Fink, Captains rally in ninth to beat Dragons, 3-2
Grant Fink's sac fly in the ninth was the difference in Saturday's win.
DAYTON, OH - The Lake County Captains (7-2) scored a run in the top of the ninth inning to defeat the Dayton Dragons (2-7) by the final score of 3-2 Saturday evening. The win allowed the Captains to maintain their one-game lead over the Lansing Lugnuts for first place in the Midwest League Eastern Division.
The Dragons got on the board first in the bottom of the second inning. After third baseman Tanner Rahier lined out to start the frame, Jon Matthews connected on a solo home run off of Jordan Milbrath. The home run was the first of the season for Matthews, and it gave the Dragons a 1-0 lead.
However, the Captains responded in the top of the third inning with a run of their own. Second baseman Claudio Bautista singled to start the inning off of Jackson Stephens. Bautista then advanced to third on a stolen base and wild pitch by Stephens. Center fielder Clint Frazier then took advantage of Bautista's aggressive base running by driving him in with a RBI single to tie the game at 1-1.
Dayton managed to take the lead back in the bottom of the fourth inning. With one out, Rahier doubled to left. After advancing to third on a fielder's choice, Rahier scored on a wild pitch by Milbrath to give the Dragons a 2-1 lead.
In the top of the fifth inning, Lake County tied the game again. After shortstop Ivan Castillo grounded out to start the inning, Bautista slugged a solo home run to left. Stephens then struck out Frazier, but was pulled from the game and replaced by reliever Scott Brattvet. Stephens went 4.2 innings, gave up five hits, two runs, one walk, and struck out four.
After pitching five shutout innings against South Bend in his last start, Milbrath was not as effective on this day. He pitched only four innings, gave up five hits, two runs, one walk, and struck out two.
The Captains failed to score in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings, but finally broke through off of relief pitcher Alejandro Chacin. Third baseman Paul Hendrix led off the inning by working a walk off of Chacin. With Dorssys Paulino at the plate, Chacin threw a wild pitch that allowed Hendrix to advance to second. Hendrix then moved to third on a ground out by right fielder Torsten Boss. Grant Fink plated Hendrix with a sacrifice fly to center that gave Lake County the 3-2 advantage.
Ben Heller, shut down the Dragons in the ninth inning to secure the win for the Captains. Heller pitched two scoreless innings of relief for the win. Chacin took the loss after he surrendered the lead in the top of the ninth inning.
The Captains will go for the series win when they face the Dragons Sunday afternoon. Lake County is scheduled to start Caleb Hamrick (2-3, 6.66 ERA), while Dayton is scheduled to counter with Amir Garrett (2-4, 4.38 ERA). First pitch is set for 2:00 PM.