The Lake County Captains returned home on Sunday Night with their backs firmly against the wall after dropping the first game of their best of three series with the Fort Wayne TinCaps on Saturday in Night 4-3 in Fort Wayne. Left Field Bryson Myles was asked after the game if anything was said on the bus or prior to the game about the Captains being on the verge of elimination, Myles responded, “Nothing had to be said.” The statement by Myles was apparently true as the Captains prolific offense returned and they defeated the TinCaps 7-3 in front of 789 die hard fans at Classic Park to tie the series 1-1.
Fort Wayne took the early lead in the game when Lee Orr led off the second inning with a single on the left side of the infield. Austin Hedges then doubled off Captains starter Elvis Araujo on a ball that sailed over Captains center fielder’s Tyler Naquin’s head and Orr came home with the TinCaps first run of the game giving them the 1-0 lead. Araujo did a nice job recovering and got out of the inning without any further damage.
Lake County came right back in the bottom of the second inning with five runs. The inning began when Jake Lowery led off and reached base on an error by TinCaps second baseman Tyler Stubblefield. Myles followed with a single and Lowery moved to second. With Tyler Naquin at the plate Fort Wayne starter Erik Cabrera uncorked a wild pitch and both runners moved up 90 feet. Naquin then singled to center field and Lowery came home to tie the game 1-1, Myles moved to third base. Alex Lavisky then singled in the infield when TinCaps third baseman Duanel Jones couldn’t come up with the ball. The bases were now loaded for Joseph Wendle who had struggled in the playoffs. Struggle no more as Wendle got the job done when he hit a sacrifice fly to center field and Myles came home to put the Captains up 2-1. With Naquin and Lavisky still at second and third, Jose Ramirez came up and singled to center field, Naquin scored and Lavisky moved to second base. Francisco Lindor then struck out swinging for the second out. But as he has done all year Jordan Smith came to the plate and brought the runners home when he belted a triple into the right field bullpen. The triple was Smith’s first of the playoffs and gave the captains a 5-1 lead. Jerrud Sabourin grounded out to the third baseman to end the inning.
The TinCaps closed to within two runs in the top of the fourth inning when they put two runs on the board. It began with a single by Hedges. Jones grounded out to shortstop for the first out of the inning and Hedges moved to second base. Mike Gallic then struck out. With two outs Kyle Gaedele came to the plate and singled to drive home Fort Wayne’s second run. Tyler Stubblefield then doubled to drive home Gaedele and cut the captains lead to 5-3. Araujo then uncorked a wild pitch and Stubblefield moved to third base. Araujo was able to recover and got Travis Jankowski to hit a ground ball to Wendle at third and he threw out Jankowski at first base to end the inning.
The Captains pushed the lead back to three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning when Wendle led off with a triple. The triple was Wendle’s first hit in twelve at bat since joining the Captains for the playoffs. Wendle came home with the Captains sixth run when Ramirez came to the plate next and hit a sacrifice fly to center field. The RBI was Ramirez sixth of the playoff in four games.
The TinCaps scored their final run of the game in the fifth inning when Orr belted his first home run of the playoffs deep over the center field fence to make the score 6-4.
The final run of the game came in the bottom of the eighth inning when Lowery led the inning off by drawing a walk. Todd Hankins then pinch ran for Lowery. With Myles at the plate Hankins stole second base. Myles then scorched a double right field to send Hankins home with Captains seventh and final run of the game. Myles, is hitting .571 (8 for14) in the playoffs. Of his recent hot streak Myles commented, “It feels good man. You just have to take it one game at a time.” Of his approach the Captains left fielder said, “Just getting my pitch and making sure I don’t miss it.” Captain’s manager said when asked about Myles recent hot streak, “He’s swinging at his pitches.”
Cleveland Indians 18th round selection in 2012 Luis Head took the mound to begin the sixth inning in relief of Manny Carmona who relieved Araujo with two outs in the fifth inning. Head pitched brilliantly for three innings giving up only one hit and striking out three. Head bridged the gap until the ninth inning when the Captains could get to closer Enosil Tejeda. When Head was asked if he felt any extra pressure because it could be an elimination game for the Captains, “I was just trying to go out there and do what I always do. Keep the ball low and let them hit it.”
Head picked up the win for the Captains and improves to 3-0 on the year and 1-0 in the playoffs. Head’s ERA for the season is now 3.47. Cabrera took the loss for the TinCaps falling to 2-3 on the year with a 3.90 ERA. Cabrera is 0-1 in the playoffs.
The Captains and TinCaps will play the series deciding game three on Monday Night at 7:00 p.m. EDT at Classic Park. James Needy will make the start for the TinCaps. Needy is 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA. Cody Anderson will make the start for the Captains. Anderson has no record in the playoffs with a 3.00 ERA.