(Eastlake, OH) - Aaron Civale was masterful on the mound for the Lake County Captains (13-18) on Tuesday morning at Classic Park. The right-hander spun seven magnificent innings of shutout baseball, limiting the Beloit Snappers (14-16) to just two hits and striking out seven. The Captains needed just one run and held on late in a tense ninth inning to beat Beloit, 1-0.
Civale mowed down the Snappers from start to finish, but it was the end of his outing that was the most impressive. After surrendering a leadoff single to Nate Mondou in the fourth inning, Civale went on a roll and retired 12 straight batters to finish his shut-down performance.
The Snappers only managed three baserunners against Civale all morning and afternoon. Luke Persico was the first runner to reach when an Emmanuel Tapia error put him on in the first inning. JaVon Shelby singled for Beloit in the second and Mondou had his single in the fourth, but no runners ever made it beyond first base against Civale.
The Captains' offense did not provide Civale with much support, but they squeaked out a run in the fourth inning. Alexis Pantoja and Logan Ice hit back-to-back singles to begin the inning and Tapia singled with one out to load the bases. Snappers reliever Mitchell Jordan struck out Todd Isaacs for the second out and then worked the count to 2-2 on Conner Capel. The 2-2 pitch from Jordan barely missed to run the count full and the 3-2 offering bounced in the dirt. Capel worked a walk to force in Pantoja and the Captains took a 1-0 lead.
Lake County did not get another run in the fourth, but the Captains had a chance to grab some insurance tallies in the eighth. Trenton Brooks and Pantoja led off the inning with singles and Jordan walked Ice to load the bases with nobody out. Heath Bowers came in from the Beloit bullpen to try to escape the jam and he did just that. Bowers got Li-Jen Chu to pop out to third, Tapia to strike out looking and Isaacs to pop out to first to end the frame.
Bowers' performance almost buoyed Beloit. The Snappers put together a rally against Captains reliever Dalbert Siri, who entered in the ninth in search of a save. After Siri retired the first batter, he walked Mondou on four pitches and Kyle Nowlin drilled a double off the right field wall. The one-out two-bagger by Nowlin put Mondou on third with the tying run and Nowlin on second with the go-ahead run.
The Captains had their backs up against the wall, but Siri struck out Miguel Mercedes for the second out. Luis Barrera then fought off tough pitches from Siri and worked a nine-pitch walk to load the bases. With the bags full and two outs, Siri ended the treacherous inning and the ballgame by striking out JaVon Shelby.
Siri walked a tight-rope in the ninth, but earned the save. Civale (2-2) picked up a much-deserved win. The starter went seven innings and allowed no runs on just two hits. Civale struck out seven and did not issue a walk.
Jordan (1-1) took the loss for Beloit. He entered in the fourth and pitched into the eighth, but could not get an out in the eighth. Through his four innings on the hill, Jordan gave up one run on seven hits. He walked a pair and struck out two.
The Captains and Snappers have split the first two games of the three-game series at Classic Park. Lake County will have a chance to notch a second consecutive series victory with a win on Wednesday morning. First pitch at Classic Park is scheduled for 11:00 AM.
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.