Picantes Blank Cougars, 4-0
(Eastlake, OH) - After a 4-0 victory on Sunday afternoon, the Picantes de Lake County are 1-0. For the first time this season, the Lake County Captains (16-13) took the field as their alternate identity and earned a shutout victory in the rubber game of a three-game series over the Cougars de Kane County (17-13) at Classic Park.
Picantes starter Raymond Burgos and Cougars starter Matt Tabor squared off in a pitcher's duel at the outset, though neither factored in the decision. The pair matched each other across four scoreless innings, though neither factored in the decision. Burgos blanked Kane County, allowing three hits and two walks, while striking out four. The lefty worked around two walks to escape a bases-loaded jam in the first and left two stranded in the fourth.
Tabor allowed just one baserunner and struck out seven men. The Cougars' righty gave up a leadoff single to Hosea Nelson in the first and, after catcher Jose Herrera threw Nelson out on a steal attempt, Tabor retired the final 11 batters he faced. He struck out six men in a row from the second to the start of the fourth.
The game remained scoreless until the bottom of the sixth. The Picantes' rally started when Cougars reliever Ryan Miller walked Jesse Berardi and hit Connor Smith with a pitch. A broken-bat infield single by Quentin holmes quickly made it a bases-loaded opportunity with nobody out. After a pitching change brought Ethan Larrison into the game, Nelson grounded into a double play to second baseman Blaze Alexander, but Berardi scored to give the Picantes a 1-0 lead. The next batter, Tyler Freeman, ripped a RBI single into right field to make it 2-0.
Mitch Reeves gave the Picantes an insurance run on the first pitch of the seventh with a moonshot to left field. Reeves sent a deep drive over the bleachers to extend the Picantes' lead to 3-0. Ruben Cardenas followed with a triple centerfield and scored on a sacrifice fly to left by Bo Naylor to push the advantage to 4-0.
Kane County threatened in the top of the eighth, but reliever Dakody Clemmer worked out of the jam. Clemmer got Alexander to bounce back to the mound force out at home and got Andy Yerzy to hit into a 4-6-3 double play to maintain the shutout. Clemmer then worked around a leadoff single in the ninth and struck out three Cougars in a row to secure the win.
Aaron Pinto earned the win in relief for Lake County. Pinto (3-1) pitched two shutout innings from the fifth through the sixth. He allowed two hits and struck out one.
Cougars reliever Ryan Miller suffered the loss. Miller (0-4) allowed the Picantes to break the scoreless deadlock in the sixth and was charged with two runs in one inning of relief.
The Captains are back in action Monday night to open up a three game series in Wisconsin against the Beloit Snappers. First pitch at Pohlman Field is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET. The Captains will become the Picantes for four more home games in 2019. The next Picantes home game will be on Sunday, June 2.
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 Captain's website www.captainsbaseball.com.
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