Top of Order Explodes to Sweep TinCaps
astlake, OH) - For the second straight day, the top of the order led the way and the Lake County Captains (22-15) clinched a three-game sweep of the Fort Wayne TinCaps (15-22). The top three spots in the Captains' lineup went a combined 9-for-15 with a homer, three RBI and eight runs scored in a 10-6 win over the TinCaps on Wednesday at Classic Park.
Lake County got off to a hot start with a three-run first inning. Quentin Holmes tallied his first of three hits with a single and stole second. Two batters later, Will Benson grounded a single into right field to bring Holmes to the plate. Benson advanced to second base when the throw came home and then made it to third when catcher Blake Hunt threw the ball into center field. Benson later scored on an RBI single by Ruben Cardenas, who later came home himself on a single by Miguel Jerez.
Fort Wayne got one run back in the second inning. Dwanya Williams-Sutton led off with a single and scored two batters later on an RBI double by Hunt to cut the Captains' lead to 3-1.
The top of the Captains' lineup struck again in the second to push Lake County's lead to 5-1. Holmes ripped a one-out double and, two batters later, Benson clobbered a line drive over the right field wall for a two-run homer.
The TinCaps trimmed Lake County's lead to 5-2 with a run in the fifth inning. Jawuan Harris reached with one out on a single and then stole second base. Xavier Edwards then hit a bouncing ball to shortstop and Tyler Freeman fired to third for a potential tag out. The throw beat Harris, but the ball popped out of Henry Pujols' glove and bounced to toward the third base dugout, allowing Harris to sprint home.
Two more runs helped the Captains extend their lead to 7-2 in the bottom half of the fifth. Once again, the top of the lineup was at the center of the offensive production. Freeman led off with a single and Benson followed with a single to put men on the corners. Benson then took off for second and beat the throw from Hunt. The TinCaps, however, appeared to believe the play was dead. As second baseman Tucupita Marcano lingered on the ground near second, Freeman took off for home. Hunt had his mask off and was facing the third base dugout, so the catcher did not see the throw from second and Freeman scored with ease. Benson moved to third as the ball skipped past home plate. He later scored on a single by Jesse Berardi.
Justin Lopez hit a solo homer for Fort Wayne in the sixth, but the Captains scored three more in the bottom half of the frame. Pujols drew a walk and Holmes notched his third hit of the day with a bunt single to put men on first and second with nobody out. Freeman then hit a grounder toward third that skipped over the diving glove of Luiz Almanzar and down the line for a double that brought Pujols home. Holmes later scored on an error by first baseman Lee Solomon and Cardenas tallied his second RBI single of the day with a knock that plated Freeman to give the Captains a 10-3 lead.
The TinCaps rallied for three runs in the seventh, but could not come all the way back. After reliever Thomas Ponticelli hit Harris with a pitch, Edwards and Marcano hit back-to-back singles to load the bases. Agustin Ruiz brought Harris home on a sacrifice fly and Williams-Sutton tripled home the other two runners to cut the Captains' lead to 10-6.
Holmes, Freeman and Benson each registered three-hit performances to drive the top of the lineup. Holmes went 3-for-5 with a double, a stolen base and three runs scored from the leadoff spot. Freeman was 3-for-5 with a double, an RBI, two runs and a steal, batting second. In the three-hole, Benson was 3-for-5 with his seventh home run of the year, three RBi, three runs and a stolen base. Cardenas also had three hits, including a double, two RBI and a run from the five-hole.
Captains starter Cody Morris earned the victory, his first as a starting pitcher. Morris (2-0) pitched a season- and career-long five innings and allowed two runs on four hits. He struck out six and walked one.
TinCaps starter Gabe Mosser took the loss. Mosser (2-2) pitched 4.1 innings and allowed seven runs on nine hits. He struck out seven and did not issue a walk.
The Captains registered their third series sweep of the year and their second sweep in the last week. It was Lake County's first three-game sweep this season after they swept a pair of two-game sets against the Great Lakes Loons and Beloit Snappers. The Captains are back in action tomorrow with game one of a four-game series against the Bowling Green Hot Rods on Thursday night. First pitch at Classic Park is scheduled for 6:30 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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