Captains rush out to early lead in 8-5 win over Tincaps
Lake County scored 7 runs in the top of the first en route to win.
FORT WAYNE, IN - One night after scoring eleven runs and losing a large lead late, the Lake County Captains (22-24, 49-67) jumped to an early lead and squashed a seventh inning rally by the Fort Wayne Tincaps (22-25, 52-64) on Friday night. The Captains took the game by a final score of 8-5.
Lake County came out of the gates swinging as they roughed up Tincaps’ starter Cody Hebner for seven runs. Centerfielder Clint Frazier laced a one-out double to left field before he moved to third on a single by second baseman Paul Hendrix. Right fielder Mike Papi plated Frazier with a single through the right side of the infield.
First baseman Nellie Rodriguez walked to load the bases. Following a popout, Hebner walked in Hendrix with designated hitter Torsten Boss at the plate. A fielding error on a double play ball allowed everyone to reach safely and Papi scored from third. The next batter, third baseman Grant Fink deposited a pitch into the left field stands for a grand slam. Fink has eleven homers on the year and all three of Lake County’s grand slams.
Down 7-0 as they came to bat, Fort Wayne got on the board with a solo homerun by designated hitter Fernando Perez.
Hebner only lasted one inning as he took the loss. He allowed seven runs (two earned) on four hits and two walks. He struck out one of the ten batters he faced. Justin Livengood entered for the second inning.
The Captains regained the seven run lead with a single run in the fifth inning. Papi walked with one out and advanced to third on a Rodriguez single. Catcher Eric Haase singled home Papi to make it 8-1 in favor of the visitors.
Southpaw Anderson Polanco made his first start of the year for the Captains and held the Tincaps to one run on two hits and one walk in four innings. He fanned two batters. Caleb Hamrick took the mound in relief in the fifth.
Hamrick walked the bases loaded in the fifth with two outs. With Perez at the plate, Hamrick committed a balk and every runner moved up ninety feet and a run scored.
Livengood gave up one run on four hits in four innings in relief of the starter. He walked one and struck out two. Jason Jester threw two scoreless innings in the sixth and the seventh.
The Tincaps attempted a late inning comeback for the second straight game after they came back from a 11-3 deficit in the seventh. Centerfielder Ronnie Richardson doubled while left fielder Nick Schultz followed with a single. Second baseman Josh VanMeter scored Richardson with a RBI single. That spelled the end of the night for Hamrick.
Hamrick allowed four runs on three hits and three walks across two and one third innings. Hamrick did not strike out a batter.
Nick Mutz threw two scoreless innings with one hit for the Tincaps.
Brantley threw one and two third innings of scoreless ball to pick up the win and improve to 4-0. He struck out three batters. Trevor Frank pitched a perfect ninth inning to earn his twelfth save of the year.
The Captains had ten hits in the game. Frazier, Haase and Fink each had two hits in the game. Frazier had two doubles and Fink drove in four runs to up his total to 51 RBI.
Lake County will send RHP Dace Kime (6-13, 5.14) to the mound in the third game of the series on Saturday night. Fort Wayne will counter with RHP Kyle Lloyd (5-4, 4.13). First pitch from Parkview Field is at 7:05 PM.
Tyler, a sports management student at Lake Erie College, can be found on Twitter @tstotsky63.