(Eastlake, OH) - The Lake County Captains' (7-5) pitching staff has been stellar in the first two games against the Bowling Green Hot Rods (6-6). With an 8-0 victory on Tuesday night at Classic Park, the Captains have blanked Bowling Green on back-to-back nights and have pushed their winning streak to a season-high four games in the process.
Aaron Civale, Michael Letkewicz and Dalbert Siri combined to stymie the Hot Rods' bats in the second game of the series. Civale (1-0) earned his first professional win by shutting out Bowling Green's bats over six strong innings, allowing just four hits and one walk. The right-hander struck out five and dropped his ERA to 1.65 three starts into the season.
Civale faced the minimum in five out of his six innings. He worked a perfect first, then gave up a one-out single in the second, but picked Adrian Rondon off at first. Civale allowed two baserunners in the fourth, but Logan Ice caught Robbie Tenerowicz stealing second and Civale induced an inning-ending double play. After a perfect fifth, Civale worked around a leadoff bunt single in the sixth by getting another double-play ball to clear the bases.
Letkewicz pitched back-to-back scoreless frames in the seventh and eighth before Siri shut the door in the ninth. Seven consecutive Captains pitchers have turned in scoreless performances, starting with Tanner Tully on Saturday in Lansing. The Captains have not allowed a run in 23.1 straight frames.
Emmanuel Tapia provided the bulk of the Captains' offense on Tuesday. The Lake County first baseman drove home a team-best three runs in a 4-for-4 performance at the plate. Tapia clobbered a two-run homer to the opposite field in the second and added an RBI single the next inning. He singled twice more in the fifth and sixth.
Outside of Tapia, the Captains scraped together five more runs with a combination of timely hitting, aggressive baserunning and good fortune. After Tapia's homer, Gabriel Mejia drove home a run in the second on a sacrifice fly. In the fifth, Jorma Rodriguez stole third and scored on an errant throw by Hot Rods catcher Rene Pinto. Later in the same frame, Lake County loaded the bases and Li-Jen Chu scored on a walk by Luke Wakamatsu.
In the sixth, Hot Rods left fielder Jesus Sanchez misplayed a fly ball to put Conner Capel on second to lead off the inning. Rodriguez followed with a ground rule double that bounced over the wall in the right field corner, bringing Capel home. Rodriguez later touched the plate thanks to a wild pitch.
Bowling Green starter Kenny Rosenberg suffered the loss. Rosenberg (0-2) lasted 4.1 innings and allowed six runs, five of which were earned, on six hits. The lefty struck out six, walked five and allowed six hits. Reliever Ethan Clark was responsible for two of the Captains' runs, both of which were unearned.
The Captains have won four straight for the first time this year and they have also captured back-to-back series. Lake County will go for its first sweep of 2017 on Wednesday in the series finale against the Hot Rods. First pitch at Classic Park is 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.