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Delgado’s pinch hit blast lifts Picantes

Raynel Delgado hit a pinch-hit, go-ahead home run in the bottom of the eighth inning to lift Lake County to an 8-6 win on Wednesday. (Tim Phillis - TCP Photography)
September 15, 2021

(Eastlake, OH) – Raynel Delgado broke a tie game in the bottom of the eighth inning with a pinch hit two-run home run to power the Picantes de Lake County (63-53) to an 8-6 win over the Beloit Snappers (53-63) on Wednesday afternoon at Classic Park.

(Eastlake, OH) – Raynel Delgado broke a tie game in the bottom of the eighth inning with a pinch hit two-run home run to power the Picantes de Lake County (63-53) to an 8-6 win over the Beloit Snappers (53-63) on Wednesday afternoon at Classic Park.

A lead off walk to Christian Cairo started a first inning rally for Lake County. José Tena hooked a single down the right field line to put two on with nobody out. After a Jhonkensy Noel pop out, Micah Pries reached first on a fielder’s choice where Tena was forced out at second. Lake County had runners on the corners when Johnathan Rodríguez smoked a line drive to left field that could have been caught by JD Orr but he slipped and the ball just went over his head for a double. Cairo and Pries both scored to give the Picantes the lead. Rodríguez was on second with two outs when Joe Naranjo blooped a single to center field that drove in the third Picantes run of the first inning to give them a 3-0 lead.

Lake County added three more runs in the second inning. Julian Escobedo muscled a single up the middle with one out and Tena drew a two out walk to put two on base for Noel. With two strikes on Noel, Escobedo took off for third and just slid in safely. The ball bounced away from the third baseman Bennett Hostetler and trickled down the left field line. When the ball was mishandled by the shortstop Devin Hairston, Escobedo took off for home and made it safely. Tena made it to second in the midst of the chaos. With two outs and Tena in scoring position Noel launched an opposite field home run for his eighth as a Captain to put Lake County ahead 6-0.

Beloit got on the scoreboard in the top of the third. Devin Hairston walked with one out and Ricky Aracena followed with a double down the right field line. With runners on second and third a ball in the dirt bounced about 10 feet away from the Lake County catcher Gianpual Gonzalez. Hairston raced home from third to just beat the tag, making the score 6-1, Picantes.

The Snappers got another run back on an error in the top of the fourth. After Bennett Hostetler hit a one-out double to right-center, Troy Johnston followed with a single to right. Naranjo, the first baseman, cut the ball off on the throw from the outfield and threw to the first base bag, where second baseman Christian Cairo had slipped in behind Johnston. The throw got away and Hostetler scored to cut Lake County’s lead to 6-2.

Beloit cut further into Lake County’s lead in the sixth. Connor Scott led off with a triple and Hostetler followed with an RBI double to trim the Snappers’ deficit to 6-3. After Eric Mock walked Johnston, Nathan Ocker came in from the bullpen. After a two-out walk to Dustin Skelton loaded the bases, Hairston bounced a grounder to shortstop that Tena bobbled as he rushed to turn two. The error allowed Hostetler to score. Ocker then got the next two batters to pop out to leave the bases loaded and keep Lake County ahead, 6-4.

In the seventh the Snappers added another run in the seventh to make it 6-5, Lake County. With two outs Hostetler drew a walk. He moved to third on a single from Johnston, then scored on a wild pitch to cut the Beloit deficit to one run.

With two outs in the eighth inning the Snappers tied the game 6-6. With two outs Aracena laced a solo home run over the right field wall and the Picantes six-run lead was gone.

Joe Naranjo reached on an infield single with one out in the eighth. With two outs Lake County brought pinch hitter Ray Delgado off the bench. Delgado delivered a go ahead two-run home run to right field to put the Picantes up 8-6 over the Snappers.

Kevin Kelly (5-5) earned the win out of the bullpen for the Picantes. He allowed one run on three hits over two innings with four strikeouts.

Eli Villalobos (1-3) was handed the loss after allowing the Delgado home run. He allowed two runs on two hits with one walk and a strikeout in his only inning on the mound.

Nick Gallagher (3) earned the save by recording the final out for Lake County.

Zach Draper is scheduled to start game three of the six game series for Lake County on Thursday. First pitch at Classic Park is scheduled for 6:35 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, Facebook page at, Twitter @LCCaptains and Instagram @LCCaptains. Fans can also get the latest Captains news and offers by signing up for the Captains’ newsletter, The Anchor.