(Eastlake, OH) - For the second day in a row, the Lake County Captains (25-41) found their offensive fire power late and delivered a come-from-behind victory over the Fort Wayne TinCaps (24-43). The Captains erased a 3-0 deficit by scoring seven runs between the seventh and eighth innings to defeat Fort Wayne on Thursday night at Classic Park, 7-3.
The ballgame was scoreless until the sixth inning when Fort Wayne dealt a big blow, courtesy of Marcus Greene, Jr. Lake County starter Brady Aiken had blanked the TinCaps over the first five innings, but Fort Wayne put two on with two outs thanks to a one-out single by Brad Zunica and a two-out walk to Jack Suwinski. Aiken was taken out after the walk and Justin Garza came in to face Greene, but the TinCaps' catcher hit a three-run home run to score the first runs of the ballgame. Fort Wayne then loaded the bases, but Garza escaped the jam to keep the score at 3-0.
Jose Medina pulled the Captains closer in the seventh. TinCaps starter Ronald Bolanos had help Lake County to just two hits in the first six innings, but Gavin Collins led off the seventh with a double. Bolanos retired the next two batters, but Medina came up with two outs and belted a two-run homer to trim the Captains' deficit to 3-2.
The Captains exploded in the eighth against reliever Blake Rogers who had replaced Bolanos following the homer. Conner Capel roped a one-out double to the wall and Miguel Eladio followed with a sharp single up the middle to score Capel and tie the game. Li-Jen Chu then hit a soft grounder to the shortstop hole and reached safely with an infield single, putting runners on the corners and Collins walked to load the bases. Emmanuel Tapia came up with the bags full and immediately unloaded a double to the left-centerfield gap that scored all three baserunners. Tapia's three-run two-bagger gave Lake County a 6-3 lead. Kevin Bradley followed with an RBI single to push the lead to 7-3.
Garza (2-2) closed out the ballgame in the ninth and earned the win. The right-hander pitched 3.1 innings of relief and was charged with one run, as the other two runs that scored on the Greene homer were Aiken's responsibility. Garza struck out four, walked two and allowed three hits.
Rogers (2-2) took the loss for Fort Wayne. He gave up five Captains runs in 2/3 of an inning. Rogers gave up four hits, walked one and struck out one.
The Captains clinched a series victory with the comeback win in the rubber game, giving Lake County back-to-back series wins for the first time since April. Lake County will now head to South Bend to wrap up the first half with a three game series against the Cubs. Game one of the series is scheduled for Friday at 7:35 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.