Captains win in extra innings, 7-6
BOWLING GREEN, KY- The Lake County Captains (9-9, 39-47) overcame a late Bowling Green Hot Rods (10-8, 48-40) rally to win the series finale in extra innings. Lake County defeated Bowling Green 7-6 in 11 innings on Monday night.
It was a right-handed matchup as Roberto Gomez started for the Hot Rods and Joe Colon toed the rubber for Lake County.
Lake County drew first blood in the third inning. Rightfielder Zach MacPhee led off the frame with a single. Third baseman Todd Hankins singled to the second baseman, but on the play MacPhee was hit by the batted ball. MacPhee was declared out on the play. Hankins stole second, his 18th stolen base of the year. A groundout moved Hankins to third and shortstop Francisco Lindor singled home Hankins with a groundball single to right.
Bowling Green answered back with two runs in the bottom half of the third. Catcher Keith Castillo walked to begin the inning. Third baseman Tyler Goeddel singled to right to move Castillo to second. Second baseman Ryan Brett plated Castillo with a RBI single up the middle. Shortstop Jake Hager grounded out to the shortstop, bringing home Goeddel from third.
Gomez was relieved by Justin Woodall to begin the fifth inning. Gomez threw four innings, allowing one run on four hits. He walked one and struck out two.
Lake County regained the lead against Woodall. Left fielder Bryson Myles singled and moved to second on a wild pitch. MacPhee reached on his second single of the night, putting Myles ninety feet from home. Hankins singled home Myles and second baseman Jose Ramirez scored MacPhee to give Lake County a 3-2 lead at the halfway point.
In the seventh inning, the Captains used small ball to score another run. Catcher Alex Lavisky singled and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by MacPhee. Hankins reached on a fielding error by Hager and Lavisky advanced to third. Ramirez drove in Lavisky for his second RBI of the night with a sacrifice fly to left field.
Reliever Kyle Petter came in to pitch the seventh inning. Colon pitched seven strong innings, allowing two runs on three hits. He walked two batters and retired six via the strikeout.
Left fielder Jeff Malm welcomed Petter with his tenth homerun of the year, a solo shot to right.
Charlie Cononie replaced Woodall for the eighth inning. Woodall allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits in three innings of work. He walked two and struck out two.
Cononie walked four batters in the eighth inning to give Lake County a 5-3 lead. Cononie walked the bases loaded and then walked MacPhee to bring home designated hitter Jake Lowery.
Cononie made way for Andrew Bellatti (2-3, 3.32 ERA) in the ninth inning. Cononie allowed one run on no hits in one inning. He walked four and struck three.
Bellati allowed a solo homerun to centerfielder Luigi Rodriguez in the ninth inning. Lake County led 6-3 going to the bottom of the ninth.
Petter gave up one run on one hit in two innings. He walked two and got one strikeout.
Bowling Green rallied to tie the ballgame in the ninth against the Captains bullpen. Closer Jeff Johnson struck out first baseman Cameron Seitzer and left the game. Francisco Valera (3-3, 3.97) came in and walked the bases loaded with one out. Castillo grounded into a forceout, scoring centerfielder Todd Glaesmann. Rightfielder Taylor Motter laced a double into the left field corner, scoring two runs and tying the game at 6.
Lake County scored the winning run in the top of the eleventh inning. Lindor and Rodriguez coaxed back to back walks. Lowery bunted the runners over to second and third. Bowling Green manager Brady Williams made the call to intentionally walk first baseman Jerrud Sabourin to load the bases. Reliever Austin Hubbard came in to face Myles with the bases loaded and only one out. Myles scored Lindor with a sacrifice fly to left field. Rodriguez attempted to score as Malm mishandled the ball. But was thrown out at the dish.
Valera retired the Hot Rods in order to finish the game. Valera picked up the win, allowing three runs on one hit in 2.2 innings. He walked three and struck out three.
Bellati took the loss, allowing two runs on two hits in 2.1 innings of work. He walked four and struck out two. Hubbard retired the only two batters he faced.
Lake County pounded out 12 hits on the evening. Hankins had a 4-5 game and MacPhee added a 2-3 game. Every player reached base at least once.
Lake County will travel back to Eastlake, Ohio for an off day on Tuesday. The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers will come to town to begin a six game homestand on Wednesday night. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM. No pitching matchup has been announced.
Tyler, a sports management student at Lake Erie College, can be found on Twitter @tstotsky63.