Captains win slugfest over Whitecaps 7-6
BY TIM SHIRER
CAPTAINS BEAT WRITER
(EASTLAKE, OH) - The Lake County Captains returned home on Tuesday night to begin a six-game series against the West Michigan Whitecaps (Detroit Tigers). Lake County was coming off a great 12 game road trip where they went 9-3 including 4-2 against the West Leading Cedar Rapids Kernels. The game was entertaining for the 1,823 in attendance as the Captains continued their hot streak with a7-6 win. The team has now won 10 of their last 13 games.
To say this game was a slugfest early is a massive understatement. To give some context it would like saying there has been a little bit of carving on Mount Rushmore.
The top of the first began with a home run on the second pitch of the game from Captains starter Tanner Bibee off the bat of Corey Joyce. The home run was Joyce’s second of the season and he was just getting started. Bibee then issued a five-pitch base on balls to Colt Keith. The base on balls prompted an early visit from Captains pitching coach Caleb Longshore. After the Longshore visit Bibee proceeded to issue a base on balls to Jake Holton top put men on first and second. After Bibee got Wenceel Perez to fly out to center field advance the runners to second and third Josh Crouch singled to left field driving home both Keith and Holton increasing the Whitecaps lead to 3-0. Bibee retired the next two hitters including striking out Ben Malgeri to end the inning and limit the damage to three runs.
The Captains offense was jealous of what they saw in the top of the first inning from the Whitecaps hitter and set out to do better. Connor Kokx led the bottom of the first off with a double. Joe Naranjo then drove him home with a single to left field cutting the Whitecaps lead to 3-1. After Alexfri Planez and Jhonkensy Noel grounded out Naranjo ended up at third base. Naranjo then scored when Angel Martinez singled to rightfield. Whitecaps starter Jordan Marks then uncorked a wild pitch and Martinez moved to third. He then crossed the plate with the tying run when Christian Cairo singled on a blooper to center field. The Captains were not done in the inning however.
After visit to the mound by West Michigan pitching coach Dean Stiles Cairo stole his third base of the season when he swiped second. Raynel Delgado then finished the scoring in the inning when he deposited a Marks pitch over the right field fence to give Lake County a 5-3 lead. The long ball was Delgado’s second of the season.
The Whitecaps struck right back in the top of the second inning with two runs on a pair of solo home runs by Trei Cruz, his third of the season and Joyce with his second of the game and third of the campaign tying the game at 5-5.
The Captains said not so fast and responded with two outs in the inning Naranjo drew a base on balls and was then driven home when Planez doubled to center field to put the Captains back on top 6-5.
As fate would have it the Whitecaps were not going away and responded with another run in the top of the third inning when Perez singled to lead off the inning. He then stole his 11th base of the season ending up at second. Bibee retired the next two Whitecaps including getting Austin Murr to whiff and looked to be out of trouble until he gave up a double to right field off the bat of Malgeri and Perez crossed the plate tying the game 6-6.
The Captains bullpen took over in the fourth inning and the Whitecaps in the fifth and things were quiet until the bottom of the seventh when the Captains regained the lead with a single run. With one out in the inning Martinez drew a base on balls off Whitecaps reliever Ted Stuka who entered to start the frame. Martinez then moved to second base on his seventh stolen base of the year. After the stolen base Cairo then singled on a ground ball to first base, Martinez scored when Whitecaps first baseman Jake Holton could not complete the play giving the Captains the 7-6 advantage.
Randy Labaut picked up the win for the Captains improves to 5-1 with a 2.28 ERA. Labaut pitched two and a third shut out inning allowing one hit, two base on balls and struck out one West Michigan batter. Zach Hart picked up the save pitching a 1-2-3 inning in the ninth striking out two Whitecaps. The save was Hart’s second of the season. Stuka took the loos for the Whitecaps falling to 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA. He pitched the seventh inning allowing one hit, a base on balls and one run it was earned.
The two teams will play game two Wednesday morning at 11 am. Carlos Guzman will take the mound for the Whitecaps. Guzman, a righthander is 0-3 with a 4.94 ERA. Aaron Davenport will tow the rubber for the Captains. Davenport, also a righty is 2-2 with a 2.89 ERA.
POSTED 05/31/2022 21:26