Late Rally Falls Short
(Comstock Park, MI) - The Lake County Captains (28-28, 68-57) battled back in the ninth inning on Monday and put the tying run on third base, but could not come all the way back against the West Michigan Whitecaps (21-35, 42-83). Lake County suffered a 3-2 loss in game three of their four-game series at Fifth Third Ballpark.
The game was scoreless until the fourth when a three-run burst put West Michigan ahead. Parker Meadows led off with a bunt single and Captains starter Ethan Hankins walked Bryant Packard. With Andre Lipcius at the plate, the runners took off and Lipcius punched a single into right that scored Meadows and sent Packard to third. Two batters later, Jack Kenley plated Packard with a single. After Hankins walked Zach Malis, the Captains made a call to the bullpen and Nick Gallagher entered a bases-loaded, one-out situation. Wenceel Perez knocked in Lipcius with a sacrifice fly to right, but Gallagher got Sam McMillan to fly out to left and end the inning. West Michigan exited the frame with a 3-0 lead.
The Captains struck back in the top of the fifth. Whitecaps starter Sandel De La Cruz walked Clark Scolamiero with two outs and Bo Naylor pulled a double into the right field corner. Scolamiero raced all the way around and beat the throw home to score and trim the Whitecaps' lead to 3-1.
Naylor's double was the Captains' last hit until the ninth, in large part because of Whitecaps centerfielder Riley Greene. The Detroit Tigers' first round pick this year robbed Daniel Schneemann of extra bases in the sixth, diving in right-centerfield and making a backhanded grab. He then took a dunk single away from Makesiondon Kelkboom in the seventh with a diving catch in shallow left-center.
Schneemann gave Lake County another tally in the hit column in the ninth with a one-out single against Angel Reyes. Raynel Delgado came up next and sliced a ball into the left field corner for a double. Schneemann scored to cut the Whitecaps' lead to 3-2. Delgado moved to third when Ulysses Cantu grounded to third base for out number two and Reyes walked Billy Wilson to put the go-ahead run aboard. Reyes, however, struck out Kelkboom to seal the win for West Michigan and notch his fifth save of the season.
Reliever Yaya Chentouf picked up the win for the Whitecaps. Chentouf (3-5) pitched 2.1 scoreless and hitless innings. He struck out two and did not issue a walk.
Hankins (0-2) suffered his second straight loss. He pitched 3.1 innings and allowed three runs on six hits. Hankins struck out five and walked three.
Lake County has lost two of the first three games at West Michigan and will try to split the series when the four-game set concludes on Tuesday. First pitch at Fifth Third Ballpark is scheduled 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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