(Eastlake, OH) - The Lake County Captains (4-5) came within 90 feet of a comeback against the South Bend Cubs (6-2) on Friday at Classic Park. Trailing by one run in the bottom of the ninth, the Captains loaded bases against reliever Brian Glowicki, but could not push the tying run across. The Captains lost, 6-5, dropping their fifth straight game and helping South Bend push its winning streak to five games.
Lake County trailed by as many as four runs, but mounted a comeback in the final three innings. The Cubs were on top 6-2 and the Captains had not mustered a hit for four straight innings when Ulysses Cantu ignited the comeback with a leadoff homer in the seventh to cut the Cubs' lead to 6-3.
In the eighth, Lake County pieced together a rally against reliever Manuel Rodriguez. Oscar Gonzalez hit a leadoff single and Mike Rivera walked with one out. After a passed ball moved the runners to second and third, Jorma Rodriguez hit a two-run single to pull the Captains within one run.
The Captains again threatened in the ninth. Glowicki came in to close, but walked Austen Wade with one out. Gonzalez came up next and hit a grounder to third base. Jhonny Bethencourt looked to second to start a double play, but fumbled the ball, allowing Gonzalez to reach. Glowicki struck out Will Benson for the second out, but Rivera fought off some tough two-strike pitches to draw a walk and load the bases for Rodriguez. Glowicki, however, struck out Rodriguez to end the ballgame and secure his second save of the year.
The middle of South Bend's order tortured the Captains in Friday's series opener. Bethencourt, Jared Young and Tyler Payne - the Cubs' two, three and four hitters - scored all six of South Bend's runs. Bethencourt went 4-for-5 with a double and three runs scored. Young was 3-for-5 with a triple, an RBI and two runs. The five-hitter, Michael Cruz, helped the production by going 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI.
South Bend's bats started off hot in the first against Captains starter Grant Hockin . Bethencourt and Young hit back-to-back one-out singles, putting runners on the corners. Hockin then balked to score Bethencourt with the game's first run and Cruz hit a one-out, ground rule double to give South Bend a 2-0 lead.
The Captains answered in the bottom of the first against right-hander Javier Assad. Ernie Clement led off with a double and later came around to score on a sacrifice fly by Gonzalez. In the second, Rodriguez singled and came home to score the tying run on a single by Todd Isaacs .
The Cubs strung together five hits in the third inning to jump back in front. Bethencourt led off with a double, Young followed with a single and Payne knocked in Bethencourt with a single. Michael Cruz followed with a single that scored Young and Payne came home on a double-play ball to give South Bend a 5-2 lead. The Cubs added one more run in the seventh on an RBI triple by Young against Captains reliever Jean Carlos Mejia .
Cubs reliever Bailey Clark earned the win. Clark (1-0) pitched three innings and allowed one run on two hits. He walked one and struck out three.
Hockin (1-1) took the loss for Lake County. The right-hander pitched four innings and surrendered five runs on nine hits. He struck out three and walked one.
The Captains will try to snap their five-game losing skid on Saturday against South Bend. First pitch at Classic Park is scheduled for 4:00 p.m.
Information about Classic Park or the Captains can be found online at www.captainsbaseball.com and by phone at 440-954-WINS (9467). Affordable ticket packages and group party and picnic options are available now.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.