SOUTH BEND, IN- The South Bend Silver Hawks (20-14, 64-39) took a 6-4 lead with a three-run fourth inning and never looked back as they took out the Lake County Captains (16-17, 39-61) by a final score of 7-4 for the second-straight game. South Bend won two out of three games.
The Captains gave the ball to southpaw Ryan Merritt in the rubber game as he took on right-hander Robert Coe for Mark Haley’s squad.
The Silver Hawks struck first with a RBI double by first baseman Rudy Flores in the first inning.
South Bend added two more runs in the second. Right fielder Michael Lang reached on an infield single with one out. Left fielder Alex Glenn doubled home Lang for a 2-0 lead. Following a strikeout, second baseman Fidel Pena plated Glenn after he lined a RBI triple to center field.
Lake County took a short-lived lead in the fourth inning. A walk and two singles loaded the bases with two outs with left fielder Jorge Martinez coming to the plate. Martinez cleared the bases with a grand slam to right field, his second home run of the year. Lake County took a 4-3 lead after three and a half innings.
Merritt pitched three innings for Lake County. He gave up three runs on six hits before making way for Luis Morel. Merritt did not walk a batter and struck out three.
Morel was rudely welcomed in the fourth inning as South Bend regained the lead. Catcher Michael Perez walked and advanced to second on another infield single by Lang. Glenn drove in one run on a RBI single while a throwing error by Captains’ center fielder Logan Vick allowed Lang to score and Glenn to go to third. Centerfielder Breland Almadova capped the inning with a RBI single.
Coe earned a no-decision with four innings in the books. He gave up four runs on five hits while he walked two and struck out three. Henry Garcia relieved Coe for the fifth inning.
In the sixth inning, the Silver Hawks loaded the bases with three straight singles to start the frame. Morel uncorked a two-out wild pitch to cap the scoring at 7-4.
The South Bend bullpen of Garcia, Thomas Brendel and Jose Jose combined to throw five scoreless innings of relief. Garcia earned the win while Jose picked up the save.
Morel surrendered four runs (three earned) on eight hits in four innings of work. He walked one and struck out seven in four innings. Jack Wagoner threw a scoreless eighth inning.
Catcher Richard Stock singled in the fourth to extend his hitting and on-base streak to 12 games. Shortstop Dorssys Paulino led the Captains with two hits.
The Captains will travel to Midland, Mich. to take on the Great Lakes Loons on Saturday night. The Captains will start RHP Dylan Baker (6-5, 3.62) and Great Lakes will counter with 16-year old LHP Julio Urias (2-0, 2.65). First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. from Dow Diamond.