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Lake County Sentinel
Captains lose seventh straight in 10-9 loss to Dragons  
(EASTLAKE, OH) – The Lake County Captains limped home on Tuesday night to open a six-game series with the Dayton Dragons. The Captains returned to Classic Park after a 12-game road trip against the Great Lakes Loons and West Michigan Whitecaps. Lake County was 3-9 on the trip, dropping the last six games, getting swept by the Whitecaps. Things did not go much better as the Captains dropped a 10-9 walk fest, 13 base on balls issued by Lake County falling for the seventh straight time and 10th in 11 games.

The Dragons drew first blood when they got on the board in the second inning off Captain’s starter Hunter Gaddis. Gaddis worked out of trouble in the first inning when the first two Dragon hitters reached base when he hit the game’s leadoff hitter Jacob Hurtubise, he then issued a six pitch walk to Michael Siani to put men on first and second. Gaddis however retired the next three, the third hitter on a fly ball and the next two hitters on strikes to get out of the first inning with any damage. The second inning was a different story as Gaddis retired the first two hitters then issued a walk to Bren Spillane. Spillane then stole second base with Francisco Urbaez at the plate. The theft was Spillane’s six of the season. Urbaez then drove him home when he singled to center field giving Dayton the early 1-0 lead.

Gaddis found himself in more trouble in the third inning when Siani drew his second walk of the game in as many plate appearances. Gaddis then did himself no favors as he uncorked a wild pitch and Siani moved to second base. After the wild pitch he walked Quincy McAfee. Captains pitching coach Kevin Ermino strolled to the mound to give some encouragement to Gaddis. Whatever Ermino said must have worked, at least temporarily as Gaddis got Quin Cotton to fly out to centerfield and the runners held. Yes, you read right, there is a Quincy followed by a Quin in the Dragons lineup, this might be a first in baseball history. Gaddis continued to struggle with his control issuing base on balls to the next two hitters Alex McGarry and Eric Yang, the Yang walked forced home Siani giving the Dragons a 2-0 advantage. The damage was not complete. DiCenzo then replaced Gaddis with Nathan Ocker. Ocker got Miguel Hernandez to hit a ground ball to the shortstop Jose Tena, Tena tossed the baseball to Aaron Bracho, Bracho then made and errant throw to first base allowing McAfee and McGarry to score as Hernandez was safe at first. Only one of the runs on the play was earned. It looked as though more trouble was brewing when Ocker issued a base on balls to Spillane. Ocker was able to avoid more trouble as he then retired Urbaez on strikes to end the inning.

The Captains came right back in the bottom of the third and cut the Dragons lead in half. After Dayton starter Spencer Stockton retired the first two hitters in the inning Quentin Holmes singled sharply to center field. Then Will Brennan came to the plate, Holmes stole second base, his first of the season. Brennan then pulled a Stockton pitch hitting a laser shot down the right field line for his first home run of the season, the Captains now trailed 4-2.

The Dragons added three more runs in the sixth inning off Captain’s reliever Kellen Rholl. Entered the game to start the sixth and failed to finish the inning going two thirds of an inning allowing three runs, all earned on three base hits and a hit batsman.

Things looked bleak for Lake County as the game headed to the bottom of sixth trailing 7-2. The Captains offense said not so fast. Jonathan Englemann who was pinch hitting for Holmes led off the frame with a double. After Brennan flew out to center field Brayan Rocchio singled right field moving Englemann to third base. After Bracho struck out swinging on a wild pitch, Rocchio moved to second base. With two runners in scoring position Tena singled on a hard line drive to left field scoring Englemann and Rocchio pulling the Captains within three runs at 7-4 after six innings.

Lake County came all the way back in the bottom of the seventh when Michael Amditis singled to leadoff the inning. The next two Captains Victor Nova and Englemann. With Englemann at the plate Amditis stole his first bag of the season moving to second base. Brennan then drove a single to center field scoring Amditis. Brennan ended up at second base on a throwing error by Siani. After Dayton pitching coach Brian Garman visited the mound to talk with Dragon’s reliever Jacques Pucheu, Pucheu then gave up a scorching double to left field off the bat of Rocchio driving home Brennan to pull the Captains to within one run at 7-6 and ending Pucheu’s night. Dragon’s manager Jose Moreno replaced Pucheu with Jack Gilbert a decision that he might have regretted.

  Before Gilbert threw a pitch he balked and moved Brennan to third base. Three pitches later Bracho blasted a Gilbert pitch over the center field fence to give the Captains an 8-7 lead.

Unfortunately for Captains fans in attendance the Captains walk fest continued with one out in the eighth inning Siani drew his third walk of the game, moved to second on his eighth stolen base of the season and then moved to third on a pass ball by Admitis. Saini then scored when McAfee hit a sharp ground ball to second base, Bracho threw home, but Siani slid under the tag to tie the game 8-8.

The Captains kept fighting retaking the lead in the bottom of the eighth when Joe Naranjo singled to leadoff the inning. After Raynel Delgado was hit by a pitch Gilbert the Captains had men of first and second for Admitis who grounded into a double play but moved Naranjo to third base. Naranjo then came home with Nova at the plate when Gilbert uncorked a wild pitch putting the Captains back on top 9-8.

The lead was short lived as the Dragons scored two runs in the ninth inning. The first run came when Eric Yang scored on an error by Captain’s reliever Nick Gallagher who entered the game to start the inning. With the score tied 9-9 and bases loaded, McAfee drew his third walk of the contest and Hernandez who had singled earlier in the inning trotted home with what would end up being the winning run giving the Dragons a 10-9 lead.

The Captains were retired 1-2-3 in the bottom of the ninth.

Gilbert got the win for Dragons and improves to 3-0 with a 5.11 ERA. Gallagher took the loss for Lake County blowing his first save of the season. With the loss he falls to 0-2 with a 2.45 ERA.

Wednesday night will be game two of the six game series with the Dragons. First pitch will be at 7:00 p.m. Righty Lyon Richardson will be on the mound for Dayton. Richardson is 1-1 with a 1.10 ERA. Southpaw Logan Allen will make the start for the Captains. Allen is 2-0 with an 0.83 ERA.
tshirer@lakecountysentinel.com or follow Tim on Twitter @TBBucsTim Check out our IndiansNation fan Page
​POSTED 06/01/2021 22:18
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Lake County Captains Pitcher Hunter Gaddis.                          Photo by Tim Shirer