Hot Rods clinch division with 9-4 victory over Lake County
Pitching falters late as Captains can't play spoiler for Bowling Green
Bowling Green, KY – The Bowling Green Hot Rods sealed their title as champions of the Midwest League Eastern Division as they defeated the Lake County Captains 9-4 on Sunday.
Right-hander Dylan Baker (7-6, 3.63) received his final start of the season for the Captains, and it was a fairly accurate reflection of his season as he tossed five innings and allowed just two runs.
After three scoreless innings on both sides, the Captains struck first. With one out, third baseman Joe Sever drew a walk and took second on a single by second baseman Zack MacPhee. With two out, right fielder Cody Ferrell also singled to score Sever and give the Captains the 1-0 lead.
Bowling Green crafted its rebuttal immediately as third baseman Taylor Goeddel led off with a single and stole second. Goeddel advanced to third on a fly-out to center before scoring on a sacrifice fly to level the score at 1-1.
The Captains pushed two more across the dish in the fifth inning as centerfielder LeVon Washington and shortstop Dorssys Paulino hit a pair of back-to-back singles. With two out, Sever singled to load the bases before designated hitter Richard Stock doubled to plate two for the 3-1 lead.
Lake County’s final run scored in the sixth inning as Ferrell drew a walk and left fielder Nick Hamilton singled. With two out, Paulino doubled to score Ferrell before Hamilton was thrown out at the plate attempting to score.
Meanwhile, Baker lasted through six innings before he was replaced with reliever Jimmy Stokes, sealing Baker’s final outing having allowed two runs on six hits while striking out six. Stokes tossed two scoreless innings of relief before giving way to Captains newcomer Jordan Milbrath.
The Hot Rods weren’t kind to Milbrath in his Midwest League debut as they scored four (three earned) runs. Milbrath issued a lead-off walk and out-single before an error by MacPhee allowed one run to score. That ended the outing for Milbrath, though his line was incomplete as reliever Jack Wagoner entered the game.
Wagoner issued a pair of consecutive walks to load the bases and walk a run home. His woes continued as he plunked a batter for another run, setting the stage for reliever Cody Penny.
In his attempt to pick up the pieces, Penny surrendered a sacrifice fly and single for two more runs, giving the Hot Rods the 9-4 lead.
That was all they needed as the Captains could not score in their share of the ninth, securing the Hot Rods with the title of Midwest League Eastern Division champions.
Matthew Spann received the win for the Hot Rods as Milbrath received the loss for the Captains. Next, the Captains complete their 2013 season Juan Santana (0-0, 0.00) will make his Captains debut against Bowling Green lefty Bruedlin Suero (1-0, 1.69).
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.