Captains Walk It off on Back-To-Back Jacks
(Eastlake, OH) - The Lake County Captains (4-0, 44-29) were down to their last out in the ninth inning. Two swings later, they won the ballgame. Miguel Jerez and Jonathan Engelmann hit back-to-back home runs to tie and win the game for the Captains on Sunday afternoon. Lake County completed a four-game sweep of the West Michigan Whitecaps (0-4, 21-52) with a 7-6 walk-off victory at Classic Park.
Captains right-hander Luis Oviedo came out of the gates strong, spinning four perfect innings to start the game, and Lake County provided him with a slim lead. In the bottom of the first, Quentin Holmes struck out, but reached when the ball skipped away from Whitecaps catcher Chris Proctor. After a one-out walk by Whitecaps starter Hugh Smith to Jose Fermin, Cody Farhat knocked in Holmes with a two-out single to right field.
Lake County added a run in the fourth, as well. With Smith still in the game, Hosea Nelson sparked a two-out rally with a walk and Smith hit Henry Pujols with a pitch. Holmes then hit a pop up to second base, but Andre Lipcius dropped the ball and Nelson scored to give the Captains a 2-0 lead.
Oviedo retired the first 12 batters he faced, but lost the perfect game in the fifth and then lost the no-hitter and shutout. He walked Ulrich Bojarski to start the fifth and, after Bojarski stole second, gave up an RBI single to Parker Meadows with two outs. Meadows grounded a ball into centerfield and Bojarski scored to cut the Captains' lead to 2-1.
The Whitecaps exploded in the sixth and took the lead with one big swing by Zach Malis. Oviedo came back out for the sixth and loaded the bases on a single, a fielder's choice, another single and a walk. He then walked Bojarski with the bags full to force in Proctor with the tying run. That walk forced Oviedo out of the game and Luis Araujo came in to pitch. The first man he faced was Malis with the bases loaded and Malis lifted a high fly ball over the right field wall for a grand slam to give the Whitecaps a 6-2 lead.
The Captains fought back to pull within one run in the sixth. Miguel Jerez worked a leadoff walk against the new Whitecaps pitcher, reliever Jose Vasquez. The right-hander got the next two outs, but Holmes reached on an infield single and Bo Naylor walked to load the bases. Fermin then followed with a two-run single to cut the Whitecaps' lead to 6-4. Yaya Chentouf came in from the bullpen and Josh Rolette greeted him with a line drive single to right that scored Naylor and made it 6-5.
The deficit remained at one run for Lake County into the ninth and Whitecaps lefty reliever Jared Tobey cruised through the first two batters in the ninth. The southpaw struck out Farhat and Daniel Schneemann. Only Jerez stood between West Michigan and a victory. On a 2-1 pitch from Tobey, however, Jerez unleashed a vicious swing and sent a towering drive over the left field bleachers to tie the game. Captains Manager Luke Carlin then called on Engelmann to pinch hit for Nelson, subbing in a right-handed hitter for a lefty to face a southpaw pitcher. On the 1-0 offering, Engelmann ended the game. His first Captains home run sailed into the left field bleachers to give the Captains a 7-6 win on back-to-back home runs. It was the Captains' fourth walk-off win of the year and their first walk-off home run since Miguel Eladio beat the Lansing Lugnuts last year on September 1.
Reliever Kyle Marman earned the win for the Captains. Marman (1-1) pitched 1.2 scoreless innings. He allowed two hits, struck out one and walked one. Tobey (0-1) suffered a blown save and took the loss. The lefty pitched one inning and allowed two runs on two hits with two strikeouts and no walks.
The Captains clinched a four-game series sweep over West Michigan and will enjoy a day off on Monday before returning to action on Tuesday, when they begin a seven-game road trip. Lake County visits the Lansing Lugnuts on Tuesday night for the start of a four-game series. First pitch at Cooley Law School Stadium is slated for 7:05 p.m.
Individual game tickets for all Captains games are on sale at the Classic Park box office, online at captainsbaseball.com and by phone at 440-954-WINS (9467). Mini ticket plans for the 2019 season are still available for great prices complete with several exclusive benefits. Information can be found at the Captains website www.captainsbaseball.com.
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