Picantes' Offense Smoking Hot
(Eastlake, OH) - The Picantes de Lake County (26-24, 66-53) got off to a hot start in the first inning and never looked back on Monday night. The Picantes scored six runs in the first inning to storm past the Calaveras de West Michigan (17-33, 38-81) in the rubber game of a three-game series at Classic Park, 13-6.
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The first seven Lake County hitters reached base against Wilkel Hernandez in the opening frame. Quentin Holmes led off with a single and Clark Scolamiero followed with his first of what turned out to be three doubles on Monday. With men on second and third, Jose Fermin hit a bouncing ball up the middle and Wenceel Perez bobbled it for an error, as Holmes scored. Bo Naylor then slammed a two-run triple the skidded to the centerfield wall. After a walk to Jonathan Engelmann, Daniel Schneemann and Miguel Jerez hit back-to-back RBI singles. Hernandez struck out Josh Rolette, but Connor Smith followed with an RBI single to stretch the Picantes' lead to 6-0. Reliever Yaya Chentouf came in for Hernandez and got an inning-ending double play to stop the bleeding.
West Michigan began to claw back with a couple of runs in the second inning. Zach Malis tripled into the right field corner to score Corey Joyce and an infield single by Perez plated Malis to cut the Picantes' lead to 6-2.
The Picantes added a run in the second, though Chentouf kept the damage to a minimum. Scolamiero hit his second double and Fermin singled to put men on the corners with nobody out. Scolamiero then scored when Naylor bounced into a double play.
The Calaveras came back to score three runs in the top of the fourth to pull within two runs. Andre Lipcius led off with a single and Dayton Duggas followed with a towering home run to left field. Later on in the frame, Riley Greene knocked in Malis with a ground out to trim Lake County's lead to 7-5.
Naylor and Schneemann padded the Picantes' lead in the fifth. After Fermin led off the inning with a single, Naylor sliced a double into the left field corner to bring home Fermin. Two batters later, Schneemann doubled in Naylor to push the Lake County advantage to 9-5.
The sixth inning brought four more runs for Lake County. Jose Vasquez hit Holmes with a pitch to start the rally and Scolamiero hit his third double of the game, tying a Lake County single-game record. Fermin then walked and, two batters later, Engelmann singled to score both Holmes and Scolamiero. Schneemann followed suit, pulling a single into right that scored Fermin and Engelmann and giving the shortstop a four-RBI night to give Lake County a 13-5 lead.
West Michigan got one run back in the eighth when Joyce doubled with two outs and scored on a Malis single. Malis finished the game 3-for-4 with a triple, two RBI and two runs from the ninth place in the order, but West Michigan collectively went 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position.
The Picantes' offense included four multi-hit performances. Scolamiero's three doubles made him one of three Lake County hitters with three hits, joined by Schneemann and Fermin. Schneemann led the offense with a 3-for-4 performance that included a double and a game-high four RBI. Naylor finished second in the RBI count, going 2-for-5 with a double, a triple and three RBI.
Picantes reliever Kellen Rholl picked up the win. Rholl (2-4) pitched two shutout innings in the fifth and sixth. The lefty struck out two, walked none and surrendered one hit.
Hernandez (7-7) took the loss. The Calaveras' starter recorded just one out in the first and gave up six runs, five earned, on six hits. He struck out one and walked one.
After a day off tomorrow, Lake County returns to action on Wednesday against the South Bend Cubs in game one of a three-game series. First pitch at Classic Park is scheduled for 7:00 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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