Captains and Cubs Split Marathon Doubleheader
(Eastlake, OH) - The Lake County Captains (18-21) and South Bend Cubs (17-20) played over 5.5 hours of baseball, spread across two games, on Wednesday night at Classic Park. The Captains lost the first game in 12 innings, 6-4, and won the second game, 5-2.
Lake County came back from three separate deficits, lost their designated hitter and ultimately lost the opening game of Wednesday's doubleheader. The Captains erased South Bend leads of 2-0, 3-2 and 4-3, but a pair of unearned runs in the 12th inning sunk Lake County in the end.
South Bend jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first two innings against Captains starter Gregori Vasquez. Austin Filiere drove home the first run with an RBI single that scored Chris Singleton in the first. In the second, Vasquez hit Brandon Hughes with a pitch and walked Rafael Narea with one out. Zach Davis then bounced a grounder to first, Jose Vicente fired to second for the force out and Ernie Clement threw back to first, but Vicente could not make the catch. The ball bounced off his glove and toward the first base dugout. Hughes scored on the dropped-catch error to put the Cubs up, 2-0.
The Captains caught a break and made a fine defensive play in the top of the sixth to hold the Cubs' lead at two runs. With two outs, Miguel Amaya drove a line drive down the left field line that hooked toward the foul pole. The drive was originally called a home run, but the umpires conferred afterwards and called the ball foul. Amaya reached base when his grounder bounded off of Jones and down the left field line, putting Amaya on second. Nelson Velazquez came up next and singled to centerfield and Amaya tried to score. Wade came up throwing from center and fired a strike to catcher Jonathan Laureano who tagged out Amaya to end the inning.
Cubs starter Javier Assad held Lake County to just two hits until the bottom of the sixth when the Captains broke through with five straight hits to tie the score. Clement led off with a double, Wade followed with a single and Jones singled home Clement. Vicente then singled to score Wade and knot the score at 2-2. Jorma Rodriguez singled next to load the bases, but Assad induced an inning-ending double play to keep the score tied.
The Captains had a chance to walk off in the eighth, but a stellar defensive play by Cubs first baseman Jared Young kept the game tied. Tyler Friis was the Captains' free runner on second base at the start of the first extra inning and Clement bunted him over to third base. South Bend brought the infield in with Wade at the plate and the lefty hitter pulled a hard line drive toward first. Young made a diving catch for the out and reliever Brian Glowicki struck out Jones to end the inning.
South Bend took the lead in the top of the ninth. Filiere was the Cubs' free runner at second. Amaya started the frame with a single and Velazquez singled home Filiere to put the Cubs up, 3-2. Lake County, however, came back to even the score.
In the bottom of the ninth, Jones was the Captains' free runner at second when Vicente reached on an infield single. Will Benson came in to pinch run for Vicente and Rodriguez followed with a single to center that scored Jones to tie the game. Lake County then loaded the bases with two outs, but Glowicki got out of the jam by getting Friis to bounce out to second.
The Cubs regained the lead in the 10th and a nasty collision stripped the Captains of their starting second baseman and their DH. Zach Davis was the Cubs' free runner on second and Singleton led off with a sacrifice bunt in the third-base side grass. Lefty reliever Skylar Arias fired the ball to first with Friis covering the bag. Arias' throw took Friis into the baseline and Singleton ran him over. The ball bounced up the right field line, allowing Davis to score to give the Cubs a 4-3 lead and Singleton to move to second. Friis lay on the ground after the collision and eventually got up under his own power, but had to leave the game. Rodriguez was forced to exit the DH spot and play second base, leaving the Captains without a designated hitter for the rest of the game. The pitcher would bat in Friis' ninth-spot in the order. Friis would recover from his injury and started the second game of the doubleheader.
Lake County came back in the bottom of the 10th and evened the score again. Friis' spot was due to serve as the free runner, so the Captains pinch ran with their last man on the bench, Josh Rolette (Ulysses Cantu had come in to play first base after Benson ran for Vicente in the ninth). After Clement lined out to left, Wade slammed a ball to the gap in left-centerfield. Rolette scored easily to tie the score at 4-4 and Wade ripped around second base, heading toward third. Singleton, the centerfielder, fired the ball to the relay man Narea and the shortstop then threw to Filiere at third to cut down Wade. The Captains got a single from Jones to keep the inning going, but could not score.
The Captains threatened in the 11th, but the lack of a DH came back to bite them. Lake County had runners on the corners with two outs and the eight spot in the order coming up. South Bend elected to intentionally walk Todd Isaacs to load the bases for the nine-hole. With no position players left on the bench, reliever Manuel Alvarez was forced to hit and Cubs right-hander Manuel Rodriguez struck him out on three pitches to end the threat.
The Cubs scored a pair of runs in the top of the 12th to take the lead for good. With Narea on second as the free runner, Davis dropped down a sacrifice bunt. Alvarez picked up the ball and fired wildly to first. Narea scored and Davis went to second on the error. Singleton then put down a bunt that moved Davis to third. Later in the inning, a passed ball by Laureano allowed Davis to score and give the Cubs a 6-4 lead.
Manuel Rodriguez (1-1) earned the win for the Cubs, despite blowing a save. The reliever pitched three innings and allowed one unearned run on three hits. He walked one and struck out three.
Alvarez (1-1) took the loss. He pitched two innings and allowed two unearned runs without allowing a hit. He walked one and struck out three.
The Captains used three relievers in game one and needed their game two starter to eat some innings. Cameron Mingo delivered. The right-hander pitched six innings en route to the win in a 5-2 Captains victory. Mingo (1-0) allowed just one run on five hits. He struck out six and walked a pair.
South Bend scored their only run against Mingo in the first inning. Singleton hit a leadoff double and later scored on an RBI single by Young. The Captains, however, quickly came back.
Jose Vicente tied the score in the bottom of the second. He led off the inning with a low line drive rocket to left field. The ball narrowly cleared the wall to even the score, 1-1.
Cantu gave Lake County the lead in the fourth inning, starting a big game at the plate. After Wade led off with a single and Oscar Gonzalez doubled, Cantu hit a one-out double that plated Wade to put the Captains ahead, 2-1. The following inning, Cantu drove home a pair with a single, giving him three RBIs in the game. Jones also scored on a throwing error in the three-run fifth to give the Captains a 5-1 advantage.
The Cubs scored one more run in the seventh before Jonathan Teaney shut the door to end the game. After striking out the first two men, Teaney walked Christian Donahue. Singleton followed with a fly ball to right-center that glanced off of Benson's glove in the gap. Donahue scored to cut the Captains' lead to 5-2 and Singleton raced to third on a three-base error. Teaney then got Jhonny Bethencourt to fly out to center and end the game.
Cubs starter Jesus Camargo (1-1) took the loss. The right-hander pitched four innings and allowed two runs on six hits. He struck out seven and walked one.
The Captains and Cubs split their second doubleheader in three days, as part of a six-game series being played across four days. The series will conclude on Thursday morning at Classic Park. First pitch is scheduled for 11 a.m.
Information about Classic Park or the Captains can be found online at www.captainsbaseball.com and by phone at 440-954-WINS (9467). Affordable ticket packages and group party and picnic options are available now.
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