EASTLAKE, OH – The Lake County Captains (23-39) came back to defeat the Dayton Dragons (31-29) 4-3 with a three-run ninth inning. Lake County walked-off for the seventh time, courtesy of right fielder Logan Vick’s three-run double.
Dayton jumped to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Left fielder Jon Matthews opened the game with a walk and moved to second on a single by right fielder Phillip Ervin. Designated hitter Sebastian Elizalde moved the runners up with a sacrifice bunt. First baseman Daniel Pigott plated Matthews with a single.
The Captains tied the game in the bottom half of the first. Left fielder Dorssys Paulino singled and advanced to second on a error by the shortstop. Right fielder Logan Vick followed with a RBI single up the middle.
Second baseman Avain Rachal led off with a single to begin the fifth. Centerfielder Gabriel Rosa doubled down the left field line to plate Rachal. Dayton regained the lead at 2-1.
In the next inning, the Dragons added a run to build their lead to two. Elizalde singled with one out and scored on a RBI double by third baseman Tanner Rahier. Rachal singled and tried to score on the play, but was thrown out by Paulino at the dish.
Dragons’ starter Nick Routt earned a no-decision with one unearned run allowed in six innings. He gave up five hits, no walks and fanned eight batters. Ryan Kemp entered in relief for the seventh inning.
Kemp worked out of two jams in consecutive innings to keep the Captains scoreless.
Midwest League All-Star Robbie Aviles pitched into the eighth inning before hitting his pitch count for the game. He retired the first two batters before making way for Trevor Frank. Aviles’ final line was seven and two thirds innings, eight hits, three runs, one walk and four strikeouts.
Scott Brattvet replaced Kemp for the ninth, looking to lock down a Dragons win. First baseman Nellie Rodriguez singled through the right side of the infield and moved to second on a passed ball. Catcher Eric Haase coaxed a walk to put the tying run at the plate. Third baseman Grant Fink placed a perfect bunt down the third base line to advance the runners into scoring position. Paulino walked to load the bases with one out.
Dayton manager Jose Nieves made a move to the pen to bring in Joel Bender. Vick stepped into the box, looking to send the 7,173 fans home happy. Vick laced a double to right-center field to score all three runs and complete the late comeback.
After the game, Vick spoke about the game-winning hit, “It was a fastball, down and in. I wasn’t expecting it as I was looking for an outside pitch.”
Captains manager Mark Budzinski was pleased with his team’s efforts, “First, Robbie set the tone. He had a good sinker going, he kept us in the game. This team doesn’t give up and that showed tonight.”
Brattvet took the loss, with three runs allowed on one hit and two walks in one third of an inning. Bender blew the save by allowing the winning hit.
Frank picked up the win, his third of the year, with one and one third innings of scoreless ball.
The Captains outhit the Dragons nine to eight. Three players had two hit games: second baseman Claudio Bautista, Rodriguez and Vick. Vick drove in all four runs in the game, his first RBI’s since rejoining the Captains.
In the middle game of the series on Sunday, the Captains will send RHP Dace Kime (0-8, 6.10) to the mound and the Dragons will counter with LHP Ismael Guillon (3-0, 2.82). First pitch is scheduled for 1:30 PM at Classic Park.