Captains Strikeout 20 Dragons in Comeback Win
(Dayton, OH) - Three Lake County Captains (40-36) pitchers combined to strike out 20 batters in an 8-5 win over the Dayton Dragons (41-34) on Friday night at Day Air Ballpark. Daniel Espino fanned 12, Tim Herrin struck out two and Jerson Ramirez punched out six. The trio fell one strikeout short of tying a Captains single-game record.
Espino started hot in the top of the first inning. The Captains' starter struck out the side on just 10 pitches. He struck out Jacob Hurtubise swinging, Francisco Urbaez looking and Garrett Wolforth swinging. Espino threw just one ball.
Dayton starter Jaqcues Pucheu briefly lost his command in the second inning, which allowed the Captains to take a 1-0 lead. He hit Micah Pries with a pitch, then walked Joe Naranjo and Ray Delgado to load the bases with nobody out. Victor Nova drove in Pries with a groundout to second base to put the Captains on the scoreboard.
Espino went back to work in the second and struck out three more to reach six K's. He worked around a one-out walk to keep the Dragons off the scoreboard.
On the first pitch of the third inning Cody Farhat blasted a solo home run to left field to put the Captains on top 2-0.
Dayton took the lead in the third inning, though Espino struck out three more. Two consecutive singles from Eric Yang and Reyney Reyes opened the inning for Dayton. After a strikeout of Hurtubise, Urbaez singled to drive in Yang. Captains starter Espino registered his eighth strikeout of the night when he sat down Wolforth for the second out. Juan Martinez tripled off the top of the right field wall to drive in Reyes and Urbaez to put the Dragons on top 3-2. Espino then sat down Alex McGarry with his ninth strikeout in the first three innings to end the threat.
Espino struck out his final three batters in the fourth. The Captains' starter struck out Michael Siani looking and Reniel Ozuna swinging. Yang reached on an error by Pries in left, but Espino froze Reyny Reyes for his 12th and final strikeout.
The Dragons added an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Hurtubise reached on catcher's interference to open the inning. He stole second, then moved to third on a passed ball. With one out, Wolforth grounded out to first base to drive in Hurtubise and push the Dayton advantage to 4-2.
In the top of the seventh the Captains stormed back. With one out, Aaron Bracho walked, then Joe Donovan singled to advance Bracho to third. After Quentin Holmes struck out, José Tena drew his second walk of the night, then George Valera walked to drive in Bracho. That brought Pries to the plate who lifted a double down the right field line to clear the bases and plate three more Lake County runs to go on top 6-4.
In the bottom of the seventh Dayton cut into the Captains lead. Reyney Reyes singled, then moved to second on a wild pitch and got to third on a passed ball. Hurtubise singled up the middle to drive in Reyes and make the score 6-5, Captains.
Lake County tacked on two insurance runs in the top of the ninth. Holmes walked to lead off the inning and stole second as Tena struck out. With one down, Valera tripled passed Hurtubise in left field to drive in Holmes. Next up was Pries who knocked in Valera for his fourth RBI of the night with a single to put Lake County in front 8-5.
Herrin (4-1) worked three innings and allowed two unearned runs to pick up the win. The lefty struck out two batters, surrendered two hits and did not issue a walk.
Dragons reliever Tyler Garbee (1-2) took the loss. The right-hander was on the mound for the Captains' four-run seventh. Garbee allowed four total runs over 1.1 innings. He walked four, struck out three and gave up two hits.
Ramirez (5) struck out six Dragons hitters over two innings to nail down his fifth save with Lake County and 11th this year. Ramirez only allowed one baserunner to reach on a two-out walk in the eighth. Ramirez struck out Hurtubise to end the game for the Captains' 20th strikeout of the night.
The Captains' 20 strikeouts are the most by a Lake County staff in a nine-inning game. The club record for strikeouts in a single contest is 21, but that came in a 15-inning game.
Hunter Gaddis gets the start for the Captains in game four of the six-game series in Dayton. First pitch on Thursday is scheduled for 7:09 p.m. at Day Air Ballpark.
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