(Eastlake, OH) - The Lake County Captains (29-29, 69-58) nearly came back on Wednesday, but suffered a 5-4 loss to the Bowling Green Hot Rods (35-23, 74-54) in game one of a three-game series at Classic Park.
Bowling Green took a 3-0 lead just four batters into the ballgame. Captains starter Alex Royalty walked leadoff hitter Ford Proctor and number three batter Jonathan Aranda. Jordan Qsar then took Royalty deep over the right-centerfield wall for a three-run homer.
Lake County got a run back in the bottom of the first. Clark Scolamiero roped a one-out triple into the right-centerfield alley against Hot Rods starter Matthew Libearatore. Bo Naylor then grounded out to first and Scolamiero scored.
Bowling Green added a run in the third. Nick Schnell doubled with one out, moved to third on a passed ball and scored when Jonathan Aranda slapped an RBI single through the left side of a drawn-in infield. The single stretched Bowling Green's lead to 4-1.
The Captains plated another run in the fifth and pulled within two. Raynel Delgado led off with a single against reliever Chris Muller. Two batters later, Billy Wilson slammed an RBI double into the left-centerfield gap, cutting the Hot Rods' lead to 4-2.
The Hot Rods added an insurance run in the seventh to extend their lead to 5-2. Proctor led off and hit a hard grounder up the middle that knocked off the glove of right-hander Luis Valdez . The pitcher scrambled to the ball and threw wildly down the right field line. Proctor made it to third on an infield single and a two-base throwing error. Schnell then hit a sacrifice fly to left field to plate Proctor.
Makesiondon Kelkboom delivered a big hit to pull the Captains within a run in the bottom of the seventh. Delgado reached on a throwing error by Proctor at shortstop and reliever Nathan Witt walked Ulysses Cantu . After Wilson bounced into a force out at second, Kelkboom yanked a double into the left field corner. Both Delgado and Wilson scored to trim the Hot Rods' lead to 5-4.
The Captains threatened in the ninth, putting the tying run on second base, but Joel Peguero nailed down the final out to notch a six-out save. It was Peguero's 13th save of the season. He shut out the Captains over two innings, allowing one hit, walking one and striking out one.
Reliever Chris Muller picked up the win. Muller (2-4) pitched two innings and gave up one run on two hits. He struck out four and did not issue a walk.
Royalty (5-8) took the loss. The right-hander pitched five innings and gave up four runs, three earned, on three hits. He struck out four, walked four and hit two batters.
The Captains take on Bowling Green again on Thursday in the second game of a three-game series. First pitch at Classic Park is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
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.