(Eastlake, OH) - A three-run seventh inning ignited a Lake County Captains (24-41) comeback victory on Wednesday afternoon against the Fort Wayne TinCaps (24-42). The Captains had not led all game until Miguel Eladio roped a two-run triple against lefty reliever Will Headean in the seventh to put Lake County in front. Li-Jen Chu provided an insurance run with an RBI single and Dalbert Siri walked a tight rope before closing out a 7-5 win in the ninth.
Lake County trailed 5-4 heading into the seventh, but the Captains quickly pieced together a rally against Headean, who came in that inning to to relieve right-handed starter Jim McDade. Jorma Rodriguez and Todd Isaacs began the inning with back-to-back singles and, two batters later, Eladio slammed a ball into the right-centerfield gap. Rodriguez scored easily from second to tie the game and Isaacs hustled home from first with the go-ahead run. Eladio raced all the way to third with a triple to give Lake County its first lead of the game, 6-5. The TinCaps then pulled the infield in and Chu hit a sharp grounder that narrowly escaped the clutches of shortstop Fernando Tatis, Jr. and bounced into left field. Eladio scored to give the Captains a two-run lead.
Fort Wayne nearly came back in the ninth, but Siri came up big to close out the win. The right-hander came in from the bullpen and struck out A.J. Kennedy to open the inning, but then walked Tatis to bring the tying run to the plate. After Siri struck out Reinaldo Ilaraza for the second out, he walked Jorge Ona to put the tying run on and bring the go-ahead run to the plate. The TinCaps pinch ran for Ona, calling on Rod Boykin to run at first with Brad Zunica coming up. The previous night, Zunica had given the TinCaps the lead late with a home run that proved to be the winning tally. On Wednesday afternoon, however, Siri struck out the powerful lefty hitter to end the ballgame and earn his fifth save of the year.
Long before the Captains' comeback, the TinCaps blasted off for three home runs in the first three innings and looked in control of the game. Marcus Greene, Jr. hit a solo shot in the second. After the Captains tied the game in the bottom of the second on an RBI single by Kevin Bradley, the TinCaps responded with two more homers in the third. Ona hit a two-run home run to put Fort Wayne back ahead, 3-1. Later in the frame, Jack Suwinski hit a two-out, solo home run to right field to push the TinCaps' lead to 4-1. Captains starter Micah Miniard was responsible for all three home runs did not make it out of the third inning. He was lifted from the ballgame after 2.2 innings.
Lake County bounced back quickly after Fort Wayne's homers. In the bottom of the third inning, the Captains put two men on with two outs and Gavin Collins launched a three-run home run to right field, tying the game at 4-4. All three runs were unearned against McDade because of a one-out error by Tatis earlier in the frame.
The game remained tied until the sixth inning. Captains lefty Alsis Herrera had blanked Fort Wayne over 2.1 innings and the Captains called on right-hander Ryan Colegate to pitch the sixth. Greene led off the frame with a double and Kennedy singled two batters later. With runners on the corners, Tatis hit a sacrifice fly to left that scored Greene with the go-ahead run.
Colegate settled in after the sacrifice fly and was lights-out over the next two innings. He pitched one-two-three frames in both the seventh and eighth innings and finished his outing by retiring the last eight batters he faced. Colegate (1-0) earned the win, allowing one run over three innings on just two hits. He struck out one batter and did not issue a walk.
Headean (1-4) took the loss after relinquishing the lead in the seventh. The TinCaps' lefty pitched two innings and gave up three runs on four hits. Headean walked one and struck out two.
The Captains and TinCaps have split the first two games of this three-game series and will square off in the rubber game on Thursday night. First pitch at Classic Park is scheduled for 7:00 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). 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.