(Eastlake, OH) - The Lake County Captains (18-22, 45-64) blasted three home runs and tied the team's single-season home run record on Friday night, but the offensive effort was not enough to topple the South Bend Cubs (18-23, 57-23). Emmanuel Tapia hit the record-tying 119th Captains homer in the ninth inning, which proved to be the final blow in a 15-9 loss at Classic Park. The Cubs completed a three-game sweep of Lake County
Luke Wakamatsu hit Lake County's first homer of the night in the bottom of the first inning. His solo blast hit the top of the batting cage building in right field for his eighth home run of the year and the team's 117th.
Michael Tinsley went deep for the first time as a Captain in the seventh. He hit a solo homer to right field that pulled Lake County one long ball away from tying the record.
The Captains were down by 10 runs in the ninth inning, but Tapia gave Lake County fans something to cheer about. After the Captains plated two runs in the frame to trim the Cubs' lead to 15-7, Tapia came up with a man on and two outs and drilled a long homer over the right field wall. The blast was Tapia's Midwest League-leading 24th of the season and the Captains' 119th. That ties the mark set by the 2014 Captains as the most in team history. Tapia is also four homers away from tying the Captains' individual single-season home run record, set by Ryan Goleski in 2004 with 28.
The rest of the game did not go Lake County's way. Captains starter Brady Aiken surrendered six runs over 2.1 innings, including a pair of home runs. Tyler Payne went deep with two men aboard in the second to take a 1-0 Captains lead and turn it into a 3-1 Cubs advantage. In the second, Aramis Ademan hit a two-run homer and Jhonny Pereda hit a bases-loaded RBI single to center that scored D.J. Wilson, but Gabriel Mejia , playing in his first game back from the disabled list, threw Kevonte Mitchell out at home. The Cubs took a 6-1 lead and Aiken exited the ballgame.
Lake County grabbed a run in the second on an RBI double by Li-Jen Chu , but the Cubs got the run right back in the fifth against reliever Alsis Herrera . Mitchell doubled, stole third and later scored on a ground out by Pereda to push the Cubs' lead to 7-2.
A two-out rally in the sixth netted South Bend another run. Monasterio doubled with two outs against Herrera and Cesar Ventura came in from the bullpen. Ademan singled off of Ventura to plate Monasterio and give the Cubs an 8-2 lead.
After Tinsley's homer in the seventh, South Bend plated three unearned runs in the eighth, thanks in part to a Tinsley error. Dalbert Siri walked Yeiler Peguero with one out and surrendered a single to Monasterio. Tinsley then dropped a fly ball in left to score Peguero. A wild pitch scored Monasterio and an RBI single by Mitchell gave South Bend an 11-3 advantage.
The Captains scored a pair of runs in the eighth on another RBI double by Chu and an RBI ground out by Conner Capel , but South Bend added four more runs in the ninth, three of which were earned. Ryder Ryan hit Pereda to lead off and Peguero knocked him in with a two-out double. Tinsley dropped another fly ball in left field, allowing Peguero to score and Ademan followed with an RBI single. D.J. Wilson then tripled home Ademan to give the Cubs a 15-5 lead.
Lake County plated four runs in the ninth in a last-gasp effort. Jorma Rodriguez led off with a double against Tyson Miller and Gabriel Mejia singled. Miller was lifted from the game in favor of reliever Mark Malave, but Wakamatsu knocked in Rodriguez with an infield single. After a walk to Mitch Longo , a double play ball by Chu brought home Mejia. Tapia's record-tying, two-run homer finished the scoring.
Miller (5-4) picked up the win for South Bend. The right-hander pitched five innings and allowed six runs on 10 hits. He struck out one and walked one.
Aiken (4-12) took the loss for the Captains. The southpaw pitched 2.1 innings and surrendered six runs on eight hits. He walked one and struck out two.
The Cubs swept Lake County in the three-game series and the Captains turn their attention to the West Michigan Whitecaps for a five-game set at Classic Park. First pitch for Saturday night's game 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). Mini ticket plans for the 2017 season are still available for 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.