FORT WAYNE, IN – The Lake County Captains (1-0) fell behind 1-0 in the first inning but did not let that scare them. They scored five unanswered runs in the next two innings to go along with a stellar pitching performance by lefty Luis Lugo. The Captains took game one of the Eastern Division Championship Series from the Fort Wayne Tincaps (0-1) 5-1 on Saturday night.
Shortstop Trea Turner, the Padres’ 2014 first-round pick, opened the game with a double to right field. Turner advanced to third base on a sacrifice bunt by the center fielder. Two batters later, Turner came home when Captains shortstop Ivan Castillo booted a groundball. Lugo gave up a single in the inning but no further runs scored.
The Captains took the lead in the second and never looked back. Designated hitter Mike Papi reached on an infield single and then was replaced by pinch-runner Brian Ruiz. Third baseman Paul Hendrix followed with a single. Left fielder Dorssys Paulino put a bunt down the third base line and the Tincaps third baseman overthrew first base, scoring Ruiz from second. Following a sacrifice bunt, second baseman Claudio Bautista grounded out to short but Hendrix scored. The Captains took a 2-1 lead.
A three-spot in the third gave the Captains a four run lead. Centerfielder Clint Frazier and right fielder Bradley Zimmer opened the inning with back-to-back doubles. Frazier scored on Zimmer’s two-bagger. A single and groundout put runners at second and third with one out.
The Tincaps went to the bullpen and brought in Erik Cabrera. Hendrix drove in Zimmer with a sacrifice fly and Paulino singled home the third run.
Jeffery Enloe took the loss for Fort Wayne, after he allowed five runs (three earned) on six hits in two and one third innings. He fanned one batter.
Lugo pitched five strong innings to earn the win. He gave up three hits and one unearned run. He walked one and struck out nine batters. Robbie Aviles entered for the sixth inning.
Cabrera came out of the bullpen and threw three and two thirds innings of shutout ball for Fort Wayne. He walked two and surrendered one hit. Tyler Wood followed with two scoreless innings with four punchouts. Bryan Verbitsky got three groundouts in his scoreless ninth.
Aviles tossed two scoreless frames and Justin Brantley struck out two in a scoreless eighth.
In the ninth, Fort Wayne got two singles against Trevor Frank but Frank stranded both runners in scoring position to close out the first game of the series.
The Captains outhit the Tincaps 8-5 on Saturday. Frazier had a two-hit game with a double. Hendrix added two singles and a RBI.
The Eastern Division Championship Series shifts back to Eastlake on Sunday night. RHP Dace Kime (7-14, 5.22) will look to put the Captains in the Championship series as he will take on RHP Ronald Herrera (6-9, 3.92) for Fort Wayne. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 PM.