(Eastlake, OH) - For the seventh time this year, the Lake County Captains (27-38) won a game in walk-off fashion and for the second time in a week, Todd Isaacs did the honors. Last Tuesday, Isaacs' two-run single lifted the Captains to a victory over Dayton. This Tuesday, Isaacs delivered another walk-off knock to give the Captains a 6-5 victory in 10 innings over the Lansing Lugnuts (40-25).
Before Isaacs could provide the ultimate heroics, Lake County needed a big hit to even the score. Lansing took a 5-4 lead into the eighth, but the Captains caught a break to start a rally. Righty reliever Dany Jimenez struck out Will Benson to begin the frame, but the ball got by catcher Andres Sotillo and Benson reached on the wild pitch. Ulysses Cantu followed with a single to put runners on first and second with nobody out. Lefty Brody Rodning came in from the bullpen to face the left-handed hitter Joshua Rolette . In his first day off the Disabled List, Rolette delivered. The catcher roped an RBI single to center to score Benson and tie the game at 5-5.
The Captains had a chance to take the lead in the eighth, but could not come through. With runners on first and second, Isaacs tried to bunt the men over into scoring position, but bunted three pitches foul to strike out. Jesse Berardi then popped out to shortstop for an infield fly rule and Ernie Clement bounced into a force out at shortstop to end the inning.
The game remained tied until the 10th. Oscar Gonzalez began the inning on second as the free runner and the Lugnuts opted to intentionally walk Benson, who was due to lead off. With runners on first and second, Rodning struck out Cantu and Rolette swinging before the Lugnuts went to the bullpen. With the right-handed Isaacs due up, Lansing called on right-handed reliever Claudio Custodio. Custodio, however, uncorked a wild pitch to move Gonzlaez to third and Benson to second. On a 1-1 pitch, Isaacs cracked a line drive to dead centerfield. Reggie Pruitt retreated and reached up, but the ball landed out of his reach. Gonzalez scored from third to win the game and the Captains mobbed Isaacs in shallow centerfield.
Long before Rolette and Isaacs helped the Captains come back for the win, Lake County grabbed an early lead and watched it disintegrate. The Captains scored the first run just two batters into the ballgame when Clement walked, stole second and scored on a single by Tyler Friis . The next inning, Cantu doubled and scored on a single by Rolette. Lake County later loaded the bases and Lugnuts starter Turner Larkins walked Clement to force home Rolette to give the Captains a 3-0 lead. Larkins ended up leaving the game in the third due to injury.
Lansing chipped away at Lake County's lead with a pair of solo homers in the fourth. Ryan Noda and Samad Taylor went deep against Captains starter Francisco Perez to trim the Lake County's lead to one run. Berardi homered to center for the Captains in the bottom of the fourth -- his first of the year -- to push Lake County's lead to 4-2, but the Lugnuts then took the lead in the fifth. Brandon Grudzielanek singled to lead off the inning and later scored on a wild pitch before Noda knocked in a pair with a single to give the Lugnuts a 5-4 lead.
Captains right-hander Cameron Mingo took home the win with four game-saving innings. Mingo (2-1) pitched four shutout innings in relief of Perez and allowed just two hits. He struck out five and walked one.
Rodning (1-2) took the loss. The lefty pitched 2.2 innings and allowed one unearned run on one hit. Rodning walked one and struck out four.
The Captains have seven walk-off victories out of 16 total wins at home. They will play game two of their three-game series with Lansing on Wednesday. First pitch at Classic Park is scheduled for noon.
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.