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Lake County Sentinel
Captains walk to victory over Kernels 8-3 
​     BY TIM SHIRER
CAPTAINS BEAT WRITER
(EASTLAKE, OH) - The Lake County Captains and Cedar Rapids Kernels took the field on Friday night with a game time temperature of 89 degrees and near 100% humidity. The Kernels took the first two games of the three-game series 5-4. Friday was Italian Heritage night at Classic Park and a celebration of the 50-year anniversary of the Moon Landing which happened July 20, 1969. Fortunately for the 5,898 in attendance at Classic Park the Captains avoided the sweep beating Cedar Rapids 8-3.

The Kernels got on the board early in the first inning with two runs off Captains starter Thomas Ponticelli. The runs came on two solo home runs. The first homer came with one out off the bat of Gilberto Celestino. The long ball for Celestino was his fifth of the season. Home run number two was courtesy of Gabe Snyder. The home run by Snyder was his 11th of the season.

The third run came courtesy of another home run. This time off the bat of Trevor Casanova. The home run by Casanova was his fourth of the season and extended the Kernels lead to 3-0.

Cody Farhat hat put the Captains on the board in the fourth inning when he blasted a solo home run over the center field wall closing the gap to 3-1.

The night of home runs continued in the seventh inning when Hosea Nelson blasted a solo home run over the right-center field fence to pull the Captains to within one run at 3-2. The home run for Nelson was his eighth of the season.

The Captains tied the game and scoring on something other than a home run when Ruben Cardenas drew a base on balls to lead off the inning. Bo Naylor then moved Cardenas to second base on a sacrifice bunt. Cardenas then scored when Jose Fermin singled on a hard-line drive to right field. Farhat then drew a base on balls to put men at first and second. At that point Kernel’s manage Brian Dinkelman had seen enough and he changed pitchers bringing in Alex Schick in replace of Kody Funderburk. Schick issued a base on balls to the first two hitters he faced. The first to Connor Smith loaded the bases and then the second to Miguel Jerez was the big blow as it drove home Fermin and gave the Captains a 4-3 lead. Schick then helped his cause as he struck out Nelson for the second out of the inning. But then Kernel’s catcher Trevor Casanova was charged with a passed ball and Farhat scored from third extending the Lake County lead to two runs at 5-3. Schick then issued a base on balls to Quentin Holmes and was removed from the game. He was replaced by Nate Hadley. Hadley was no better as he issued a base on balls to Daniel Schneemann and Smith scored Lake County’s sixth run. The good news for Hadley was he did not walk the next batter Cardenas; the bad news was Cardenas singled and drove home two runs extending the Captains lead to five runs at 8-3. Hadley finally ended the inning when he struck out Naylor, but the damage had been done.

Luis Valdez picked up the win in relief for Lake County. Valdez went two innings allowing only one base hit and issued one base on balls but struck out four Kernels. With the win Valdez improves to 0-1 with a 0.00 ERA Funderburk took the loss for the Kernel’s. Funderburk went two and one third allowing four runs, all earned on two hits and issued two base on balls while striking out three Captains. With the loss Funderburk falls to 0-1 with a 3.66 ERA. 

The Captains will welcome the Peoria Chiefs to town next to begin a three-game series on Saturday night. The Captains will be celebrating Cleveland Sports History night. Guests will include Cleveland native and current New Orleans Saints receiver Ted Ginn, Jr., former Cleveland Indians pitcher Julian Tavares, Ricky Stanzi, former Lake Catholic graduate who played at Iowa and in the NFL for the Kansas City Chiefs and Jacksonville Jaguars. Siamak "Matt" Ghaffari former Cleveland State Vikings wrestler and 1996 Olympic Silver Medalist in Atlanta. Browns legend Josh Cribbs will also be in attendance.
Lefty Connor Thomas will be on the mound for the Chiefs. Thomas will be making his Midwest League debut. The Captains will counter with Alex Royalty. Royalty a righthander is 5-4 with a 3.59 ERA.
tshirer@lakecountysentinel.com or follow Tim on Twitter @IndiansTim Check out our IndiansNation fan Page
​POSTED 07/19/2019 22:53
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Photo by Tim Shirer