(Eastlake, OH) - Emmanuel Tapia was one of three Lake County Captains (25-40, 52-82) to go deep in the series opener against the Lansing Lugnuts (25-40, 62-69) on Wednesday night at Classic Park. Tapia's fourth-inning solo shot pulled the Captains' slugger within one home run of the club's single-season record, but the rest of the Lugnuts proved to have more offensive fire power. The Captains fell to Lansing, 10-3.
A balk and a sacrifice fly put the Lugnuts in front in the first inning against Captains starter Zach Plesac . Lansing loaded the bases on singles by Joshua Palacios, a single by Nash Knight and a walk by David Jacob. With the bags full and one out, Plesac balked, allowing Palacios to score the game's first run. Mitch Nay then hit a sacrifice fly that plated Knight to give Lansing a 2-0 lead.
Ridge Smith extended the Lansing lead to 6-0 with just one swing in the third. Plesac began the third by walking Jacob and giving up a single to Nay. After Yeltsin Gudino reached on a one-out infield single, Smith launched a grand slam to left field.
The Captains tallied a run in the third thanks to Todd Isaacs . Lugnuts starter Mike Ellenbest had held the Captains hitless over the first two innings, but Isaacs drilled a leadoff solo shot to left-centerfield for Lake County's first run. The Lugnuts led, 6-1.
Justin Garza came in to pitch the fourth for the Captains, but the Lugnuts kept adding to their lead. After a double play, Jacob kept the inning alive with a two-out infield single and Nay hammered a two-run home run to push the Lansing lead to 8-1.
The Captains went deep twice in the fourth. Tapia snapped a seven-game homerless drought when he demolished an Ellenbest offering over the wall in right-centerfield. Tapia's Midwest League-leading 27th home run traveled an estimated 396 feet and put him one long ball away from tying the Captains' single-season record of 28, set in 2004 by Ryan Goleski. Two batters later, Logan Ice slammed a solo home run to right field, cutting Lansing's lead to 8-3.
Smith added to the Lansing advantage in the fifth. After Gudino doubled, Smith ripped an RBI triple off the wall in left-centerfield. Smith later scored on a wild pitch to give the Lugnuts a 10-3 lead. The Lugnuts' catcher went 2-for-5 with a homer, a triple, five RBI and two runs scored. Nay also had a productive day, going 2-for-4 with a homer, three RBI and two runs.
Ellenbest (8-7) earned the win for the Lugnuts. The right-hander went six innings and allowed three runs on four hits. He walked three and struck out three.
Plesac (1-1) suffered the loss after allowing six runs in three innings. Lake County's starter gave up six hits, hit one batter, walked three and struck out three.
The Captains' series against Lansing is their last home series in the 2017 season. Lake County plays the middle game of the three-game set against the Lugnuts on Thursday night. First pitch at Classic Park is scheduled for 7:00 PM.
Information about Classic Park, or the Captains can be found online at www.captainsbaseball.com and by phone at 440-954-WINS (9467). The Captains front office can be reached at 440-975-8085.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.