Eastlake, OH- The Lake County Captains (51-43) were finally back at Classic Park after a little over two weeks away from home with the All-Star break and two away series against Lansing and South Bend. They took on The Great Lakes Loons (58-38) who are the High A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers. RHP Tommy Mace (0-4, 5.00 ERA) got the starting nod for The Captains, while Kendall Williams (2-3, 4.50 ERA) was on the mound for the Loons.
It was pitching war through the first 3 innings with Tommy Mace giving up no hits with 5 strike outs, while Kendall Williams only giving up 2 hits with neither pitcher giving up any runs.
In the top of the 4th, the Loons 2B Jorbit Vivas started off the inning with a single. SS Eddys Leonard followed it up with a double, putting runners at 2nd and 3rd with no outs. Next up 1B Imanol Vargas grounded to short for an out, but Vivas scored from 3rd giving the Loons a 1-0 lead. Tommy Mace found his form again striking out the next two batters, ending the inning only giving up 1 run.
The bottom of the 4th saw some fireworks for the Captains as Alexfri Planez hit his 14th home run of the season that just cleared the wall in left center, followed an absolute bomb by Johnathan Rodriguez to left that almost cleared the bleachers for his 16th homer of the year. Back to back shots giving the Captains a 2-1 lead. Rodriguez has hit 5 home runs in his last 6 games.
In the top of the 5th Loons CF Ismael Alcantara reached first on an error by 3B Gabriel Rodriguez. Alcantara was stealing 2nd when the throw by Captains catcher Micael Ramirez could not be fielded by 2B Milan Tolentino and Alcantara ended up at third base as the ball was thrown deep into center field. 2B Jorbit Vivas was able to get Alcantara home on a sacrifice fly and tie the game at 2-2. That was it for Tommy Mace's night as he was replaced by Jordan Jones (2-2, 5.98 ERA) who ended the inning. Mace had a solid outing going 4.2 innings, giving up 2 hits, 2 runs, 1 earned, with 7 strike outs.
Top of the 7th inning saw Loons LF Harold Restituyo single and advance to third on a fielder's choice and an error. With 2 outs, 2B Jorbit Vivas singled to right scoring Restituyo and giving the Loons a 3-2 lead.
The Captains answered right back in the bottom of 7. CF Petey Halpin walked to start the inning. He then took 2nd base on a wild pitch by new Loons pitcher Robbie Peto (5-0, 4.10 ERA). 3B Gabriel Rodriguez singled to left and scored Halpin once again tying the game up at 3-3.
The Loons were threatening in top of the 8th and with two outs 3B Luis Diaz skied a ball to right. RF Alexfri Planez ran back, climbed the wall and caught the ball over the wall saving a home run keeping the game tied at 3.
Alaska Abney (3-2, 3.44 ERA) came in for the top of the 9th and struck out 3 batters to give the Captains a chance to get the win in the bottom of the 9th.
After a strike out by Milan Tolentino to start the bottom of the 9th, Gabriel Rodriguez launched a ball deep to left center and over the wall for the walk off home run! his 9th home run of the year and biggest this season giving the Captains the win 4-3 and improving their record to 52-43.
I talked to Coach Dicenzo after the game and asked about the power they have in the middle of the lineup and how well everyone has been hitting and what he attributed that to.
"The Jhonkensy Noel effect" he called it. "Everyone wants to step up and be the man". "It's alot like last year with Rocchio and Brennan".
As always a great interview with Coach Dicenzo.
The Captains play again Wednesday, August 3rd at Classic park. Game time is 7:00 P.M. The pitchers are TBD as of now.
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