Eastlake, OH - The Lake County Captains improved to 8-10 on the season after dropping two straight to the Lansing Lugnuts in dramatic fashion in a game that was back and forth until the bottom of the ninth. Lenny Torres (0-0 with a 3.24 ERA) took the mound for the Captains for his third game of the season. Torres started off strong, but only lasted 2.2 innings giving up 2 runs on back to back RBI singles to Lugnuts 3B Jack Winkler and the number one prospect in the Athletics farm system catcher Tyler Soderstrom in the top of the third. Torres finished the game pitching 2.2 innings with 3 hits, 2 runs, 1 earned, and 3 K's. The Captains, who were struggling to find offense for most of the game, finally came alive in the 4th inning when Jhonkensy Noel hit a two run double to left center, driving in Joe Naranjo and Christian Cairo. Noel, who is one of the Captains top prospects, is batting .245 on the young season with 4 HR and 13 RBI's. After a few rocky innings including the top of the six where Captains relief pitcher Mason Hickman (0-2 with a 6.34 ERA) got out of 2 on, 1 out jam, the Lugnuts offense wouldn't be denied and SS Euribiel Angeles put Lansing in the lead once more 3-2 on a RBI single off of Hickman. Hickman regained his composure with bases loaded and was able to stifle the Lugnuts getting out of the inning with only giving up a single run. The game stayed 3-2 off of great pitching until the bottom of the ninth inning when Lansing brought in Daniel Martinez (0-3 with a 24.75 ERA) to close out the game. His first batter was Jhonkensy Noel who was patient in the box and found himself a walk bring up Captains SS Angel Martinez who is batting .286 this season. After two balls that were low out of the strike zone Martinez found his pitch and drove it deep to right field and over the wall for his first home run of the season, a 2-run walk off homer to give the Lake County Captains the win, After the game I caught up with head coach Greg Dicenzo and asked what winning a game like this means to the ball club and if is a boost for the team. Coach Dicenzo's message?
"Winning matters." Said DiCenzo. "You have to hate losing more than you like winning to compete on a regular basis." after a win like that the Captains look to keep the winning going tomorrow." The Captains face a double header tomorrow again against the Lansing Lugnuts. The first game will be started by top pitching prospect Gavin Williams at 1 PM with game 2 starting at 6:35 PM. If the Captains can find their way to winning both games it will get them to .500 on the season at 10-10. Top players of the game:
Jhonkensy Noel went 1-3 with a walk, double, 1 run, and 2 RBI's Angel Martinez went 1-4 with a HR, 1 run, and 2 RBI's
Post-game interview with Captains manager Greg DiCenzo