Captains let ninth-inning lead slip

Timber Rattlers rally in ninth, Captains' late rally falls short

Luke Wakamatsu celebrates after hitting a grand slam in the first inning for Lake County. (Michael Johnson)

By Lake County Captains | May 12, 2017 10:01 PM ET

(Eastlake, OH) - The Lake County Captains (13-21) took an early lead, but could not hold on in the end against the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (16-16). After a five-run first inning, the Captains let a 5-4 lead slip in the ninth and lost to the Timber Rattlers, 7-5.

In the top of the ninth, after Mario Feliciano hit a one-out double to left-centerfield, Monte Harrison hit a broken bat infield grounder to third base. Miguel Eladio made a wild throw and the ball bounced off the tarp and into the stands for a two base error that scored Feliciano with the tying run. Harrison moved to second on the throwing error.

Captains lefty Tanner Tully tried to battle through the frame. He struck out Tucker Neuhaus, but then Joantgel Segovia came through for Wisconsin. One night after his five-RBI performance, Segovia hit a two-out single up the middle to score Harrison with the go-ahead run. Centerfielder Conner Capel tried to throw Harrison out at the plate, but his throw skipped away, allowing Segovia to move to second. Ryan Aguilar then singled home Segovia to complete the rally and give Wisconsin a 7-5 lead.

The Captains put together a comeback attempt in the bottom of the ninth, but came up short. After Timber Rattlers lefty Daniel Brown struck out the first two batters, Lake County was able to rally with back to back singles by Jose Vicente and Eladio to put runners on the corners with the winning run at the plate. Trenton Brooks, however, flied out to right and that was all she wrote for the Lake County Captains.

The Captains started out the night on a positive note and did not waste any time getting going. Brooks started things off with a leadoff home run and Luke Wakamatsu followed that up just a few batters later with Lake County's first grand slam of the year. Lake County took a 5-0 lead in the first on the strength of those two long balls, but could not muster any more offense the rest of the night.

Caleb Whalen put Wisconsin on the board in the third. The nine-hitter knocked a three run home run, his first long ball of the year, to trim the Captains' lead to 5-3. Captains starter Juan Hillman was able to strike out the next two after giving up the bomb and made it out of the inning without giving up any more damage.

Wisconsin inched closer in the fifth. Demi Orimoloye roped a two-out double after Hillman struck out the first two men in the frame. Feliciano came up next and singled to center, but Capel almost made a run-saving throw. Capel fired a strike to the plate, but catcher Logan Ice dropped the laser throw to home. Orimoloye scored and the Timber Rattlers reduced the Captains' lead to 5-4.

The Timber Rattlers nearly tied the game right there in the fifth, but Hillman worked out of the rest of the frame. An infield single by Harrison moved Feliciano to third, putting the tying run for Wisconsin just 90 feet away. Neuhaus, however, grounded out to short to end the inning. The threat was over, but Wisconsin had closed the gap.

Tully (1-2) took the loss and suffered his first blown save of the year. The southpaw lasted four innings and gave up three unearned runs on six hits. Tully struck out six and walked one.

Wisconsin reliever Miguel Sanchez earned the win. Sanchez (2-0) held the Captains scoreless over three innings. He allowed one run, struck out six and did not walk a batter. Brown earned his third save of the year after escaping the late trouble in the ninth.

The Captains face Wisconsin again on Saturday night at Classic Park in the finale of a six-game homestand. First pitch 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.

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