Playoff Recap 9/20: Captains Are Champions
Low-A Lake County finished off an incredible postseason run by winning the deciding Game Five of the Midwest League Championship series against Clinton by a final score of 3-1.
It was a well played game by both teams with very good defense, pitching and some timely hitting. In the end, the Captains had just a few more opportunities and cashed in on them. The time of the game was just two hours and nine minutes, and both teams combined to allow just 8 hits, 4 walks, and piled up 21 strikeouts.
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the fifth inning when left fielder Chase Burnette opened the frame with a single and then catcher followed him with a single to put runners on first and third with no outs. First baseman Jason Smit then grounded into a double play to score Burnette from third.
After Clinton came back and tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the sixth inning, the Captains answered back in the bottom of the sixth inning when with one out center fielder Delvi Cid walked and stole second. With two outs, shortstop Casey Frawley got the biggest hit of the night with a line drive single to center field which scored Cid and put the Captains on top 2-1.
In the bottom of the 7th inning the Captains added an insurance run when Burnette lead off the inning with a single and then Perez reached base on an error by the pitcher fielding a sacrifice bunt. Smit bunted and moved Burnette to third and Perez to second, and then with one out right field Greg Folgia hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score Burnette and push the lead up to 3-1.
The heroes of the night were the Captains' pitching staff. Left-hander Giovanni Soto pitched like an ace going 5.2 innings and allowed one run on three hits, two walks and had nine strikeouts. Right-hander Jeremy Johnson got the win going just a third of an inning in relief of Soto in the sixth, and then playoff MVP right-handed closer Preston Guilmet came on in the seventh and pitched three hitless-shutout innings and allowed a walk while punching out five batters.
The win is the Captains' first championship in franchise history, which began when they moved to Lake County to start the 2003 season, and also won the Midwest League title in their inaugural season. Congrats to the Captains!
As an FYI, I will be posting lots of video and pictures with highlights from the game and post game celebration later in the day on Tuesday and in the coming days. Be sure to check back!