(Eastlake, OH) - Classic Park was jam-packed for Education Day, as 3,638 patrons filed in for an early morning game, but the Beloit Snappers (14-16) defeated the Lake County Captains (13-18), 9-1. Brendan Butler had a magnificent game on the mound for the Snappers against Lake County on Wednesday morning. The Snappers' starter only gave up two hits and one run in 6.2 innings.
Butler (1-2) picked up a much-deserved victory after only ging up two hits in a masterful performance on the hill. The right-hander surrendered singles to Alexis Pantoja and Luke Wakamatsu. Butler only allowed one other baserunner to reach safely on a walk. The Snappers starter struck out five and walked one.
The bats were hot for the Snappers and supported Butler's strong performance. All but one Beloit batter recorded a hit in the ballgame. Trace Loehr, Luke Persico and Jason Goldstein each tallied two hits against Captains pitching and Kyle Nowlin paced the Snappers with two RBI. Eight of the nine Beloit hitters notched a run batted in on Wednesday.
Though Beloit controlled the game down the stretch, the Captains struck first. In the first inning, Pantoja hit a single then later stole second and third. On Pantoja's second straight steal, third baseman Eric Marinez dropped the throw and Pantoja raced home to make it an early 1-0 lead for Lake County.
It was not until the third that the Snappers got on the board. Beloit got an RBI knock by Luke Persico that brought home Marinez home to tie the ballgame up at 1-1. The Snappers took the lead in the third inning when Loehr scored from third on a sacrifice fly by Kyle Nowlin to put Beloit ahead, 2-1.
Beloit added two more runs in the fifth inning. Captains starter Brady Aiken was still on the mound and the lefty issued a one-out walk to Persico. Nowlin followed with a single and the Captains made a call to the bullpen, bringing in lefty Alsis Herrera to face Miguel Mercedes. After Herrera walked Mercedes to load the bases, JaVon Shelby hit a soft grounder deep in the hole at shortstop. Wakamatsu backhanded the ball and ran to tag Nowlin running to third base, but the ball popped out of the shortstop's glove for an error, allowing Persico to score. Diaz then knocked a sacrifice fly to right field that scored Nowlin to give the Snappers a 4-1 lead.
In the eighth inning, Beloit recorded six hits and scored five runs to they extend its lead to 9-1. It all started after Jason Goldstein hit the first home run of his professional career. The solo shot to the left field bleachers really sparked Beloit. Marinez hit a single, moved to third after a two-base wild pitch. With Marinez on third, Mike Martin hit an RBI double to extend the lead to 6-1.
Martin was not on base long. Loehr brought him home after hitting an RBI single, which was later followed with a double by Persico and a sacrifice fly by Nowlin that brought in Loehr to extend the lead to 8-1. Mercedes later knocked a base hit single to score Persico with the final run of the game.
Aiken (0-6) took the loss for Lake County in his sixth start of the season. The left-hander pitched 4.1 innings and allowed four runs, three of which were earned. Aiken surrendered five hits, walked four and struck out five.
The Snappers took the three game series, two games to one. The Captains go up against Wisconsin Timber Rattlers on Thursday at Classic Park with first pitch scheduled for 6:30 PM.
Individual game tickets for all Captains games are on sale at the Classic Park box office, online at captainsbaseball.com and by phone at 440-954-WINS (9467). Full season tickets plans, 12-, 20-, and 35-game mini ticket plans for the 2017 season are on sale now at great prices complete with several exclusive benefits. Information can be found at the Captains website www.captainsbaseball.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.