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Lake County Sentinel
Captains comeback again to top Whitecaps 9-4     
          BY TIM SHIRER
(EASTLAKE, OH) – The Lake County Captains played game four of their six game series with the West Michigan Whitecaps on Friday night. The games on Wednesday and Thursday night the Captains rallied late to win both contests taking the first three games of the series. On Friday night it happened again as the Captains were trailing 3-0 heading to the bottom of the fourth and scored eight unanswered runs to top the Whitecaps 9-4.

The Whitecaps once again took the early lead in the second inning off Captain’s starter Tanner Burns. With one out in the inning Burns issued a base on balls to Wenceel Perez. After a wild pitch by Burns moved Perez to second base Rey Rivera blasted his fifth home run of the season over the right field fence giving West Michigan a 2-0 lead.

West Michigan increased their lead to 3-0 in the third inning when Daniel Cabrera belted a Burns pitch over the center field fence, it was a solo shot and his fourth home run of the season.

The Captains got on the board and pulled to within one run at 3-2 in the fourth inning when Bryan Lavastida reached base on a one out walk issued by Whitecap’s starter Sandel De La Cruz. After the walk, Whitecap’s manager Brayan Pena replaced De La Cruz with Zac Shepherd. George Valera greeted Shepherd with a 423 foot home to right field that came off the bat at 104 mph.

The Captains took the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning when Shepherd continued to struggle. After retiring Victor Nova on a ground ball Quentin Holmes reached base on a single to pitcher. Will Brennan who has been clutch all year for the Captains followed with a double right field. It was Brennan’s 16th double of the season which leads the High-A Central and second in all minor league baseball. Finally with men on second and third Brayan Rocchio laced a single to right field driving home Holmes and Brennan.
Lake County added two more runs in the sixth inning when Jose Tena led the inning off with a single. Raynel Delgado then drew a base on balls to put men on first and second. After visit from West Michigan pitching coach and former Cleveland Indian Willie Blair Joe Naranjo lined a double to right field driving home Tena and Delgado increasing the Lake County lead to 6-3. That was the end of the night for Shepherd. Angel Reyes replaced Shepherd and worked himself into a jam by loading the bases but was able to escape any further damage as got Lavastida to line out the second baseman Perez to end the threat.

The Captains made it two runs for four innings straight in the seventh inning to increase the lead to 8-3.

Kevin Coulter picked up the win in relief for the Captains. The win was his third of the season and he is now 3-3 with a 7.61 ERA. Shepherd took the loss for the Whitecaps, it was his first of the season he is now 4-1 with a 6.12 ERA.

The Captains are now 22-18 and in second place a game and a half behind the first place Dayton Dragons.

The Captains and Whitecaps will play game five of the series on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. The Captains will send Eric Mock to the mound. Mock a right hander who is 0-1 with a 23.63 ERA. Beau Brieske will make the start for the Whitecaps. Brieske a right hander is 2-2 with a 4.66 ERA.. 
tshirer@lakecountysentinel.com or follow Tim on Twitter @TBBucsTim Check out our IndiansNation fan Page
​POSTED 06/18/2021 23:28
Lake County Captains right fielder George Valera.               Photo by Tommy Shirer