(Fort Wayne, IN) - Zach Draper spun six scoreless innings to lead the Lake County Captains (9-5, 49-34) to an Independence Day victory over the Fort Wayne TinCaps (4-10, 26-56). The Captains beat the TinCaps on Thursday night at Parkview Field, 4-1.
The Captains scored three unearned runs against TinCaps starter Sam Keating. The first came in the opening inning. Jose Fermin was on first base following a fielder's choice and took off for second with Ruben Cardenas at the plate. Cardenas swung and hit a line drive single to left. Fermin tried to race to third and left fielder Grant Little came up firing. His throw bounced off the sliding Fermin and kicked toward the third base dugout. Fermin got up and sprinted home with the game's first run on the throwing error.
Lake County tacked on two more unearned runs in the fourth. Fermin reached on a fielding error by shortstop Justin Lopez to begin the inning. After Keating retired the next two batters, Jonathan Engelmann came up with Fermin on third. Engelmann dribbled a grounder past the mound toward second base and reached with an infield single, as Fermin scored from third. Daniel Schneemann then pulled a broken-batt triple into the left field corner that plated Engelmann to give the Captains a 3-0 lead.
Jose Quezada relieved Keating in the eighth and the Captains added an insurance run. Hosea Nelson started the inning with a single and Quentin Holmes sacrifice bunted him up to second base. Two batters later, Fermin rocked a double off the left-centerfield wall to bring Nelson home and extend Lake County's lead to 4-0.
The TinCaps gave the Captains a scare in the bottom of the eighth. Lake County reliever Brendan Meyer began the frame with walks to Jawuan Harris and Xavier Edwards. Lefty Randy Valladares came in to relieve Meyer with the tying run in the on deck circle. After Valladares struck out Tucupita Marcano, he issued a walk to Blake Hunt, loading the bases with one out. Dwanya Williams-Sutton came up next and hit a high bouncer behind second base. Fermin gloved the ball and stepped on second for the force out, but Williams-Sutton beat the throw to first to negate an inning-ending double play. Harris scored from third to cut the Captains' lead to 4-1. Valladares then got Lopez to pop out to center to end the inning. The southpaw set the side down in order in the ninth to notch his first save of the year.
Draper (5-0) earned the win. In his six scoreless innings, the lefty starter scattered four hits, struck out three, hit one batter and did not issue a walk.
Keating (3-5) took the loss for Fort Wayne. The right-hander worked seven innings and allowed just three unearned runs on four hits. He struck out four, walked one and hit two batters.
The Captains won their second game in a row and clinched a win in the season series over Fort Wayne with a 7-5 record and one game left between the two teams in the regular season. Lake County can also win this four-game, home-and-home series on Friday in the finale. First pitch at Parkview Field is scheduled for 7:05 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.