Will Benson's historic night leads first place Captains to 12-6 win over Cubs
BY TIM SHIRER
CAPTAINS BEAT WRITER
(EASTLAKE, OH) - The Lake County Captains returned home to Classic Park on Thursday night after a five-game road trip in which they went 2-3, but still maintained a half game first place lead in the Midwest League East Division. Captains right fielder Will Benson entered the game hitting a respectable .281 with 2 home runs and 8 RBI. When all was said and done in game one of the three game series with the visiting South Bend Cubs the Captains came out on top of the slugfest 12-6. Benson ended the night hitting .341 with 6 home runs and 16 RBI.
The first of Benson’s four home runs came in the first inning with Tyler Freeman on base on a 3-2 count and gave the Captains a 2-0 lead.
The second home run of the game led off the third inning and gave the Captains a 5-1 lead. The big slugger was just getting started.
After the Captains loaded the bases to start the fourth inning, with no outs Benson came to the plate and worked the count, fouling off six straight pitches. On the tenth pitch of the at-bat Benson smashed the ball deep over the center field fence for a grand slam, putting the Captains on top 11-1.
The final bomb of the night left the ballpark in the sixth inning of Benson’s bat to once again lead off the inning. After working the count once again on the sixth pitch he sent the baseball deep into the night over the center field fence giving the Captains a 12-1 advantage.
The 8 RBI performance tied a Captains record with Matt Knox. Knox a first baseman set the mark in 2003 when he belted two grand slams in one game. Benson now leads the Midwest League in home runs with six and is tied for the RBI lead with 16.
The four-home run performance in minor league baseball since 2014 when Mike Ford of the Charleston River Dogs achieved the feat. The four home runs in a single game is a Captains record.
Overshadowed by Benson’s great performance was that of Captains starting pitcher Shane McCarthy. McCarthy a righthander went six innings allowing one run it was earned on three hits. He also issued one base on balls while striking out four Cubs. McCarthy picked up the win and improves to 2-1 with a 1.13 ERA.
The Captains will be in action next on Friday night against the Cubs for game two of the series. Righty Riley Thomson will be on the mound for the Cubs. Thompson is 1-0 with a 0.93 ERA. Alex Royalty will take hill for Lake County. Royalty a righthander is 0-0 with a 3.60 ERA.
POSTED 04/18/2019 23:43