(Eastlake, OH) - Eli Lingos spun six brilliant innings on Thursday, striking out 10 batters and allowing just one run. Unfortunately for the Lake County Captains (14-12, 54-41), it was not enough to beat Cedar Rapids Kernels (16-10, 55-41) who rallied against the Lake County bullpen to pull out an upset victory at Classic Park. The Kernels scored four runs in the seventh inning to beat the Captains, 5-4.
The Captains gave Lingos run support one run at a time in the first three frames. In the first, Quentin Holmes led off with a single and scored on a double by Daniel Schneemann , who was then tagged out in a rundown between second and third. Josh Rolette led off the second with a double that bounced off the glove of Albee Weiss in left and ricocheted off the wall. Cody Farhat followed Rolette and hit a slicing double that evaded the reaching glove of Jared Akins in right and went for an RBI triple. A two-out burst in the third gave Lake County a 3-0 lead. Jose Fermin bunted his way aboard and Ruben Cardenas rocketed a double into the right-centerfield alley to score Fermin from first.
Lingos had held the Kernels scoreless and allowed just one hit and one walk over the first three innings, but Cedar Rapids got its first run on the first hitter of the fourth. Gabe Snyder led off with a solo homer to right to cut the Captains' lead to 3-1.
Lingos went right back to dominating, retiring the next six batters, including four strikeouts to give him a career-high eight punch-outs. Schneemann pushed the Captains' lead back to three runs in the bottom of the fifth. The Captains' shortstop led off with a drive over the right-centerfield wall for a solo shot to give Lake County a 4-1 advantage.
Lingos worked around a couple of one-out hits in the sixth and fanned two more hitters to get out of the jam. He struck out Wander Javier and Akins, back-to-back, to give the southpaw 10 K's in the ballgame and maintain the Captains' lead. The 10 strikeouts equaled a 2019 Captains single-game high, matching Alex Royalty 's 10 K's on June 22 against West Michigan. It was Lingos' third career start after the lefty began the season in the bullpen.
The Kernels came back as soon as Lingos left the hill. In the top of the seventh, Cedar Rapids rallied against Captains reliever Luis Araujo . Weiss reached on an infield single to begin the frame and Alex Isola doubled off the right-centerfield wall. Yeltsin Encarnacion plated Weiss with a sacrifice fly and Daniel Ozoria walked to put runners on the corners. Spencer Steer came up next and smacked a double to right that brought home Isola and trimmed the Captains' lead to one run. Ozoria then scored the tying run on a ground out to second by Gilberto Celestino.
With the game even at 4-4, Snyder stepped up to the plate with two outs and Steer on third. The runner broke for home and, as Araujo went to step off the rubber and throw home, the pitcher was called for a balk and Steer was awarded home plate to give the Kernels a 5-4 lead.
The Kernels' bullpen blanked the Captains down the stretch to secure the win. Lefty J.T. Perez pitched two scoreless frames and Rickey Ramirez worked around a two-out infield single by Schneemann to work a scoreless ninth and pick up his first save with Cedar Rapids this year.
Kernels starter Luis Rijo picked up the win. Rijo (3-6) pitched six innings and allowed four runs on nine hits with three strikeouts, one walk and one hit batsman.
Araujo (2-4) took the loss. The right-hander pitched just one inning and allowed four runs on three hits in the seventh. Araujo walked one and struck out one.
The Captains have lost back-to-back games by the same 5-4 final and will try to avoid a three-game sweep against the Kernels on Friday night. 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.