Captains end skid with 7-6 win over Loons
BY TIM SHIRER
CAPTAINS BEAT WRITER
(EASTLAKE, OH) – The Lake County Captains and Great Lakes Loons wrapped up their six-game series at Classic Park. The Loons winners of the last four games of the series coming into Sunday’s finale had outscored the Captains 25-1 in the last two wins of the four-game streak. But Sunday was a different story as the Captains bats came to life ending their skid holding on and securing the 7-6 victory.
The Captains got on the board first in the third inning with two outs when Micah Pries in his first at bat as a Captains battled Loon’s starter Jesus Vargas for seven pitches and on the eighth pitch sent it into orbit down the right field line over the wall to give the Captains a 1-0 lead.
The Captains lead increased to 2-0 in the fourth inning on three straight singles to start the inning by Brayan Rocchio, Bryan Lavastida and George Valera. Valera’s single drove home Rocchio.
The Loons got on the board in the top of the fifth when Joe Vranesh singled to lead off the inning. After Captains starter Mason Hickman got Deacon Liput to fly out to centerfield Vranesh stole second base, his 14th steal of the season. Zac Ching then singled and Vranesh moved to third base. Vranesh finally came home on a sacrifice fly to right field by Ryan January cutting the Captains lead in half at 2-1.
The Loons took the lead in the top of sixth 3-2. Brandon Lewis led off the inning with a solo home run to tie the game. The home run was Lewis’s 12th of the season. After Hickman retired the next two Loons Justin Yurchak blasted his fourth home run of the season over the right centerfield fence to give the Loons a one run lead.
The Captains retook the lead for good in the bottom of the sixth off Loon’s reliever Zack Plunkett who relieved Vargas to start the inning with a two out rally when Valera drew a base on balls. At that point Plunkett was relieved by Franklin De La Paz. De La Paz hit Victor Nova with a 1-2 fast ball and then Joe Naranjo drew a base on balls to load the bases. With Raynel Delgado at the plate De La Paz uncorked a wild pitch and Valera came home to tie the game. Nova moved to third and Naranjo moved to second on the pitch. Delgado then singled right field and both runners scored giving the Captains a 5-3 advantage.
The Captains extended the lead to 7-3 when Will Brennan singled to lead off the inning and was driven home when Rocchio belted his ninth home run of the season over the right field fence.
The Loons mounted a comeback but fell one run short when they scored three runs in the top of the ninth inning, but Captain’s reliever Kevin Kelly was able to get January to fly out to Valera in right field to end the game and preserve the victory.
Hickman picked up the win for Lake County and improved to 5-5 with a 5.01 ERA. De La Paz took the loss for the Loons and falls to 0-1 with a 1.93 ERA.
With the win the Captains move to within two games of the first place Loons with a record of 38-34.
The Captains will be off on Monday and will begin a six-game series on Tuesday in Dayton at 7:05 Against the Dragons. Pitchers for both clubs are to be determined.
POSTED 07/25/2021 21:55