DAYTON – The Lake County Captains’ offense continued its tear through the second half of the season as they plated 11 runs in a victory over the Dayton Dragons on Friday night.
Right-hander Luis DeJesus (2-7, 6.32) received the start for the Captains against Dayton righty Jackson Stephens (0-1, 6.75).
Both teams scored in the first inning and the Captains took advantage of a fielding error as third baseman Erik Gonzalez reached base on a fielding error by the third baseman. After a sacrifice bunt by shortstop Dorssys Paulino, centerfielder Logan Vick struck with a double to right to score Gonzalez and give the Captains the quick lead.
The Dragons’ rebuttal produced two in their half of the inning. First baseman Daniel Pigott led off with a double before centerfielder Junior Arias homered to left for his ninth of the year.
Four Captains crossed the dish in the fourth inning as catcher Eric Haase hit a one-out single to right. With two out, left fielder Aaron Siliga doubled to right second baseman Yhoxian Medina singled to score Haase. A pair of throwing errors became costly on the next play as Gonzalez doubled to left to score Siliga. A throwing error by the third baseman and a throwing error by the left fielder left the Dragons defense in disarray as the bags emptied, giving the Captains the 5-2 lead.
Arias struck again in Dayton’s share of the fourth as he hit another home run, but DeJesus settled in to retire the side on a trio of groundouts.
Stephens departed the game for the fifth as he gave way to Tony Amezcua. With one out, right fielder Anthony Santander hit his third home run of the year for Lake County’s sixth run of the night.
The Dragons encountered some control issues in the seventh as they issued a handful of free passes. Vick and Santander each drew a walk, which ended the day for Amezcua. A wild pitch pushed both runners into scoring position and Haase drew another walk to load the bases. Designated hitter Leo Castillo also drew a walk to score Vick before Siliga singled to left to plate Santander and Haase, boosting the Captains to a 9-3 lead.
Right fielder Jeff Gelalich led off Dayton’s half of the seventh with a double to right and third baseman Tanner Rahier singled to third. With one out, DeJesus saw his day come to a close, sealing his line at 6.1 innings pitched, allowing four runs on seven hits, one walk and five strikeouts. DeJesus was replaced with reliever Josh Martin, who surrendered a two-out single to second baseman Brent Peterson that scored Gelalich to make the score 9-4.
The Captains used the long ball for insurance in the eighth inning as Gonzalez produced his second hit of the day and scored as first baseman Joe Sever hit his second home run of the year for the 11-4 advantage.
Reliever Felix Sterling entered the game in the ninth for the Captains and permitted the Dragons a small amount of hope. The Dragons welcomed Sterling with a pair of back-to-back singles and a throwing error by Sever on a force play allowed Gelalich to score. Sterling settled in to convert a strikeout before a double-play ended the game to give the Captains the 11-5 win.
The Captains will look to Robbie Aviles (1-2, 4.61) in tomorrow’s start to counter Dayton righty Sal Romano (4-7, 5.27).
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.