Captains fall to Cougars 13-9
Lake County falls in back-and-forth offensive slugfest
Coming off two victories from Monday’s double-header against the Kane County Cougars, the Lake County Captains couldn’t come away with a third victory on Tuesday and fell to the Cougars 13-9.
Ryan Merritt, the Captains only left-hander, started the first inning off strong, with two quick outs, but allowed two base hits before Merritt grabbed the last out at first to go into the second half off the inning.
The Captains started the bottom off the first with an early double by shortstop Erik Gonzalez. This was followed by an RBI double from designated hitter Eric Haase, his fifth RBI of the season. Second basemanJoe Sever then grabbed a single and stole second while first baseman Nellie Rodriquez was at the plate.
The Cougars came right back in the beginning of the second though with designated hitter WIllson Contreras hitting a strong homer to left to start the inning. Merritt then allowed a single to catcher Yaniel Cabezas, but finished out the inning with an out at first for center fielder Oliver Zapata.
Lenny Castillo, the cougars starting right-hander, matched up with left fielder Jorge Castillo at the bottom of the second. Castillo grabbed a triple, which was shortly followed by right fielder Anthony Santander hitting an RBI single to bring Castillo home.
Second baseman Gioskar Amaya was Merritt’s first out for the third, before allowing first baseman Dan Vogelbach a single. But Merritt reeled himself back in and struck out both third baseman Jeimer Candelario and left fielderRock Shoulders to end the inning.
The bottom of the third went quickly for the Captains, taking three quick outs. The first from Haase to Darvill between the bases and the second from a fly out to center from Sever and the third out to right from Rodriguez.
A bunt along the third baseline took Contreras to first, followed by shortstop Wes Darvill grabbing another single to start off the fourth inning. Cabezas then grabbed an RBI single to bring Contreras home, but Pin-Chieh Chen, the Cougars' right fielder, followed that with an RBI double to bring Darvill home.
Merritt came out after that pair of RBI’s and was replaced by right hander Nick Pasquale. Amaya sacrificed a bunt to bring center fielder Oliver Zapata home and keep Chen at second. But Vogelbach ended the first half of the third hitting an out straight between first and second.
After giving up three runs in the top of the first, the Captains came back for five runs to take back the lead, which was their first five-run inning of the season. Catcher Jeremy Lucas started strong with a homer out to left field. Castillo followed up with a single, but quickly moved to second with Martinez grabbing a single as well.
Next Santander stepped up, but was hit by the pitch, which moved everyone up. Vick batted next and singled to right field to bring Castillo home, but taking Martinez out at home and bringing Santander around to third. Gonzalez snapped a double out to center field, which brought Santander and Vick home. Haase sacrificed a fly to center to bring Gonzalez home. The inning came to a close with Sever grounding out to Darvill.
The top of fifth inning went by without much action, with the Cougars Candelario and Darvill striking out, but Shoulders and Contreras taking bases with a walk and a hit from the pitch respectively. Cabezas grounded out to second to finish the top of the inning.
Castillo was replaced by Justin Amlung to start the bottom of the fifth, and he grabbed himself three quick outs to take the inning. Rodriguez popped out to second, Lucas grounded out along the third baseline and Castillo struck out to finish the inning.
The sixth was another inning without action. The cougars had three fast outs from Zapata, Amaya and Vogelbach, with Chen getting a single inbetween Zapata and Amaya’s outs. The Captains followed suit, with Martinez, Santander and Gonzalez getting out, with Vick walking between Santander and Gonzalez.
The Cougars came back from a quick sixth inning to load up the bases early in the seventh. Candelario got out on a fly to center, but Shoulders grabbed first on a fielding error from Castillo. Contreras received a wild pitch from Pasquale, pushing Shoulders to second, and then a walk for Contreras. Another wild pitch from Pasquale pushed Shoulders to third and Contreras to second, followed by Darvill’s walk.
Right-hander Felix Sterling took over for Pasquale. Then Cabezas hit a single to bring Shoulders home and Zapata took a fly out to Rodriguez. Chen singled to bring Contreras home and Amaya ends the inning striking out.
Haase led a comeback for the Captains and grabbed the second homer of the game. But the rest of the seventh was less than exciting with Sever, Rodriguez and Lucas taking out.
The Cougars came back ready for action at the start of the eighth. Vogelback hit a line-drive homer to center to start the inning and tied up the game 8-8, followed by Candelario striking out. Shoulders then took a double to right field.
Michael Peoples then came in to finish the inning and replace Sterling, and Peoples allowed his first earned runs in 13 innings. Contreras then struck out, followed by Darvill reaching from an error by Castillo, bringing Shoulders home. With three errors, Castillo reached a season high. With Cabezas at the plate, Darvill steals second and comes around to home when Cabezas singling to right field. Zapata struck out to finish the top of inning.
Nathan Dorris replaced Justin Amlung to finish the eighth. Castillo doubled to start the inning, but didn’t go very far after Martinez, Santander and Vick got three quick outs to finish the inning, still down 10-8.
The Cougars gained more insurance with a 13-8 lead by the middle of the ninth. They earned those three runs with Chen singling, and later brought home from a single to right from Vogelbach. Candelario doubled, but Vogelbach was grabbed out at home. Another wild pitch while Shoulders was at the plate moved Candelario to third and Shoulders double brought him home. Darvill snagged a single, but Cabezas ended the top of the ninth with a fly out to center.
The Captains came back for a fight in the bottom of the ninth, but couldn’t snag the victory away from the Cougars. Gonzalez started the inning with a single, and moves to second on defensive indifference with Haase at the plate, but Haase struck out. Sever reached on a fielding error, bringing Gonzalez home. Sever moved to second on another defensive indifference, followed by Rodriguez grounding out.
“It’s the same old thing, you’ve got to catch the ball and throw the ball, you can’t give them extra outs,” said manager, Scooter Tucker. Lucas came up to bat to finish the inning, striking out as the Captains fell to the Cougars 13-9, which brings the Captains to 0-7 in series finales.