for a blister issue. Jack Wagoner entered the game as rain began to fall at Classic Park.
Aviles earned his second win with five innings of one-run ball. He gave up four hits and three walks. He struck out three batters.
White was hung with the loss, allowing three runs (one earned) on seven hits in five and two-thirds innings. He walked two and struck out three. Left-hander Efrain Nieves entered with one out and two out in the sixth.
When Leo Castillo was at the plate in the sixth, he attempted to bunt at a pitch inside and was hit on the hand. Castillo left the game and was taken for precautionary X-rays, according to Captains manager Scooter Tucker.
The Captains added three big insurance runs in the seventh inning. Right fielder Anthony Santander lined a two-run single to right field with the bases loaded. Jorge Martinez, who came on after Castillo left the game, doubled home a run to make the lead 6-1.
Wagoner threw two scoreless innings of relief. Benny Suarez entered for the eighth inning. Centerfielder Dalton Pompey walked and advanced to third on a single. First baseman Kevin Patterson popped a ball up to shallow left field. Shortstop Dorssys Paulino made the catch with his back to the infield, allowing Pompey to score.
Nieves finished the game for the Lugnuts. He allowed three runs on three hits in two and one-third innings. He walked two and fanned three batters.
Suarez allowed one run in one inning. DJ Brown struck out the side while allowing a hit in the ninth inning.
Tucker was all positive when he was asked about the game. “Todd did a good job tonight. He had two big hits, including one that tied the game and one that put us out in front. The three insurance runs in the seventh really were a huge key. Martinez came off the bench and helped in the inning as well.”
The Captains had ten hits on the night, including two by Hankins and Paulino. Everyone but one player in the lineup reached base.
Hankins has been with Lake County since Friday while rehabbing a broken right wrist he suffered at the end of April. He said he will play in Eastlake because he will get the most at-bats and playing time.
The Captains and Lugnuts will wrap up the Eastlake part of the four game series on Wednesday night. RHP Jake Sisco (4-6, 3.55) will make the start for Lake County against RHP Roberto Osuna (3-4, 4.20) for Lansing. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 PM. After the game, both teams will travel back to Lansing to play two more games.
Tyler, a sports management student at Lake Erie College, can be found on Twitter @tstotsky63.