Captains fall to Cubs in MWL Championship series
BY TIM SHIRER
CAPTAINS BEAT WRITER
(EASTLAKE, OH) - The Lake County Captains and visiting South Bend Cubs played one final game on Wednesday night for the highest stakes possible the Midwest League Championship. The best of three series was tied 1-1 entering the game. The Captains won game one in South Bend 11-8 and the Cubs countered by winning game two on Tuesday night 4-3. The baseball gods once again chose the Cubs as South Bend prevailed in game three to win the 2022 MWL Championship their second title in five year as they beat the Clinton Lumberkings in 2019.
The game was quiet offensively for the first then things heated up. Captains’ starter Aaron Davenport did not survive the third inning as the Cubs scored five runs in the top of the third on two home runs. The first long ball was a three-run shot off the bat of Owen Caissie. After getting the next batter out Davenport surrendered a single to BJ Murray Jr and that was the end of his night as Captains manager Greg DiCenzo opted for Richard Burgos. That was a problem as the move made sense going to usually very dependable Raymond Burgos, but in this case he was not. On a 3-1 pitch Pablo Aliendo smacked a home run over the center field fence giving the Cubs a 5-0.
The bottom of the inning was similar as the Captains came back with three runs. The inning began with a Mike Amditis double followed by a single by Joe Naranjo driving in Amditis with the Captains first run. Connor Kokx then moved Naranjo to third base. After Petey Halpin lined out hard to the shortstop Cubs starter Porter Hodge uncorked a wild pitch and Naranjo scored the second Lake County run. The final run of the inning came with two outs and Milan Tolentino singled to bring home Kokx with the third run.
The Cubs added two runs in the fifth inning when Burgos issued a base on balls Caissie and then the big blow when Luis Verdugo belted a long home run to give the Cubs a 7-3 lead.
The Captains put one final run on the board in the eighth inning when Kokx tripled to lead off the inning. After Halpin struck out Alexfri Planez hit a sacrifice-fly to right field sending home Kokx with the fourth and final run of the season.
Hodge picked up the win for the Cubs working five innings allowing three runs all earned on five hits. He issued two base on balls and struck out two. The win was his first of the post season. Davenport took the loss for the Captains.
The Captains finished the regular season with a record of 76-53 which was the best record in the Midwest League. In two seasons as the Skipper for Lake County Greg DiCenzo had a record of 141-108. His two-season record is 2nd all-time to Luis Rivera who managed the Captains for their first two seasons in Lake County in 2003-04.
The Captains are now of until the 2023 season begins on April 6th when they open the season against the Dayton Dragons at Classic Park. Pitchers for both clubs are TBD.
POSTED 09/21/2022 23:19