Captains fall in championship series opener, 4-3
GENEVA, Ill- The Kane County Cougars (1-0) took the lead in the bottom of the second and made it stick behind a great outing by Jen-Ho Tseng. The Cougars took game one from the Lake County Captains (0-1) 4-3 on Wednesday night. The Captains went 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base.
The Captains jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Right fielder Bradley Zimmer lined a two-out double to left field. First baseman Nellie Rodriguez followed with a RBI double to left field, scoring Zimmer from second.
Kane County gained back the lead in the bottom of the first inning. Left fielder Shawon Dunston opened the inning with an infield single. Designated hitter Mark Zagunis drilled a two-run home run to right field to take the lead. A single and a walk against Captains starter Mitch Brown put runners on the corners but the Cougars could not put any more runs on the board.
Two singles and a missed catch error on a fielder’s choice loaded the bases with no outs in the second inning for the Captains. Second baseman Claudio Bautista plated two runs with a bases-loaded double to put the Captains on top 3-2.
A horrible defensive inning by Lake County led to two runs in the second inning for Kane County. Center fielder Trey Martin walked, stole second and went to third when Brown threw the pickoff throw into center field. Dunston struck again with an RBI single.
Dunston then stole second base before Brown committed his second error of the game on an infield base hit by third baseman Jeimer Candelario. Dunston advanced to third on the error and then a walk loaded the bases. With the bases loaded and two outs, third baseman Paul Hendrix committed the third error of the inning allowing Dunston to score and the Cougars led 4-3.
Brown only went two innings before leaving the game. He allowed four runs (three earned) on four hits with three walks and two punchouts in the loss. Caleb Hamrick entered for the third inning.
After the first two innings, Cougars right-hander Jen-Ho Tseng settled down and kept the Captains down a run. He went five innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits. He walked one batter and fanned eight. Ben Wellscame in and pitched a scoreless sixth and seventh inning.
Hamrick retired 11 of the 12 batters he faced across four innings. He gave up a single and that was the only base runner he allowed.
Robbie Aviles took the mound for the seventh inning and he danced around some baserunners to keep the game at one run. Dunston singled for his third hit of the game, stole second and was thrown out on a fielder’s choice. The other runner that reached on the fielder’s choice made it all the way to third but was stranded there.
In the eighth Jasvir Rakkar walked the leadoff batter and threw two wild pitches, moving the runner to third. Rakkar struck out the final two batters to strand the tying run.
Aviles threw two scoreless innings in relief for the Captains.
Francisco Carrillo retired the Captains in order to secure the game one victory for the home team.
Each team had seven hits in the game. Zimmer reached base four times, including two hits, a walk and hit by pitch.
The Captains and Cougars will face off on Thursday before making the trip east to Eastlake. RHP Jordan Milbrath(3-12, 3.95) will start for Lake County against RHP Duane Underwood (6-4, 2.50) for the Cougars. First Pitch is at 7:00 PM from Fifth Third Bank Ballpark.
Tyler, a sports management student at Lake Erie College, can be found on Twitter @tstotsky63.