Captains can't stop Loons' bats, fall 5-4 in 11 innings

·3 min read

Aug. 4—After a two-run home run to left in the fourth inning and a score on a wild pitch in the eighth, the Captains led Great Lakes by three runs as the game went to the bottom of the ninth. But the Loons hit back-to-back home runs and came back to tie the game and send it to extras at Classic Park on Aug. 4.

A throwing error in the top of the 11th gave the Loons the lead back for the first time since the top of the first. Lake County got the bases loaded in the bottom of the frame, but was unable to come back and fell 5-4. The loss dropped the Captains to 52-44.

The Loons jumped ahead in the top of the first when Damon Keith cleared the right-center wall. It was Keith's first at-bat at the High-A level.

Captains starter Aaron Davenport refocused after the home run. He allowed two hits in 5 1/3 innings, yet only struck out three. But the Captains' defense continued to make strong plays to keep the advantage. In the seventh, Connor Knox misjudged a pop-up short but on the scoop made a toss to second base to catch the runner for an out.

PHOTOS: Captains vs. Great Lakes, Aug. 4, 2022

Milan Tolentino followed up the next inning with a scoop from shortstop and a quick pivot on the toss to first to get the out.

Davenport didn't need to wait long for run support either, as Joe Naranjo drew the game even with a home run to right-center field in the bottom of the first for his 14th of the season.

Then in the fourth inning, Jonathan Rodriguez hit the aforementioned two-run home run for the lead. It was Rodriguez's team-high 17th of the season.

Outside of the home runs, however, the Captains struggled to generate any momentum. They only recorded four hits and struck out 11 times.

The only other hits came from Naranjo and Micael Ramierez, both of which were singles. The Captains left 10 runners on base, nine in scoring position.

In the ninth inning, the Loons' bats came to life as both Jose Ramos and Imanol Vargas homered in back-to-back at-bats that tied the game and sent it to extras. The home runs went to left and right field respectively, as both came with two outs and two strikes.

After a quiet 10th inning, the Loons broke the deadlock after a dropped third strike on Eddys Leonard was thrown to Naranjo at first for the out but Naranjo's throw to Gabriel Rodriguez at third was off line. That allowed Ismael Alcantara to score what wound up being the deciding run.

The teams meet again on Aug. 5 as Doug Nikhazey (2-4, 3.31 ERA) takes the mound to go against Carlos Duran (0-2, 3.18). First pitch is slated for 7 p.m.