Captains edge past Silver Hawks in extras
EASTLAKE – The Lake County Captains edged their way past the South Bend Silver Hawks due to some extra-inning hustle from Jordan Smith to secure a 4-3 win on Monday night.
Right-hander Mason Radeke (5-5, 3.67) manned the mound for the Captains against South Bend lefty Keith Hessler (1-1, 2.78). Radeke received a no-decision in his last outing as he went five innings and surrendered three hits and two runs (one earned) to the West Michigan Whitecaps.
Radeke tossed three innings of scoreless ball until the Silver Hawks finally drew blood in the fourth. Shortstop Raul Navarro led off the inning with an infield single to third and advanced to second as third baseman Ryan Court drew a two-out walk. Left fielder Kerry Jenkins followed with a single to left to plate Navarro, giving South Bend the 1-0 advantage.
The Silver Hawks added on another in the fifth as designated hitter Bryan Henry led off with a walk and swiped second for his first stolen base of the season. Henry advanced to third on a single off the bat of second baseman Niko Gallego and scored on a throwing error by Francisco Lindor on a fielder’s choice play.
The Captains battled back in their half of the fifth with two out as second baseman Jose Ramirez and shortstop Francisco Lindor laced a pair of back-to-back singles. Designated hitter Jordan Smith tapped an infield single to score Ramirez, axing South Bend’s lead to 2-1.
Kyle Petter replaced Radeke to start the sixth, ending Radeke’s evening with five innings pitched, surrendering two runs on three hits and three walks while striking out seven. Court greeted Petter with a double to right and advanced to third on a wild pitch. With two out, Henry singled to right to plate Court, moving the Silver Hawks ahead 3-1.
Hessler’s evening also ended in the sixth as he was pulled for Kable Hogben, securing Hessler’s line at five innings pitched, allowing one unearned run on five hits and a walk. The Silver Hawks’ bullpen shut down the Captains’ offense through the eighth until Jake Barrett took over in the ninth. Catcher Alex Lavisky led off the inning with a single and was replaced with Marcus Bradley to pinch run. With one out, Ramirez singled to left and Lindor drew a walk. Smith pounded into a force out to plate Bradley and Ramirez scored on a single by first baseman Jerrud Sabourin to tie the game at three.
After Enosil Tejeda tossed 2.1 innings of scoreless ball, Nicholas Pasquale took the wheel to steer the Captains through extra innings.
Matt Sample went three for the Silver Hawks before giving way to Kaleb Fleck in the thirteenth. The Captains jumped on Fleck immediately as Bradley singled into left and advanced to second as pinch-hitter Jake Lowery laid down a sacrifice bunt. Ramirez was intentionally walked and Lindor tapped into a force out to push Bradley to third. That set the table for Smith, who hit an infield single to second and dove into first to beat it out, allowing Bradley to score to seal the Captains’ 4-3 win.
Smith went 2-for-7 on the night with two RBIs and right fielder Bryson Myles went 3-for-6 to boost his average to .282 for the year.
Captains’ manager David Wallace praised Smith for his dependency at the dish and consistency as a game-changer.
“There’s something to be said for a guy that just gets it done somehow, someway,” Wallace said. “Jordan seems to be the guy that you know in that situation somehow finds a way to get it done.”
Wallace also accredited Smith’s advanced approach at the plate, even while down in the count. “Even when he gets down to two strikes, that’s a testament to Jordan and what kind of hitter he is,” Wallace explained. “You don’t see a lot of guys at this level with good two-strike approaches and that can fight off pitches like he can. He just gives himself a chance, which is giving us as a team a chance.”
The Captains and Silver Hawks cap off their series on Tuesday as the Captains turn to Elvis Araujo (5-9, 5.06) to counter South Bend lefty Andrew Barbosa (2-2, 3.81).
Stephanie is a crime and general assignment reporter for The Morning Journal in Lorain, Ohio. She’s an alumna of Cleveland State University with a degree in Journalism and Promotional Communication. You can follow her on Twitter @7thInningSteph.