EASTLAKE, OH- The Lake County Captains (20-39) blew a four run lead in the ninth inning en route to a 7-6 loss in ten innings on Saturday night in front of 6,466 people at Classic Park. Lake County has dropped five straight games.
Right-hander Luis Dejesus made his twelfth start of the year for Lake County as he faced righty Reinaldo Lopez, making his sixth start and thirteenth appearance for Bowling Green.
Lake County jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the third inning. Three straight singles loaded the bases with one out. Following a fielder’s choice at home plate, third baseman Joe Sever cleared the bases on a double to right field. Right fielder Anthony Santander followed with a RBI double into the left-center field gap.
Bowling Green got on the board in the top of the fourth. Right fielder Joey Rickard led off with a walk. He stole second base and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Left fielder Marty Gantt plated Rickard to break up the shutout.
The Captains gained the run right back in the bottom half of the frame. Catcher Jeremy Lucas doubled off the left field wall to begin. A passed ball by catcher Justin O’Conner allowed Lucas to move to third with no outs. Left fielder Jorge Martinez brought Lucas with a groundout to first for his eighteenth RBI of the season.
Dejesus pitched into the sixth inning before getting the hook. He walked the second batter in the inning before departing. Scooter Tucker made the call to the bullpen to summon reliever Josh Martin. Martin walked the bases loaded before striking out second baseman Tommy Coyle to end the threat.
Dejesus’s final line was five and one third innings. He allowed a season-low two hits, one run while walking three and striking out one.
Lopez exited the game after five innings in favor of right-handed reliever Edgar Quinonez. Lopez surrendered five runs (four earned) on seven hits. He did not walk a batter and fanned five.
Martin struck out five and walked two in his one and two third innings of shutout ball. Benny Suarez entered to start the eighth.
Bowling Green took the lead in the ninth with a five run frame. First baseman Patrick Leonard singled, stole second and came home on a RBI single by centerfielder Andrew Toles. Toles stole second base before scoring on a RBI double by Rickard. Suarez was relieved by Felix Sterling.
Third baseman Tyler Goeddel singled to Sterling, then moved to second when Sterling threw the ball past the first baseman. Designated hitter Luke Maile lined a ball past a diving Anthony Santander for a RBI triple to tie the game at five. O’Conner took the lead with a bloop RBI single to right field, scoring Maile. O’Conner stole second as Coyle walked.
Tucker took out Sterling and replaced him with Louis Head. Head walked a batter before coaxed a fly out to end the inning.
Lucas tied the game in the bottom of the ninth with a solo shot to left field, his second of the year.
The Hot Rods won the game in the tenth inning with a sacrifice fly after Toles singled, moved to second and third on a throwing error and sacrifice bunt respectively. Goeddel had the game-winning sacrifice fly.
The Captains got a two-out walk in the tenth but was unable to tie the game again.
Suarez and Sterling combined to allow five runs on seven hits in one and two thirds innings. They walked three and struck out two.
Head took the loss, allowing one unearned run in one and one third innings.
Quinonez threw five innings of one-run baseball to pick up the win on two hits. He struck out four batters.
Manager Scooter Tucker didn’t have much to say after the bullpen meltdown, “It was a very tough game tonight. It was tough to watch but the players have to experience situations like this in order to learn how to deal with it and develop.”
Lucas spoke about the same topic, “We are learning a lot as a team right now. Tonight there were some unfortunate walks and too many extra outs that didn’t go our way. We have to wake up and forget about it so we can play a full nine innings tomorrow.”
Sever led the Captains with three of the nine hits including three RBIs. Lucas had two hits as well.
The Captains and Hot Rods will continue their three game series with a 1:30 PM game on Sunday afternoon. RHP Robbie Aviles (1-1, 3.18 ERA) is expected to be activated from the disabled list and will make the start for Lake County. He will be opposed by RHP Taylor Guerreri (3-2, 3.14 ERA) for Bowling Green.