Captains complete comeback to beat Dragons 5-4
BY TIM SHIRER
CAPTAINS BEAT WRITER
(EASTLAKE, OH) - The Lake County Captains had the day off on Easter Sunday and were back in action on Monday night to open a three-game series with the visiting Dayton Dragons. Fortunately for the Captains and the 1,174 fans in attendance at Classic Park the Captains completed a methodical comeback to secure the win 5-4.
One of the Cleveland Indians top pitching prospects Raymond Burgos was on the mound for Lake County. Burgos an 18th round pick by the Tribe in 2016 entered the game with a 2-0 record and a nice 1.84 ERA. Burgos did not have his best stuff on Monday night, and it showed as he gave up a home run to Dayton’s Mariel Bautista on the second pitch of the game to give the Dragons an early 1-0 lead. Burgos settled down and retired 10 straight batters until getting into more trouble and a high pitch count in the fifth inning which he did not survive the inning. The Dragons scored three more times in the inning to take a 4-0 lead. The runs included a one out solo home run by Reniel Ozuna. The home run by Ozuna was his first of the season. Zack Draper replaced Burgos to finish the fifth inning. When the dust settled in the top of the fifth inning the Dragons led 4-0.
The Captains got on the board for the first time in the bottom of the fifth when with two outs in the inning Jesse Berardi doubled to center field. At that point Dayton manager Luis Bolivar visited the mound to have a discussion with Dragons starting pitcher Jhon De Jesus. De Jesus then walked Quentin Holmes to put men on first and second for Wilbis Santiago. Santiago came through as he singled to center field driving home Berardi to pull the Captains to with three runs at 4-1. That ended the night for De Jesus. He was replaced by Alexis Diaz who finished the inning and prevented the Captains from pulling any closer.
The Captains continued their comeback in the bottom of the sixth inning with another run when Will Benson drew a base on balls to leadoff the inning. Diaz then retired the next two Captains batters before Bo Naylor singled to center field and Benson moved to second base. With Mitch Reeves at the plate Benson stole third base, putting men on the corners. The theft was Benson’s fifth of the season. Reeves then singled to left field and Benson crossed the plate with the Captains second run closing the gap to 4-2.
Lake County came all the way back in the seventh inning scoring two more runs to tie the game 4-4. After Holmes was retired for the first out in the inning Santiago singled through shortstop. Tyler Freeman then popped out to the second baseman and Santiago had to hold at first base. Benson then came to the plate and singled to right field and Santiago moved to third base. With Ruben Cardenas at the plate Benson stole his second base of the night and sixth of the campaign. Cardenas then singled to left field and both Santiago and Benson scored tying the game 4-4.
The Captains completed the comeback in the eighth inning when Andy Cox the fourth Dayton pitcher of the game entered the game. Reeves greeted Cox rudely, singling to lead off the inning. Then Berardi executed a perfect sacrifice bunt to move Reeves to second base. Holmes then struck out for the second out of the inning. Santiago the hero of the night came to the plate and singled to center field driving home Reeves putting the Captains on top 5-4.
Aaron Pinto came in to pitch the ninth inning for Lake County. He got into a little bit of trouble when Ozuna reached on a throwing error by Freeman with two outs in the inning. Pinto then allowed a base hit to Jonathan Willems and Ozuna moved to second base. That prompted a visit to the mound from Captains pitching coach Owen Dew. Whatever Dew said was enough as Pinto got Bautista to pop out to Freeman at shortstop to end the game and secure the Captains victory.
Jake Miednik picked up the win in relief for Lake County. Miednik went one inning to pick up his first win of the season and improve to 1-0 with a 4.76 ERA. The save for Pinto was his first of the year. Adrian Rodriguez blew the save in the seventh inning for the Dragons allowing two runs, it was his second blown save of the season. Andy Cox who relieved Rodriguez suffered the loss. Cox pitched one and one third innings allowing one run, it was earned on two hits. He also struck out one Captain. With the loss Cox falls to 0-1 with a 16.88 ERA.
With the win the first place Captains improve to 11-6 and hold a one and a half game lead over second place Bowling Green.
The Captains and Dragons will square off for game two of the series on Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. Righthander James Marinan will be on the mound for the Dragons. Marinan is 0-1 with a 3.95 ERA. The Captains will counter with their own righty Juan Mota. Mota is 0-2 with a 7.71 ERA.
POSTED 04/22/2019 18:30