FORT WAYNE, IN- The Lake County Captains (0-1, 31-39) attempted a late comeback in the first game of the second half but were unsuccessful as the Fort Wayne Tincaps (1-0, 32-39) held on for the win, 4-3.
The Captains sent right-hander Felix Sterling (3-6, 5.63) to the mound to begin the second half. He allowed two runs in the first inning. Shortstop Jace Peterson led off with a double. Centerfielder Donavan Tate doubled home Peterson for the game’s first run. With two outs, Tate moved to third on a passed ball by catcher Alex Monsalve. Catcher Austin Hedges brought home Tate with an infield single.
Fort Wayne scored two more runs in the third inning. First baseman Lee Orr singled to left field to start the inning. Orr stole second base and scored on a RBI double by third baseman Duanel Jones. Sterling uncorked a wild pitch, moving Jones to third. Second baseman Tyler Stubblefield reached on a fielding error by Captains’ first baseman Jerrud Sabourin. Jones scored on the play.
Lake County scored a run in the fourth inning. Centerfielder Luigi Rodriguez doubled to right field. A groundout advanced Rodriguez to third. Sabourin made up for the error as he singled home Rodriguez. Monsalve doubled to put runners at second and third with one out, but the next two batters were retired without a run.
Lake County had an opportunity to score runs but was unable to in the fifth. Second baseman Jose Ramirez reached on a fielding error by the third baseman. Shortstop Francisco Lindor singled to right field to move the runner over. Rodriguez singled to left field; Ramirez attempted to score but was thrown out at the dish by left fielder Kyle Gaedele. Rightfielder Jordan Smith walked to load the bases but Sabourin struck out to end the threat.
Rob Nixon replaced Felix Sterling in the fifth inning. Sterling took the loss, allowing four runs
(two earned) on six hits in four innings. He walked three and struck out five. Nixon pitched three scoreless innings, surrendering one hit and two walks.
Tincaps’ starter Frank Garces (3-4, 2.80) picked up the win. He pitched five innings, allowing one run on seven hits. He gave up one walk and struck out three. Ruben Mejia pitched two shutout innings, allowing one hit and one walk.
Jeff Johnson pitched a scoreless eighth inning for the Captains with two walks.
Lake County came within a run in the ninth inning. Ramirez walked with one out in the inning. After Lindor struck out, Rodriguez launched his sixth homerun of the year, a two run shot to right field. Smith flew out to end the game, a 4-3 victory for the Tincaps.
Johnny Barbato picked up his second save of the year. He pitched two innings, allowing the homerun in the ninth inning. He walked two and struck out four.
Luigi Rodriguez led the Captains with a 4-5 game; Monsalve added two hits of his own. Ramirez went 0-4 with a walk in his Lake County debut.
Lake County and Fort Wayne will resume the three game series on Saturday night. Lake County will send LHP Elvis Araujo (2-5, 4.45) to the hill. The Tin Caps will counter with RHP Adys Portillo (4-4, 1.92). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.