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Captains Almost Perfect, Beat Kernels 6-0

Updated: Sep 20, 2022

Eastlake, OH- The Lake County Captains (67-49) looked to avenge their loss to the Cedar Rapids Kernels (69-49) from the prior night. The Captains lost a little bit of ground in the playoff race as they are now only two games ahead of the West Michigan Whitecaps.

Starting on the mound for the Captains is the lion maned RHP Aaron Davenport (4-6, 4.91 ERA) while Jaylen Nowlin (1.0, 3.00 ERA) was on the mound for the Kernels.

The Captains finally broke the stalemate in the bottom of the 3rd as the innings lead off hitter 2B Aaron Bracho hit a solo home run that just barely cleared the wall in left field. It hit the small fence and back into play. There was confusion for a minute when Bracho stopped at first thinking it just hit off the wall, until the umpires threw up the home run sign and he rounded the bases. Two batters later 1B Joe Naranjo hit a bomb to right center off the advertisement board for a "no doubt about it" solo shot. That was Naranjo's 16th home run of the year and Lake County took the lead 2-0.

Captains P Aaron Davenport had a no hitter going into the top 5th inning, when RF Dylan Neuse hit a double to break it up.

The Kernels relieved Jaylen Nowlin in the bottom of the 6th with RHP Sean Mooney (2-2, 2.45 ERA). Nowlin went 5.0 innings giving up 2 runs on 4 hits, walking 3, and striking out 5.

Lake County's RF Petey Halpin started the inning with a lead off double. Then stole third to give the Captains a runner at third with no outs. CF Connor Kokx hit a sacrifice fly to right to score Halpin. 3B Gabriel Rodriguez hit a single, and stole second base on the next pitch. Next up LF Korey Holland hit a double off the wall ion right center field. Rodriguez hesitated thinking the ball could have been caught and got a poor jump from second. He blew through the stop sign by third base coach Yan Rivera trying to score. Cedar Rapids SS Wander Javier threw the ball to home that bounced off to Rodriguez sliding into home and went into the captains dugout, which also allowed the speedy Holland to score as he was rounding third base and was awarded home for a wild play. The inning ended with the Captains leading 5-0.

Aaron Davenport had his best outing of the year as he went 6.0 innings, giving up only 1 hit, walking 2, and striking out 8. He was replaced by RHP Lenny Torres (1-4, 7.39 ERA).

Lake County's Lenny Torres who has been away from the team for a while due to personal reasons continued the Captains dominance by throwing two stellar innings, giving up no hits and striking out 3.

The Captains added an insurance hit in the bottom of the 8th as Connor Kokx singled to start the inning, he advanced to third on a ground out and fly by the next two batters. Kokx then was able to score on a wild pitch by the Kernels pitcher. Captains were going into the top of the 9th with a 6-0 lead.

RHP Matt Turner (1-2, 6.50 ERA) came in for the Captains in the top of the 9th and sat down Cedar Rapids in order, giving the Captains a dominant win, and avenging the loss from last night in a big way. The trio of Davenport, Torres, and Turner only gave up 1 hit and striking out 12. Lake County improves to 68-49 on the season while Cedar Rapids gets their 50th loss at (69-50).

The Captains return to Classic Park for the series finale against Cedar Rapids Sunday at 1 P.M. LHP Doug Nikhazy (4-6, 3.16 ERA) will draw the start for Lake county while the pitcher for the Kernels is still TBD.

After the game we talked with Coach Greg Dicenzo about how good the pitching has been.

We also talked with starting pitcher Aaron Davenport about his performance and the goals for the rest of the season. Davenport said:

"We're approaching post season baseball, and that's the best baseball. Everybody's looking to bring a ring to Eastlake." With pitching the way he did tonight the Captains have a chance to realize that dream.

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