Captains Advance to Championship Series, Will Battle South Bend

September 17, 2022 - Midwest League (MWL) - Lake County Captains News Release

(MIDLAND, MI) - The Lake County Captains conquered the Great Lakes Loons 6-5 in the decisive game three of the Midwest League Eastern Division Championship Series on a clear-skied Friday night at Dow Diamond. For the third time in franchise history, Lake County will play for the Midwest League Championship.

The Captains will begin the series Sunday September 18th against the South Bend Cubs, with game one at 6:05 p.m. Games two and if necessary, game three will be Tuesday, September 20th and Wednesday, September 21st, at Classic Park with times to be determined.

Lake County jumped out to a three-run lead in the first. Alexfri Planez would level a Kendall Williams pitch 418 feet to deep left for a three-run homer. The home run plated Christian Cairo who reached on a hit by pitch and Petey Halpin got aboard following a single. Planez had 19 long balls in the regular season.

Aaron Davenport started for the Captains and set the tone early. The right-hander set down the first eight he faced. The Loons would tack on a run, with an RBI single from Dalton Rushing in the bottom of the third. Great Lakes left two on base in the frame.

In the top of the fourth, Lake County ousted the Loons starter which helped Yordys Valdes smack a two-run double, to make it 5-1. The 21-year-old had five hits in the series and three in game three.

Great Lakes did not go down without a fight. With one out, in the bottom of the fourth two runners reached to set up Imanol Vargas. Vargas including games one and two was 0 for his last 41. That would change with a three-run blast to pull it to a one-run deficit.

From the fifth on, it became a bullpen game with both sides using three arms. The Captains pushed across a tally in the top of the sixth, a Joe Naranjo single which scored Yordys Valdes. The Loons got that run back in the bottom of the sixth, after a Davis Sharpe errant pick-off throw allowed a runner to reach third, which was scored on a groundout.

Trey Benton entered in the seventh, finishing the inning in just six pitches. The 2019 15th Round Pick set down 3-4-5 in the Great Lakes order 1-2-3 in the eighth.

Despite three singles in the final three frames from Lake County, the score remained 6-5 in the bottom of the ninth. Jordan Jones took the mound for the first time since September 7th and was dominant not allowing a baserunner and striking out the last two he faced.

It is the first Midwest League Championship series the Captains have reached since 2014. Lake County has one Midwest League title, winning it all back in 2010.

Tomorrow night will see game one at Four Winds Field in South Bend, Indiana. The first pitch is at 6:05 p.m. eastern time. Coverage of the game can be found on and the MiLB First Pitch app.

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Midwest League Stories from September 17, 2022

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