Captains slug their way to fifth straight win with 8-4 thrashing of Kernels
BY TIM SHIRER
CAPTAINS BEAT WRITER
(EASTLAKE, OH) - The Lake County Captains and Cedar Rapids Kernel’s continued their six-game series on Thursday night with game three of the series. The Captains took the first two games extending their win streak to four games. The Captains added on to the win streak and it now stands at five as they slugged their way to an 8-4 win.
The Captains got on the board first in the third inning against Kernel’s starter Luis Rijo. The inning began when Aaron Bracho drew a walk to lead off the inning. After Mike Amditis struck out Korey Holland doubled centerfield moving Bracho to third base. Milan Tolentino then reached on ground ball fielder’s choice and throwing error by Kernel’s second baseman Mikey Perez. Bracho scored on the play and Holland moved to third. With runners at the corners Joe Naranjo singled to right field scoring Holland with the Captains second run and moving Tolentino to third. Alexfri Planez then added a single to center field driving home Tolentino with the third and final run of the inning. Petey Halpin followed with a single but moving Naranjo to third. Naranjo was then thrown out at the plate on a fielder’s choice hit by Connor Kokx to the right fielder. Kernel’s manager Brian Dinkelman had seen enough and pulled Rijo in favor of reliever Derek Molina who got Gabriel Rodriguez to ground out and prevent any further damage.
The Captains added to their lead in the fifth inning with three straight singles by Naranjo, Planez and Halpin to lead off the inning. Naranjo scored on the Halpin single with the Captains fourth run. Kokx then reached on a fielding error by Cedar Rapids shortstop Wander Javier to load the bases. After Molin struck out Rodriguez he was replaced by Bradley Hanner. Hanner proceeded to walk Bracho and send Planez home with the Captains fifth run. The inning ended when Amditis grounded into a double play.
The relentless group of scrappy Captains plated three more runs in the sixth inning to put the final nail in the Kernel’s coffin. With out in the inning Holland doubled, Tolentino singled driving home holland, Naranjo then singled putting men on first and second. After a visit to the mound by Kernel’s pitching coach Richard Salazar Planez grounded out moving Tolentino and Naranjo to second and third. Halpin then grounded out driving home Tolentino and moving Naranjo to third with two outs. Kokx then tripled to center field driving home Naranjo with the third run of the inning giving Lake County an 8-0 lead.
The Kernel’s broke through in the seventh inning with two runs off Tommy Mace who started for Lake County and had only given up two hits through the first six innings. Mace retired the first Kernel’s hitter on a fly ball in the inning and then issued a base on balls to Seth Gray. He then got Jake Rucker to fly out to right field for the second out of the inning and it appeared the walk his second of the night would not hurt him. Kernel’s catcher Pat Winkel had other ideas as he appeared to hit the ball just left of the left field foul pole onto the grass behind the wall, it was called foul initially by home plate umpire Kyle Stutz. Stutz then looked down the line conferred with base ump Glen Meyerhofer and reversed the call giving Winkel his sixth home run of the season and pulling the Kernel’s to within six runs at 8-2.
The Kernel’s added two more in the ninth inning on a two-run home run by Seth Gray off Jack DeGroat. The long ball is his 15th of the season.
Mace picked up his first win of the season and improves to 1-5 with a 4.65 ERA. Rijo took the loss and falls to 0-3 with a 7.80 ERA.
With the win the Captains and the West Michigan Whitecaps loss to South Bend the Captains division lead grows to three games in the Midwest League Eastern Division. The Captains magic number is now at 13 for the Captains to clinch the second half division title.
The Captains and Kernels will continue the series on Friday. David Fiesta will take the mound for the Kernels. Fiesta, a righthander is 6-2 with a 2.45 ERA. Rodney Boone takes the mound for the Captains. Boone, a lefty is 4-3 with a 5.73 ERA..
POSTED 08/25/2022 21:34