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Lake County Sentinel
Captains run over by Hot Rods 11-3
​     BY TIM SHIRER
CAPTAINS BEAT WRITER
(EASTLAKE, OH) - The Lake County Captains took on the Bowling Green Hot Rods in game three of their four game series on Saturday night. It was Star Wars theme night at Classic Park. Things did not go well for the Captains as the Hot Rods had the dark side in their dugout and easily took down the Captains 11-3 sending the 4,122 at Classic Park home unhappy.

The bats were alive early for both teams. The Hot Rods struck first in the top of the first inning when Captains starter Shane McCarthy was the victim of an error by third baseman Jesse Berardi on a ground ball by the first batter of the game Michael Smith.
  McCarthy then gave up a single to Wander Franco and Smith moved to third. Franco then stole second base, that was his seventh stolen base of the season and put runners and second and third. McCarthy looked like he might escape trouble as he struck out the next two hitters, but Grant Witherspoon singled and both runners scored giving the Hot Rods a 2-0 lead. Roberto Alvarez then singled to center field and Witherspoon moved to second base. After a visit from pitching coach Owen Dew McCarthy gave up a double to Jake Palomaki and Witherspoon scored the Hot Rods third and final run of the inning.

The Captains struck right back like well lit lightsaber in the bottom of the first inning with three runs to tie the game. Jose Fermin in his first at bat since coming off the injured list singled to the shortstop. Tyler Freeman followed with his third home run of the season into the bleachers to pull the Captains to within one run at 3-2. Two hitters later Ruben Cardenas belted his fourth home run of the season, a solo shot over the left-center field wall on to the grass tying the game 3-3.
The Hot Rods re-took the in the top of the third inning when Chris Betts led of the inning with a home run. The homer was Betts’ sixth of the season.

Bowling Green added four more. McCarthy retired the first hitter of the inning on strikes and then got into trouble as issued a base on balls to Michael Smith. Franco then doubled and Smith moved to third. Then the big blow in the inning came when Kaleo Johnson smashed a McCarthy pitch over the left field fence for his fifth home run of the season. The home run gave the Hot Rods a 7-3 lead, but they were not done in the inning. McCarthy pitched to two more hitters, striking out one and issuing a base on balls to Witherspoon the last batter he faced. Riley Echols replaced McCarthy on the mound. Witherspoon stole second base, his ninth steal of the season and then scored when Roberto Alvarez singled to center field. The inning ended when Echols got Palomaki.

The Hot Rods added another run in the fifth inning when Tony Pena tripled on a hard line drive to right field and then came home on a single by Michael Smith extending their lead to 9-3.

The Hot Rods added two final runs in the ninth inning off Captains reliever Zack Draper.

Alan Strong picked up the win in relief for BG. Strong relieved Hot Rods starter Christopher Sanchez to start the fifth inning. Strong went three innings, allowing one hit and struck out five Captains. With the win Strong improves to 3-1 with a 1.88 ERA. McCarthy took the loss for Lake County. With the loss McCarthy falls to 4-3 with a 4.20 ERA.

The Captains and Hot Rods will finish up the series and home stand on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Easton McGee will take the mound for Bowling Green. McGee, a righthander is 3-0 with a 1.86 ERA. Righty Luis Oviedo will be on the hill for Lake County. Oviedo is 4-2 with a 4.13 ERA.
tshirer@lakecountysentinel.com or follow Tim on Twitter @IndiansTim Check out our IndiansNation fan Page
​POSTED 05/18/2019 22:01
Lake County Captains outfielder Ruben Cardenas.
Photo by Tim Shirer