Bullpen falters as Captains fall 7-1 to Cougars
(GENEVA, IL) - Will Benson hit his team-leading sixth home run and Kirk McCarty struck out seven batters over seven innings, but the Lake County Captains (13-16) lost to the Kane County Cougars (13-15) on Monday. The Captains dropped the series opener at Northwestern Medicine Field, 7-1.
Monday's game was highlighted by great pitching and defense. Though the finest play of the game resulted in a run for Kane County, that should not diminish the work by Captains centerfielder Austen Wade. In the bottom of the first inning, the Cougars had runners on the corners with one out when Renae Martinez hit a deep drive to centerfield. Wade turned around and sprinted after the ball that looked like it would clear his head, but the centerfielder dove straight back and made a web-gem grab for the out. Gabriel Maciel tagged up from third to give the Cougars a 1-0 lead on the play.
Benson knotted the score in the fourth inning. With one out and nobody on, Benson lifted a pitch by Kane County starter Brian Shaffer to deep left-centerfield. The ball cleared the wall and glanced off the edge of the scoreboard for Benson's sixth home run of the season, tying the score at 1-1. Earlier in the game, Benson had worked his team-leading 23rd walk of the season, as well.
The Captains had a chance to take the lead in the fifth, but shortstop Jazz Chisolm intervened with a stellar defensive play. Lake County loaded the bases with one out on a single by Jonathan Laureano an error that allowed Ernie Clement to reach and a walk to Wade. Jorma Rodriguez then hit a slow tapper toward the second base bag. Chisolm picked up the ball slightly in front of second, raced back to the base for the force out, contorted his body and fired to first base for an inning-ending double play to keep the game tied.
Chisolm struck again in the sixth, this time with the bat. Leading off the inning against McCarty, Chisolm went down to one knee and launched a solo home run over the roof of the right field picnic patio to give the Cougars a 2-1 lead. Later in the inning, McCarty hit Martinez with a pitch, Eduardo Diaz hit an infield single and Yan Sanchez doubled home Martinez to make the score 3-1. The Cougars plated four more runs in the eighth off of Jonathan Teaney to put the game out of reach.
McCarty (1-2) turned in one of his best performances of the year, but was saddled with the loss. The lefty pitched a career-high seven innings and struck out seven men, while walking just one. McCarty gave up three runs on six hits.
Shaffer (1-2) earned his first win of the year, narrowly out-pitching McCarty. The right-hander allowed just one run over seven innings, also on six hits. He struck out three and walked two.
The Captains and Cougars play game two of their three-game series on Tuesday afternoon. First pitch at Northwestern Medicine Field is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. EST..
POSTED 05/06/2018 16:44