Naylor Provides All the Offense, Including Walk-Off
(Eastlake, OH) - It was not much, but Bo Naylor gave the Lake County Captains (27-25, 67-54) all the offenses they needed on Thursday night. Naylor had both of Lake County's hits, including a walk-off single in the 10th inning to lift the Captains to a 2-1 victory over the South Bend Cubs (28-24, 65-55) at Classic Park.
Naylor gave the Captains an early lead in the opening frame. Cubs starter Zach Mort walked Jose Fermin with two outs and Naylor followed with a frozen rope into the right-centerfield gap. Fermin scored all the way from first on the double and the Captains took a 1-0 lead.
Mort battled control issues throughout his five innings on the hill, but the Captains' offense could not capitalize. The South Bend starter walked six men and hit one batter, but Mort did not surrender another run or hit after Naylor's first-inning double.
Eli Lingos got the start for Lake County and nearly silenced the Cubs' offense through five innings. Lingos stranded runners on first and second in the second, worked around a leadoff single in the third and left a runner on third in the fourth.
In the fifth, however, Rafelin Lorenzo led off with a double to right-centerfield and Darius Hill hit a one-out single. With men on the corners and one out, Clayton Daniel pushed a bunt in the grass toward first. Jonathan Engelmann scooped up the rolling baseball and looked to home plate, but had no play on Lorenzo. The first baseman turned around toward first, but Daniel was already safe with an RBI bunt single to tie the game at 1-1.
The ballgame remained tied through nine innings and the Cubs had a chance to take the lead in the top of the 10th. Hill was the free runner on second and Captains reliever Jake Miednki walked Daniel to put two men on with nobody out. Andy Weber then tried to bunt the runners over, but popped the ball up and third baseman Makesiondon Kelkboom caught it in foul territory. Nelson Maldonado then flied out to left and Nelson Velazquez bounced out to shortstop to send the game to the bottom of the 10th.
Kelkboom began the Captains' 10th on second as the free runner with Brian Glowicki on the mound for South Bend. Billy Wilson led off and bunted a ball in front of home plate. Lorenzo barehanded the ball and fired high to first, but Jake Slaughter made a leaping grab to save the ball from bouncing down the right field line. Kelkboom moved to third on the sacrifice bunt and Wilson made it to first on the throwing error. Wilson took second on defensive indifference, but Glowicki struck out Quentin Holmes and Clark Scolamiero. The Cubs opted to intentionally walk Fermin to load the bases for Naylor and the Captains' catcher made them pay.
Naylor hit a hard grounder to first. Slaughter dove to his right and knocked the ball down, but it rolled away from him and the first baseman could not recover in time. Kelkboom scored from third and Naylor reached first with a game-winning infield single to deliver Lake County a walk-off victory.
Miednik (2-0) picked up the win in relief for the Captains. The lefty worked one scoreless and hitless inning with one walk and no strikeouts.
Glowicki (0-2) took the loss for South Bend. He pitched 2.2 innings out of the bullpen and surrendered one unearned run on one hit with four strikeouts and one walk.
The Captains and Cubs have split the first two games of their three-game series. Friday's rubber game is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at Classic Park.
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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