Captains clinch Midwest League Eastern Division second half title
BY TIM SHIRER
CAPTAINS BEAT WRITER
(EASTLAKE, OH) - The Lake County Captains entered Saturday Night’s game with the Fort Wayne TinCaps with a magic number of one. The magic number is no more as the Lake County Captains beat the TinCaps 3-2 winning the Midwest League Eastern Division Title sending the 5,663 fans at Classic Park elated.
The TinCaps got on the board right away in the first inning with two outs when Brandon Valenzuela belted a home run off Captains starter Aaron Davenport over the wall in left field. The home run was his tenth and the third game in a row that he has played he has hit a long ball.
The TinCaps added a run to their lead in the second inning when Agustin Ruiz smashed a solo home deep over the right field wall. The home run was Ruiz eight of the season and gave Fort Wayne a 2-0 lead.
Meanwhile Fort Wayne starter Garrett Hawkins was mowing down Captains hitters through five innings he only allowed one hit when Petey Halpin reached base in the second inning.
The sixth inning was a different story. With one out in the inning Yordys Valdes singled. With Milan Tolentino at the plate Hawkins balked moving Valdes to second base. After Tolentino flew out Christian Cairo came to the plate and singled driving in Valdes cutting the Fort Wayne lead to 2-1. The big blow came next when Joe Naranjo hit a laser shot home run over the right field fence to give the Captains a 3-2 lead. The home run was Naranjo’s 18th home run of season and 24th in two seasons as a Captain.
Davenport got the win pitching six innings giving up just two runs and allowed only three hits, striking out eight Fort Wayne hitters. With the win He improves to 7-6 with a 4.21 ERA. Hawkins took the loss going six innings surrendering all three runs on five hits. He also struck out four hitters. With the loss he falls to 0-4, two of which have come at the hands of Lake County.
The win for Lake County was their 31st comeback win of the season on Saturday night and gives them a shot at the best overall record in the league on Sunday afternoon with a win. The team’s record overall stands at 76-53 (41-22 second half).
The playoff celebrations was literally two years in the making due to the fact that the Captains won the second half division title but did not qualify for the playoffs as only two teams made it and they finished one game behind the team with the second best overall record. Greg DiCenzo has been the manager of the team the past two season with an overall record of 141-108 in his time as the skipper.
The Captains will open the first round of the playoffs at home on Tuesday night at 7 pm.
The Captains and TinCaps will finish off the regular season portion of the schedule on Sunday at 1 pm. Bodi Rascon will be on the mound for the TinCaps. Rascon, a lefty is 1-2 with a 9.37 ERA. Rodney Boone will make the start for Lake County. Boone, also a southpaw is 5-4 with a 4.80 ERA.
POSTED 09/10/2022 23:06