EASTLAKE, OH- The Lake County Captains (25-25, 48-69) scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to come back to beat the Bowling Green Hot Rods (29-22, 67-52) on Monday night. The Hot Rods took a no-hitter into the eighth and still lost the game. Lake County is now only 3.5 game out of the Wild-Card spot in the Eastern Division.
Right-hander Robbie Aviles started for the Captains as he took on lefty Kevin Brandt for the Hot Rods. Brandt made his Bowling Green debut after being promoted from Short Season Hudson Valley.
Both pitchers had three perfect innings before Bowling Green took through first in the fourth. Center fielder Andrew Toles led off the inning with a double to right field. After a strikeout, second baseman Tommy Coyle scored Toles with a RBI single.
Brandt took a perfect game into the fifth inning. After retiring the first 13 batters of the game, Brandt walked designated hitter Jeremy Lucas to break the perfect game up.
The Hot Rods added a run in the sixth inning off of Aviles. Toles led off the inning with a single up the middle. Toles was then picked off first by Aviles. Third baseman Tyler Goeddel tripled to follow the pickoff. Two batters later, designated hitter Justin O’Conner drove Goeddel home with a soft liner to center field.
Aviles threw six innings with the two runs allowed. He received a no-decision for his work. He gave up six hits and one walk. D.J. Brown entered for the seventh inning.
Brandt departed with six no-hit innings. He only had two baserunners (walk and an error) to go along with his three strikeouts. The weight was put on Andrew Hanse’s shoulders for the seventh with the no-hitter intact.
Hanse retired the Captains in order before giving up an one-out single to catcher Eric Haase in the eighth inning. Hanse pitched two one-hit innings with four strikeouts before turning the ball over to Marcus Jensen for the save.
Left fielder Nick Hamilton led off the ninth with a single to center field. Hamilton moved to third on a double by second baseman Yhoxian Medina. An infield single by shortstop Dorssys Paulino cut the lead in half, scoring Hamilton. Center fielder Logan Vick laid down a sacrifice bunt but there was no throw, therefore loading the bases with no outs. Following a strikeout, Lucas stepped to the plate and dropped the game winning double just inches within the right field line. Two runs scored to win the game 3-2.
Jensen took the loss, allowing three runs on four hits in only one third of an inning.
Brown won his second game with three innings of two-hit, shutout ball. He struck out three batters in his relief appearance.
Lake County managed five hits and won all three games in the series despite being outhit by the Hot Rods.
After an off-day on Tuesday, the Captains will continue their playoff push with a three-game series against the South Bend Silver Hawks on Wednesday. RHP Felix Sterling (3-4, 4.86) will take the mound for Lake County as he will be opposed by RHP Blake Perry (7-5, 3.97) for South Bend. First pitch is set for 7:00 from Classic Park.