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Captains lose to Cougars 6-4, drop third straight

Two Nellie Rodriguez home runs were not enough to lift the Captains over the Kane County Cougars on Friday.

Captains lose to Cougars 6-4, drop third straight
Lake County first baseman Nellie Rodriguez went 2-4 with two solo shots, but it wasn't enough to lift the Captains to victory. (Photo: Brittany Chay)
April 11, 2014
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GENEVA, IL - The Kane County Cougars (5-3) fought back to take an early lead and they held on to a 6-4 win over the Lake County Captains (4-4) despite two homers from Nellie Rodriguez. The Captains have dropped three straight games.

The Cougars jumped to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning. Shortstop Carlos Penalver singled with one out in the inning. He moved to second on a groundout and scored on a RBI single by right fielder Yasiel Balaguert. Balaguert scored on an error by Captains’ starting pitcher Caleb Hamrick.

Lake County used two homers to take the lead in the second inning. First baseman Nellie Rodriguez went yard for the second time of the short season. Three batters later, center fielder Cody Ferrell hit his third homer of the season, a two-run shot to left field.

Kane County regained the lead with a three-run bottom half of the second inning. Penalver plated a run with a groundout, catcher Ben Carhart followed with a RBI double and Balaguert struck again with a RBI triple.

Hamrick took the loss, allowing five runs, four earned, in four innings of work. He gave up six hits and three walks. Hamrick was replaced by Jordan Milbrath in the fifth inning who did not allow an earned run in four innings of relief work.

Rodriguez went deep for the second time of the night to make it a one-run game at 5-4 in the sixth. That was the end for Cougars’ starter Daury Torrez as he left the game following the solo bomb.

Torrez picked up the win, after surrendering four runs on seven hits in five and one third innings. He walked two and fanned two to go along with the three homers allowed.

With the Cougars ahead 5-4, they took advantage of a throwing error by Milbrath in order to bring home an insurance run. Penalver bunted the ball to the mound and Milbrath threw the ball away, allowing Penalver to go to third. Carhart drove him home with a sacrifice fly to cap the scoring at 6-4.

The Cougars bullpen of Nathan Dorris and Zack Godley shut down the Captains over the last three and two thirds innings. They combined to allow only one hit, while striking out six.

Milbrath followed up his complete game shutout with another great performance. In four innings, he yielded an unearned run on four hits with two walks and three strikeouts.

The Captains were outhit in the game for the fifth time this season. Kane County held the advantage 10-8. Left fielder Brian Ruiz had a three hit night to raise his season average to .360. Rodriguez added two hits with two RBI’s in the game.

The Captains and Cougars will resume the series on Saturday afternoon. RHP Adam Plutko (0-0, 0.00) will start for the Captains and the Cougars will start RHP Juan Paniagua (0-0, 4.50). First pitch is at 2:00 PM from Fifth Third Bank Ballpark in Geneva, Illinois.

Tyler, a sports management student at Lake Erie College, can be found on Twitter @tstotsky63.

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