Captains drop game two of MWL Championship series 4-3
BY TIM SHIRER
CAPTAINS BEAT WRITER
(EASTLAKE, OH) - Exactly 12 years ago (September 20) tonight Ted Kubiak’s 2010 Lake County Captains won the team’s first Midwest League Championship defeating the Clinton Lumberkings at Classic Park. Fast forward to 2022 and Greg DiCenzo’s Captains team entered Tuesday night’s game two of the MWL Championship series leading 1-0 having a chance to clinch the title on this historic date in club history if they could defeat the South Bend Cubs. Another September 20th Championship was not in the cards for Lake County as they dropped game two 4-3 in front of a nice Tuesday night crowd of 2,432.
After the top of the first inning where Captains starter Tommy Mace struck the first two out in a clean inning the Captains offense took control in the bottom of the inning when Cubs starter Luis Devers walked Joe Naranjo to start the inning. Connor Kokx and Petey Halpin then both singled to shallow right field to load the bases with no outs. After striking out Alexfri Planez Milan Tolentino hit a sacrifice fly to medium deep left field and Naranjo trotted home with game’s first run.
The Cubs tied the game in the top of the fourth inning. After Mace retired the first batter, he issued a base on balls to Luis Verdugo and then two straight singles by BJ Murray, Jr. and Pablo Aliendo, Verdugo scored on the Aliendo single to tie the game at 1-1.
With one out in the bottom of the fourth Christian Cairo singled softly to center field. Holland then struck out for the second out. Cairo then stole second base. Micael Ramirez then singled to right field scoring Cairo to break the tie and give the Captains a 2-1 lead.
South Bend tied the game in the sixth inning when Alaska Abney issued a free pass to the leadoff batter BJ Murray. Murray then stole second. Aliendo then grounded out to third. DiCenzo then removed Abney in favor of Jaime Arias. Arias allowed a single and moving Murray to third base. Then Arias had to leave the game with an injury (wink, wink). Davis Sharpe replaced Arias He struck out Kevin Made for the second out of the inning, but the Cubs tied the game when Ramirez tried to throw out Yohendrick Pinango stealing second the throw was errant bouncing into center field scoring Murray with the tying run.
The Cubs took the lead in the seventh inning. With two outs in the inning Owen Caissie doubled down the right field line. He scored one batter later when Verdugo singled giving South Bend the 3-2 lead.
South Bend added an insurance run in the top of the ninth when top three Chicago Cubs prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong who acquired from the New York Mets in a straight up trade with Cubs sending Javier Baez to the Mets belted a home run over the center field wall extending the South Bend lead to 4-2.
The Captains rallied in the ninth with Ramirez began the inning by drawing a walk. Cesar Idrogo then pinch ran for Ramirez. Yordys Valdes then singled to center field moving Idrogo to second. With runner at first and second South Bend reliever Michael McAvene uncorked a wild pitch and both runners moved up a base. Naranjo then hit a sac-fly to medium deep left field and Idrogo raced home with the Captains third run. Connor Kokx then grounded out moving Valdes to third base. The game ended and the rally fell short when Halpin popped out to third base shattering his bat as he hit it on the ground in disgust.
Jake Reindl picked up the win for the Cubs. It was his first of the post season with an ERA of 0.00. Sharpe took the loss for Lake County as he blew the save. The loss was his first of the post season and he has a post season ERA of 3.38.
Deciding game three will be Wednesday night at 7 pm. The Cubs will send Porter Hodge to the mound. Hodge, a righthander started eight games in the regular season for the Cubs with a record of 3-3 with a 2.01 ERA. Aaron Davenport will take the mound for Lake County. The start will be Davenport’s second of the post season as he started the series clinching game against Great Lakes.
POSTED 09/20/2022 23:02