(Appleton, WI) - The Lake County Captains (19-15) finished their Wisconsin road trip with a narrow, 4-2 loss to the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (15-18) on Saturday. The Captains won three out of five games in their interdivision road swing despite dropping their last two at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium.
The Captains and Timber Rattlers traded runs early on. Wisconsin grabbed the game's first run in the third inning. Brent Diaz led off with a double against Captains starter Raymond Burgos . Connor McVey then singled with one out and Yeison Coca worked a walk to load the bases. David Fry hit a sacrifice fly to left-centerfield that brought home Diaz to give the Timber Rattlers a 1-0 lead.
Lake County evened the score in the top of the fourth. Tyler Freeman began the frame with an infield single. After Timber Rattlers starter Reese Olson retired the next two men, Jesse Berardi singled to right field to bring home Freeman and tie the game at 1-1.
Wisconsin quickly punched back with a run in the bottom half of the fourth to take a 2-1 lead. LG Castillo hit a one-out single, Antonio Pinero followed with a double and Diaz walked to load the bases. After Korry Howell bounced to third and Berardi forced out Castillo at home, Burgos threw a wild pitch that scored Pinero.
Once again, the Captains countered. Miguel Jerez led off the fifth and worked the count full against Olson. On the payoff pitch, Jerez drilled a solo shot over the left field wall to tie the score again at 2-2.
After the scoring flurry, the game remained tied until the seventh inning when Wisconsin took the lead for good. With Kellen Rholl on the mound for Lake County, Fry sparked a two-out rally. He doubled off the third base bag and Gabriel Garcia followed with a hot smash to shortstop that sped past Freeman, who tried in vain to swipe at the hard grounder. The ball skipped into left and Fry scored on the single to give the Timber Rattlers a 3-2 lead.
Wisconsin added an insurance run in the eighth against Skylar Arias . Castillo worked a leadoff walk and Jesus Lujano came in to pinch run for him. Pinero came up next and squared to bunt, but Arias hit him in the foot to put two men aboard. The Captains' lefty reliever retired the next two men on a fly out and a strikeout, but McVey followed with a double that scored Lujano to extend Wisconsin's lead to 4-2.
Timber Rattlers reliever Max Lazar earned the win after striking out eight Captains over four shutout innings. Lazar (2-1) relieved Olson in the sixth and finished the game, allowing three hits and walking none.
Rholl (0-1) suffered the loss after surrendering the go-ahead run in the seventh. The southpaw worked one inning and gave up one run on two hits with two strikeouts and no walks.
Olson, the Wisconsin starter, did not factor in the decision, but held Lake County to two runs over five frames. He also got some help from his catcher, Diaz, and his second baseman, Coca. The pair combined to catch three Captains stealing to end three consecutive innings from the second through the fourth. In the second, with the game still scoreless, the Captains had Berardi on first and Mitch Reeves on third. Berardi stole second and Reeves took off for the plate when Diaz fired to Coca. The second baseman caught the ball and returned the throw home where Diaz tagged out Reeves for the final out of the inning. Diaz then threw out Ruben Cardenas to end the third and Berardi to end the fourth, with Coca applying the tag at second both times.
Burgos did not factor in the decision either, but the lefty gave the Captains four strong innings. He gave up two runs on five hits with four strikeouts and two walks. Lake County used four pitchers on Saturday between Burgos, Zach Draper, Rholl and Arias, all of whom are left-handed.
The Captains lost the final two games of their road trip and will have a day off for Mother's Day before returning to action on Monday night when they begin a seven-game homestand against the Fort Wayne TinCaps (three games) and the Bowling Green Hot Rods (four games). Game one is slated to begin at 6:30 p.m. on Monday at Classic Park.
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 2019 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.