Midland, Mi- The Lake County Captains (17-18, 40-62) broke a 4-4 tie in the eighth with a solo home run by first baseman Joe Sever to take game two of the three game series on Sunday afternoon against the Great Lakes Loons (22-14, 49-57). The win snapped an overall three-game losing streak and a five game losing streak against the Loons.
The Loons got on the board first in the bottom of the second. Centerfielder James Baldwin lined an one-out single to right field. Baldwin stole second and third before right fielder Jeremy Rathjen coaxed a walk. With third baseman Brandon Dixon at the plate, Rathjen stole second to put two runners in scoring position. Dixon then lifted a fly ball to left field deep enough for the speedy Baldwin to score.
Lake County regained a 2-1 lead in the third inning. Right fielder Jorge Martinez led off with a walk and moved to second on a single by left fielder LeVon Washington. Shortstop Dorssys Paulino grounded a ball to the third baseman, who threw the ball into right field trying to force Washington at second. Martinez scored on the play as Washington moved to third base. Center fielder Logan Vick grounded into a double play, plating Washington for the lead.
The Captains continued to distance themselves from the Loons with two more in the fourth inning. After two outs, Dixon made his second error of the day on a groundball from second baseman Todd Hankins. Hankins stole second base and scored on a RBI single by Martinez. Washington tripled home Martinez for a 4-1 lead.
Robbie Aviles made the start for the Captains as he only pitched three innings. He allowed one run on two hits with one walk and one strikeout. He made way for Jimmy Stokes in the fourth.
Stokes walked the first two men he faced with one of them coming around to score on a groundout by Rathjen.
On the Loons side, Chris Andersen started the game and pitched the first four innings. He gave up four unearned runs on six hits. He walked two and struck out three. Great Lakes manager gave the ball to reliever Luis Meza to keep the Captains off the board, who followed with two scoreless innings.
Stokes pitched two innings with one run allowed and four walks before leaving the game. Jack Wagoner came into a 4-2 game in the sixth.
To start the home half of the sixth, Baldwin lined a one-out double to the center field gap. Baldwin stole third base before trotting home on a RBI single by catcher Jose Capellan. Left fielder Robbie Garvey followed with a game-tying RBI double to left field. The lead had disappeared into a tie game after six innings.
Wagoner continued his season struggles after he gave up two runs in two innings. He scattered four hits, two walks and three strikeouts. Despite blowing the save, Wagoner won his third game of the year. Grant Sides pitched the eighth inning.
Crayton Bare was in his second inning of relief when he allowed the solo shot to Sever. Sever is now second on the active team with seven home runs (recently promoted Erik Gonzalez had nine homers). Bare was hung with the loss, allowing the one run in two innings.
Grant Sides threw a scoreless eighth before walking the tightrope in the ninth. After retiring the first two batters, Sides gave up a triple and two walks to load the bases. With the winning run at second base, Sides locked up Rathjen on a called third strike to end the game. Sides picked up his third save of the year.
Owen Jones threw a scoreless ninth for the Loons. As a whole, the Loons bullpen was solid with only one hit in five innings of relief.
In his first game since May 28th, Washington went 3-4 with two singles and a triple. Sever added two hits of his own for the Captains. Both men drove in one run.
The Captains will look to RHP Luis Dejesus (4-10, 6.45) to try and win the series on Monday night and Great Lakes will counter with LHP Tom Windle (2-0, 1.88). First Pitch is at 7:05 PM from Dow Diamond.