(Eastlake, OH) - The Lake County Captains (22-40) suffered through a long and dissapointing day at the ballpark on Sunday. The Captains and Bowling Green Hot Rods (30-32) finished a suspended game from April 19 and then played a seven-inning contest afterwards. Lake County lost the suspended game, 8-4, and fell hard in the seven-inning game, 17-6.
The Captains and Hot Rods picked up their suspended game in the top of the fifth with Bowling Green in front, 2-0. Bowling Green failed to score in the fifth against reliever Ben Krauth, but the Hot Rods quickly extended their lead in the sixth. After a bunt single by Miles Mastrobuoni, Jonah Heim hit a two-run home run and Robbie Tenerowicz went deep on the very next pitch to give the Hot Rods a 5-0 lead.
Lake County pulled closer in the bottom of the sixth. Junior Soto doubled and Jorma Rodriguez singled him home. Li-Jen Chu later doubled home Rodriguez to trim the Hot Rods' lead to 5-2. One inning later, Miguel Eladio hammered his third home run in as many days. The blast off the batter's eye in centerfield cut Bowling Green's advantage to 5-3.
The Hot Rods held serve after Lake County's surge and the road team tacked on insurance in the ninth. Facing right-hander Cesar Ventura, the Hot Rods knocked in three runs on an RBI double by Jesus Sanchez, an RBI single by Nate Lowe and a sacrifice fly by Adrian Rondon. The trio of runs pushed the Bowling Green lead to 8-3.
Lake County managed one more run on a ninth-inning home run by Jose Medina, but that was all the Captains could muster. Medina's home run off of Orlando Romero made the score 8-4 and the Captains went on to lose by that tally. Romero earned the save after giving up one run in two innings. He did not walk a batter and struck out three.
Hot Rods starter J.D. Busfield had a perfect game through the first four innings, but when the game resumed, the Captains quickly broke up the no-hitter against right-handed reliever Peter Bayer when Chu singled in the fifth. Despite surrendering the Captains' first hit, along with three runs, Bayer (2-1) earned the win. The right-hander pitched three innings and surrendered six hits. He walked one and struck out five.
Brady Aiken had started the game back in April and wound up the loss. The left-hander surrendered two runs on three straight doubles in the first, but quickly recovered and held the Hot Rods scoreless until the rain came in the fifth and washed out the game and Aiken's start. The Hot Rods never relinquished the lead they grabbed against Aiken (1-8) and so the left-hander took the loss after giving up two runs in 4.2 innings. He allowed three hits, walked one batter, hit one batter and struck out six.
Bowling Green rolled the Captains in Sunday's second game. The Hot Rods struck early with a pair of runs in the second against Captains starter Tanner Tully. Jesus Sanchez hit a solo homer to score the first run. Later in the inning, with Mike Brosseau on second and two outs, Eleardo Cabrera bounced a grounder up the middle that kicked off of second baseman Kevin Bradley's glove and into center. Brosseau scored on the infield single by Cabrera to push the Hot Rods' lead to 2-0.
Lake County showed life in the second and scored three runs to take the lead. Jose Vicente roped a two-run double down the left field line and Todd Isaacs slammed an RBI double to the gap in right-center that scored Vicente with the go-ahead run. Though Isaacs was thrown out at third trying to stretch his double into a triple, the Captains came out of the second with a 3-2 lead.
The Hot Rods took control of the game from there. Bowling Green batted around twice. They scored six runs in the third inning, highlighted by a grand slam off Rondon's bat. Bowling Green then tacked on six more runs in the fifth. With the game already firmly in control, Bowling Green added a pair of insurance runs in the sixth and one more in the seventh. In the surge, the Hot Rods tallied a franchise record 25 hits. Lake County scored just once more on a three-run home run by Emmanuel Tapia in the sixth.
Lucius Fox and Rondon ignited the Hot Rods' offense. Fox, who hit a two-run homer in the fifth, finished a triple shy of the cycle. The switch-hitting shortstop went 6-for-4 with a home run, a double, two singles and three RBI. Fox also scored twice and stole his team-leading 17th base of the year. Rondon hit a grand slam as part of a 3-for-4 performance with a team-high five RBI.
Eight different Hot Rods tallied multiple hits. Fox and Cabrera led Bowling Green in hits with four each. Sanchez, Brosseau and Rondon also tallied three hits each. On top of Rondon's five RBI and Fox's three RBI, Jonah Heim, Cabrera and Sanchez also notched two RBI.
Willy Ortiz took home the win for the Hot Rods. Ortiz (1-1) pitched five innings and allowed three runs on four hits. He walked one and struck out five.
Tully (2-5) took the loss. The lefty pitched 2.2 innings and allowed eight runs, seven of which were earned. Tully gave up 10 hits, hit a batter and struck out four.
The Captains and Hot Rods finish their series on Monday with first pitch scheduled for 7:00 PM at Classic Park. If the Captains win, they will earn the series victory.
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.