(Eastlake, OH) – The Lake County Captains (54-47) suffered a hard-fought loss to the Great Lakes Loons (54-47) on Saturday night. The Captains battled back from a three-run deficit, but fell just short in a 4-3 loss at Classic Park and dropped back into a tie with Great Lakes for
(Eastlake, OH) – The Lake County Captains (54-47) suffered a hard-fought loss to the Great Lakes Loons (54-47) on Saturday night. The Captains battled back from a three-run deficit, but fell just short in a 4-3 loss at Classic Park and dropped back into a tie with Great Lakes for first place in the High-A Central League East Division.
A Brandon Lewis bomb put the Loons in front early. The Loons rallied with two outs in the top of the first inning. Carson Taylor singled and Andy Pages drew a walk to put two on. Next up was Lewis and he lifted a three-run home run to left field to put the Loons on top, 3-0.
Jhonkensy Noel blasted a two-run shot in the fourth to pull the Captains back within a run. Aaron Bracho led off with a single through the left side and Noel followed with a bomb over the batter’s eye in center field to cut Great Lakes’ lead to 3-2.
Great Lakes added insurance in the sixth without the benefit of a hit. Reliever Nick Gallagher walked two and hit a batter to load the bases. Lefty Andrew Misiaszek took over for Gallagher, but hit Jonny DeLuca with the bags full to force home Taylor. The Loons extended their lead to 4-2.
The Captains cut into the Loons lead in the eighth to make the score 4-3. Julian Escobedo got hit by a pitch to lead off the eighth. José Tena reached on an infield single, then Christian Cairo moved the runners to second and third with a sacrifice bunt. After the Loons intentionally walked Noel to load the bases, Johnathan Rodriguez grounded out to shortstop but a run scored from third base with Escobedo trotting home.
Lake County stayed within one run thanks to stellar defense and clutch pitching in the top of the ninth. Ryan Ward began the frame with a deep drive to center field, but Julian Escobedo made a leaping catch at the wall to rob the Loons’ leadoff man of a home run. Great Lakes then put men on second and third with two outs. Taylor hit an infield single and Andy Pages walked. A wild pitch then advanced the runners, but reliever Eric Mock struck out Lewis to end the inning.
The Captains’ shot at a comeback came to an abrupt end in the bottom of the ninth. Micah Pries worked a leadoff walk and Quentin Holmes came in to pinch run. Raynel Delgado came up next. With a 1-2 count on Delgado, Holmes took off for second as Delgado swung through strike three. As Taylor threw to second, Delgado stumbled over home on the follow through and was called for interference. Holmes was called out to clear the bases. Reliever Jeff Belge then got Gianpaul González to pop out to first for the final out of the game.
Andrew Shaps (1-1) worked 2/3 of an inning to earn the win. He struck out one batter and hit another when he finished the fourth inning.
Daniel Espino (1-5) allowed three runs over five innings and struck out seven. The right-hander walked one and allowed just three hits.
Belge (4) earned the save by tossing the final four outs. He walked one and struck out two.
Mason Hickman is scheduled to start in the final game of the six-game series on Sunday night. First pitch at Classic Park is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.
About the Captains
The Lake County Captains are the High-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. For more information, visit the Captains’ website at www.CaptainsBaseball.com, Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/CaptainsBaseball, Twitter @LCCaptains and Instagram @LCCaptains. Fans can also get the latest Captains news and offers by signing up for the Captains’ newsletter, The Anchor.