Captains no-hit Whitecaps to complete doubleheader sweep
BY TIM SHIRER
CAPTAINS BEAT WRITER
(EASTLAKE, OH) - The Lake County Captains and West Michigan Whitecaps were scheduled to open the second half of the Midwest League season on Thursday night until Mother Nature decided it would rain. So, the two team played a doubleheader on Friday evening. The Captains were hoping to start the second half in a positive way as they had nice first half going 40-29 and clinching a post season berth. The Captains added to their season win total as they swept the twin bill 9-4 and 4-0 and threw a no-hitter in the second game to make the night of baseball a little more exciting for the 4,218 in attendance at Classic Park.
The Whitecaps jumped on top early in the first inning with one run off Captains starter Thomas Ponticelli. West Michigan added two more runs off Ponticelli in the second inning.
The Captains came storming back in the bottom of the second inning with two runs. With one out in the inning Jonathan Engelmann doubled to left field off West Michigan starter Adam Wolf. Wolf, a lefty then gave up a single to Daniel Schneemann and Engelmann scored Lake County’s first run, Schneemann ended up at second on the throw. Schneemann scored the Captains second run when the next batter Connor Smith singled to right field. The Captains were now down one run 3-2. Wolf retired the next two batter and prevent any further damage.
The Whitecaps extended their lead to two runs in the top of the fourth inning when Hector Martinez blasted a solo home run over the left center field fence. The home run was his third of the season and gave the Whitecaps a 4-2 lead.
Everything changed in the bottom of the fourth inning when the Captains put seven runs on the board, Wolf did not make it out of the inning, in fact the Whitecaps used three pitchers to get three outs in the frame. The inning included three base on balls (Miguel Jerez, Cody Farhat and Bo Naylor), two batters hit by pitches (Quentin Holmes, Jerez), a stolen base (Engelmann his first), three singles (Connor Smith, Jose Fermin, Engelmann) and the big blow in the inning a three run home run by Hosea Nelson. The home run by Nelson was his fifth of the season. When the dust settled, and Whitecaps reliever Angel Reyes recorded the final out of the inning the Captain led 9-4.
Ponticelli picked up the win for the Captains going five innings allowing four runs all earned on six hits. He also issued two base on balls and struck out three batters. With the win Ponticelli improves to 3-2 with a 5.58 ERA. Wolf took the loss for the Whitecaps. He lasted three and two third innings allowing six runs, all earned on six hits. He also issued two base on balls and struck out four Captains.
The second game was a lot different than game one. It was dominated by good pitching. Righty Robbie Welhaf was on the mound for the Whitecaps and southpaw Eli Lingos took the hill for Lake County.
Welhaf pitched well but allowed a solo home run to Cody Farhat in the third inning. The home run was Farhat’s first of the season. Farhat joined the Captains this week from a short stint with the Mahoning Valley Scrappers. Farhat was a 23rd round pick of the Cleveland Indians in 2018.
The Captains added another run, off Welhaf in the fourth inning when he issued a base on balls to Josh Rolette to start the frame. He then gave up a single to Fermin. With runners at first and second Jerez then singled driving home Rolette to increase the lead to 2-0.
The Captains finished the scoring with two more runs in the sixth inning. The big hit in the inning came on an RBI triple by Connor Smith, which plated the final run of the game.
Meanwhile Captains starting pitcher Eli Lingos was spinning a perfect game through four innings, striking out five batters. Lingos who had made 18 previous appearances for Lake County all out of the bullpen prior to his perfect night. Luis Araujo took over for Lingos to start the fifth inning and through two perfect frames striking out two Whitecaps. Kellen Rholl came into finish the game in the seventh, he also did not allow a hit, but issued one base on balls and hit batter, but preserved the no-hitter and Captains win. Araujo picked up the victory and improved to 1-1 on the season with a 1.17 ERA.
Captains manager Luke Carlin was happy after the game and said, “I’ve only seen one other combined no-hitter, but I think this was extra special because that it was our bullpen that did it.”
The other combined no-hitter that Carlin saw was on April 25, 2018 when Francisco Perez and James Karinchak combined to no-hit the Whitecaps in a doubleheader in which the Captains also swept.
Tonight’s no-no was the fifth time it has happened in franchise history. All five were combined no-hitters.
The Captains and Whitecaps will play game three of the four game series on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. Gio Arriera will make the start for the Whitecaps. Arriera is 2-4 with a 6.50 ERA. Alex Royalty will take the mound for the Captains. Royalty is a righthander and is 2-4 with a 4.75 ERA.
POSTED 06/21/2019 23:20