Captains make it eight in a row as they power past TinCaps, 9-1

·3 min read

Aug. 13—With a seven-game win streak on the line, the Captains continued their series with Fort Wayne on Aug. 13.

Their bats put the TinCaps away early at Classic Park.

To the tune of four home runs, the Captains recorded a 9-1 victory. The win makes it eight in a row, and with West Michigan's 8-2 loss to Beloit, Lake County is now tied for the Midwest League East lead in the second half of the season.

After Tommy Mace worked out of a pair of runners-in-scoring-position jams, Petey Halpin stepped to the plate in the bottom of the second. He sent a shot to right center field that just cleared the fence for the early Lake County lead.

PHOTOS: Captains-TinCaps, Aug. 13, 2022

The Captains quickly added to their lead in the home half of the third inning. After singles by Connor Kokx and Milan Tolentino, Joe Naranjo took an 2-0 pitch to shallow right that was enough to get Kokx home but Tolentino was tagged out as he tried to score from second.

Johnathan Rodriguez then stepped to the plate and crushed a two-run shot to right center to make it a four-run Captains advantage. That was Rodriguez's 20th home run of the season, which tied him for the Midwest League lead in home runs.

"Everyone is really working hard to get the victory in the end," Rodriguez said. "Everyone is working hard to do what they need to to get these victories and keep us in contention."

While Mace started the game strong, he was pulled just before the fifth inning due to a blister on his index finger that was opened and wouldn't stop bleeding. Brian Eichorn came in for relief, and the first batter he faced, Oliver Basabe, homered to left.

But the trio of Eichorn, Raymond Burgos, Alaska Abney and Zach Hart pitched strong in relief. They gave up a combined two hits, one walk and struck out three.

"It's a fight in the bullpen to get innings this time of year," Captains manager Greg DiCenzo said. "Everyone wants innings, and those are precious come this time of year. We've played in some tight ball games recently, and guys want to be that guy that we count on."

Lake County was quick to retaliate with another multi-run inning in the bottom of the fifth. Angel Martinez got things started with a solo shot that once again went right and over the wall.

After a full-count walk to Tolentino and a steal of second, Rodriguez sent one to shallow right field that saw Tolentino this time beat the play at the plate.

After a pair of scoreless innings, Kokx stepped to the plate with runners on first and second and an 0-2 count, Kokx sent a shot to left field for a three run insurance home run.

"Connor has been solid for us wherever we've put him," DiCenzo said. "Whether it's been the 6-7-8 holes or flipping the lineup for us as the nine guy. He takes some quality at-bats, and as a college guy he's a little more seasoned than other bats. His learning curve is a little lower and Angle at the top of the order for us has provided some juice for us at times and has looked good as well."

The Captains look to make it nine in a row when they and the TinCaps finish their series at Classic Park. Rodney Boone (2-3, 5.59) takes the bump for the second time in the series as he goes against Garrett Hawkins who will make his High-A debut with first pitch scheduled at 1 p.m.