Eastlake, OH - Jordy Lara wasn't even in the starting lineup on Thursday night at Classic Park. By the end of the night he played a huge role in Clinton's 3-2 win over Lake County to open the three-game set.
Lara hit a two-out, go-ahead solo homer in the top of the eighth inning off Captains reliever Josh Martin to take a 3-2 lead. Martin, who was on in relief of Mitch Brown, had retired the first 11 batters he faced before Lara hit a towering drive that hugged the left-field line. When home plate umpire Evan Barger signaled home run, Martin and Lake County Manager Scooter Tucker disputed the call, but to no avail.
The pitching was stellar all night for Clinton. Staked to a 1-0 lead before he even took the mound, LumberKings starter Victor Sanchez allowed two first inning runs due to shaky defense. Only one of the runs was earned as the second scored after a dropped fly ball that would have ended the inning.
Sanchez dialed in quickly after the long first inning. Beginning with the fielder's choice to end the first, the right-hander retired 15 of 17 before exiting after six innings. Sanchez, 18, is the second-youngest player in the Midwest League. He was added to the LumberKings roster on Tuesday when right-hander Stephen Landazuri was promoted to High-A High Desert.
Matt Vedo relieved Sanchez and threw two scoreless innings with four strikeouts. Blake Hauser got the call for the ninth inning and didn't disappoint. He struck out Eric Haase to start the frame but then allowed a single to center to Erik Gonzalez. Hauser then got Leonardo Castillo to bounce into a 6-4-3 double play to end the game.
The one-run win is only the second of the season for the LumberKings, despite playing in a league-high ten. Vedo picked up the win and Hauser notched his second save of the season.
The two teams meet for game two on Friday at Classic Park. The LumberKings send left-hander Tyler Pike (0-2, 2.00) to the mound against Lake County right-hander Jake Sisco (0-2, 1.72). First pitch is scheduled for 5:30 PM CT.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.