Picantes win series finale with TinCaps 3-0
BY TIM SHIRER
CAPTAINS BEAT WRITER
(EASTLAKE, OH) – Sunday afternoon marked the end of the first homestand of the 2021 season for the Lake County Captains. The homestand consisted of a six-game series with the visiting Fort Wayne TinCaps. The Captains took five of six games in the series including Sunday’s finale with a 3-0 shutout of the TinCaps.
The finale was a celebration of Latin American baseball as the Captains were rebranded to the Picantes for the day and in celebration wore their neon Green jerseys.
Sunday’s game as most of the games in the series had been was a pitcher’s duel as the starting pitching for both clubs were mowing down hitters like a John Deere Tractor. Lefty Ethan Elliot who started game one of the series was on the mound for the TinCaps. Elliot went six shut out innings allowing only one hit and strike out 13 Picantes. On the other side Captains starter, right hander Mason Hickman was just a little better as he went five no hit innings, issuing two base on balls and striking out seven TinCaps hitters. Hickman was a fifth-round draft pick by the Indians in the 2020 draft.
With the excellent pitching by both sides the only inning where the bats took center stage was the bottom of the seventh when the Picantes rallied to score three runs. The inning began when Brayan Rocchio was hit by a pitch by Fort Wayne reliever Sam Keating. Keating entered the game to start the inning in relief of Elliott. Will Brennan then followed with a single and runners were at first and second for Jose Tena. Tena then singled to shallow left field when the ball dropped between the TinCaps third baseman, shortstop and left fielder loading the bases for Lake County. The big blow in the inning came next when Aaron Bracho doubled to right field driving home Rocchio and Brennan give the Picantes a 2-0 lead. The final tally of the inning came next when Joe Naranjo came to the plate and grounded out to first base and Tena trotted home giving the Picantes an insurmountable 3-0 lead.
Picantes reliever Nathan Ocker got the win. Ocker went two shutout innings allowing one hit and struck out two TinCaps. With the win Ocker improves to 1-0 with a 3.24 ERA. Tim Herrin picked up the save, his first of the year, also pitching two innings and allowing one hit while striking out three Fort Wayne hitters. Keating took the loss for the TinCaps. He went one inning allowing three runs, all earned on three hits and hit a batter to fall to 0-2 on the season with a 21.60 ERA.
With the win the Picantes improve to 8-4 on the season and currently in second place and are a half game out of first place in the High-A Central East Division.
The Captains will now head out on the road for a 12-game road trip. First stop Midland. Michigan where they will start a six-game series with the Great Lakes Loons on Tuesday night at 6:05 p.m. Starting pitchers are TBA for both teams.
POSTED 05/16/2021 16:43