(Dayton, OH) - Shane McCarthy baffled the Dayton Dragons (3-7) on Saturday night to help the Lake County Captains (7-3) capture a 6-2 victory in game two of a three-game series at Fifth Third Field. The right-hander struck out a career-high nine batters and the Lake County offense supported him with a five-run fourth to secure the win.
McCarthy had strikeout stuff from the outset, despite allowing a first-inning run. The Captains' starter struck out a pair in the opening frame, but Michael Siani led off with a first-pitch single, made it to third on an errant pickoff throw and scored on an infield single by Pabel Manzanero to give Dayton a 1-0 lead.
McCarthy rebounded in the second with arguably his most dominant inning of the game. The right-hander faced four batters, striking out three and walking one to push his strikeout total to five across two innings. He added two more in a one-two-three third inning to make it seven K's.
The Captains' offense had trouble with Dragons starter Lyon Richardson early, but connected in the fourth. Richardson had held the Captains hitless in the first three innings, allowing just three baserunners on a walk and two hit-batsmen, both of whom were Tyler Freeman . The right-hander was similarly dominant at the start of the fourth, striking out the first two batters looking to give him five punchouts through 3.2 innings. With two outs, however, the Captains scratched across their first hit on a Mitch Reeves infield single that ricocheted off of Richardson and Marcos Gonzalez followed with an opposite-field two-run homer over the right field wall to give the Captains a 2-1 lead. Angel Lopez came up next and cracked a double to the left-centerfield gap and Hosea Nelson banged a single to score him and make it 3-1.
Nelson's single knocked Richardson out of the game, but the Captains kept the fourth-inning rally going. Right-handed reliever Eduardo Salazar came in from the bullpen and promptly hit Jose Fermin with a pitch. Freeman followed with a line drive double to left-center that scored two and pushed the Captains' lead to 5-1.
McCarthy harnessed his strikeout power to escape a jam in the fourth. After the righty struck out Manzanero swinging to begin the frame, he walked Bren Spillane and got Jay Schuyler to fly out to center. With two outs and Spillane still on first, Juan Martinez hit a bouncing ball to third that went through Gonzalez and down the line for an error. Spillane went to third and Martinez hustled into second, but McCarthy struck out Reniel Ozuna to strand both runners.
McCarthy again ran into some trouble in the fifth, but a couple of fine defensive plays followed a Lake County error and helped the right-hander limit the damage. Jonathan Willems began the inning with a single and Siani followed with a fly ball to the track in left-centerfield. Nelson dropped the ball, allowing Willems to reach third and Siani to cruise into second with nobody out. Miguel Hernandez came up next and hit a grounder to third base. Gonzalez fielded the ball and threw Hernandez out at first as Willems scored, but Siani then tried to advance to third. Reeves caught Gonzalez's peg at first and fired to third where Freeman was waiting to slap the tag on the runner for an unconventional double play. Mariel Bautista then lined to right and Ruben Cardenas made a diving catch to end the inning.
The Captains threatened to add to their lead in the seventh before falling into an offensive funk. Freeman led off with a single and Will Benson followed with a single of his own, moving up to second when the throw from right field went home. With two men in scoring position and nobody out, Dragons reliever Julio Pinto struck out the next three batters in a row. That started a string of seven consecutive strikeouts by Dayton pitching. After Pinto's three straight punch-outs, lefty Jerry D'Andrea came in for the eighth and struck out the side in order before fanning Fermin to start the ninth.
Freeman finally snapped the strikeout streak with a line drive single to left and keyed a quick Captains rally that led to an insurance run. D'Andrea struck out Benson to give the Dragons nine strikeouts in the span of eight batters, but Cardenas followed by drilling a double high off the left-centerfield wall. Freeman scored on the two-base hit to give Lake County a 6-2 lead.
Dakody Clemmer nailed down the win for the Captains with two scoreless innings in the eighth and ninth and earned his first save of the year. The save secured the win for McCarthy (1-1) who pitched five innings, struck out nine, walked two and allowed two unearned runs on three hits.
Richardson (0-1) took the loss for Dayton. The starter worked 3.2 innings and allowed four unearned runs on four hits. He struck out five and walked one.
The Captains and Dragons have split the first two games of this three-game series and are set to play the rubber game on Sunday afternoon. First pitch at Fifth Third Field is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.
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.