EASTLAKE, OH- The Great Lakes Loons (25-16, 52-59) scored five runs in the final two innings to win the series finale 8-3 over the Lake County Captains (19-22, 42-66) on Saturday night. In the last two games, the Captains bullpen has allowed nine runs in the final three innings of the game.
Right-hander Felix Sterling made the start for Lake County as he took on southpaw Tom Windle for Great Lakes. Windle was the second round draft pick for the Dodgers in the 2013 draft, out of the University of Minnesota.
Centerfielder James Baldwin hit a monster homerun in the top of the first to give the Loons a 1-0 lead. His fifth of the year hit halfway up the scoreboard in right-center field.
Wendle had some control issues in the first as he loaded the bases on two walks and a hit batter. Designated hitter Jeremy Lucas tied the game with a RBI single through the left side of the infield.
Loons’ second baseman Brandon Taylor led off the second inning with a single and moved to second on a passed ball. Catcher Jose Capellan doubled down the left field line to plate Taylor to take the 2-1 lead.
Sterling pitched into the third inning before being relieved by Luis DeJesus. Sterling threw two and two thirds innings, allowing two runs on three hits. He walked three and struck out two.
Manager Scooter Tucker spoke about Sterling’s performance, “He was not able to make quality pitches at times. He pitched well but he got his pitch count up early tonight.”
In the third, Wendle continued to struggle with control as two wild pitches after a double led to a run.
Wendle exited the game after two and two thirds innings as well. He was charged with two runs on three hits. He walked a season-high four batters and fanned four. Luis Meza entered to finish the third.
Great Lakes regained a 3-2 lead in the top of the fourth. Taylor walked to open the inning. A sacrifice bunt moved him to second and he scored on a RBI single by left fielder Robbie Garvey. Garvey was thrown out going to second base to end the inning.
Catcher Eric Haase hit his twelfth home run of the year in the fifth inning. His solo shot tied the game at three.
Meza allowed one run on two hits in two and one third innings. Crayton Bare held the Captains scoreless through two innings to earn his first win.
Cody Penny relieved Dejesus in the seventh inning with one out. Dejesus gave up one run on three and two thirds innings.
Penny served up two solo homeruns in the eighth inning to decide the game. First baseman Tyler Ogle and Taylor both went deep to give the Loons a 5-3 lead. Penny allowed two runs in one and two thirds innings to take the loss.
Great Lakes touched up James Stokes for three runs in the ninth inning. A fielding error by second baseman Todd Hankins opened the floodgates in the frame. A RBI single by right fielder Jeremy Rathjen and a two-run single by designated hitter Aaron Miller were the big hits.
Tucker also spoke about the mental aspect of the last month, “A lot of these guys can see the finish line and they may lose focus over it. This is a tough time of year because of that.”
The Captains only managed five hits on the night. Five different players had a hit in the game.