EASTLAKE, OH- The Lake County Captains (19-20, 42-64) tied the game in the seventh inning and scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth to defeat the Fort Wayne Tincaps (13-25, 56-51) by a final score of 3-2. Shortstop Dorssys Paulino drove in the winning run with a fielder’s choice grounder with the bases loaded.
Captains starter Dylan Baker opened the game with two hit batters and a single to load the bases with no one in the first. Following a called third strike, left fielder Luis Domoromo plated the first run of the game with a RBI groundout to third base.
Fort Wayne added another run in the top of the second inning. Shortstop Tyler Stubblefield led off the frame with a walk. Two groundouts moved Stubblefield all the way to third base with two outs. Designated hitter Mallex Smith hit a RBI single through the right side to score the runner from third.
Baker calmed down and made it into the sixth inning without any further damage. After retiring the first two batters, manager Scooter Tucker made the slow walk to the mound to hook Baker. Tucker brought in right-hander Cody Penny. Penny gave up a single and a walk but escaped the inning without allowing a run.
Baker pitched five and two-thirds innings but picked up a no-decision despite leaving in a 2-0 hole. He gave up two runs on five hits with two walks, five strikeouts and two hit batters.
Right-hander Josh Tomlin, currently recovering from Tommy John Surgery, made his third rehab appearance (first in Lake County) in the seventh inning. Tomlin dispatched the three batters with only eight pitches, including one strikeout.
The Captains could not muster anything off of Tincaps’ starter Max Fried. Fried scattered five hits over six shutout innings while walking two and striking out four. Joe Church took over for the seventh.
Lake County tied the game with two runs in the inning off of Church. Right fielder Jorge Martinez reached on a one-out walk and advanced the second on one of two wild pitches by Church. Left fielder Nick Hamilton dropped a single into center field to move Martinez to third base. Church would strike out centerfielder LeVon Washington but a wild pitch allowed Martinez to cross the plate and Hamilton to second. The eventual hero Paulino singled home Hamilton to tie the game at two.
Church allowed two runs on two hits in one inning of work.
The Captains had two walk-off wins earlier this season and they had the opportunity for another one against Jorge Guzman, on for his second inning of work. Second baseman Todd Hankins opened the final inning with a single and a stolen base. Another wild pitch on a strikeout allowed Hankins to advance to third and Martinez to reach first. A groundout to the pitcher could not score Hankins but it did move Martinez to third. Guzman intentionally walked Washington to load the bases with one out. Paulino lined a ground ball to the shortstop, who threw home to get Hankins but the throw was late.
Grant Sides threw two scoreless innings to pick up the win. Sides now has a ERA of .73 in seven games in Lake Count. On the losing end, Guzman suffered the loss, giving up one run on one hit and one walk in one and one-third innings.
On the night, the Captains had eight hits to Fort Wayne’s seven. Three men had two-hit games: Paulino, Hankins and designated hitter Jeremy Lucas. Paulino had the only two RBI’s on the night.
The Captains will be back in action on Friday to take on the Fort Wayne TinCaps in the finale of the four game set. The Captains will start RHP Robbie Aviles (3-3, 4.12) and Fort Wayne will counter with RHP Matthew Shepherd (4-3, 3.65). First Pitch is at 7:00 PM from Classic Park.