Captains clipped by Cubs in 10 innings 7-5
BY TIM SHIRER
CAPTAINS BEAT WRITER
On Friday night the Lake County Captains started a four game series with the South Bend Cubs. The series was a battle for first place in the Midwest League Eastern Division. The first game went to the Cubs 7-5 in 10 innings.
The Cubs got on the board first in the top of the second inning with a single run off Captains starting pitcher Matt Esparza.
The Captains fired right back in the bottom of the inning with two runs off Cubs starter Adbert Alzolay. The inning began with Nathan Lukes reaching first base on a bunt single. Connor Marabell then doubled to left field and Lukes scored tying the game 1-1. Yonathan Mendoza then executed a sacrifice bunt and moved Marabell to third base. Marabell then scored and gave the Captains the lead when Bobby Ison hit a sacrifice fly to left field.
The Cubs regained the lead in the fifth inning with two more runs off Esparza.
Christian Meister relieved Esparza to start the seventh inning. Meister worked a scoreless seventh.
The Captains tied the game 3-3 in the bottom of the seventh on a solo home run by Marabell. The home run was his second of the season.
Meister in his second inning of work in the eighth struggled giving up two runs to the Cubs, which were the winning runs in the game.
The Captains who have been scrappy all season showed it again in the bottom of the ninth inning. The inning began with a single by Francisco Mejia. After Lukes struck out, Marabell came up and singled moving Mejia to second base. Mendoza then singled through second base to load the bases. Then once again Ison came to the plate and struck the big blow, singling to center field scoring Mejia and Marabell to tie the game 5-5. Nate Winfrey struck out to end the inning and send the game to extra frames.
Things went south fast in the tenth inning for the Captains and reliever Kieran Lovegrove. Lovegrove walked the first batter he faced Eddie Martinez on six pitches. Lovegrove then looked like he might not let the leadoff walk come back to haunt him as he retired the next two batters. Then Matt Rose came to the plate for the Cubs and deposited a long home run deep into the night 377 feet away over the left field bleachers to give the Cubs a 7-5 lead.
Lovegrove took the well deserved loss and falls to 1-2 on the year with an ERA of 4.76. Craig Brooks picks up the win for the Cubs and improves to 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA. James Norwood picked up the save, his fourth of the season.
With the loss the Captains (24-17) fall into a first place tie with the Cubs (23-16), but the Cubs are percentage points ahead of the Captains, .589 to the Captains .585.
The Captains and Cubs will play game two of the four game series on Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. Lefty Ryan Kellogg will be on the mound for the Cubs. Kellogg is 2-3 with a 4.50 ERA. Righthander Shao-Ching Chiang will tow the rubber for the Captains. Chiang is 2-3 with a 2.93 ERA.
POSTED 05/20/2016 21:30