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Lake County Sentinel
Captains split DH with Snappers 
​        BY TIM SHIRER
Sunday Martin Cervenka drove home five runs to deliver a victory for the Lake County Captains in game one of Friday’s doubleheader against the Beloit Snappers at Pohlman Field. The Captains won the first game, 9-1, but fell in the second contest, 7-0.

Game one

Cervenka led a Captains offense that produced nine runs for the second time in three games. The right-handed-hitter went 2-for-3 at the plate with a double, five RBI and a run scored. He was one of three Captains to deliver multi-hit performances.

Cervenka gave Lake County a lift in the first. Lake County had runners on second and third with two outs when Cervenka smoked a ground ball up the middle. The grounder caromed off the second base bag and into center, scoring Willi Castro and Ordomar Valdez to give the Captains a 2-0 lead.

Jose Medina tacked on a run in the fifth with a solo homer down the right field. Medina’s fifth long ball of the year gave Lake County a 3-0 lead, but the Captains would really pull away in the sixth.

Beloit starter Dustin Hurlbutt walked the first two men he faced in the sixth. After Connor Marabell rolled a grounder up the first base line to move the runners to second and third, the Snappers pulled the infield in. Cervenka then shot a ground ball past the diving attempt of Edwin Diaz at shortstop. Valdez and Nathan Lukes scored, as Cervenka hustled to second with a double to give Lake County a 5-0 lead.

Immediately after Cervenka’s third and fourth RBI, Li-Jen Chu knocked Hurlbutt out of the ballgame. Chu slammed a line drive that hit Hurlbutt in the right foot. The Snappers pitcher walked off the field on his own power, but came out of the ballgame. Nolan Blackwood came in to pitch and the Captains responded by driving home another run with a fielder’s choice by Sam Haggerty to push the lead to 6-0.

Cervenka continued his onslaught as part of a three-run seventh inning. Bobby Ison led off the seventh with a single and Castro followed with a double to drive him home. After Valdez singled to reach base for the fourth time in the game, Lukes hit a high fly ball to left field, driving Castro home from third with a sacrifice fly. Marabell followed with a double and Cervenka hit a deep fly to center that brought home Valdez on a sacrifice fly. Cervenka’s fifth RBI of the game gave the Captains a 9-0 lead. Third baseman J.C. Rodriguez came in to pitch for Beloit at the end of the inning and stopped the bleeding with an inning-ending strikeout.

Beloit scratched across a run in the seventh against reliever Dominic DeMasi. Trace Loehr led off with a single and moved to second on a wild pitch. He scored on a two-out double by Rodriguez.

On the mound, Shao-Ching Chiang worked around early danger to turn in a solid outing and pick up the win. Chiang (6-7) walked three men over the first three innings, but stranded three men in scoring position in the process. The right-hander only surrendered one hit over five shutout innings. Chiang struck out three.

Cervenka led Lake County at the plate with his second five-RBI game of the year, but Castro and Valdez also had strong performances. Castro went 3-for-4 with a double, an RBI and two runs. Valdez reached base all four times he came to the plate and ended up scoring three runs. Valdez walked twice and singled twice, including a bunt single in the third inning.

Hurlbutt (2-1) took the loss. The right-hander went 5.1 innings and was responsible for six runs on seven hits. Hurlbutt surrendered three walks and struck out three.

The Captains’ victory sealed their second consecutive series win. It was Lake County’s first series win on the road since June 3-5, when the Captains took two out of three from the Great Lakes Loons at Dow Diamond.

Game two

The Captains were shutout by Beloit, thanks in part to a strong start by right-hander Angel Duno. Duno (6-4) held the Captains scoreless over 5.2 innings and lefty Jared Lyons took care of the rest to down Lake County in the back end of Friday’s twin-bill.

Outside of Duno’s efforts the Snappers’ offense stung Captains starter Casey Shane. Beloit took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning on a sacrifice fly by Chris Iriart. Though Shane left runners on the corners to escape the first with just one run allowed, he was not so fortunate in the third.

Beloit struck swiftly in the third. Justin Higley led off with a triple and Edwin Diaz quickly banged him home with a single. The Snappers then loaded the bases with two outs and Rodriguez, pinch-hitting for Robert Martinez, hit a sharp single to center. Diaz scored to give the Snappers a 3-0 lead, but luckily for Shane and the Captains, Lukes’ arm kept the damage in check. Lukes fired a strike to the plate and threw Iriart out trying to score for the final out.

Shane (5-8) lasted just 3.1 innings and ended up on the losing end. He surrendered three runs on seven hits and two walks. Shane struck out three.

The Snappers blew the game open in the sixth inning. Lake County reliever Christian Meister walked Loehr on four pitches to begin the inning and Jose Chavez bunted the runner to second. Higley then drove a double to score Loehr and give Beloit a 4-0 lead. Meister then hit Diaz with a pitch, marking the third time in the game that Diaz had been hit. Two batters later, with one out and two on, Iriart blasted a home run over the wall in left-centerfield. Iriart’s 11th home run of the year gave Beloit a commanding 7-0 lead.

Duno’s final line in the winning effort showed no runs over 5.2 innings and just three hits allowed. He walked one and struck out three. Jared Lyons pitched the final 1.1 innings without allowing a baserunner and nailed down his fourth save.

Lake County split the doubleheader with Beloit and will head to Appleton, WI to take on the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in a three-game series. Game one on Saturday night begins at 7:35 PM ET.

Individual game tickets are on sale at the Classic Park box office, online at captainsbaseball.com and by phone at 440-954-WINS (9467). 12-, 20-, and 35-game mini ticket plans for the 2016 season are on sale now at great prices complete with several exclusive benefits. Information can be found at the Captains website www.captainsbaseball.com.
tshirer@lakecountysentinel.com or follow Tim on Twitter @IndiansTim Check out our IndiansNation fan page
​POSTED 07/17/2016 16:42