(Eastlake, OH) - It only took three innings for the Lake County Captains (38-38) to take control of Wednesday's matinee against the Lansing Lugnuts (40-26) at Classic Park. Trailing 3-0 going into the fourth, the Captains plated 11 runs between the fourth and sixth to beat Lansing for the second day in a row, 11-3.
Ryan Noda hit a solo homer to open the scoring in the third and Brock Lundquist hit a two-run shot two batters later to give Lansing a 3-0 lead. Lake County, though, did not take long to respond.
In the bottom of the fourth, Ernie Clement led off with a single, Tyler Friis walked and Oscar Gonzalez drove home the first Captains run with a double. A wild pitch then scored Friis and Jonathan Laureano evened the score with a sacrifice fly to right that brought home Gonzalez.
The Lugnuts kicked the ball around in the fifth to allow the Captains to grab the lead. Jose Medina hit a one-out single and Lansing starter Matt Gunter hit Jesse Berardi with a pitch. Clement then roped a line drive to the gap in left-center that glanced off of left fielder Norberto Obeso's glove. Medina scored to give the Captains a 4-3 lead and Lake County had runners on first and second. Gunter then tried to pick off Berardi at second, but the ball flew into the outfield, moving the runners to second and third. Shortly thereafter, Berardi scored on a wild pitch to give the Captains a 5-3 advantage. After Friis worked and Gonzalez popped out, Will Benson hit a grounder to first that Brandon Grudzielanek mishandled. Clement scored from third, but the Lugnuts caught Friis in a rundown between third and home to end the inning.
Now leading 6-3, Lake County exploded for five more runs in the sixth. Laureano led off with a double and Jose Vicente hammered a two-run homer to left-centerfield. Todd Isaacs then doubled down the left field line and Medina brought him home with a double to left. Clement later singled and Gonzalez smacked a double to the gap in left-center, scoring both Medina and Clement to give the Captains an 11-3 lead.
Captains right-hander Nick Gallagher earned his first career victory in relief. Gallagher (1-2) pitched three shutout innings in relief of Captains starter Jean Carlos Mejia . Gallagher gave up just one hit, walked three and struck out two.
Gunter (0-3) took the loss for Lansing. The lefty pitched five innings and allowed six runs - three earned - on four hits. Gunter struck out two, hit a batter and walked three.
Lake County has clinched a series win over the Lugnuts and has a chance to sweep its second consecutive home series with a victory on Thursday night. First pitch for the series finale is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at Classic Park.
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.