Captains sweep Cubs in twin bill
BY TIM SHIRER
CAPTAINS BEAT WRITER
(EASTLAKE, OH) – The Lake County Captains returned home on Tuesday to begin a six game homestand with the South Bend Cubs. Unfortunately, the Captains brought storm weather to home with them causing Tuesday’s game to be postponed due to weather. On Wednesday night the Captains and Cubs tried again but were sunk not only by the weather but by downed power lines when two vehicles were involved in an accident on Vine Street. The game was postponed. So that brings us to Thursday where the two teams squared off in a doubleheader, two seven inning games. The Captains swept the twin bill with a 5-4 win in game one and a come from behind 3-2 win in game two in front of 1,576 happy fans at Classic Park.
In game one the Captains got on the board first in the second inning when Jose Tena led off the inning with a solo home run to right center field of South Bend righthanded starter Max Bain. The long ball was Tena’s fifth of the season.
The Cubs tied the game in the fourth inning when Captains righthanded prospect Xzavion Curry issued a base on ball to Edmond Americaan to lead off the inning. After striking out Nelson Velazquez Grayson Boyd doubled down the right field line scoring Americaan to tie the game 1-1. Curry was able to escape the inning without any further damage by retiring the final two batters.
The Captains came right back in the bottom of the fourth with four runs. The big blow in the inning after Joe Naranjo drew a lead off base on balls was Victor Nova blasting his second home run over the right center field fence to put the Captains on top 3-1. Tena, also drove in two runs with a single when he drove home Will Brennan and Bryan Lavastida both reached on singles extending the Captains lead to 5-1.
The Cubs did not go away. In the fifth inning they chipped away with two runs, both via solo home runs by Bradlee Beesley and Jake Washer. For Beesley it was his second home run of the season and Washer’s shot was his first of the season.
The final run of the game pulled the cubs to within one run in top of the sixth when Grayson Byrd belted his first home run with the South Bend Cubs and his second of the season. Byrd has had stops at Double-A Tennessee and Low-A Myrtle Beach prior to joining the Cubs for this series. Byrd was a 24th round pick of the Chicago Cubs in 2019 out of Clemson. Grayson’s dad Paul pitched for the Indians from 2006 to 2008 and was a big part of the Indians 2007 team that advanced to within one game of the World Series losing to the Boston Red Sox and Terry Francona 4-3. Byrd was 15-8 with a 4.59 ERA.
Curry picked up the win for Lake County and improved to 1-0 with a 2.66 ERA. Kevin Kelly picked up his fifth save of the season pitching the final one and two thirds’ innings allowing only one hit. Max Bain took the loss for the Cubs falling to 2-3 with a 5.53 ERA.
The second game was a pitcher duel between Captain’s starter, lefty Logan Allen and South Bend starter righthander Matteo Bocchi. Bocchio hails from Parma, Italy. He was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Chicago Cubs in 2019. Logan Allen was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the second round out of Florida International in 2020. Allen went six innings allowing two runs, neither run was earned. He scattered six hits, issued one base on balls while fanning nine South Bend batters. Bocchio was just a little bit better going five scoreless innings allowing just one hit while striking out four Captains hitters.
The Cubs two runs came in top of the fifth inning when Beesley drove both runs home on an RBI single to center field giving the Cubs a 2-0 lead. It did not last long.
In the bottom of the sixth inning Austin Wade drew a lead off walk for Lake County. Clark Scolamiero who just joined the Captains and was playing his first game for Lake County in 2021 came to the plate and deposited South Bend reliever Burl Carraway’s pitch over the rightfield fence to tie the game 2-2. The Captains were not done. Carraway then issued a free pass to Brennan and got Tena to line out to left field. With George Valera at the plate Carraway uncorked a wild pitch and Brennan moved to second base. Eventually Valera drew a base on balls to put men on first and second. Naranjo then single sharply on a line drive to center field loading the bases for Raynel Delgado. Delgado grounded to the second baseman retiring Naranjo, but Delgado was safe at first and Brennan crossed the plate with the go ahead run giving the Captains a 3-2 lead.
Allen picked up the win for Lake County improving to 5-0 with a 1.58 ERA. Tim Herrin picked up the save pitching a scoreless seventh inning. It was his second save of the season. Carraway took the loss for Cubs blowing the save and falling to 2-1 with a 10.29 ERA, it was his first blown save.
With the win the Captains improve to 27-23 in second place a game and a half out of first place behind the Dayton Dragons.
The Captains and Cubs will play a single game on Friday night at 7:00 p.m. Righthander Derek Casey will take the mound for South Bend. Casey is 3-5 with a 3.66 ERA. Tanner Burns, also a right hander will be on the hill for the Captains. Burns is 2-3 with a 3.34 ERA..
POSTED 07/01/2021 21:48